Learn more about Cuba
This island attracts travelers with its magic and history, pristine beaches with tropical palm trees and fine food. So here are some tips on and what you should know for the most enjoyable experience.
US EMBASSY RE-OPENS
After more than a half-century of Cold War estrangement, the United States reopened its six-story embassy in Havana this summer.
HOW TO ENTER & VISA ?
Yes, we still need VISA. You need entry card which is valid for 30 days and you can obtain it though some travel agencies. You may want to request for assistance are GoeEX or CubaTravel Services as they can assist with most visa documents, transfers and accommodations. These agencies are also great if you want to discover Havana or other locations; it is good to have this option for more personalized guided tours.
When it comes to visa you need to be specific with why you want to go there select out of 12 categories and choose journalism, professional research, educational reasons or religious activities.
FERRY OR FLIGHT ?
CubaKat was hoping to start their daily Ferry operation from Miami. Imagine in 3 short hours you could be on this Coconut Filled Tropical Island where salsa and bachata never stops. However plans had to be put on hold, therefore still the only way to get there is by fly. From USA you can fly on JetBlue or Easter Arlines directly to reach Havana, however you must go through Charter Company to enter legally.
CASH OR CREDIT CARD?
Credit and ATM cards issued by U.S. banks often don’t work there, so suggestion is to take enough cash to pay for all your need. Prepay your hotel which will solve your problem and most European chain resorts offer all inclusive option so you can just keep spare money to go out.
WHERE TO STAY? – If you are not too demanding you can choose more of the local experience and pick one of the AirBNB options in down town Havana for as little as $50 USD with staff included. Or pick any of Melia Hotels in Havana or close by for a beach getaway like Cayo Coco, they offer more comfortable accommodations and service.
WHAT TO DO AND WHAT TO SEE?
There is so much to do on this island that you may as well use 30 days stay to explore all the points of interest and relax at white sand beaches.
Baracoa– A visit to this lost-in-time corner of Cuba is a must for history and nature buffs. Getting to the quaint seaside town and nearby sites was made feasible only in the 1960s with the construction of ‘La Farola’ – one of Cuba’s most scenic roads.
Take a tour of the Capitolio in Havana’s centre. Built by a dictator to mimic Washington DC’s Capitol (though the detailing on Havana’s version is finer), it housed a puppet parliament until the Revolution.
Wander around the Castillo de la Real Fuerza and its new shipwreck museum. The oldest of Havana’s three forts. Raise a glass to Hemingway at his old haunt La Bodeguita del Medio (www.palmarescuba.com).
Live the high life in Havana’s Vedado district. The Hotel Nacional (www.hotelnacionaldecuba.com) has hosted gangsters and film stars and is well-placed for Carnaval processions along the Malecón.
Stroll along the Malecón – the sea wall that links Old Havana to the western edge of Vedado. Careful though: during high seas and storms, the surf surges over the wall, the boulevard is sometimes closed to traffic as a result.
Soak up some glorious sunshine from one of Cuba most beautiful beaches: Playas del Este near Havana, Santa María, known as the Havana Riviera, offer the soft sand and turquoise waters for which the Caribbean is famous. Playa Ancón near Trinidad; Cayo Coco north of Ciego de Ávila; and Playa las Tumbas on the Guanhacabibes Peninsula, a UNESCO biosphere on the island’s western tip. Varadero is a particularly lively resort that combines beach life with nightlife.
Dive into the deep- There are 30 dive sites at Varadero alone and more reefs around Isla de la Juventud – Robert Louis Stevenson’s inspiration for Treasure Island. With few crowds and teeming marine life, the Hotel Colony on the Isla de la Juventud makes a great base for a dive vacation and wreck diving.
Visit Museums – de La Revolución for a historical context of modern Cuba. Palacio de los Capitanes Generales
Head to the Plaza de Armas in Old Havana for a glimpse of colonial majesty at the Palacio de los Capitanes Generales, former residence of the Spanish Crown’s representatives, and now the Museo de la Ciudad.