round trip in Cuba

Cuba - Important Travel Information

To ensure you are well-prepared for your trip to Cuba, here are essential pieces of information that you should take into consideration. 

For more detailed inquiries, feel free to contact us:

We are here to assist you and provide any additional information you may need. Safe travels!

How to com to Cuba

Traveling to Cuba

Several airlines, including but not limited to, Air France, Iberia, KLM, Condor, and Austrian Airlines, offer flights from Europe to Cuba. The travel time for a non-stop flight is approximately 10 - 12 hours. If you have a layover, the total travel time can extend to around 16 hours, depending on the duration of the layover.

touristcard Cuba

Visa / Tourist Card for Cuba

To enter Cuba, a tourist card is required. We can arrange this for you.

Additionally, an online health questionnaire must be completed 48 hours before departure.

Accommodation in Cuba

Accommodation in Cuba

You have the option to stay either in hotels or in the so-called Casas Particulares.

1. Hotels:
There are well-known hotels in Cuba, such as Melia and Iberostar. However, in small villages like Playa Giron, there are hardly any hotels. In Playa Giron, there is only the "Hotel Giron," which I do not recommend. The rooms were okay, but the breakfast consisted of toast and butter and a few slices of pineapple. It's not worth the price.

The Melia in Cienfuegos was well-liked by my clients. The rooms were spacious, and the breakfast buffet was more than sufficient. For those who prefer to stay in luxurious accommodations, 4-5 star hotels in Cuba are a good choice. However, staying in a hotel does not provide the opportunity to interact with locals and better understand the culture.

2. Casas Particulares:
In every city, including Playa Giron, there are Casas Particulares. But what are they? In my opinion, it's the most beautiful way to stay in Cuba. With Casas Particulares, Cubans open their hearts to guests from around the world. These are family-run and verified private accommodations. As a guest, you usually get a room in the house, and breakfast is provided in most Casas (sometimes for an additional fee of around 5 euros per person). Not only does this provide a real cultural value and exchange with locals, but you can also get insider tips from the owners.

I have visited several Casas Particulares in different locations during my trip to Cuba and I would be happy to assist you with organizing and planning.

In the end, it's your decision where and how you prefer to stay :-)

Cuba car rental

Car Rental, Colectivo (Shared Taxi), or Bus: Exploring Cuba

There are several ways to undertake a round-trip journey through Cuba.

1. Car Rental from A to B:
Renting a car allows you to explore the country on your own terms. However, it's essential to note that not every corner has gas stations. With good organization, a trip with a rental car through Cuba is certainly possible. The rental car must be booked well in advance, as they are often fully booked. I have personally traveled with a rental car in Cuba and am happy to provide tips on how to proceed.

2. Colectivo (Shared Taxi) from A to B:
Colectivos (shared taxis) are available throughout Cuba. With a Colectivo, you and other passengers travel together to the desired destination. Stops to drop off passengers at the destination or pick up new guests must be factored in. I find this type of transfer very pleasant. The price is agreed upon in advance, and the driver takes you to the desired location. A Colectivo can also be organized in the accommodation, about 2 days before the day of travel. The owners of the respective Casa Particulares or hotels have always helped me and arranged a taxi.

Prices as of December 2023:

  • Trinidad to Viñales: 50 Euro (approx. 500 kilometers)
  • Viñales to Havana: 25 Euro (approx. 180 kilometers)

3. Bus from A to B:
In Cuba, there is the bus company "Viazul," offering routes across the country. Bus tickets are slightly cheaper than a Colectivo ride. However, travel times are longer as the bus stops at multiple stations. If you plan to travel by bus, it's crucial to book your ticket a few days before your journey, as there might be no available seats (as happened to me).

Prices as of December 2023:

  • Havana to Trinidad: 21 Euro (approx. 500 kilometers)
  • Viñales to Havana: 12 Euro (approx. 180 kilometers)

If you want to take the bus from Trinidad to Viñales, the first step is to go to Havana. The journey to Viñales takes place the next day, so an overnight stay in Havana is necessary.

Do I need cash in Cuba?

Cash Tips for Your Cuba Trip

Make sure to bring enough cash for your trip to Cuba, and it's better to have more than too little. It can be challenging to withdraw money from an ATM in Cuba, assuming you find one at all. Most restaurants do not accept card payments. 

Trust me, I speak from experience. It's far from pleasant when you run out of money in the last few days. 

Additionally, it's advisable to bring U.S. dollars as they are widely accepted, especially for tips.

Cuba often struggles with a shortage of foreign currency, leading to financial challenges. This is partly due to the limited diversification of the economy and a lack of foreign investments. Cubans appreciate it when you pay in dollars or euros.

However, always pay attention to the exchange rate - see the next point.

Currency Exchange Cuba

Currency Exchange Tips in Cuba

In the past, there were two currencies in Cuba: CUC for foreigners and CUP for Cubans. Now, only CUP is in circulation, but exchange rates can vary significantly depending on where you exchange your money.

  • Never exchange your money into CUP in your home country! In the worst case, you might get around 25 CUP for 1 Euro.
  • If you exchange money at the hotel (not in a Casa Particular), you might get approximately 130 CUP for 1 Euro.
  • If you exchange money with locals in a Casa Particular, you could get around 250 CUP for 1 Euro.

Always inquire about the exchange rate before making the exchange at a hotel or Casa, and never exchange money on the street.

Google Maps in Cuba

Using Instead of Google Maps in Cuba

To navigate from point A to point B in Cuba, it's recommended to download the app "" before starting your trip. This app is comparable to Google Maps.

Google Maps may have limited functionality in Cuba and might not work in certain areas, especially during drives to places like national parks in the jungle. Having can be more reliable for navigation in such situations.

Apps in Cuba

Downloading Apps Before the Trip

In Cuba, it is not possible to download apps, even with a Cuban SIM card. Therefore, it's best to download all the apps you need, including offline maps, before your trip.

Cuba dining

Dining Cuba

You've probably heard that Cuba often faces difficulties, including food shortages. This is indeed true! Agriculture plays a crucial role, but it encounters challenges such as inefficient production methods and insufficient agricultural infrastructure, leading to food shortages and imports.

In Playa Giron and Playa Larga, there isn't a wide variety of food options. There are no supermarkets where sandwiches can be bought. Instead, you'll find a few restaurants that typically offer the following dishes:

  1. Chicken (often imported) with rice and beans, a few slices of tomatoes and cucumbers, and plantains.
  2. Fish, lobster, or shrimp (locally sourced) with rice and beans, a few slices of tomatoes and cucumbers, and plantains.

In Havana and larger cities like Cienfuegos, Trinidad, and Viñales, there are numerous restaurants, and you can satisfy your hunger without concerns.

My tip: Bring protein bars from your home country so that during your journey through Cuba, where traditional rest stops are not common, you can curb your hunger.

Cuba - aid for locals

Aid for Locals

The locals in Cuba are in great need of food and medicine. Transporting food to Cuba is challenging, but medicines are easy to carry, require little space in your luggage, and currently (as of December 2023) have no import restrictions. Unlimited amounts of medicines can be brought into the country.

If you want to do something good, consider bringing medicines on your trip to Cuba. Ibuprofen, Paracetamol, and various antibiotics are gladly accepted by the locals.

During my stay in Viñales, I lived with a doctor named Panchito and discussed the situation with him. He informed me that the current situation in Cuba (December 2023) is indeed critical, and the quantity limits for importing medicines have been temporarily lifted.

If you currently don't plan to travel to Cuba but would like to contribute, you can contact me regarding the shipment of medicines. I have Panchito's address and would be happy to assist you in doing something positive.

Additionally, you can bring the following items on your Cuba round trip:

  • For dive centers: Batteries for dive computers (e.g., Cressi Leonardo)
  • For women: Bras and underwear – indeed, in small villages, such clothing items are scarce.
Cuba Scams

Scams in Cuba

Just like in any other country, there are occasional instances of scams in Cuba. While Cuba generally has a lower crime rate compared to many Western countries, there are still some unscrupulous individuals.

Beware of the following scams:

Baby Milk Scam:
A young mother with a baby in her arms might approach you, asking for help to buy milk for her baby. If you buy the milk, the woman will likely thank you and smile. However, as soon as you turn the corner, the supposed mother may return the milk to the store where she likely collaborates with an employee. And we're not talking about a 5 Euro milk; we were told the milk costs around 20 dollars per pack!

Daily Cigar Festival:
Some might inform you that today and tomorrow are the only days of the cigar festival in Cuba, and cigars can only be bought on the street during these special days. In reality, this "cigar festival" seems to happen every day as unsuspecting tourists are told the same story repeatedly. Don't fall for it! Cigars can only be purchased in licensed stores. While there is a black market, buying cigars on the street may result in receiving low-quality tobacco or, in the worst case, banana leaves rolled up as fake cigars.

These are just a few examples of common scams. Stay vigilant, and if you're unsure, politely decline.