Road Trip In Cuba Prepartion Advice And Links

The first thing to do when deciding to leave any destination and if it is not a last-minute departure, is to start by defining the means of transport for return. To get to Cuba there are not a thousand alternatives; the plane seems to be immediately obvious. At the time I prepared for my trip to Cuba, all the companies did not serve (yet) Cuba but today more and more companies are flying to Cuba, and the companies are competing, which lowers prices. Compare prices of hotel accommodations in  Liligo . If you can be flexible, the prices of flights can vary greatly from one day to another or from one week to another.

Find a flight on Liligo

Updated 14.07.2015: until April 30, 2015 an airport tax of 25CUC was to be provided from Cuba. This tax is now included in the price of the air ticket.

DO YOU NEED A VISA FOR CUBA?

The answer is no, but it is not so obvious since you have to get a tourist card . This tourist card is issued by the Cuban embassy in your country. The only difference with a visa is that it is not a stamp affixed in the passport but a “flying” card that is not to be lost before or during the trip because it allows to enter the but also to get out.

If you are traveling by a travel agency to book your flight or stay, the agency can arrange to ask for the tourist card for you, otherwise the contact details of the Cuban embassies in Switzerland, France and Belgium.

Tourist card price: CHF 42.00,  on presentation of the passport valid for at least 6 months beyond the date of return.

Validity: 30 days , extendable on site 60 additional days.

It is also possible to apply by mail but it will cost you CHF 42.00 for the tourist card and the sum of CHF 63.00 for consular fees, bank and postal stamps! For the application, you must:

  • A copy of the passport (passport must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the date of return)
  • An envelope with your address for the return of the tourist card and CHF 6.00 stamps. The certified consignment is taken care of by the Embassy.

The delay by mail is 10 working days.

WHERE TO STAY IN CUBA?

There are all types of accommodation in Cuba. You will be spoiled for choice according to your desires and your way of traveling from the accommodation to the luxury hotel to the all inclusivehotels of seaside.

During our road trip to Cuba, we preferred to stay in  casa particular,  that is to say with the inhabitant. Homestay is very widespread in Cuba and allows to rub the Cubans and immerse themselves in their way of life. From Switzerland we booked the first nights in Havana and then booked our nights in casa particular directly on the spot and from day to day.

By booking at the Expedia  you can find accommodations in Cuba ranging from the casa particularto the all inclusive hotel . It is also possible to rent a car and book a flight.

Find accommodation on Expedia

Update Sept. 2017: Travelers reported that they had to bring proof of a reservation for the first night upon arrival in Cuba when they passed through customs.

WHAT MEANS OF TRANSPORT FOR A ROAD TRIP IN CUBA?

To travel by road trip to Cuba, the best way of transport is the car rental but there are also:

  • The bus (state-owned Viazul)
  • The private or collective taxi (updated 14.07.2015: the price of a collective taxi is +/- equal to the price of the bus journey
  • Rental car with driver

We opted for the rental car for our road trip to Cuba. It is the only means of transport which offers a real independence to leave in road trip in Cuba. Only negative point is the price of the car rental which is high in Cuba (count about 60 CUC per day). We booked through  Novela.

The roads range from average to very poor, seeing trails. The lack of signage and lighting may also discourage some.

Update 14.07.2015: Back from our road trip to Cuba, I can only recommend Novela for car rental. Everything went well from taking the car to the shed.

HEALTH, VACCINES AND TRAVEL INSURANCE

In addition to the tourism card you must present proof of medical insurance that covers medical and repatriation expenses to enter Cuba.

Cuba is one of the healthiest regions in the Caribbean. No vaccine is needed for Cuba but it is recommended to be vaccinated against typhoid fever and hepatitis A and B. It is advisable to be up to date with the vaccines recommended in Europe; tetanus, polio, diphtheria.

During the wet season there may be a lot of mosquitoes. It is advisable to bring in your luggage a good anti-mosquito (based on DEET).

THE TWO CUBAN COINS

Two currencies coexist in Cuba, the Cuban peso (CUP) and the Cuban convertible peso (CUC).

The two currencies are neither importable nor exportable. There is a currency exchange at the Havana airport. In particular, you must plan the journey between the airport and Havana.The exchange rate is the same in the exchange offices of the airport, Havana or in the other cities of the country.