Agent Tools & Info - Cuba

GENERAL INFO

Time Zone
Cuba is 14 hours behind AEST, observes daylight savings (March - November)

Seasons - Tropical climate
Dry season (November-April): Sunny and moderately warm
Wet season (May-October: Hot and humid with a chance of cyclones between June and October

Peak Travel Seasons - January, April, May

Key Booking Period - January, February, March

Average Length of Stay
Havana - 3 Days
Varadero - 4 Days
Santiago de Cuba - 4 Days

Visa Requirements (Australian Passports) - Tourist Visas are not available from flights directly from the USA (including those part of an international ticket), regardless of nationality. You can get a Tourist Visa on flights from Canada (Air Canada), Mexico (Aeromexico) and Panama (Air Panama), which are included in the fare.

NOTE: The Trump administration has banned group educational and cultural (people-to-people and support for the Cuban people) trips to Cuba for American citizens, which was the most common way to get around the ban on Tourist Visas. This includes cruises that depart from US ports regardless of what passport the passenger carries, nearly all cruise lines have modified their itineraries to remove Cuba from their stops. 

Events to note - Carnaval (July), Fundacion de la Ciudad (September), Fiesta del Fuego (July)

Key Airlines - Air Canada, Aeromexico

 

INSIDER TIPS

Currency:

  • There are two official currencies in Cuba: Cuban Convertible Pesos (CUC) and Cuban Pesos (CUP). Some of the notes and coins can look similar so make sure when you are getting change you check the currency!
  • Convertible Peso is the currency most tourists will experience, it is tied to the US Dollar at a 1 to 1 rate (1 CUC = 1 USD)
  • Tourists may get Cuban Pesos in regional areas, 1 CUC ~ 25 CUP depending on the exchange rate
  • You will need your passport when exchanging currency, it is recommended to take out Canadian Dollars or Euros to exchange into CUC as US Dollars attract a 10% government tarriff when exchanging
  • US based credit and debit cards aren't accepted in Cuba (includes all American Express and Westpac cards). Visa and Mastercards are usually accepted, depending on the issuing bank, it's recommended to bring multiple cards from different banks just in case

Internet is heavily regulated by the government, you can only find paid access points in public squares and high-class hotels. To access the internet you will need an ETECSA card (from the telecommunication centres), prices are currently at 1 CUC per hour and you can buy multiple cards for however long you need the internet for. 

Power outages are relatively common and can affect government buildings, attractions and private residences alike