GENERAL INFORMATION ON HOW TO TRAVEL TO CUBA
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To see info on traveling to Cuba or having previous knowledge on this Caribbean island, read the detailed information bellow:
Cuba Travel info:
The must conventional way to travel to Cuba is by air. There are several international air lines flying to Cuba on regular basis and with steady Air schedule. Depending on the departure point, you could find direct flights to Havana city, Varadero, Cayo Largo del Sur, Holguin, Cayo Coco y Santiago de Cuba. If you are from Canada, Europe, Central or South America you will easily find flights to some of these points.
Cubana de Aviación is the official national carrier and covers must of the air routes to and from Europe and Canada
More than 50 foreign airlines have regular flights to Cuba at the present, among them are:
Air Europa, AirEuropa, Air France, Mexicana air line, Air Jamaica, LACSA, Iberia, Copa air line, Lanchile, and many others.
Special rules are applied to US citizens or US permanent residents in Cuban soil.
Cuban International airports
The other five international airports in Cuba are located in:
- Varadero, the famous beach at Matanzas province: "Juan Gualberto Gomez" International Airport.
- Cayo Coco international airport, for the large natural tourist resort of Cayo Coco & Cayo Guillermo, at northern Cuba.
- Camaguey City, "Ignacio Agramonte" International Airport
- Holguín City (Eastern Cuba), "Frank País" International Airport
- Santiago de Cuba City, "Antonio Maceo" International Airport
In other smaller cities there are small airports where only domestic flights can be operated, using short and medium size airplanes like An-2, An – 24 or ATR-42. For domestic flights like these, you should buy the tickets at Cubana de Aviacion offices for local national routes.
Besides Cubana air lines, the official carrier for the Republic of Cuba, the Island has other companies whose air planes cover air routes within the Caribbean, flying to and from Mexico, Jamaica andBahamas. Among these companies are AeroCaribbean and Aerogaviota.
Hotels, car rental, Tours and excursions, local operators:
There are several hotel chains selling accommodation in Cuba, covering a wide offer for lodging, from 3 to 4 and 5 stars hotels. Usual meals pan is CP ( bed and breakfast ), but some hotels rooms can be booked in MAP plan ( half board ). A lot of all inclusive accommodation facilities are located in beach resorts – destinations, some of them belonging to prestigious hoteliers like Sol - Melia, LTI, Sofitel, and others.
Cuba has different levels for tourist accommodation : Hotels rank varies from students’ budget lodging facilities to luxurious 5 stars hotels, aimed to lodge VIP clients. In-between you will find . 4 stars city hotels, even all inclusive resorts with available comfortable rooms. Following the architectural patterns, the location, function and interior design, you could classify hotels in Cuba as: city hotels, beach hotels, nature hotels, Spa's resorts, historic hotels or modern hotels.
For persons who are independent traveling like, the car rental in Cuba offers multiple options. You can easily book a car at airports terminals, in hotels desks, rental points located throughout the cities or in any beach resort or nature resort. If you want to have a package including accommodation plus car, then the Flexi Fly and Drive is the best option. Pick up and drop points are not bound to coincide, you can select them according to your travel schedule. Assistance by technical support team is guaranteed all around the country, and refueling is possible in almost all provinces at govern owned Gas stations: CUPET and ORO NEGRO. Additionally, in the rental points you can buy a country map or a road map to assist your self while driving though the country.
At any hotel desk you can book excursions and tours, in order to build up your own travel – vacation package including attractive visits to museums, historic places, nature spots and beaches, mountains, cavers, valleys or even to have a full day sailing journey through the Caribbean clearest waters. At night you can discover the Cuban nightlife at discotheques and cabarets, some of them really funny and famous.
Hotels chains operating in Cuba:
Cubanacan, Cubamar, Complejo Palco, Gaviota, Gran Caribe, Habaguanex, Horizontes, Islazul, Rumbos
Accor, Barceló Hotels & Resorts, Blau Hoteles, Grandes Hoteles del Caribe, Grupo Piñero, Grupo RIU, Hotetur, Iberostar, Maritim Hotels, NH Hoteles, OccidentalHoteles, Raytur Caribe, S.L. (Hoteles C), Sandals Resorts International, Sol Meliá, SuperClubs Resorts Limited, TMS, Valtur, Ventaglio
Official Excursions’ operators:
Rumbos Cuba, Gaviota Tours, Horizontes Viajes, Cubanacan Viajes, Cubamar Viajes, Viajes Gran Caribe, San Cristóbal Travel
In addition to your valid passport and air ticket, What else is required for traveling to Cuba?
After you have made your air reservation and bought your air ticket, you should buy a Cuban tourist card to enter the country. The tourist card, valid for 30 days can be acquired at the airline desks in airports, air line offices or in any local travel agency or international tour operator which sells Cuba as a traveling destination. Also Cuban consulates issue the visas to be stamped in the travelers passport, this is another way to legally enter the country.
Cuba foreign Tourist Boards:
CUBAN TOURIST BOARDS
Cuban Tourist Office . 55 Queen Street East, Suite 705 Toronto, Ontario M5C 1R6
Cuban Tourist Office, 440 Boulevard Rene Levesque Ouest, Montreal, Quebec, H2Z 1V7
Paraguay No 631, 2do piso A , Buenos Aires
Tel: 54.1.311.4198 1
Office de Tourisme de Cuba, 280 Boulevard Raspael, Paris 75014
Cuban Tourist Board, An der Hauptwache 7, 60313, Fankfurt/Main
Ufficio di Promozione ed Informazione Turistica di Cuba, Via General Fara 30, Terzo piano
Cuban Tourist Borrad, Insurgentes Sur No 421, Complejo Aristos Edificio B, Local 310
Mexico City 06100
DF Tel: 52.5.574.9454
Cuban Tourist Board, Jan van Gentstraat 130, 1171 GN, Badhoevedorp
Oficina de Promocion e Informacion Turistica de Cuba, Paseo de la Habana 27, Madrid 28036
Travel to Cuba from the US
Travel to Cuba is highly restricted for American citizens or permanent residents.
Since 1963 the US Government has imposed certain regulations that stop the natural flow of visitors from the US to Cuba. The restrictions apply to transportation to and from Cuba, lodging, transportation within Cuba and meals. Purchases made in Cuba are also included and can not exceed
$ 100 USD in value and can only be made once every six consecutive months.
US citizens or permanent residents must apply for a license from the United States Department of the Treasury to legally travel to Cuba. For obtaining a license a good reason will be needed.
US citizens or permanent residents who don't have a license can in fact travel to Cuba, but are not allowed to spend money, in any currency, while in the island, which makes it almost impossible unless under a "fully hosted trip". That means that a Cuban organization will take care of all your expenses there and will have to to extend a letter to the Treasury confirming it.
To know more about these regulations you can visit the Cuba page at the website of the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) from United States Department of the Treasury.
Another useful link to check is: http://shr.aaas.org/rtt/policy.htm#intro
Direct flights / for US citizens.
In contradiction to the fact that both countries are geographically close to each other, no regular flights connecting US and Cuba are operated by now. Only those charter planes authorized by the US gov. are flying to the island, but mainly carrying Cuban Americans who visit their families in home land.
To take one of these direct flights connecting US with Cuba, departing from cities like New York, NY ; Miami, FL and Los Angeles, CA, the travelers must apply for an OFAC license at the Treasury Department. Once delivered the license, a travel service provider (TSP) authorized for such operations must be contacted to legally arrange the trip to Cuba. Another option would be to get engaged in groups travel periodically arranged by some American licensed organizations, travel agents and tour operators.
Via third countries/ for US citizens.
Using third countries as connecting points is another way to get to Cuba from the US, and an increasingly number of individual travelers has chosen this way to visit the island.
In Nassau or Freeport, Bahamas islands, you can take daily flights to and from Cuba, this would be a good option for people who lives in the US East coast. Grand Cayman is another variant, where connecting flights to Cuba are ran weekly. The third choice would be Jamaica, from where daily Round Trip flights Montego Bay –Havana – Montego Bay are always available. For those Americans living in the US the north-east area, travel through Canada is a suitable option
For the rest of the US territory country, Cancun in Mexico could be better connection to Cuba. Some times travelers prefer to make an over night in these destinations, or even spend a few days having a kind of vacation package which is combined later with the staying in Cuba.
Main air lines flying the routes described above: Cubana de Aviación, Air Jamaica and Mexicana de Aviación.