Cuba at Easter
Replies: 4 - Last Post: Feb 6, 2013 3:47 AM Last Post By: janguskhan
Feb 3, 2013 11:46 PM
Cuba at EasterHi everyone, I am travelling through Mexico in March and will be arriving at Cancun at the end of the month. I am keen to go to Cuba after this, however I am interested to hear how busy, and how much more expensive it will be at this time of year. How long do the Easter holidays go for over there (or how long will people be likely to be visiting Cuba on their Easter holidays)? Will I need to book accommodation/travel in advance?
My understanding is that I need my flight details to get a Tourist card. Due to the difference in Tourist card costs in Australia ($110 min) from in Mexico ($25) I am debating whether I should buy flights and tourist card now, or wait until I am over there.
I dont have tight time frames so can put off Cuba for a bit and head to Belize if its not a good time to go. Alternatively, if it is more cost effective I could join a tour, however my preference would be for independent travel.
Lastly, is Cubana the only airline flying from Cancun to Havana? I have just looked up reviews on this airline and its seems that it is top of the list for worst safety record! Any thoughts?
Thanks in advance for your help!
Feb 4, 2013 5:56 AM
1You will find that Easter in Cuba is very different from Easter in México, not at all a tourist season, though I think there is a bit of an upswing in Méxican tourism to Cuba for semana santa. It won't be more expensive, and it's towards the end of the high winter season so you shouldn't have much difficulty with accommodation if you're staying in casas particulares.
From Cancun you are limited in your flights to Havana, México city is much better, more choices. Don't for goodness' sake get the tourist card in Australia, it's a ridiculous cost. You will buy it from the airline at the airport. Interjet charges 250MXN at the airport in DF, though I have been charged more than that by Cubana. I am not familiar with Cancun flights, but check out the Interjet website, I believe they fly from Cancun some days, though it might be through DF. It's a great budget airline.
I can't think of any reason for joining a tour to Cuba, it is not a difficult country to get around in, and it sounds as though you have some Spanish anyway........and even if you don't. Just give yourself enough time to enjoy, rather than buzz around.
Feb 4, 2013 4:28 PM
Feb 5, 2013 12:31 PM
3If you decide to stay in "casas particulares" ie rooms in private houses, you should be fine as there is generally an oversupply. I travelled around last year and once you find a decent house you should ask them for a recommendation of a casa particular wherever you are going next. The owners all network amongst themselves and they will normally be able to give you the business card of a reputable casa in another town. They refer business to each other so they will normally know someone in most places and if they can't, they will know someone who can.
Easter isn't a busy time in terms of Cubans going on holiday since they aren't big on religious holidays and they would be unlikely to be staying in the same sort of accommodation which is licensed to take tourists. There will be other tourists round and about but it shouldn't put you off going. Also the weather is at this time of year is perfect as if you put it off you would only find it hotter and more humid when you did go. Any self respecting Cuban won't leave the house much during the day in July and August, and after that there's the hurricane season, so Easter is really the perfect time for great weather before it gets to humid to do anything.
RE Cubana, they have a dubious safety record on internal flights but I believe they use a different sort of aircraft for their international flights which are more modern. They fly within EU airspace and the EU are quite strict on who they let fly there in terms of safety records so I think you should be ok. I have never flown with them personally but friends have - they said the plane was obviously not brand new but then none of the planes put on the routes to Cuba with even the major airlines (BA, Virgin, Iberia) appear to be (for example Iberia had no TVs for the 9hr flight and Virgin were using a visibly old aircraft).
Hope that helps.
Feb 6, 2013 3:47 AM
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