So you’re going to Cuba!? and don’t know what to expect.. I mean how could you? The doors have finally opened and we are at ground zero! So get out there and explore! & Hopefully a few of my tips below will come in handy! Disfruta!
1.Getting a Travel Visa is easy. A lot of people have questions and concerns about obtaining a Visa to visit Cuba. Don’t sweat it! You can buy this Visa before your flight at the airport, like I did in Fort Lauderdale. Or, you can purchase your visa online before travel and receive it by mail. If you are smarter than I am you will go with the later, which then should only cost you about $50. Paying last minute at the airport, $100 big ones.
2.Order your drinks “Fuerte”. Surprise! In Cuba there is no additional charge for an extra shot of Rum in your drink. So while enjoying your Mojitos and Cuba Libres why not have your bartender go a little heavy handed. Just let him know that you want your drink “fuerte” and the Rum will flow. (I always think making a fist and giving a little gesture of strength helps while ordering your drink, “mas fuerte”)
3. Understand the difference between Cuba’s two currencies, the CUC and CUP. Cuba uses two different currencies, CUC is the convertible peso (convertibles) that was created for tourism, $1USD = $1CUC (easy). The CUP is the local’s money, $1USD = $25CUP, so if something is $10CUP you’re paying about 35cents in USD. To enjoy local prices your going to want to use CUP, like taking the local bus for example, which cost us a whopping four cents! Knowing when to use each is key. Not knowing when to use each will have you being taken advantage of. Hack: the CUC have buildings/monuments on them, CUP have people.
4. Pay in exact change. While we are talking about money, try your best to pay in exact change. Two reasons; People do not always have the ability to make you change, it’s much more difficult than in the states. Second, you’ll be saving yourself from getting ripped off. Once that $5CUC comes out the price jumps and/or you will get back what change they want to give you. (For the record, Cuban people are some of the nicest you will ever meet. These types of tricks to get more money from tourists happen in every country.)
5. Be patient for the photo you want.You have to understand that while we might all be Insta crazy, Cuban’s for the most part aren’t online like we are. People don’t have wifi in their homes let alone on every mobile device. You might pay someone $1CUC to take a photo with their classic car but that doesn’t guarantee he’s moving out of the photo or won’t continue doing business in the background of your shot. I mean what’s the big deal it’s just a picture? Doesn’t it only take one second to take a photo? LOL Wait for the shot you want, it’s coming. (To be honest, most Cuban’s seemed excited when tourists wanted to take their photo, so don’t be shy.)
I am so excited for anyone traveling to Cuba, you are in for an amazing time!