Planning a Trip to Cuba? Read This!

March 7 2017 | CeCe Olisa

Planning a Trip to Cuba, READ THIS Insider's Cuba Travel Guide

My Cuba Travel Diary just went live and you’ve been asking lots of questions via email and social media. So, I’m compiling the most popular questions here!

How Much Money Should I Bring to Cuba?

As an American in Cuba, I knew that my credit/debit cards would not work and american dollars would be useless. My housing was paid for in advance (see below), so I created a budget for myself of $200 CUC/day. My hope was that it was a gross over estimate but since I’d be in a foreign country with limited funds I wanted to be prepared for any and everything. I ultimately had more money than I needed.

How do I Exchange Money for Cuba?

The major legal currency for Cuba is the Cuban Convertible Peso or CUC (pronounced, kook). It’s what you exchange your foreign currency for and make all your purchases with in Cuba. 

Before you go to Cuba, exchange your American dollars to Euros, then when you land in Cuba exchange your Euros for CUC’s.

Insider tip: If you have a bunch of CUC’s left over, you’re going to pay a fee to exchange back to dollars. If you can find a friend heading to Cuba and exchange between yourselves you’ll both save.

How Long is the Flight to Cuba?

The flight from Miami is 45 minutes!

Do I Need a Visa to Go to Cuba?

Yes, you do.

I got my Visa at the airport two hours before my flight. Some airlines will give it to you on the plane. You need to contact the airline you’re flying with to see your options. You can also order your Visa to be delivered, but after the shipping fees the cost is about the same if you purchase your Visa at the Airport, around $100.

Passport and Visa

Where Should I Stay in Cuba?

We stayed in a private villa and I’m really glad that we did. We had a great staff of people who helped us throughout our trip, daily breakfast was included, laundry was available when needed. This is the house where I stayed, do your research and read all the reviews! See a tour of the house in this video.

Villa Sol

Does Cuba Have Wifi?

Ehhhh kinda. Cuba has wifi in the parks and at some of the hotel lobbies. You purchase a wifi card $3/30 minutes and while you’re in the park you have internet. It’s not very good, but it’s enough to do minimal tasks like email, instagram, twitter, etc.

Is the Water Safe in Cuba?

I packed big bottles of water in my suitcase (they were a great place holder for the bottles of rum I brought back). I drank a few bottled waters from Cuba and they didn’t have the “funny taste” I’d heard about, but I did bring crystal light packets just in case. Overall I was fine.

How is the Food in Cuba?

Surprisingly, the food wasn’t amazing… it wasn’t awful either. Everything is very cheap– our last night eight of us went to dinner, had two rounds of drinks and the entire bill was $108. My favorite meal was at La Bodeguita del Medio.

At a restaurant called La Catedral, I had lobster for $7.

Cuban Food Example

How Much is a Vintage Car in Cuba?

The price I got quoted the most is $50/hour, but we were able to get a vintage car for as low as $35/hour especially when we did longer car rides.

Screen Shot 2017-03-07 at 2.56.10 PM

What Should I Pack for My Cuba Trip?

It was pretty hot while we were there. I’d recommend light airy dresses, shorts, bug spray, sun block and a big floppy hat for your convertible ride as the sun will be shining right on you! See what I wore here!

The main thing you want to bring is a heavy duty universal power strip converter for all of your electronics!

Converter for Cuba

If you want to see Cuba first hand before you go, check out my Cuba travel diary!

Did I miss anything? Leave your questions in the comments and I’ll happily answer them! xx


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29 responses on “Planning a Trip to Cuba? Read This!

  1. Margie Daniels

    I appreciate the information. I am going in July. Please share the villa information, I am very interested. You look great, and I am excited that you have this information to share. What was your MUST SEEs?


    I appreciate the information. I am going in July. Please share the villa information, I am very interested. You look great, and I am excited that you have this information to share. What was your MUST SEEs?

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