Cuba is a great place to visit all year round. It has a pleasant tropical climate with an average temperature of around 29 °C. The special shape and location of the island have given it a very distinctive climate. The winds from the sea can reach all parts of the island, blowing the worst of the heat away. The climate here is therefore much more pleasant than usual in tropical latitudes. The island has two seasons: the dry season (la seca), which lasts from the end of October until the end of April, and the rainy season (la lluvia), which covers the period from May to September. However, it is unusual for it to rain all day here; the rain usually falls in intense showers towards the end of the afternoon. Hurricanes are common in the Caribbean Sea, and they occasionally make landfall in Cuba. The risk is highest in August, September and October.
Weather statistics for Havana:
Weather statistics for Varadero:
Weather statistics for Santiago de Cuba:
Excursions and transfers are conducted in small, international groups led by an English-speaking guide.
You can travel to Cuba all year round. However, you should be aware that there is a risk of hurricanes in the period August–October. Hurricanes sometimes make landfall in Cuba, but they often bypass the island entirely. The temperatures and humidity levels are highest during our summer months. The peak seasons are from December until the end of February, and the whole of July.
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All the flights and flight-inclusive holidays on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. When you pay you will be supplied with an ATOL Certificate. Please ask for it and check to ensure that everything you booked (flights, hotels and other services) is listed on it. Please see our booking conditions for further information or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to:www.atol.org.uk/ATOLCertificate
We are an ATOL protected agency giving you complete peace of mind. It is a condition of booking that the sole responsibility lies with the guest to ensure that they carry the correct comprehensive travel and medical insurance to cover themselves, as well as any dependants/traveling companions for the duration of their trip.
In cooperation with our partner we can offer advantageous travel insurances. Learn more here.
Staying at a ”casa particular” is like staying at a hotel. The difference is just that the staff consists of a family who lives under the same roof and who will do everything they can to make you feel at home during your stay.
The Cuban houses are often large, with several rooms that can be rented out. The rooms are simply decorated, but always have an en suite bathroom and air conditioning. Daily room service is offered, just like at a hotel. One of the living rooms of the house is furnished as a “restaurant”, where breakfast – and possibly dinner – are served.
One of the benefits of staying at a casa particular is that you gain a unique insight into the Cuban way of life and culture. You will soon see that the Cubans are happy, open, hospitable, honest and helpful people. If you need a lift, to book a taxi, to buy souvenirs or to find a cash machine, they are happy to give you a helping hand. Their English is limited, but through simple English vocabulary and a little sign language, you will probably get the gist of what they mean.
At the end of your stay, it is customary to tip (around 4 CUC a night). It is this tourist currency that puts the bread on the family’s table, and they are forever grateful to you.
Staying at a casa particular is an experience guaranteed to be one of the highlights of your trip to Cuba.
Casa particular/Private hostel
In Havana, you can either stay at a casa particular or a private “hostel”. At a private hostel, the family does not live under the same roof as you, and there are often a few more rooms than at a casa particular. It works like a hotel, but is privately owned, and you will still feel the family atmosphere.
Spanish is the language spoken on Cuba, but the people are very helpful and love the chance to use the English words they know. In more rural regions, English speakers may be few and far between, which is why we use bilingual (English/Spanish) guides. It is a good idea to end questions and queries with the words ‘por favor’, which mean ‘please’. Another good word to know is ‘gracias’ – which means ‘thank you’ and is sure to prove useful in many situations.
The following are not included in the car rental agreement/price of the tour:
Rates are for 2 people in a regular size car.
1 CUC = approx. 1 USD
We recommend that you contact a medical specialist, your GP or an authorised vaccination clinic.
Visit the CDC website at wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/list for more information about vaccinations and Cuba.
UK do need a visa to visit Cuba. The cost of the visa is included in the price of our tours to Cuba, and we make sure to take care of it for you.
We will need a copy of your passport for your visa application. You can also purchase a visa from the Cuban embassy in your home country. In the same way as for other international travel, you must be in possession of a valid passport. The requirements on the validity of the passport may vary, but as a rule of thumb your passport must be valid for at least six months after you return home. However, as these regulations may change from time to time, we recommend that you visit the World Travel Guide website at www.worldtravelguide.net and study the visa information presented there. Of course, you are also welcome to ask us.
Cuba is quite special, as it has two official currencies: the peso and the convertible peso. The peso is the currency ordinary Cubans primarily use, while the convertible peso is the currency that tourists have to use. Most Cubans are paid mainly in pesos, with a small amount of convertible pesos. Therefore, make sure that you are not given pesos when you exchange currency or make purchases, as you cannot use these as a tourist. Go to www.xe.com/currencyconverter/ to view the currently applicable exchange rate. We recommend that you bring some US dollars or euros with you in cash, and then exchange these for local currency at an official bureau de change. However, you get a better exchange rate when using the Euro.
Also bring a credit card and make sure to memorise your PIN code. NEVER write your PIN code down! You can use most common credit cards at hotels and in many restaurants in Havana and Varadero. Be aware that MasterCards cannot be used in ATMs in Cuba. Once again, however, the farther out into the country you travel, the harder it may be to use your credit card.
Prices are generally lower in Cuba than in the UK. It is usually cheaper to eat out, although you can naturally find drinks and meals in all price classes. Prices are generally also lower outside the large towns and cities.
It is customary to tip hotel and restaurant staff and other people who provide a service. So make sure to have some small denomination notes or coins with you at all times.
There is a six-hour difference between Central European Time (CET) and the time in Cuba, so when it is noon CET, it is 6 a.m. in Cuba.
Mains electricity in Cuba is 110 V. Cuban plugs have two flat pins, so you will need to bring a travel adapter with you. However, the power supply at many hotels is 220 V.
The international dialling code for Cuba is +53. It is expensive both to text and to call home to Europe from Cuba. Ask your own mobile service provider about coverage and call charges. There are Internet cafés in some large towns and cities.
Whenever you travel to a poor country anywhere in the world, it is important to be discreet. It is not a good idea to flaunt your valuables or to leave them unattended. We work exclusively with properly trained, experienced and certified guides, who can always provide you with good advice about safety, and know precisely where it is safe for you to walk/visit. If you follow your guide’s instructions you should always be able to stay out of trouble.
Cuban cuisine relies heavily on ingredients such as rice, beans, cooking bananas, salad, ‘yuka’ (root vegetables), potatoes, chicken, pork, beef and fish. One of the very best dishes is Langosta – Cuban lobster. It is not common to find beef on the menu, and spices are a rarity in Cuban dishes. It is usual to drink water, beer or even rum with your meals. Wine is not commonly drunk outside of hotel restaurants.
We will send you your flight reservation as soon as you book your trip. You can see times and routes on the itinerary. It is important to check your name for spelling mistakes. The name on the reservation must be exactly as in your passport. If you have any comments on the itinerary or find mistakes in the names, please contact us immediately.
Today, there are only electronic airline tickets (e-tickets), so you do not receive a physical ticket for use at the airport check-in. When you check in at the airport, you use your passport and a booking reference. The booking reference is on your itinerary.
Once you have purchased a tour through us, you will receive our service letter before your departure. The service letter contains important information about online check-in, what to do in the event of a delay, our agreed guidelines for tips, etc. In addition, you will find important telephone numbers for our local agents as well as our emergency telephone number.
So it is important that you print out the service letter and bring it with you.
We recommend that you make a seat reservation on the plane. Many airlines also offer to upgrade reserved tickets for seats with extra space and comfort, e.g. Economy Comfort at KLM and Premium Voyageur at Air France. You can do this through the airline’s website. Most airlines have a point in the menu called “manage my booking”. Please note that many airlines require payment for seat reservation, so you should have your credit/debit card to hand when you get started.
Unfortunately, rules differ as to when seat reservation is opened. We recommend that you try to make a seat reservation as early as possible and you will then know when you can make a seat reservation if it cannot be done right away. It is very common for seat reservation to be opened between 72 and 24 hours before departure.
We work with many different airlines to Cuba, so there may be variations in the amount of luggage you are allowed to bring with you as both checked luggage and hand luggage. Check the information about this on your airline ticket, and contact us if you have any questions.
You and your travel companion should pack your luggage so that you can both make so without one item of luggage if the other is lost or delayed. While it is unlikely to happen, the problem may arise. If it does, it may take a few days before your luggage is delivered to the hotel where you are staying.
So make sure to carry all your important, indispensable items in your hand luggage: passport, visa, plane tickets, insurance papers, credit card(s), cash, prescriptions, information about any special medical conditions you may have along with essential medicine, allergy medicine, treatments for sudden stomach problems (such as Imodium) and pain killers (Panodil and/or Ipren, for example). You should also carry your camera, binoculars and other valuables in your hand luggage.
You may find yourself sitting in a draught from the air conditioning in the plane, so make sure to pack a warm jumper or jacket in your hand luggage.
Bus services in Cuba have a luggage weight limit of 20 kg per person. If your luggage weighs more, there will be an extra fee payable locally.
On arrival at the different airports in Cuba, you will be met by our local representative who will be waiting for you in the arrival hall with a sign bearing your name. You will be driven to the airport again on departure. You will be informed of your pick-up time when you arrive in Cuba.