10 Things You Should Know Before Traveling To Cuba

Last Updated on January 23, 2021

Cuba is one of those destinations that many want to visit, but few plans to go. Despite the historic embargoes to the country, going there is easier than you think! But it’s important to know some information before traveling to Cuba. This will save your resources and prepare you to deal with the unique characteristics of this country. You don’t have to spoil the surprise! The Caribbean island’s fame doesn’t exist by chance: there are many incredible natural landscapes, a unique culture, and extroverted people. Still, Cuba suffers from shortages of basic necessities and clothes, and also electronics and cars. The eternal “land of Fidel” lives at its own pace and maintains some roots. So don’t travel unsuspecting: check out these guidelines on how to travel to Cuba!

1. Don’t pay in US dollars

Can Americans travel to Cuba? Yes, they can, but their currency is not welcome. In fact, the dollar has devalued around 15% in the country. Choose the Euro, Pound, or Canadian Dollar. Upon arrival in Cuba, you can exchange them for CUC, the Cuban convertible pesos. They are worth more than CUP (1 CUC = 22 CUP), which are the weights received by workers to purchase basic items, such as fruits and beans. The CUC is used for items considered a luxury, such as hygiene products – shampoo, brushes, and toothpaste, among others.

2. Take Cash In Hand

Although Cuba’s embargo is gradually losing its strength, money is still the most guaranteed way to conduct transactions in Cuba. At the airport, you exchange money without a problem. There are “convertible pesos,” CUCs, and Cuban pesos, or “national currency,” as they call it. This is everyday money you will need when traveling to Cuba, it’s useful for buying newspapers, magazines, books, and fruit in street markets.

3. Apply For A Visa

When asking yourself, “can I travel to Cuba,” the answer is yes, but only with a visa. When researching which flights to Cuba exist at the airport in your region, it is better to read the requirements to acquire your visa. This document, better known as Tarjeta Turística, can be made directly at the Embassy or Consulate of Cuba. You can follow a good part of the online bureaucratic process. It is not mandatory to appear in person at each stage. This document is requested immediately upon boarding, and if you do not have it in hand, the airline will not even let you board. The visa for Cuba gives the traveler the right to only enter the country and is valid for 30 days. If you need more time, you may be able to extend it for just another 30 days, upon payment of a new fee.


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