Newbie question about travel to Havana Cuba
Posted: 28 November 2008 02:22 AM   [ Ignore ]
less than 10 posts
Rank
Total Posts:  1
Joined  2008-11-28

Hi… I am newbie here and I hope to know people who love travel as much I do.

I’m thinking to travel for this holidays to La Havana .... any advice

Thanks wink

[ Edited: 29 November 2008 10:24 AM by publisher ]
 Signature 

Budget Hotels Amsterdam - Antwerpen Hotel. Check them out at Hotels.nl!

Profile
 
 
Posted: 28 November 2008 08:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
50+ posts ACTIVE MEMBER
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  60
Joined  2006-12-27

Hi Jennifer

From my experiences and depending where you’re coming from the first thing to ensure is that you have an entry visa. They are normally sourced either through your travel agent or directly from the cuban embassy in the country from which you are departing from.

You will most likely need to provide an address where you are staying in Havana when applying for your visa. Your visa is £25.00 or the dollar equivalent, don’t worry, they normally issue this straight away on submission of passport, flight ticket information and Havana based address whether hotel or Casa Particular (goverment licenced private accomodation). You don’t need to be permanently based at that address throughout your stay. However when cashing in travellers cheques at the bank in Havana for example they ask for your Havana based address, you will need this as part of any banking transaction with the teller.

Remember that travellers cheques of the american express kind and any american based currency is not accepted in Cuba. This is due to america’s trading embargo.

If going from the UK I would normally use pound sterling travellers cheques. Debit cards can be used at Cuban ATM’s or cash machines, as long as (you guessed it, they’re not american based). The currency for tourists is the Cuban Convertible Peso…see below;

The convertible peso (sometimes given as CUC$) (informally called a chavito), is one of two official currencies in Cuba, the other being the peso. It has been in limited use since 1994, when it was treated as equivalent to the U.S. dollar. On November 8, 2004, the U.S. dollar ceased to be accepted in Cuban retail outlets leaving the convertible peso as the only currency in circulation in many Cuban businesses. Officially only exchangeable within the country, its value is currently pegged to $1.08 USD. [1] The convertible peso is, by the pegged rate, the tenth highest valued currency unit in the world and the highest valued “peso” unit. (courtesy of Wikipedia)

On arrival at Jose Marti airport be prepared for an appx one hour clearance through passport control. The officials will be scrutinizing passports and looking for any signs of anti-revolutionary agitators. As long as you are not in this category and meet with other standard passport and custom requiremnts you will be fine.

A taxi from Jose Marti airport to Havana should be no more than 20 CUC and will take appx 40 minutes. Once in Havana and you have settled into your accomodation you are free to acclimatise and explore. Just a quick bit of info here regarding hustlers. If you are alone and female, you will get a lot of attention from the men. Even if you are a guy or guys or there are only a couple of you for example the cubans are very charming and experts at seducement. I’m not talking for just romantic ends either. Be on your guard against bootleg cigar sellars and bicycle taxi guys who will want to shephard you around Havana, they will want to steer you into restaurants or that they have a commission arrangement with.

Other than this you will have a fantastic experience if all goes well, just stay street savvy.

Enjoy.

Ed

[ Edited: 28 November 2008 08:37 AM by edward ]
Profile
 
 
Posted: 04 December 2008 01:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
less than 10 posts
Rank
Total Posts:  2
Joined  2008-12-04

Good info Ed!  As far as going to La Havana, I would say go for it!!  It really is a wonderful city.  Beware of tourist traps in the old town.  I found it amazing that in a city where you can eat a meal for $3, that you can also spend $40 in a little tourist bar called Hemingways.  Just be careful!  Head towards Vedado, as it is way more Cuban.  Also, as a man look out for prostitutes posing as nice girls.  Otherwise, get out of the city if you can.  Cuba is a phenominal place with soooooo much to offer.  Have fun!

Profile
 
 
Posted: 06 January 2009 04:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
less than 10 posts
Rank
Total Posts:  4
Joined  2009-01-03

Just wanted to add that we could only use debit cards that had Visa on them as most places seemed to think they were credit cards. Maestro cards were NOT accepted anywhere in Cuba and on one occassion when we explained that a card was a visa debit rather than visa credit they refused to take it! We were advised not to take traveller’s cheques, so don’t know if they would have been better!
I would say if you are female go with another or a small group, the attention you get is quite overwhelming, and I needed the support - no matter how streetwise we thought we were being we still got lured in a couple of times as the Cubans are so nice - beware if anyone tries to direct you to the money exchange or tourist information, particularly if they are young, good-looking and approach you on the street!
Other than that have an amazing time, take some dancing shoes, oh and learn some Spanish above all else - it is such an amazing place, having a bit of Spanish will help you meet some amazing people!

Profile
 
 
Posted: 18 February 2009 12:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
less than 10 posts
Rank
Total Posts:  3
Joined  2009-02-18

On arrival at Jose Marti airport be prepared for an appx one hour clearance through passport control. The officials will be scrutinizing passports and looking for any signs of anti-revolutionary agitators. As long as you are not in this category and meet with other standard passport and custom requiremnts you will be fine.

A taxi from Jose Marti airport to Havana should be no more than 20 CUC and will take appx 40 minutes. Once in Havana and you have settled into your accomodation you are free to acclimatise and explore. Just a quick bit of info here regarding hustlers. If you are alone and female, you will get a lot of attention from the men. Even if you are a guy or guys or there are only a couple of you for example the cubans are very charming and experts at seducement. I’m not talking for just romantic ends either. Be on your guard against bootleg cigar

 Signature 

Lidocaine
funds

Profile
 
 
Posted: 01 July 2009 08:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
less than 10 posts
Rank
Total Posts:  5
Joined  2009-07-01
edward - 28 November 2008 08:30 AM

Hi Jennifer

From my experiences and depending where you’re coming from the first thing to ensure is that you have an entry visa. They are normally sourced either through your travel agent or directly from the cuban embassy in the country from which you are departing from.

You will most likely need to provide an address where you are staying in Havana when applying for your visa. Your visa is £25.00 or the dollar equivalent, don’t worry, they normally issue this straight away on submission of passport, flight ticket information and Havana based address whether hotel or Casa Particular (goverment licenced private accomodation). You don’t need to be permanently based at that address throughout your stay. However when cashing in travellers cheques at the bank in Havana for example they ask for your Havana based address, you will need this as part of any banking transaction with the teller.

Remember that travellers cheques of the american express kind and any american based currency is not accepted in Cuba. This is due to america’s trading embargo.

If going from the UK I would normally use pound sterling travellers cheques. Debit cards can be used at Cuban ATM’s or cash machines, as long as (you guessed it, they’re not american based). The currency for tourists is the Cuban Convertible Peso…see below;

The convertible peso (sometimes given as CUC$) (informally called a chavito), is one of two official currencies in Cuba, the other being the peso. It has been in limited use since 1994, when it was treated as equivalent to the U.S. dollar. On November 8, 2004, the U.S. dollar ceased to be accepted in Cuban retail outlets leaving the convertible peso as the only currency in circulation in many Cuban businesses. Officially only exchangeable within the country, its value is currently pegged to $1.08 USD. [1] The convertible peso is, by the pegged rate, the tenth highest valued currency unit in the world and the highest valued “peso” unit. (courtesy of Wikipedia)

On arrival at Jose Marti airport be prepared for an appx one hour clearance through passport control. The officials will be scrutinizing passports and looking for any signs of anti-revolutionary agitators. As long as you are not in this category and meet with other standard passport and custom requiremnts you will be fine.

A taxi from Jose Marti airport to Havana should be no more than 20 CUC and will take appx 40 minutes. Once in Havana and you have settled into your accomodation you are free to acclimatise and explore. Just a quick bit of info here regarding hustlers. If you are alone and female, you will get a lot of attention from the men. Even if you are a guy or guys or there are only a couple of you for example the cubans are very charming and experts at seducement. I’m not talking for just romantic ends either. Be on your guard against bootleg cigar sellars and bicycle taxi guys who will want to shephard you around Havana, they will want to steer you into restaurants or that they have a commission arrangement with.

Other than this you will have a fantastic experience if all goes well, just stay street savvy.

Enjoy.

Ed

Wow what an information. Thanks for the detailed info. really appreciate.

Profile