Going to Cuba has generally been a difficult task until recently. Now, not only can you travel directly to Cuba from the United States but you can also bring back Cuban cigars! I went to Cuba in October and had a great experience. From the people, to the culture to the beautiful terrain, Cuba has something for everyone.
Check out my video about Cuba Here
Before flying out of the U.S. there are a few things you want to make certain of:
- When booking your flight make sure to get insurance that covers you specifically in Cuba.
- Make sure to get your Visa (select Educational Purposes: People to People as your reason for visiting Cuba). The Visa is $85.
- Exchange your money to Euros prior to going. Your credit cards wont work there so calculate how much you will need. I would suggest having $100 a day plus whatever you may need to cover the hotel stay if it is not pre-paid for.
- Look at airbnb.com as a lodging option if you want to be more a part of the culture.
- Book some tours before going so you have a plan in place.
From Miami the flight was only 33 minutes to Varadero where I flew into. This is about 2.5 hours from Havana. You can also fly directly into Havana. When you get to Cuba you will want to exchange your Euros to CUC (Cuban Convertible Peso). You can do this as soon as you exit the airport. You will also want to get a WiFi card if the place you are staying has WiFi access. Keep in mind, if they have access you still need a WiFi card if you want to try to call out on WiFi or use the internet. The WiFi is sketchy so even with the card there may be times where you are unable to access the internet.
You will want to know some basic Spanish to help in getting around as most of the taxi drivers and even restaurant workers know very little English. However, everyone I came across were generally willing and happy to help.
One of the things people love about Cuba is the Cuban cigars and they certainly didn't disappoint. I went to a farm in Viñales where me and some friends tried some cigars and went horseback riding.
Cuba has something for everyone. From the mountainside to the beautiful beaches in Varadero I can say I had a magical time there. It was once a forbidden place that now we all have the opportunity to go see. Don't miss out on this chance of a lifetime!
If you have any questions about going to Cuba add a comment and I will be happy to reply! Thanks for sharing in my journey. ~Gen