Cuba

Welcome to Cuba

Despite its sometimes shabby edges, Cuba shines with natural beauty, engaging culture and incredible cuisine. Whatever your preconceptions of this magnificent country, assume they will be misconceptions. You’ll be wowed by just how much history and intrigue you’ll find here, in a country that is experiencing a reawakening, from Havana to Remedios.

Start in Old Havana, founded in 1519 and today a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with its gorgeous, cobbled plazas and colonial architecture. Explore the sensationally beautiful tobacco fields of the Valle de Viñales in Pinar del Río.

Celebrate the night at the open-air Tropicana in Havana, where Nat King Cole and Carmen Miranda once stole the show. Lounge on white-sand beaches, discover abandoned coffee plantations and commune with crocodiles and manatees in Parque Nacional Ciénaga de Zapata.

Don’t miss the country’s most authentic cuisine, in Baracoa in the extreme northeast region. Come experience Cuba’s renaissance.

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Need To Know

Unique Facts

  • Dominos is a national Cuban pastime – you can sit and watch a lively match in most Cuba neighborhoods.
  • If you’re a birder, keep a close watch for the bee hummingbird, the smallest bird in the world. It’s so small, you may think it’s an insect at first. Look for it in Alexander Humboldt National Park.
  • Automobile enthusiasts will love the well-preserved, vintage American cars from the 1940s and 1950s that are still in use on Cuban roads.
  • There are an impressive nine UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Cuba – two of them are natural area and the other seven are cultural areas, including Old Havana.
  • Literary buffs can walk in the footsteps of Ernest Hemingway, who lived here for 20 years and wrote The Old Man and the Sea and For Whom the Bell Tolls while in residence.

Language

Cuba’s official language is Spanish.

When To Go

For the best tropical weather, visit from November through April. The high season is mid-December through mid-March, plus July and August. The hurricane risk runs from June to November, with the highest risk in September and October.

Airports

Havana Airport
Varadero Airport

Passport Validity

Passport must be valid at time of entry.

Visa Required By US Citizen?

Yes

Vaccinations

The CDC recommends the following vaccines for most travelers when visiting Cuba: Typhoid, Hepatitis A. Depending on where you are traveling, you may also need Hepatitis B and Rabies vaccines.

Electrical Outlets

Power plugs and sockets: types A, B and L. Standard voltage: 110/220V. Frequency: 60Hz.

Currency

Official currency: United States Dollar.

Getting Around

Take extreme caution when driving. Main streets are well maintained, but secondary streets are not. Avoid driving at night.

Taxi service is available in major population centers. Avoid three-wheeled, yellow-hooded taxis. Use the bus service designated for tourist between and within cities. Avoid the public buses known as guaguas.

Driver’s License

A valid driver’s license from your country of residence is required.

US Embassy Info

United States Embassy
Calzada between L and M Streets,
Vedado,
Havana, Cuba
Telephone: + (53)(7) 839-4100
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: + (53) (7) 839-4100 and dial 1 to speak with the emergency operator
Fax: + (53) (7) 839-4247
acshavana@state.gov

Local Visitor Info

Tourist Information Office
Calle 28 No. 303e
3ra y 5ta Ave. Miramar
Playa, La Habana
www.cubatravel.cu

Local Emergency Phone Numbers

Police: 106
Ambulance: 104
Fire: 105

Safety and Security

Beware of pickpockets and purse-snatchers. Leave your valuable in a safe at your hotel. Use a TSA-approved lock on your luggage.

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