Vaccinations and health
At present, no compulsory vaccinations are needed to visit Cuba. Feel free to consult a doctor or local health center for advice well in advance of your trip to Cuba. Current information is also available at www.1177.se. There are international hospitals in Havana. Feel free to check with the Swedish Social Insurance Agency and / or private insurance companies that your health insurance coverage applies in Cuba. Do not drink tap water but buy bottled water. Feel free to bring your home pharmacy, which should also contain mosquito repellent. Do not forget to bring your prescription medication with you.
Weather and clothing
Cuba has a subtropical climate. The warmest month is August and the coldest January – February.
The risk of hurricanes and heavy rain is great during the hurricane period June – October. You can check daily weather reports at the link: http://www.weather.com/
Bring airy clothes, preferably in cotton. Keep in mind that a cotton shirt feels cooler in the heat than a t-shirt that usually sticks to the body. A sun hat protects you from the strong sun. The attire is very informal, even in the evening. Do not forget to put down swimwear!
Currency and exchange rates
There are two Cuban currencies, the Cuban peso which is the local currency and the Convertible peso used by tourists. The Cuban currency is abbreviated CUC. You can not change to Cuban pesos before departure. At exchange offices, however, you have the opportunity to buy Euro. Do not bring USD as a 10% penalty will be charged for switching to CUC. You can not exchange Swedish money in Cuba. Traveler’s checks are not recommended. You can withdraw cash (CUC) at ATMs, but they generally only accept Visa cards. Usually your bank draws around SEK 35 per withdrawal. American Express cannot be used in Cuba.
Transport and communications
All western taxis have taximeters. There are also private taxis but you have to settle the price before. It is best to use a taxi with a taximeter.
Food & beverage
Cuban cuisine is a mix of influences from Spain and Africa. Despite its proximity to the sea, Cubans prefer meat to fish. Cuba is known for its drinks. Mojito, Cuba libre and Daiquiri are drinks of Cuban origin. Cuban beer is good and cheap. There are many different brands.
Cuban rum and cigars are known all over the world. Although Havana cigars are expensive, the price is higher in Sweden.
General and mixed
Local time: Cuba has Swedish time minus 6 hours. When it is 12 o’clock in the day in Sweden, it is only 6 in the morning in Havana.
Electricity: In Cuba, 220 volts apply. Old hotels still have 110 volts. An adapter is needed because the electrical sockets are not the same as in Sweden. In electrical stores you can buy universal adapters and also get advice.
Baggage: It sometimes happens that the checked baggage gets lost. Therefore, pack important medicines with a certificate from your doctor in your hand luggage. The same goes for valuables. Label all your luggage carefully with the luggage tags you receive with the tickets. This is important as these notes are our identification at the airport and at our hotels. It is good to have a proper, lockable suitcase because the bags are not treated very carefully.
Tips: Many salaries in Cuba are based on tips. It is normal to give about 15% in tips to, among others, hotel staff and waitresses. Your local guide and bus driver in Cuba expects tips; expect about 1 EUR per day and person.
Language: The official language is Spanish but many also speak English.
Travel insurance: Can be purchased through Phoenix. Check what your home insurance covers when traveling to Cuba.