If You Want To Travel To Cuba, Here are Tips For You

Cuba's not by any stretch of the imagination a spot where you can simply blindly go for it. 

This is where you have to comprehend what you're getting into. Its extraordinary history implies its present day reality feels very unique in relation to different goals you may have made a trip to. Frameworks are obsolete, there's restricted Wi-Fi, local people's vocation is on an entire other dimension (which means, most of the working populace lives off of $20-$60 USD a month, and a cab driver makes in excess of a specialist). 

When I touched base in Havana the spot I was most helped to remember was Kigali, the capital of Rwanda. It takes a ton to give me culture stun, however Havana feels like a country stuck before, the structures are lovely yet disintegrating, the vibe is alive, local people are wherever in the boulevards. 

They're not inside sitting on Wi-Fi. 

Everything from Cuba's vehicles to its engineering to its specialized strategies takes after a period case secured during the 50s. You will be presented to momentous regular magnificence, a special feeling of human friendliness, and a vitality throbbing through the lanes that is not at all like anyplace else on the planet. It's a great deal to fold your head over, particularly on the off chance that you had no clue what you were getting into.

Cuba is a standout amongst the most stunning travel encounters I have had, yet in addition the most testing. Particularly as a performance female whose Spanish comprised of a 44-day Duolingo streak, the snags I confronted were quite serious.

Voyaging isn't generally a simple ride — truth be told, on the off chance that it is simple, you're not doing it right. It's imperative to recollect that all through the difficulties, recall these three things: 


  1. They are making you a more grounded, increasingly versatile explorer. On the off chance that you can deal with this, you can deal with anything the world tosses at you. 
  2. These difficulties are showing you how to be clever, how to take care of issues, and how to think and react quickly. These aptitudes are transferable to everything in your life. 
  3. The deterrents you face will just influence you to value the great occasions a great deal more. My preferred recollections from my excursions are dependably the silly difficulties or missteps that could have cut me down, however rather wound up transforming into something so exceptional. Search for the silver covering in each hardship. 

Since we have that secured, it's an ideal opportunity to take a gander at the difficulties introduced by Cuba explicitly. When I talk about Cuba, I'm not discussing the comprehensive form, and voyaging this nation is in its very own group. There are things you're going to need to know — things that I unquestionably wish I knew before going. Be that as it may, don't stress, I committed the errors so you don't need to! 

Here are some need-to-know tips for going in Cuba: 

Bring an adequate measure of money 
Cuba is a money based society. Local people don't have Mastercards, American bank cards are not acknowledged there, and certain universal banks aren't either. 

Talking as a matter of fact — regardless of whether you figure your bank will work there, it is unequivocally encouraged to bring enough money for your whole outing. I manage an account with HSBC in Canada and my card has been acknowledged crosswise over Africa, South America, Asia, and so on. In any case, it wasn't acknowledged in Cuba. 

Kindly gain from my freshman oversight of not bringing adequate money or if nothing else reaching your bank heretofore (in spite of the fact that you shouldn't depend on that either). Subsequent to spending the principal morning of my outing going around Havana attempting various ATMs, endeavoring to address different bank employees (me: "Yo necesito dinero!"), calling my bank, getting my mother to exchange cash through Western Union, and still not having the option to get the cash since I'm not a Cuban inhabitant, I in the end was forced to bear a money advance from my pious Tours By Locals control, my casa proprietor and another companion (thank heavens for PayPal). 

Trust me, spare yourself the cerebral pain, and simply bring the money. 
Cuba is a shut cash nation, which means you can trade for the neighborhood monetary forms (which I'll clarify further down) when you touch base in the nation. You can do as such at the airplane terminal cash trade work area, or at major CADECA workplaces or lodgings all through the city. Acknowledged monetary forms incorporate Canadian dollars, British pounds, euros, US dollars, Mexican pesos, and so forth. 

Bringing the appropriate measure of money will mean itemizing out a spending more accurately than typically required for an outing where your bank cards are acknowledged. So get your work done, and set yourself up for a less upsetting outing than I had.

Check in with your bank 
Tell them you are going to Cuba whether you plan on utilizing your cards or not, yet don't rely on this. Some of the time your bank will reveal to you it works in Cuba and it doesn't, or, surprisingly more terrible, the other way around. Be that as it may, best to get in contact in the event of some unforeseen issue.



Try not to rely on having Wi-Fi 
Wi-Fi hasn't actually settled itself in Cuba like it has in numerous different goals over the world. You won't discover it in each convenience, bistros or eateries. It is as of now offered all things considered open parks, in upscale lodgings, and some casas are receiving it. 

tips cubaParque Cristo, Wi-Fi park in Havana. (Kellie Paxian/Daily Hive) 

Be that as it may, and still, after all that, you need to buy Wi-Fi cards from stands in certain parks or squares. The cards sell for around 1 CUC every hour (generally $1 USD). You get a client code and scratch off the secret key — don't scratch excessively hard, you will scratch the number ideal off — to go into the login page, and expectation that it interfaces. 

In the event that that is insufficient of a doozy, when you have issues associating (trust me, you will), you don't have a clue if: a) your time has run out and that card is presently invalid; b) you entered the secret key wrong; or c) the Wi-Fi signal is no more. It's hard to believe, but it's true, the sign works about 70% of the time, which implies you might be sliced off or unfit to login without notice. 

This implies on the off chance that you have significant responsibilities in the online world, for example, paying bills or telling your mother you're alive, you had best settle them before touching base in Cuba and ensure you're not rummaging for Wi-Fi.



Download Offline maps 
cuba tipsGoogle Maps to Havana, Cuba. (Kellie Paxian/Daily Hive) 

This isn't so much a Cuba-explicit travel tip as it applies to all goals, yet since Wi-Fi is so restricted in Cuba you won't most likely fly into a bistro to Google something. 

Download the disconnected rendition of Google Maps or far superior, Maps.Me (it is far progressively nitty gritty with appearing on cafés, the capacity to evaluate your course timing while disconnected, and so forth.) and imprint key goals down before you leave the place where there is Wi-Fi. 


Or on the other hand, you know, you can generally go outdated and depend on genuine paper maps and guidance from local people!



Know about Cuba's two Currencies 
cuba tipsConverting Cuba's two monetary forms. (Kellie Paxian/Daily Hive) 

Cuba has two monetary forms: CUPs for local people and CUCs for travelers. It's befuddling. 


CUCs are generally equivalent to the USD and one CUC (or USD) is around 26 CUPs. I suggest utilizing the XE Currency Converter application for all the trade rates, yet fundamentally simply remember that there are two unique monetary forms when you get change and need to know which money you're managing.

Learn fundamental Spanish 
A little Duolingo goes far, however even my 44-day streak wasn't sufficient to set me up for Cuba past requesting "la cuenta, por support." You are certain to meet a few sightseers and local people who can fiddle with Spanish and English to help decipher, yet truly, it is so justified, despite all the trouble to examine your key expressions before you go — it will make your trek much smoother. Here are a couple of beginning stages: 

  • Hola = Hello 
  • Buenos dias = Good morning 
  • Buenos noches = pleasant night 
  • Gracias = Thank you 
  • Lo siento = I'm heartbroken 
  • Por support = Please 
  • La cuenta = The check 
  • Como estas = How are you 
  • Muy bien y tu = Very great, and you 
  • Fuerte = solid (for requesting drinks) 
  • Cuanto cuesta = How much 
  • Cambrio = Change 
  • 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 = Uno, dos, tres, quatro, cinqo, seis, seite, ocho, nueve, diez

Pick your Bookings cautiously 
In the event that exploring and you need a little adaptability/opportunity, it's totally worthy to not book your settlement or transportation until landing at your goal. Each downtown area or transport stop has a lot of transport drivers, cabbies, visit administrators, and casa proprietors that will either endeavor to hustle you over to their administration, or can point you toward the path that will help. 

That being stated, there are a few situations where you might need to book early. On the off chance that you are hell bent on getting from indicate A B in a specific measure of time, you are ideal to book with a solid visit administrator, for example, Tours By Locals or the trustworthy transport line Viazul early. 

A valid example: When venturing from Viñales to Trinidad (two must-visit spots), I booked a taxi collectivo — think Uber pool, however without any safety belts. After a more than two hour drive from Viñales to Havana, the taxi dismantled over for us to move into an alternate vehicle. Nonetheless, this wasn't another taxi as guaranteed; it was a transport that was basically a case on wheels. Every one of the taxi riders were swindled, as Ja Rule would state, and we were altogether stuffed into this transport for the following four hours… and by four I mean seven. We needed to trust that the transport will top off with travelers. And afterward it separated and we needed to sit tight for another one. 

Told ya Cuba was testing!

Be an adaptable foodie 
In Cuba, the nourishment quality is somewhat of a bet. Indeed, you can completely locate some scrumptious pearls (look at Lamparilla 361 in Havana or La Botija in Trinidad), however the culinary scene here can come up short. 

Like this gourmet ham and bun combo I ate up while hanging tight for our new transport. 

cuba tipsHam and bun for lunch in Havana. (Kellie Paxian/Daily Hive) 

Most casas will give breakfast to visitors, and it will comprise of some assortment of organic product, buns, treats, and furthermore perhaps a toastie with ham, egg, and spread. 

cuba tipsTypical breakfast at casa in Havana. (Kellie Paxian/Daily Hive) 

The commonplace dinner at most cafés comprises of your decision of protein with rice, beans, and some root vegetables. Possibly a plantain or two in case you're fortunate. 

cuba tipsTypical supper in Cuba. (Kellie Paxian/Daily Hive) 

Cuba's culinary scene implies that veggie lovers, vegetarians, those with dietary confinements, and the individuals who truly like flavors may have a few inconveniences addressing their necessities — so being adaptable is vital! Keep in mind, it's everything part of the experience.

Adventure past Havana 
I, as well, was attracted to Cuba by the sultry coaxing of Camila Cabello warbling "oo nana." And while Havana is intriguing, stunning and appealing, the Cuban farmland offers a great deal more that you would be delinquent not to invest any energy investigating outside of its capital.

Viñales is an UNESCO World Heritage site that is a land rendition of Thailand's limestone bluff countenances. Known as the place where there is stogies, Viñales draws in guests to ride on horseback through the staggering scene and visit a tobacco homestead, espresso and rum manor, and beautiful caverns. 

Trinidad is the most beguiling old town with vivid casas, cobblestone roads, horse-drawn surreys, and salsa music booming everywhere. Only outside of the town you can hop in cascades, zipline, and skip on the shoreline. An absolute necessity, must, must visit. 

Cuba is interesting. It's alive, it's excellent, and it is testing. It's a movement experience you will always remember, and ideally, these tips will enable your adventure to be smooth and fulfilling. Be that as it may, recall, regardless of whether it's not, it's about the (rough) ride!

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