Cuba is a country where the clocks stopped for decades. The largest and most populous island in the Caribbean, Cuba’s 1959 socialist revolution and the subsequent US trade embargo has frozen the island in time. Vintage American cars still roar through the ramshackle streets of its cities, while horses and carts clatter through the countryside. Far from becoming the American neo-colony it once was, however, this proud nation, whose stature and influence within Latin America has long outweighed its small size, is holding on tight to what makes it so special. Salsa still runs through the veins of every Cuban; world-class ballerinas, baseball players, doctors, and engineers continue to work for a state salary ($30-50/ month); and the island’s pristine beaches and forest-covered mountains aren’t going anywhere.

Cuba Tours

havana classic cars

Discover Cuba

8 nights/ 9 days Escape to Cuba on an exotic getaway through the sizzling streets of sultry Havana, soak up
5.00 / 5 reviews
per person
nacional hotel

Exploring Cuba

14 nights/ 15 days  Come with us and explore Cuba! Cuba’s rich history and culture will come to life over
per person

Cuba Tour Reviews

Bert

Discover Cuba

Stacey did a great job organizing everything. It was worry free. I just showed up. Plus, our local guide (Carlos) couldn’t have been more knowledgeable and friendly. And, the itinerary was a great mix of fun time, free time and historical sightseeing.

Jocelyn

Discover Cuba

Trinidad was the most pleasant; the horseback riding was wonderful.

Mary

Discover Cuba

Our guide was so much fun! I learned so much from him and really enjoyed getting to know him and his country.

Madeline

Discover Cuba

This was my second trip with Adventure People. The first was to Iceland! My favorite trip moment in Cuba was the tobacco Farm, horseback riding, lunch at the organic farm, riding in the classic cars, the Cigar Factory tour, and Trinidad.

Deborah

Discover Cuba

Stacey is very organized, so as a traveler you can kick back and enjoy the experience w/o thinking and planning. Favorite trip moment? So many! The Classic car tour, Ziplining, bike riding in Vinales, and the Roof Top Dinner!

Posts About Cuba
antistress drink

Cuban Anti-Stress Drink

While in Cuba, we visit an organic farm for a true farm-to-fork experience. Upon arriving, you are given an "Anti-Stress Drink." Here's what's in it: 1/2...

Read More

Responsible Travel

Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards the local people we encounter, their culture, local economies and the environment. It’s important to remember that what may be acceptable behavior, dress and language in your own country, may not be appropriate in another. Please keep this in mind while travelling.

Top responsible travel tips for Cuba

  1. Be considerate of Cuba’s customs, traditions, religion and culture.
  2. For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water. Fill a reusable water bottle or canteen with filtered water.
  3. Always dispose of litter thoughtfully, including cigarette butts.
  4. Learn some local language and don’t be afraid to use it – simple greetings will help break the ice.
  5. Shop for locally made products. Supporting local artisans helps keep traditional crafts alive.
  6. Refrain from supporting businesses that exploit or abuse endangered animals.
  7. Please ask and receive permission before taking photos of people, including children.

Cuba Travel Information

We strive to provide travelers with an authentic experience to remember, so we try to make our accommodations as unique and traditional as possible. In Cuba, we stay in casa particulars, which is basically a private home where you will be welcomed by friendly, local families, so you can be immersed in the cuisine and customs of the region. This has been part of the “Cuba experience” since 1997 when the Cuba government started allowing residents to rent rooms in their houses to tourists. All of our accommodations promise to be comfortable, quality experiences chosen for their location and character.

cuba weather

Cuba’s subtropical climate is ideal for traveling, with most places catching the cool trade winds that blow from the coast, giving Cuba pleasant temperatures year round. June, July and August are usually the hottest months, the dry season runs from November to April and the wet season from May to October. Even in the rainy season, downpours areshort and heavy and shouldn’t hinder travel plans. Tropical storms and hurricanes are more prevalent in September and October but rarely cause problems for travelers.

With Spanish, African and Creole influences, modern Cuba is home to a fascinating tapestry of cultural influences. This is evident in the music, dance and food that the charismatic Cuban people are happy to share with visitors.

It’s well known that Cubans loves music and dance – with everything from Afro-Cuban rhythms to classic melodies permeating the atmosphere of clubs, bars, restaurants and street corners. The modern arts are also embraced here, with ballet, modern dance and film also rising in popularity, so much so that Havana is now home to many internationally recognized film, literary and music festivals.

Living in a Communist country means Cubans sometimes go without the luxury items that many Westerners take for granted. Despite this, special events like birthdays, holidays and marriages are celebrated with gusto, featuring special foods, music and dance. This love of life is also evident in the street parties, festivals and fiestas that are celebrated throughout the year. Coffee, cigars and rum are consumed freely and people dance with confident grace as the sound of trumpets and guitars fill the air. Visitors to Cuba will soon be enamored with this uniquely infectious way of life and culture, not seen anywhere else in the world.

Cuba typically doesn’t have access to a wide range of ingredients, so your dining experience may not be as varied as you like. Regardless, there are still lots of great treats to savour.

Things to try in Cuba

1. Coppelia Ice Cream

Line up with locals to savour a sweet scoop of Coppelia ice cream. This Cuban institution serves tried and true favourites like chocolate and vanilla as well as exotic favourites mango and coconut.

2. Pastelitos

These small pastries can be either sweet or savoury depending on the filling. Cream cheese, guava and beef are the most popular fillings and make for a cheap, tasty meal on the run.

3. Fritura de Maiz

These deep-fried cheese and cornmeal fritters are a popular street food snack in Cuba and a great choice for vegetarians looking for a meat-free option.

4. Rum

The tipple of choice in Cuba is rum. Savour some Havana Club Rum straight-up, have it mixed up in a minty Mojito or sip on a Cuba Libre.

5. Coffee

Cuban coffee is of legendary quality, so be sure to get your caffeine-hit with a small yet rich cup of black gold.

Havana International Jazz Festival

Local and international artists head to Havana every year to become a part of the cool jazz scene. From the impressive Teatro Nacional de Cuba to the city streets, the sweet sounds of jazz infuse the air of Havana during this festival.

Habanos Cigar Festival

Cigar connoisseurs gather each year to celebrate their love of the best cigar in the world – the Habano. With tastings, visits to plantations and factories, master classes and cigar-rolling contests on offer, this festival will intrigue the curious and delight cigar enthusiasts.

Santiago de Cuba Carnival

Watch this historic city come alive with street parades full of vibrant costumes, hot drum rhythms and lively dancers.

This island nation sitting in the Caribbean Sea is home to a diverse range of environments. From rolling hills to tobacco plantations, beaches, coral reefs and tropical rainforests, Cuba holds many of the regions plant and animal species. With more than 20% of the island covered with natural parks, there’s much biodiversity here, making it a great place for eco-adventures, hikes, snorkelling and diving.

Large cities like Havana evoke a time gone by. Grand buildings dating back to the 1950s exude a decaying grace not found elsewhere, which makes for great photographs but also makes daily life quite difficult at times. Due to a lack of building materials, new housing and infrastructure is rare, making living conditions quite cramped for Cuban city-dwellers. Rural life offers more space and a quieter pace, but less access to services. Regardless of where you travel in Cuba, the people are generally kind, humble and hospitable in both the big cities and small towns.

Early History

Originally inhabited by indigenous people, Christopher Columbus first sighted Cuba in 1492, and later claimed it as a Spanish territory. The Spanish went on to create many settlements around Cuba, which created conflict and warfare between the Spanish settlers and indigenous people. With the establishment of tobacco plantations and other cash crops like sugar cane, Cuba came to rely upon African slaves for labour during the 17th and 18th centuries. Bringing unique customs, music, language and food with them, the African slaves added to the melting pot of cultures already forming in Cuba. Due to Cuba’s rich natural environment and relative prosperity, the island became a prime target for pirates and other foreign invaders. When visiting Cuba today there are a number of fortresses and other historical remnants that act as a reminder of Cuba’s pirate past. After the Spanish-American War, Cuba was handed over to the United States, which assumed control until 1902, when power was then granted to a Cuban government.

Recent History

Two iconic figures play the largest roles in Cuba’s more recent history. Fidel Castro and Che Guevara are embedded in the national psyche of Cuba, their power and influence pivotal to the Cuban Revolution of 1959. After taking control, Castro soon set out to remove political opponents from the administration and gain control of newspapers, radio and television stations. Relations between the United States and Cuba became strained almost immediately with the US resenting Castro’s takeover and Communist rule. Trade embargoes were put in place after the failed Bay of Pigs invasion. The Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 added further tension to relations between the US and Cuba, which continues into the present day. Standing alongside Fidel Castro as an equally important political figure, Che Guevara (although Argentinean) holds a very important place in Cuban history. A revolutionary, author, doctor and military leader, Guevara played pivotal roles in the guerrilla campaign leading up to the Cuban Revolution and the defence of the Bay of Pigs, as well as diplomatic relations between Cuba and the Soviet Union, up until his death in 1967. It’s impossible not to notice the reverence and honour held for Guevara when visiting Cuba. Street art, monuments, statues and museums dedicated to the man Cubans simply call ‘El Che’ can be found all over the country.

We take the health and safety of our travelers seriously, and we take every measure to ensure that trips are safe, fun and enjoyable for everyone. We recommend that all travelers check with their government or national travel advisory organisation for the latest information before departure:

From Australia?

Go to: http://www.smartraveller.gov.au/

From New Zealand?

Go to: http://www.safetravel.govt.nz/

From Canada?

Go to: http://www.voyage.gc.ca/

From US?

Go to: http://travel.state.gov/

From UK?

Go to: http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/

The World Health Organization

also provides useful health information:
Go to: http://www.who.int/en/

We also recommend that you carry a First-Aid kit and hand sanitizers/ antibacterial wipes as well as any personal medical requirements. Tap water in Cuba is generally safe, but it is recommended that you drink bottled water.

Diarrheal illness is common among travelers, even in those staying in luxury accommodations. Travelers can diminish diarrhea risk through scrupulous washing of hands and use of hand sanitizers, especially before food preparation and eating. The greatest risk of traveler’s diarrhea is from contaminated food. Eat only food that is cooked and served hot; avoid food that has been sitting out on a buffet. Eat raw fruits and vegetables only if they have been washed in clean water. Drink only beverages from factory-sealed containers, and avoid ice because it may have been made from unclean water.

Cuba may not be known for it’s shopping, but look closely and you’ll find lots of unique souvenirs to take home as a reminder of your holiday. Before heading home, check with your local customs officials to ensure that you are able to import some items back into your home country.

Things to buy in Cuba

1. Art

Cuba has a keen appreciation of the fine arts, so it’s not hard to find unique artworks by up-and-coming Cuban artists being sold at galleries and markets.

2. Cigars

The cliché is true – cigars are everywhere in Cuba. Be sure to buy authentic cigars from authorized sellers, as fakes are common. Purchasing straight from the factory is usually best.

3. Coffee

Cuban coffee is top quality, so stock up before you leave to enjoy a taste of Cuba from the comfort of your own home.

4. Music

With such a rich, musical heritage, Cuba is a great place to pick up a hand-crafted musical instrument or a CD from a local musician.

Cuba Travel FAQ’s

Tourists of most nationalities require a ‘Tourist Card’ which is similar to a tourist visa. These can be obtained directly from Cuban embassies and consulates. If you are an American citizen, American permanent resident, or hold any type of American passport, and are considering traveling to Cuba, please refer to the US Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs website – travel.state.gov – for the latest advice. You can also purchase cards in advance through www.cubavisas.com or http://cubatravelservices.com/plan-your-trip/visas/. Depending on the airline you are traveling with to Cuba, you may also be able to purchase the tourist card at the airport from the airline on the day of your departure – please check with your airline.

It is customary in Latin America to tip service providers such as waiters, tour guides, bus drivers, taxi drivers, and musicians. Feel good about tipping. There is almost always free entertainment in bars and restaurants; the musicians and singers are usually not paid by the venue so we encourage you to tip when you have enjoyed the performance or background rhythms. Tipping is an expected — though not compulsory — component of your trip and an expression of satisfaction with the persons who have assisted you, but be sure to tip in Cuban pesos as foreign currency isn’t easily exchanged in Cuba.

Internet access isn’t widespread throughout Cuba but availability is increasing. The internet can sometimes be accessed from larger hotels, and most recently the main square of most cities now have WiFi accessibility. You will need to purchase an internet card from certain hotels and outlets to sign on to the internet in any location. Please note that the connection may be slow, some websites may be censored and the cost is typically high.

Your mobile phone may or may not work while in Cuba, depending on what type of phone you have. Before leaving your home country, ensure global roaming is activated with your provider, but be aware that your phone may not get reception due to Cuba having the lowest mobile phone penetration in Latin America.

Public toilets are available in hotels, bars and restaurants. Bring your own toilet paper as these are rarely provided. Due to the import restrictions, toilet seats can be in high demand so casa particulars may not have this luxury.

Can of soft drink = 1 CUC
Cup of coffee = 1 CUC
Cocktail = 3-4 CUC
Meal in a nice restaurant = 15- 25 CUC

It’s not advisable to drink water from the tap in Cuba. For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water. Fill a reusable water bottle or canteen with filtered water. It’s also advisable to avoid ice in drinks and peel fruit and vegetables before eating.

Some credit cards are accepted in Cuba (Visa and Mastercard are usually more widely accepted), although cards linked to US banking institutions won’t be accepted. Debit cards (even Visa debit) generally don’t work either. The Cuban Convertible Peso (CUC) is the main currency used by island visitors. It can only be obtained in Cuba and is worthless outside of Cuba. The purchasing power of the CUC is similar to that of the US dollar. The CUC is benchmarked to the US dollar at one-to-one. However, changing US dollars into CUC’s carries an additional 10% fee. This fee does not apply to other currencies, so it is suggested to bring Canadian dollars, Euros, GBP Sterling or Swiss francs — currencies for which there is no additional conversion fee.

*Please be advised that slightly torn notes, notes that have been heavily marked or are faded may be difficult to exchange. It is best to bring notes in fairly good condition, in dominations lower than 100USD (or equivalent).

Yes. To enter Cuba all travelers are required to have Travel Medical Insurance. The insurance coverage is from the moment you arrive in the Republic of Cuba until you leave the country. For flights arriving from the US, the mandatory insurance is usually included with your flight cost. There is also the option to purchase through the local provider (Asistur) at the Havana Airport, prior to clearing customs. It is also recommended to purchase additional coverage for medical expenses including repatriation and emergency rescue including personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. Some credit card companies offer travel insurance, but proof of coverage will be required. Contact your provider for details.

Past Trip Pics

Current Weather in Havana