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Useful information

Cuba is an island of majestic royal palms and bright sugarcane fields. Land of the Revolution, soulful melodies and magical fascination. This is a romantic and captivating island full of secrets and contradictions that cocooned socialism in its tropical land. Everyone who visits Cuba falls in love with this country and its cheerfulness, magic rhythms, authentic Cuban rum and Cuban charm and charisma.

Cuba is an authentic tropical paradise, a bright green kaleidoscope of romantic landscapes caressed by the trade winds. It is the largest island of the West Indies, located south of tropic of Cancer and 145 km south of the Straits of Florida. The island's northern shores are bathed by the blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean and southward the greenish blue waves of the Caribbean Seagently wash the shores.

Climate and seasons in Cuba

The Cuba climate is mild subtropical and receives the action of trade winds. The average temperature throughout the year reaches 25, 5°C. On the other hand,the average temperature during the coldest month (January) is about 22, 5 °C, and during the hottest (August) reaches 27, 8°C. During winter the average water temperature oscillates between 22-24 °C; in summer is about 28 or 30°C. Even though annual rainfall average is about 1400m, sometimes in Cuba there are also dry years.
In Cuba there are two well-defined climatic seasons: The rainy season (May to September) and a dry one (October to April).Approximately ¾ of the annual volume of precipitations falls during the rainy season.

Seasons in Cuba

December 22nd – January 3rd Peak season. (Christmas and New Year)
January 4thApril 30th High season.
May 1st – July 14th. LowSeason. (In Cuba starts rainy season)
July 15thAugust 24th. Highseason. (During the vacation period, Cubans who live abroad assemble in the country)
August 25th – October 31st. Low season. (End of vacation period, beginning of the academic year and hurricane season in Cuba)
November 1st – December 21st. High season. (Good season for visiting Cuba)

Time zone

Standard Time is 4 hours behind Greenwich Mean Time (GMT-4)

Visa requirements

In case of less than 30 days of stay in Cuba, citizens of European and several American countries won't be required a Visa. Passport should be valid for at least six months after your return to your country.
On the plane or upon arrival within the airport, visitors are required to fill in a tourist card (2 copies).The first copy should be shown while passing through passport control. The second one should be kept until the end of the journey and it is withdrawn when departing Cuba.On the way out of the country, a 25 CUC airport tax is levied.

Attention! We recommend to fill in the tourist card personally since Cuban staff charge a 5 euro fee for the service.

Example:

 

 

Currency

The currency for the tourist use is the Cuban Convertible Peso (CUC), which replaces any other foreign currency. The currency exchange operation is 1$ + 3% based on the exchange rate.
Exchange rate: 1 CUC = 24-25 CUP
Nowadays the Cuban Government is determined to issue a unique currency.
Currency exchange can be performed in public centers called "Cadeca".

Attention! When exchanging American dollars in cash to Cuban convertible peso, a 10% tax is levied.

Attention! Credit cards issued by American banks won't be accepted (if your credit card was issued by Citibank, don't even bother about withdrawing cash from your card account). There are restrictions for withdrawing cash from MasterCard credit cards.

Where to stay

In Cuba there are plenty of hotels of all categories. From simple to luxurious hotels belonging to the largest international hotel chains.

Rent a room (casa particular)

Casa particular- a private apartment or house, which proprietor rents partially or completely.
There's a big difference in terms of conveniences and quality of the services. Prices oscillate between $15 per night in a small, dark room in the center of Havana and $1000 per night for a penthouse with sea view, located across the seafront of Havana, commonly known as Malecon Habanero.

We recommend a room with all the necessary facilities for a comfortable stay (air conditioning, toilet and furniture). Rent prices for a "casa particular" in Havana are about $25-30 per night. Apartments with a high level of comfort, prime position and a beautiful view from the window are more expensive.

Advantages and disadvantages of renting a "casa particular" in Havana depend on the region:

Old Havana

Old Havana (La Habana Vieja) is the historic section of Havana, where main architectural monuments, restaurants and touristic places are concentrated. The big plus is that everything is just a short step away. On the downside, there's a huge amount of people making offers constantly. Besides, seeing beggars asking for money makes you feel really down-hearted.

We recommend to rent apartments in Old Havana if you are going to stay more than 3 days!

The center of Havana

Cubans call it La Ruina or "The Ruins". It is a half-collapsed, relatively criminal zone, where most of the population has African roots.

Renting apartments in this area is not to be recommended.

However, there are good places in the center of Havana. Here begins the "Malecon Habanero", where restored colonial old houses and decent apartments are located, built during the "American period". There are also rooms with sea view.

Sea View and Old Havana in just 5 minutes walking!

We recommend to rent a room in Carlos III Avenue, in front of botanic garden Los Molinos. Here the houses have an American style. The area is full of good restaurants and it's very easy to get from this place to Vedado or Old Havana. Shopping center Carlos III is set just 5 minutes walking from here. You can rent a similar room or apartment in Vedado, though is more expensive.

Economic Modality

Former residential neighborhood and safe area where a huge amount of restaurants, hotels and night clubs are located. 23rd Avenue never sleeps but, on the other side of the street, your sleep wouldn't be disturbed.
This zone was built during the "American period", therefore you can choose a decent apartment in accordance with your personal taste and budget.

Ancon recommends!

Miramar

Exclusive region of Havana. Before the "Cuban Revolution", country's richest people used to live in Miramar.
Best night clubs are located here

Villas

The largest majority of them are located in Playa district and were built during the 50s of the 20thcentury.They have a typical American style, therefore you won't find modern-designed buildings or high-tech facilities here. Villa rent prices are relatively low, about $300-800 per night. There are, of course, more expensive options with prices reaching $1000 per night. However, sometimes it's very nice feeling like a sugar magnate or let's say, an American capitalist, isn't it?

We recommend to hire a car when renting a villa!

Contacts

Phone

When making a phone call from a foreign country, Cuba's code is +53+ city code + destination number
When calling from a cellphone: +53+ city code+ destination number
Codes: Havana(7), Viñales (8), Guantanamo y Baracoa (21), Santiago de Cuba (22), Holguin (24), Camaguey(32), Pinar del Rio (82), Trinidad (419), Cienfuegos (432).
Tourist can rent a Cuban sim-card (3 CUC per day) + 0, 35 CUC per minute for incoming calls.

Using a Cuban sim-card could be expensive, but it's really useful when travelling on your own!

Attention! Upon arrival to Cuba all internet update and notification services should be disabled. GPRS roaming service in Cuba is very expensive!

Internet

Internet services can be used in any Cuban hotel (prices oscillate between $4.5 and $10). Every hotel is equipped with a computer room. Wi-Fi service is only available in expensive hotels.

Attention! Cuban Internet services are unstable and data transmission speed is low.

Transportation

Moving around the city

Urban public transportation in Cuba is underdeveloped, and its use isn't recommended.
Tourists usually travel by taxi.

1. Modern taxis (3-10 CUC).

2. Second-hand «Lada» (2-10 CUC)

3. Coco Taxi (1-5 CUC)

4. Old classic cars used as fixed routed taxis. (10 CUP per person, approximately $ 0.4)

 Travelling around Cuba:

1. Renting a car is the best transportation option.


2. "ViaAzul" interurban bus service provides modern and comfortable busses.

3. Local flights. Cuban air fleet has modern and comfortable planes.


Flight tickets purchase

Attention! Flight delays are very common in Cuba. You should plan your itinerary in case of any delay.

Car renting

In the Cuban market there are 4 Car renting agencies: Cubacar, Habanautos, REX and Gaviota.
- Cubacar and Havanautos and offer standard automobiles. One of the advantages of this agency is that they have the widest network of renting points and emergency services around all the country.
- REX offers the best brands. Prices are more expensive in comparison with other agencies. If you are interested in renting a European business-class car, you will find it in REX.
Gaviota offers standard automobiles. Its offices are more commonly located in the eastern region of Cuba.
You can rent a car in any renting point or in our agency

Warning!

Analyze attentively car renting prices in our web site. In many renting points located in touristic places there are 2 price-list. One that is shown to the tourists (prices are overcharged in a 10-50%) and other that includes the real prices (this one is only provided to the client if a supervisor from a superior institution in the office)

Notice: Check the car carefully! In case of technical failure you should give back the car and require a replacement.

If you were given a fine, you should pay it within a 3-days period at any renting point (with a 50 % discount)

What should I bring?

- Light clothing

- Swimming accessories

- Mosquito repellent and sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30.

- first aid kit

- AC travel adaptor set "Europe and America"

and a good mood!

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