Traveling to Cuba isn’t like traveling to any other country in the world. You might have heard about Cuba, probably for all the wrong reasons. But when you break it down to the core, it is one of the most interesting places to visit in the world. While every country in the world is unique for something, Cuba has a lot of things going for itself.
You might know it for its party-like culture, or because you might have seen pictures of Fidel Castro and stories of how he fought to restore order in the country, or due to its idiosyncratic culture influenced by the decades of US embargo. Despite everything that has been playing for and against Cuba, it has been a go-to destination for tourists all around the world. So, before you make up your mind about visiting Cuba, here are four essential things you must know.
Visas and Other Documents
If you are going on a tour to Cuba by taking a package holiday, the chances are that your travel agent might have already covered your travel documents. However, if you are taking an independent trip, you are going to apply for the visa yourself. You can easily do so online. All you have to do is to go over to www.visacuba-online.com and get a tourist card visa for Cuba. The process normally takes up to five working days, and the visa gets directly sent to the applicant through mail to his address.
The next thing that you must keep an eye on when in Cuba is your money. Interestingly, Cuba has two types of currencies, one of which is reserved for tourists. The Cuban Peso is what the locals usually use, and the Cuban Convertible Peso or CUC is the currency available for the visitors. However, you must brace yourself for some steep withdrawal rates if you are in the country. With the lack of atm around the country, it becomes very hard for you to keep your money safe. So, that best thing to do is to withdraw as much money as you can, while you can, and keep it in a safe place.
Not being surrounded by Wi-Fi every second of the day really makes you frustrated, and I am afraid if you are too reliant on the internet, you might find Cuba to be very daunting. While most of the country has caught up with the modernity of the current world, there are still some parts that remain quite antique. Wi-Fi is only available in certain parts, and you will be charged for it. So, it suggests you do your research while you are already at home so that you don’t face many inconveniences.
Be Prepared for Crowds
Despite everything that is going against Cuba, it is still one of the most visited countries in the world and right so. It has become a go-to travel destination for its beautiful islands and the lively lifestyle of people. As so many people visit Cuba every year, if you think that you are going to see empty streets and cherish the local culture, you are in for another thought. The best thing to do when in Cuba is to go with the flow and enjoy it to the fullest.
Get Your Accommodation Booked in Advance
Be it Cuba or be it any other travel destination, you need to make sure that you book as many things in advance you can. Accommodation is something that makes or breaks your entire trip. Therefore, it only makes sense that you book the place you are going to stay in Cuba even before you go there. If you are traveling with a tourist company, even then, you have to make sure that the accommodation that they are providing is comfortable enough for you. If it is not, ask them to make changes according to your requirements.
You May Struggle With Stores and Supplies
Unlike many companies in the world, Cuba doesn’t have stores in every corner of the street. If you think that you just go out of your hotel and get all the supplies you want, then you might have to hold that thought because the chance is that you may have to go to the main market. So, make sure that you are stocked with all the supplies that you need before you come back to your hotel. It will save you from a lot of trouble that you may have to face due to the shortage of supplies.
Always Have Hard Cash with You When in Cuba
You may think that you have enough money to travel to Cuba and go shopping because your cards are loaded with money. That’s where you are wrong. Always remember that if you are out in Cuba, and you don’t have hard cash with you, it means that you don’t have money with you at all. Apart from having hard cash, you also need to have a Visa card with you because that is what is going to help you there. So, if you haven’t got enough cash converted, do it now if you don’t want to face any trouble regarding money.
Cuba is Very Safe Even at Night
Many tourists are paranoid when it comes to traveling and exploring the city they are staying in at night. However, you don’t have to worry about it if you are staying in Cuba. It is because the country is very safe for tourists. You can explore and enjoy any part of the city you are staying in at the time of the day or night without worrying about your safety.
Think Before You Get Off the Main Tourist Trail
If you are visiting Cuba with a tourist company, then you have to know that getting off the main tourist trail will cost you a lot of money. It may disturb the budget that you have planned for your trip. Therefore, it is advised that you stick to the places that the company is taking you as long as you are not completely sure about what you are doing.