• CaribeSol is your way to Cuba

    AlquilerenCuba (Bed and Breakfast Cuba casas) brings you the largest selection of Cuban budget accommodations available to book online.

    Sand, Sun, Sea, Cuba

    All facilitates an efficient and secure confirmed booking service for hostels, homestay, private homes, guesthouses, Bed and Breakfast rentals, casas particulares, vacation rentals (all terms to say private houses)... across Cuba. Go there and fell this country! Do Cuba on your own, it's easy! Have dinner in the casas, talk to the Cuban people, mingle with the locals and feel ... La Vida Cubana. Round your trip with us!

    Our service is reliable and personal. Online reservations are not common in Cuba, that is why we guarantee a fast reply within 24 hours of your request. We have direct contact with our Casa Particular owners who will honor your reservation if it has been confirmed. You will never feel loss with our services; once you have reserved a room, we will give you all the information needed and will be ready to answer any questions.

  • Casas Particulares: A stay in a casa particular (literally "private house" indicating that most accommodation in Cuba is state owned) provides a great way to experience the island's culture. A kind of Cuban hostel or bed and breakfast, a casa particular is operated as a guesthouse by an independent Cuban family. Go there and fell this country! Do Cuba on your own, it's easy! Round your trip with us!

    Cuban flag

    In recent years, the trade in casas particulares has become increasingly professional, so you are less likely to stay in a quaint family home than a few years ago. Today, casas particulares can be the equivalent of Cuban youth hostels, large boardinghouses with a common area. Recent laws have sought to limit the casas particulares to just five rooms. In any case, increased competition has made some casas on par with the best Cuban hotels (in features and in price). Nevertheless, they remain the best places to stay to experience a true taste of Cuban life..

Cuba at a glance: history, state and government, main cities...

Cuba is a big island -- the largest in the Caribbean -- and its attractions and charms run the gamut from the hustle and bustle of Havana, to the colonial grandeur of Trinidad and a host of other small and well-preserved old cities and towns, to the steamy, vibrant streets of Santiago, and the sparkling waters and white sands of a half-dozen or more top-notch beach destinations. So, you will need to plan well to make the most out of any trip here. Other options include specialized itineraries focused on a particular interest or activity. Bird-watchers could design an itinerary that visits a series of prime bird-watching sites. Latin dance or art enthusiasts could arrange a specialized trip to focus on these interests. And revolutionary history buffs could build a trip around visits to the Moncada barracks (Cuartel de Moncada) in Santiago, the Che Guevara Memorial (Monumento Ernesto Che Guevara) in Santa Clara, and the Bay of Pigs (Playa Larga, Ciénaga de Zapata). Feel free to pick and choose -- you can combine a bit of one, with a smidgen of another, or come up with something entirely on your own.

History: It was discovered by Christopher Columbus on October 27th, 1492. Conquest and colonization brought about the extermination of the aboriginal inhabitants, and then they brought blacks from Africa as slaves. This mixture defined Cuban population and culture. On October 10th, 1868 began the struggle for independence against Spain, whose domination was kept for four centuries. The United States intervened in the conflict and established a pseudo republic in 1902 until January 1st, 1959, when the Revolution led by Fidel Castro triumphed, bringing in essential transformations for the country.

State and Government: The National Assembly of People´s Power (Parliament) is the State's supreme power, represented by the Council of State, between session periods; and with representation at provincial, municipal and circumscription levels. The Council of Ministers is the supreme executive and administrative organ and constitutes the government of the Republic of Cuba.

Political-Administrative Division and Main cities: The country is divided into 14 provinces and a special municipality. The most important cities according to their economic development and population are: Havana, Santiago de Cuba, Santa Clara, Holguín, Camagüey, Cienfuegos, Matanzas, Pinar del Río, Ciego de Ávila, Bayamo and Guantánamo.

National Symbols: The Flag - It was first raised in the city of Cárdenas (Matanzas Province), when in 1850 a group of insurrectionist took up arms against the Spanish colonial power. The three blue stripes represent the departments that the Island was divided into at that time. The two white stripes evoke the purity in the intentions for independence of our people. The equilateral triangle stands for freedom, equality and fraternity. Its red colour is the announcement of the blood that would be necessary to shed in order to achieve our independence. The white and lone star is the symbol of absolute freedom. When the War of Independence started on October 10th, 1868, Carlos Manuel de Céspedes ordered another flag with a different design; that one now stands next to the national emblem during sessions of the Cuban Parliament. The Coat of Arms It is shaped like an oval shield. Its upper section portrays a golden key that symbolizes Cuba's key position between the two Americas, therefore the name "The Key to the Gulf". The rising sun stands for the emergence of a new nation. The three blue stripes, separated by two white ones, represent the departments that Cuba was divided into, during the colonial period. The Royal Palm that appears in the third space or quarter represents the noble and serene firmness of the Cuban people. National Anthem - It was the patriot Perucho Figueredo who composed, in 1867, the music of the Anthem. Later, in 1868, when the independence forces seized the city of Bayamo (Granma Province), Figueredo himself wrote the lyrics: People of Bayamo, up on arms to go into battle for the Homeland contemplates you with proud Fear not a glorious death, for dying for the Homeland is like living. To remain in chains is to live in dishonour and vile subjugation O, hark to the call of your nation take up arms, all ye brave sons, The National Flower The White Mariposa or Butterfly Lily (Hedychium Coronarium Koenig). An endemic jasmine species used by the Cuban women in the wars of independence to pass messages on to the battlefields. It symbolizes purity, rebelliousness and independence. It grows in humid places as river banks and lagoons, but it is also cultivated in yards and gardens of many Cuban houses. National Tree - It is the Royal Palm. Although it is not indigenous of Cuba, it is present in the country's whole landscape.

Cuban archipelago extends itself on the north of the central and west Caribbean Sea and closes the great Antilles arch. Due to its high biological diversity and endemic flora and fauna, besides its high historical and patrimonial values, 35 protected areas, seven national parks, six Ramsar wetland sites, six world Biosphere Reserves and nine sites that have been proclaimed World Heritage are worth mentioning.

Climate: In relation to its geographical position and location, in Cuba a tropical climate with humid maritime influence is predominant. Average annual temperature is 25,4º C and 26º C in the eastern region.

Flora and fauna: In the Cuban archipelago there are not dangerous animals or plants. It is considered a real habitat mosaic that allows the development of a great biodiversity, among the best varied, preserved and attractive in the Caribbean. Among the many species registered there are 963 fish, 1100 crustaceans, 350 birds and 1468 mollusks. Some species, very-well known for their small size are also registered; among them we have the Cuban little frog (eleutherodactylus iberia), the butterfly bat (Matalus lepidus) and the world´s smallest hummingbird (Mellisuga helenae). Cuban flora is considered one of the richest insular floras in the world, with 4% of all the species reported on the planet.

Population: More than eleven million inhabitants make up Cuban population, in a peculiar Spanish, African and Asian race mixture.

Language: Spanish is the official language.

Currency: Peso is the national currency, with the equivalence of 100 cents. There are 1, 3, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 pesos notes in circulation. There are 1 and 3 pesos coins and 1, 2, 5 and 20 cents coins. There is also the Peso Cubano Convertible (CUC) in circulation, which is exchanged for foreign currencies according to the officially established exchange rates.

This web is the largest and friendly place to guarantee unforgettable holidays lodged in Casas particulares (Particular houses) in Cuba

  Casa particular (Spanish for "private house", casas particulares for plural) is a phrase meaning private accommodation or private homestays in Cuba, very similar to bed and breakfast although it can take the form of vacation rental. When the meaning is clear the term is often shortened to simply casa or casa particular that is basically a private family establishment that provides paid lodging, usually on a short-term basis. In general under this term you can find full apartments and houses, rooms inside people's homes, mini-apartments or rooms with separate entrance. Rooms are generally clean and upgraded to tourist standards. It ranges from basic accommodation of a room with a bed, a closet, a small table to full furnished independent apartments upgraded to western standards. Other features found may be a telephone, an alarm clock, TV, audio and video player and others. Food and drink may be supplied by a mini-bar (which often includes a small refrigerator) containing snacks and drinks (to be paid for on departure). It is also considered a type of boarding house typically operated out of a single family residence where guests can be accommodated at night in private bedrooms with private baths and where breakfast, sometimes continental and sometimes the full English variety, is served in the morning. The business may be operated either as a primary occupation or as a secondary source of income, and the staff often consists of the house's owners and members of their family who live there. In keeping with the similarity to B&B's, breakfast is usually included in the price, although one should ask first. Dinner is often also served, but not included in the price. However, if it becomes clear that one plans to generally eat out, the price may go up because this is an important second source of income. The owners will offer you extra services like laundry service, breakfast & meals...

Cuba is a land of taste and music; warmth and desire; goodness and aroma; palms and tobacco, rum and Guaracha; authenticity and friends; coffee and nobility; Havana Club Cuba spontaneity and love. Enigmatic as back in the day, beautiful Cuba remains captivated Grand Admiral Christopher Columbus when he made landfall on the eastern shores of Bariay October 27, 1492 The attractive geographical figure sneaks into the beauty and serenity. Its green fields and blue beaches make it special in the eyes of those who have discovered each other end. The location of Cuba between the two Americas, at the entrance of the Gulf of Mexico, has the virtue of being the center of the Caribbean. Most land next to it are North Florida; East, Haiti; South, and West Jamaica, Mexico. Cuba is an island of well marked contrasts: nature of tropical, colonial cities, beautiful seabed, multifaceted culture and outstanding people. The whole charm of this extraordinary island made available to the avid traveler to discover that Cuba itself is an earthly paradise. The joy of the people, witty and expressive adds that note of warmth that identifies Cuba.

Old Cars and Cigars Havana Cuba Perfect for a Caribbean holiday, Cuba has some of the best beaches in the world, the most fascinating history and is legendary in its own right. ...speak to locals about life there... how it has been and how it will be. Drink rum, smoke cigars and take a tour around Havana in an Old American car. Being one of the most reasonably priced of the Caribbean islands... there really is nowhere on earth quite like Cuba and the time to go is now. Havana Cuba's capital city, Havana, is charm personified...from the amazing colonial architecture to the classic American cars lining the streets. A designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, Havana is passionate, eclectic and makes you feel like a 50's icon!. Visit the Catedral de San Cristobal in beautiful Old Havana or go for a tour at the Havana Club Rum Factory!

Regions of Cuba in Brief, places, beaches, nature, wildlife...

Cuba is probably the most intensely diverse island destination in the Caribbean, with everything from standard fun-in-the-sun beach resort getaways to colonial city circuits, myriad land and sea adventure opportunities, tobacco and classic-car theme tours, and a wide array of cultural and artistic offerings. There's a lot to see and do in Cuba, and most travelers will have to carefully pick and choose. This section will provide you with descriptions of the country's regions, along with itineraries that will help you get the most from your visit. Cuba is the westernmost and largest of the entire chain of Caribbean islands, located at the convergence of the Caribbean Sea, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Atlantic Ocean just 145km (90 miles) south of Florida. They say that Cuba -- if you use your imagination -- looks something like a crocodile: The head is in the east, a line of small islands form the ridges along its back, the Sierra Maestra national park forms the front legs, the Zapata Peninsula forms the rear legs, and Pinar del Río province is the tail. Cuba is in fact a closely linked string of archipelagos, made up of more than 4,000 separate little islands and cays. Cuba's two major cities, Havana and Santiago de Cuba, are port cities with large protected harbors. Most of the island's other principal cities lie along its centerline, either right on or just off the Autopista Nacional (National Hwy.), the country's principal trade and transportation route.

Havana & Playas del Este

Havana is Cuba's capital and the country's most important cultural, political, and economic hub. With a wealth of museums, antique buildings, old forts, the Malecón seaside promenade, and modern restaurants, clubs, and cabarets, Havana is one of the liveliest and most engaging cities in Latin America. Just east of the city center are some 15km (9 miles) of very respectable white-sand beach, the Playas del Este. While nowhere near as stunning as some of Cuba's more celebrated beach destinations, the Playas del Este are certainly a suitable alternative, either as a base for exploring Havana or as an easily accessible place for sun, sand, and sea.

Viñales & Western Cuba

Comprising the new province of Artemisa and the most western province of Pinar del Río, western Cuba is a wonderfully rustic region of farms and forests, flanked by some beautiful and relatively underpopulated beaches. The only real city in the province, Pinar del Río, is of limited interest on its own, but it serves as a gateway to Viñales and the Vuelta Abajo, Cuba's premiere tobacco-growing and cigar-manufacturing region. Just north of Pinar del Río, Viñales is a pretty little hamlet in an even prettier valley, surrounded by stunning karst hill formations. Viñales is Cuba's prime ecotourist destination, with great opportunities for hiking, bird-watching, mountain biking, and cave exploration. On the far western tip of the island sits the tiny resort of María la Gorda, home to some of the best scuba diving in Cuba. Lying off the southern coast of this region in the Caribbean Sea are the island destinations of Isla de la Juventud, one of Cuba's top premiere scuba-diving destinations, and Cayo Largo del Sur, another long stretch of dazzling and isolated white sand.

Varadero & Matanzas Province

Matanzas is Cuba's second-largest province and home to its most important beach destination, Varadero. Boasting some 21km (13 miles) of nearly uninterrupted white-sand beach, Varadero is Cuba's quintessential sun-and-fun destination, with a host of luxurious all-inclusive resorts strung along the length of this narrow peninsula. In addition to Varadero, Matanzas province is home to the colonial-era cities of Matanzas and Cárdenas.
In the southern section of the province is the Ciénaga de Zapata, a vast wetlands area of mangrove and swamp, renowned for its wildlife-viewing, bird-watching, and fishing opportunities. This is also where you'll find the Bahía de Cochinos (Bay of Pigs), where the nascent Cuban revolutionary state defeated an invasion force trained, supplied, and abetted by the United States. The beaches of Playa Girón and Playa Larga serve as a base for access to some of Cuba's best scuba diving. Playa Girón also possesses, arguably, the most stunning colorful waters in Cuba.

Trinidad & Central Cuba

Beginning with the provinces of Villa Clara and Cienfuegos, and including the neighboring province of Sancti Spíritus, central Cuba is the start of the country's rural heartland. Vast regions of sugar cane, tobacco, and cattle ranges spread out on either side of the Autopista Nacional, which more or less bisects this region as it heads east.
Trinidad is perhaps Cuba's quintessential colonial-era city, with beautifully maintained and restored buildings set on winding cobblestone streets. The cities of Santa Clara, Cienfuegos, and Sancti Spíritus are considered lesser lights on the tourism circuit, but all have ample charms of their own. Santa Clara is a lively university town, and is considered the "City of Che Guevara," with its massive memorial to the fallen revolutionary leader. To the north of Santa Clara lie the tiny and utterly charming colonial city of Remedios and the beautiful beach resorts of la Cayería del Norte. Cienfuegos is a charming port town with the country's second-longest seaside promenade. Sancti Spíritus is one of the original seven villas of Cuba, with some wonderful old historic churches and buildings, and a more natural feel than you'll find in other more touristy towns.

Camagüey & Northeastern Cuba

This section of mainland Cuba is little more than a string of rural towns and small cities, anchored by two colonial-era cities. This is Cuba at its quietest, stuck in time and in no rush to break free. However, off the northern coast here lie a series of modern beach resorts built on long stretches of soft and silvery white sand, connected to the mainland by a long narrow causeway that seems to barely skirt the surface of the sea. The sister resort islands of Cayo Coco and Cayo Guillermo are two of the finest and most popular resort destinations in Cuba. Several less-developed beach resorts stretch east along the coast on the string of islands making up the Archipiélago de Camagüey, better known as the Jardines del Rey (King's Gardens). The cities of Ciego de Avila and Camagüey are seldom explored colonial-era cities. The latter, in particular, has loads of charms and attractions, and is being restored to highlight much of its former glory. North of Camagüey is the tiny but growing beach resort of Santa Lucía. It's best known for its excellent scuba diving, offering a chance to dive with bull sharks.

El Oriente

For most of the country's history, the whole eastern end of Cuba was known as El Oriente. Today, it is comprised of four separate provinces: Holguín, Granma, Santiago de Cuba, and Guantánamo. This is a large region with a host of gorgeous natural attractions, highlighted by the mountains of the Sierra Maestra -- a mecca for naturalists and adventure travelers as well as those looking to follow in the revolutionary footsteps of Fidel and Che -- and the very beautiful beaches of Guardalavaca, yet another of Cuba's premier beach resort destinations, with unimaginably fine white sand and calm turquoise waters. Of the cities here, only Santiago de Cuba is a tourist draw in its own right, although visitors to Holguín, Bayamo, or Baracoa will experience Cuba at its most authentic.

Santiago de Cuba

This is Cuba's second largest city. Set between the Sierra Maestra mountains and the sea, Santiago is a vibrant city with a rich artistic and cultural heritage. Santiago is considered the heart of Cuba's Afro-Cuban and Afro-Caribbean heritage, which is expressed in the music, dance, and religion you'll find here. Santiago's Carnival celebrations are by far the best in Cuba, and some of the best in the entire Caribbean.
The city itself has a charming colonial-era center and a host of interesting museums and attractions, including José Martí's tomb and mausoleum, the original Bacardí rum factory, and the impressive Castillo del Morro protecting the city's harbor. Nearby sites worth visiting include the El Cobre shrine to the island's patron saint, La Virgin de Caridad, and the Gran Piedra, a massive rock outcropping allowing for great hiking and views.

  •  All casas shown are Legal Services registered as Cuban Taxpayer (in Cuba Taxs Office ONAT) by pertinent Licences
  •  No online payments. No hidden fees. The payment will be done once you arrive your destination, directly to the Casa Owners
  •  The prices are per room per night
  •  Max Adults per room depend of Casa rules
  •  All prices and information given to you directly from Casa Owners

  •  The guest can quickly develop genuine Cuban relationships and become deeply involved in the culture of the country. Before you knows it, the guest will be part of the family. In a big resort one may only meet hotel workers and other tourists.
  •  The guest will, probably, enjoy the usually free and easy atmosphere, feel at home in the casa particular and will be able to invite friends over. Current regulations for state-run hotels don't allow Cuban guests to be invited to hotel rooms.
  •  It is almost always cheaper to stay in a private room than in a hotel.
  •  Renting a casa particular, the guest will be directly contributing to a person or family's standard of living.

Info very important, travel´s tips and more

Cuba boasts one of the richest cultures in the "new world"

Despite its youth as island-nation, Cuba boasts one of the richest cultures in the "new world". This cultural wealth, combined with its natural beauty, creates a truly varied setting that captivates visitors with the widest range of interests and holiday styles.

In a couple of centuries, Cuba has transitioned from aboriginal settlement, to Spanish colony receiving intense influence from Europe and Africa, to US-shadowed Republic, to Communist State.

The imprints of such hectic history will become apparent to you as soon as you arrive: in the eclectic architecture, the music and dancing, the food, the socio-economic dis-order, the character of its people.

There is enough in this island to fire up your imagination and inspire you. Now you only need to decide the style of holiday to pursue: the side of Cuba you would like to enjoy the most on this occasion - exploring the city, its people and culture; admiring the dramatic landscapes in Cuba's countryside; relaxing by the beach; a bit of everything maybe?

If undecided or overwhelmed by choice, take the easiest - and smartest - road. Speak us directly. We'll take care of the rest.

Culture and Heritage Holidays to Cuba

The Caribbean beach is expected to be heaven, and the same applies to local wildlife, the tropical forests, or the colourful colonial towns. Cuba's true allure is in its vibrant culture, the expression of that collective creativity that makes Cuban music, dance, literature, and many other cultural facets a product worth of world recognition.

Nature & Wildlife Cuba Holidays

Cuba is a wonderful place to go bird watching. The warm temperatures that Cuba enjoys, in conjunction with its exotic Caribbean location make Cuba one of the best places in the world to go bird watching. Cuba has a total of 350 different species of bird that are indigenous to Cuba, and keen bird watchers willing to be patient and put in the time are likely to see a great number of these birds while birding in Cuba. Cuba Direct's specialised birdwatching tours cover the best birdwatching areas in the country. Specialist guides take our clients through Cuba's valleys and mountains in these increasingly popular products. Highly recommended.

The west of Cuba offer some of the richest settings for all types of nature holidays. The Valley of Vinales, Soroa and the Rosario Mountains are perfect to enjoy the big outdoors and will surprise you with the most dramatic landscapes Cuba has to offer.

In central Cuba and close to the beautiful colonial town of Trinidad, the mountain trails across Topes de Collantes attract hundreds of nature enthusiasts each year. Further to the east, especially around the area of Baracoa, some of the most virginal forests in Cuba hide a wealth of Flora and Fauna that captivates the most demanding visitor.

We has a great deal of experience organising nature holidays. Tell us a call about your interests, and we will take care of the rest.

With 350 different species of birds and some of the most beautiful birding sites in the Caribbean, birdwatching enthusiasts are in for a treat.

Nature Holidays Cuba: Birdwatching Tours

If you do decide to go bird watching in Cuba you can expect to see some wonderfully colourful, and in some cases, rare birds. People who have been bird watching in Cuba commonly report seeing varieties of birds as varied as parrots, fly catchers, king fishers, flamingos and hawks.

When is better to travel to Cuba?

Low season: May 1-Jun 30 & Sept 1-Oct 31

High demand for Christmas and New Year at Nov-Dec

Camaguey Carnival (San Juan - Saint John festivities) June 23-29. Book a casa now

Santiago de Cuba Festival of Fire July 2-8 - Popular Carnival July 18-26. Book a casa now

Havana Carnival August 1-30. Book a casa now

Baracoa 500th Anniversary Party August 1- 7. Book a casa now

Cienfuegos Carnival August 1- 7. Book a casa now

Remedios Carnival (Famous Parrandas) December 19-24. Book a casa now

Best time to visit

Hot, sub-tropical climate all year. Most rain falls between May and October and the hurricane season officially runs from July to November, with most storms historically occurring in October and November. Humidity varies between 75% and 95%. Cooler months are January to April when the least rain falls.

Required clothing: lightweight clothes most of the year; the high humidity makes it unwise to wear synthetics close to the skin. A light sweater is advisable even during the hottest months for installations with air conditioning (e.g. the Viazul bus which is always frigid) and a heavier sweater or jacket for December through March when cold fronts can drop the mercury to 10 degrees Celsius. Light waterproofs are advisable all year round.

General information about Cuba

Located at the entrance to the Gulf of Mexico in the middle of the Caribbean Sea, The Republic of Cuba is actually an archipelago comprised by the Isle of Youth (a special municipality) and 4 195 keys and islets for a total area of 110 860 Km2. Its neighboring countries are Haiti, United States, Jamaica and Mexico.

The weather is always mellow in Cuba. This hospitable and multi-ethnic country is blessed with a sunny tropical climate and a mean annual temperature of 25 degrees Celsius. The average temperature in summer is 27 degrees C and 21 degrees in winter. December, January and February are the coolest months while July and August are the warmest.

Official name: Republic of Cuba.

Capital: Havana City, with a population of 2´ 200, 000 inhabitants.

Official language: Spanish.

Area: 110,860 Km2 (42, 843 square miles)

Population: 11´ 200, 000 inhabitants. (Demographic density =101 inhabitants x Km2).

Ethnic Composition: 60% Spanish descendents, 22% mulattos and mixed, 11% African descendents and 1% Chinese descendents.

National Holiday: January 1st

National Anthem: Himno de Bayamo (Hymn of Bayamo) by Perucho Figueredo).

Religion: 47% Catholics, 4% Protestants, 2% Santeria and other African cults also practiced by many Catholics.

Political regimen: Socialist Republic.

Head of State and Government: Raúl Castro.

GDP: $ 20 billions USD.

PIB per capita: $USD 1.786

Annual growth: 2.5%.

Leading industries: Sugar, mining, tobacco, agriculture, pharmaceuticals and tourism.

Leading Trade Partners: Western Europe, Latin America, Russia, China.

Currency: Cuban peso (CUP) and the freely convertible Cuban peso (CUC).

Political-Administrative Division: Cuba is divided into 15 provinces and a special municipality Isle of Youth (formerly Isle of Pines).

Climate: Sub-tropical and humid, with two distinctive seasons: dry (winter) from November through April and rainy (summer) from May through October. The mean annual temperature is 25° C, with an average of 20º C in winter and 26-27º C in summer.

Immigration Regulations

All visitors must show a valid passport in his/her name, stamped with a visa issued by a Cuban embassy or consulate abroad or a Tourist Card, except in the case of citizens from countries that have subscribed visa exemption agreements with Cuba.

When traveling by sea, crew members must notify Cuban authorities before entering national jurisdictional waters (12 nautical miles from the island shelf). Communications with the Cuban authorities can be established through channel HF (SSB) 2760 of the National Costal Network and 2790 of the Tourist Network or via VHF through channel 68 for the National Costal Network or Channel 16 for the Tourist Network.

Customs Regulations

Tourists are not required to fill-in the customs declaration. The import of narcotics, pornography or fire arms is prohibited, except in cases of duly authorized individuals traveling to Cuba for sport hunting.

Tourists may bring in personal effects, jewels, cameras, camcorders, sports and camping equipment, two bottles of alcoholic beverages, one carton of cigarettes and up to 22 pounds (10 kg) of medicine.

Articles up to a value of $250.00 USD can be imported, of which $50.00 are duty free and the remaining $200.00 will be levied a 100% tax.

The amount of money in cash that travelers may bring in is unlimited. However, travelers are advised to declare sums over $5,000 USD in order to be able to take out a similar or greater amount, since they will be required to present the relevant customs declaration form.

When leaving the country, travelers can export up to 23 Cuban cigars (Resolution No. 41-2003 in force since October 8, 2003). Purchases of more than 23 and less than 2,000 cigars must be accompanied by the relevant receipt. Purchases of more than 2,000 cigars must be carried out in stores designated by Habanos S.A. specifically for this purpose.

The export of Works of arts or antiques must be accompanied by a permit issued by the National Artworks Register under the Patrimony Division of the Ministry of Culture.

When leaving the country, travelers must pay an airport tax of 25.00 cuc (convertible Cuban pesos).

Sanitary Regulations

Sanitary regulations apply only in the case of visitors arriving from regions where yellow fever and cholera are endemic or have been declared infected areas by the World Health Organization, in which case they are required to show an International Vaccination Certificate.

The import of products produced from animals or plants is prohibited.

Domestic animals or pets entering Cuba require special arrangements such as the presentation of vaccination and health certificates

US Citizens

US citizens traveling to Cuba should be aware that: Like other visitors, US citizens require a passport valid for at least 6 months upon the date of entry to Cuba. The laws of the United States prohibit American citizens from traveling to Cuba without a license issued by the Department of Treasury. Those who nonetheless decide to travel to Cuba must do so through a third country, usually Canada, Mexico or Bahamas

US citizens do not require a visa. However they must present a document called Tourist Card which can be obtained in the Cuban Embassy in another country or through a travel agency when traveling via Canada, México o Bahamas, or at the airport in Cancun.

Your passport WILL NOT BE STAMPED by Cuban Immigration authorities, however, your tourist card will be stamped and therefore you are required to present it upon departure.

Traveler's info

Persons traveling to Cuba should bear a valid passport with the relevant visa or tourist card issued by a travel agent or by the Cuban Consulate in the country of origin. Customs Offices at the 11 international airports in the country use the internationally renowned Red Channel and Green Channel system. Personal effects are allowed in the country duty-free. Tourists can also import new or used articles for a value up to $250.00 CUC. Articles under $50.00 CUC are allowed in duty-free. Travelers shall pay tax equal to 100% of the value of articles over %50.00 CUC. Although the amount of freely convertible currency that can be imported to the country either in cash, bank transfers, checks and in other forms of payment is unlimited, travelers who import -for the purpose of re-exporting- money or effects for a value of more than $5, 000 (five thousand) CUC, shall fill-in a Customs Declaration Form. The import-export and consumption of drugs and narcotics is prohibited. Import and export of explosives; objects, photos, literature and other forms of pornography; animals, plants (whole or parts) and species considered protected or endangered is prohibited. Persons who violate this regulation may be subject to criminal prosecution. The import and export of firearms without the expressed authorization of the Public Security Division of the Ministry of Interior is prohibited. Permits shall be obtained before arrival to the country.

Forms of payment

You can find detailed information about forms of payment in Cuba here. El Cuban Peso(CUP) is the national currency. However, payments for goods and services can be made preferably in Convertible Peso (CUC). Payments can also be made in Euro in Varadero, Cayo Coco, Cayo Guillermo, Cayo Santa Maria, Cayo Largo del Sur, Santa Lucia, Playa Covarrubias and at the beaches on the northern coast of Holguín. Travelers can also pay for goods and services with VISA INTERNATIONAL, MASTERCARD, ACCESS, BANCOMER INTERNATIONAL, BANAMEX, DINNERS CLUB INTERNATIONAL, JCB and CARNET credit cards or with those issued in the country (BFI and RED). Credit cards issued by banks of the United States of America and their branches are not accepted.

Cellular Mobile Telephony in Cuba

In Cuba you can bring your phone there is a wide coverage to customers of any operator with which CUBACEL have roaming agreements, you will be automatically active service since arriving in Cuba, if the client is POSTPAID and is active with its attendant International Roaming service, and if the terminal you use is compatible with the characteristics of our network, ie that supports the 900 MHz band, upon arriving in Cuba and turn on your phone, this should be recorded in our network automatically and display at 368-01 display / CU-CCOM / CUBACEL, depending on your phone settings. But, in case of failure to achieve automatic registration, indicate the visitor to perform manual network selection through the phone menu options. For more information visit www.cubacel.cu

Medical services

Travelers from countries where diseases such as Yellow Fever and Cholera are endemic or from areas that have been declared infected zones by the WHO must present a vaccination certificate issued at least 10 days before traveling and not more than 10 years after the date of entry to the island. Medical services are available in all the hotels. There are international clinics in all of the major tourist resorts in the country.

Regarding export

When leaving Cuba, you may carry with you up to 23 Habanos without having to show the official purchase receipt. If you exceed that amount, you will be obliged to claim the original purchase receipt and of it at the shop, and hand the copy in at the Customs Office at the exit point from where you'll be leaving with cigars, which must be contained in original cases with all official seals, including the new holographic seal. Any failure to abide by the basic requirement of a legal purchase, the product will be seized by Cuba's Customs Office. The export of goods not considered national heritage shall be permitted only after prior presentation of an expressed authorization by the National Register of Cultural Goods. Books or other publications more than 50 years old, books published by Ediciones R, Publishing House or others stamped by libraries or other entities shall not be exported.

More about Cuba

Freedom of Religion is guaranteed by the Constitution of the Republic. Due to the country's climate , travelers are advised to wear clothes made of light fabrics preferably cotton. Don't forget to pack your bathing suit and sun blocker. A sweater or light jacket will come in handy when travelling in winter or to the mountain areas. Electricity: 110 volts, 60 cycles. Most hotels and Casa Particular also have 220 volt and sockets for flat plugs. Cuba is located on the 5th Greenwich Time Meridian (Eastern Standard Time in USA and Canada). Daylight Savings Time is from April to October (the clock is advanced one hour) in order to take advantage of daylight.

Jineteros and Scams

In Cuba hustlers are called Jineteros / Jineteras

These are local "career criminals" who basically make their living on the streets scamming tourists. They are particularly prevalent in the larger cities of Cuba as that's where they'll likely find more victims (Havana and Santiago de Cuba).

These con artists will offer to sell just about anything, from cigars to drugs and sex. One of their more lucrative scams is selling discounted tickets for tourist activities, which in the end are not valid. They also might try and take you to a dance festival that doesn't exist, or ask for money so they can buy milk for their young children.

By the time the victim discovers they've been duped, the thief is long gone with their money. Solicitation of this sort is not legal and given Cuba's high police presence, it's advised that you do not interact with jineteros at all. If they do approach you, politely but firmly refuse and walk away.

Cuba is truly a lovely place to visit. But like any tourist destination, there will always be dishonest criminals who try to capitalize and scam, swindle or con their way to some extra cash. As long as you use your common sense and know what type of things to look out for, you'll be able to enjoy your trip without becoming a victim.

Other things to look out for:

Fake cigars: If you are offered cigars by a local on the street, they are most probably fake. remember if it is too good to be true, it most likely is.

Restaurant Bills: Always check your bill for any unwelcome surprises

Short changed: be very careful that when you pay for anything you receive all of your change back and make sure you are familiar with the two currencies in circulation and the difference in value.

Counterfeit money: don't exchange money on the streets. You are likely to receive counterfeit or outdated money that will be completely worthless.

Buying bottled water and rum: Both of these items are best brought in local stores and not from the street.