Americas - Cuba
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This branch covers: Cuba
The contents of this FAQ thread are being kept simple in order to avoid confusion and provide basic information about Cuba and links to information sources. Use the subject lines of each post below to find what you're looking for.
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2. Explore Lonely Planet's Destinations online, which has a wealth of key info and tips.
3. Have a good look around the Thorn Tree before asking your question - quite often your question (or one very sim... more »
Understandably, politics may come up when people talk Cuba. We accept that and believe it's both naive and unhelpful to pretend it's not a part of travel and Cuban experience.
However, if you wish to start topics on Cuban or U.S. politics then you have come to the wrong place, as this is primarily a forum for travellers and locals to exchange advice and connect.
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You can run yo... more »
Hello from Havana,
According to Renasys, the broadband analysis company, the high-speed fiber optic cable continues to be activated bit by bit. Maybe one day I won't have to use this crappy slow expensive dial-up connection any more.
Cuban tourism and its future challenges
Published on Wednesday, 22 May 2013 07:26
By Lenier GonzÃ¡lez Mederos
HAVANA â€“ The emblematic beach at Varadero, Cuba's premier resort, hosted the 33rd International Tourism Fair (FitCuba2013) May 7 to 11. The grand event, at the Plaza AmÃ©rica Convention Center, featured Brazil as its guest country and invited representatives from 53 countries to its 40 display stands.
Present were tour operators, airline officials, and more than 100 journalists and tourism specialists, among them several tourism ministers. The presence of Brazil's Tourism Minister GastÃ£o Vieira should be highlighted.
The event, more than just a routine annual event, has become a gauge that allows us to predict the future of Cuba's tourism sector, successfully managed during the 1990s after the collapse of the Eastern Bloc and the arrival of th... more »
TERRIBLE - BOTH PILON CITY AND AREA.
My step-daughter is a Cuban permanent resident in Canada for 3 years--NOT a Canadian citizen. She wants to travel from Vancouver to Bangkok to visit her boyfriend there. When I check ticket prices, all the most economical flights have routing through either Seattle, and/or San Francisco-with stop-overs there for short periods. Can she--as a Cuban citizen--take such flights? Thanks for your help.
First time into Cuba with very limited Spanish. I'm trying to decide if I should head straight to Havana, spend a day or two at Matanzas on my way back to Varadero airport if I have time, or if I should make Matanzas my first stop. I figured there are two factors to consider (below), so any input or other suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
1. Flight gets to Varadero at 2-ish pm. According to the Viazul schedules, I could catch the 4pm bus or the 6:30pm runs. I arrive on June 1. If I don't book ahead online, how likely am I to be able to get on the 4pm or the 6:30pm Viazul without an advance booking? If this doesn't work out, are there alternatives besides a cab ride (out of budget) or the Conectando (I think its last bus leaves at 2:50pm). Or would it be safer to book a casa particular in Matanzas? At least a cab ride there would be more affordable.
2. Snorkelling at [Pl... more »
Avianca/Taca has abruptly cancelled its SJO-HAV route. Seems to be part of a large downsizing of their operations at San Jose. They'll continue to serve Havana from San Salvador, Lima and Bogota.
Hello from Havana,
Over the weekend we had some clients who want us to help plan their wedding here for this fall. Their #1 choice was the famous Hotel Riviera - until they actually took a good look at the place.
The wedding theme they had hoped for was 1950's jet-aged retro-kitsch, with a wedding by the pool and their 40 or so invited guests all staying in the hotel. On the surface the hotel is certainly a well preserved historical site. (It was gangster Meyer Lansky's Xanadu and undoing - re-watch The Godfather Part II, you'll get the broad strokes of the story.) Once you scratch below the (filthy) surface, though, the place is a (filthy) dump. I live here full-time, and am probably too-accustomed to La Habana's grittiness, and the couple is very hip and has visited here several times as our clients, so no-one was expecting the Georges V in Paris, but what confronted us wa... more »
I will be on a tight schedule in Cuba and need to know if this is possible.
I arrive in Cuba at 2-3PM on a Sunday. I want to catch the 8AM bus out of Havana to Trinidad. This trip will be in early July. How hard is it to get tickets the day before the trip in the evening? Also, I live in the US, so I cannot book through their website anyways.
Other recommendations on this?
FYI and because I might forget in my upcoming trip report, as I was leaving Havana last week I ask both TACA and Cuban immigrations that if a Cuban had a visa to say, Guatemala or Colombia and was just connecting through El Sal if there would be a problem. In both cases the answer was no. El Sal is a hub for TACA and you can fly direct to many countries from there.
There were few posts recently from USAers reporting that bookings on the Cubana website
now allowed them to pay using a US credit card. This was good news for those wanting to fly from Cancun from which Cubana is often the only alrline available.
Having just booked an internal Cubana flight I can now report that ALL Cubana flight payments are being processed via http://www.travelsandiscoverytours.com .
In the past Cubana processed non-USA credit cards direct to Cubana.
The new process provides a charge listed on card statement as Travels & Discovery S.A
Note this website also allows for hotel, tours and hire car bookings all of which presumedly may be paid via credit cards - including those from the land of the free? more »
It seems it's already confirmed. Flights'll be once a week. More info here.
There are a number of posts on here inquiring which cards will work in ATMs in Cuba. I've read here that the Titanium Visa from Moneymart will not work, yet I hadn't read of anyone who actually tried. I tried mine last week at an ATM in Varadero and can confirm that IT DOES IN FACT WORK. I was able to withdraw funds on several occasions. CUC on par with USD plus a small surcharge. All in all it worked out to be about the same as one would receive converting CAD to CUC at the airport cadecas. Given that the Cuban ATM system is national, I'd venture to guess that it would also work in Havana and ATMs in other cities. I will be travelling to Havana tomorrow and will post once I confirm that it works there as well. I think this might be a very handy option for travellers.
I always liked this place in Vinales. Nice for a romantic getaway!
Cuba Landmark Hotel Rancho San Vicente Gets under Restoration
HAVANA, Cuba, May 16 (acn) The old and symbolic hotel Rancho San Vicente, close to the famous Vi€ ¢Ã±ales Valley, in western Pinar del Rio province, will be submitted to capital restoration this year in an effort to provide more options as part of the Health Tourism modality.
Cuban tourist executives told reporters that the reconstruction process is aimed at increasing the number of rooms in the old complex, which also counts on 53 cabins around its areas.
Important restoration actions will target the pool and the bath of medicinal waters that are very famous in the western territory, said hotel manager Odalys Acosta.
The hotel was built in 1901 next to the € ¢â’ ’¼Cueva del Indio€ ¢â’ ’½ (The Indian€ ¢Â´s Cave), a major attraction site offe... more »
my partner and I are looking for a honeymoon destination. we are really flexible as to where to go: costa rica, mexico, dominican republic etc etc etc....
we are tempted by the idea of having all meals provided, or an affordable restaurant really close (given breakfast is provided) and therefore all-inclusive fits the purpose of this trip (we really only want to be together, not worry about food etc).
We do not like really touristy places and big resorts.
We are rather in nature in a remote place (at least not crowded).
and yes...we are on a budget....meaning those really fancy resorts that are completely in nature but where you pay hundreds of $ a night are out of our league.
basic-nice-nature-all meals provided- affordable. any hints????
thank you soo much
Not in any chronological order. Flew WestJet out of Toronto to Varadero. From take-off to landing it was 3 hours and on the return flight the captain apologized for landing in Toronto 15 minutes early. Some new changes with WestJet. In the past they allowed 2 carry-on bags plus a computer bag or purse. That has been changed to 1 carry-on bag in line with the other carriers. The check-in luggage remains the same 1 bag of 50 lbs, extra charge for second bag. Another change is the first 4 rolls are now called Premium Class available at extra cost. No free meals and only one serving of coffee compared to the past they served coffee twice on the flight. No movies on the new planes but you can rent a I-Pad to watch a movie. I think the washrooms are still free.
The plane was 70% full with most passengers going to the AI resorts in Varadero. I went with a frien... more »
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