How To Prepare for A Trip To Cuba - The Viking Abroad
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How To Prepare for A Trip To Cuba

26 Dec How To Prepare for A Trip To Cuba

How To Prepare for A Trip To Cuba in 2017

Cuba is becoming a popular destination for people all over the world. Cuba is a country that is not easy to travel to and organise everything by yourself. Many tourists choose the easy way to go by cruise or by a tour package. My boyfriend and I went there this December and decided to organise everything ourselves. Here are some of my best tips to prepare your trip to Cuba:


When to travel

High Season: Starts in November to March with lower temperature and fewer storms. That also means prices will be higher and places will be more crowded.

Low Season: Is during  May, June, and September. Low season means lower prices, however, there are higher risks of hurricanes and some hotels and services are closed during this time. The humidity and temperature will be higher during low season. There is more storms and rain during low season.

Booking flight tickets 

Before you can book accommodation and transport in Cuba, you should first figure out what dates you will be in Cuba.  My favourite websites to book flight tickets are Skyscanner and Momondo. They will give you the best prices and you can select if you prioritise low price or shorter travel time. I recommend booking flight tickets at least 3 months before travelling.

Picture: AClub Vacations

Plan your travel itinerary

Depending on where in Cuba you want to go it is important to figure out where to go. Get used to the map of Cuba and see the distances. A good tip is to go to google maps and check out the travel distances to places you want to go.

Havana – Vinales = 3 hours

Havana – Varadero =  2 hours

Havana – Cienfuegos = 3 hours

Havana – Trinidad = 4 hours

Havana – Santa Clara = 3 hours

Havana – Camaguey = 6 hours

Havana –  Santiago = 11 hours

Havana – Baracoa = 12 hours

*These are approximately driving time using a car. The Viazul bus will take longer.

This post contains affiliate links

Deciding the destinations

I wanted to see as much as possible when we booked the trip to Cuba. After arriving and talking to our Casa Particular hosts I understood that it is not possible to see places like Viñales in only one day and Cienfuegos during lunch. We had to prioritise. We had only 10 days and decided to spend more time in Havana, Viñales and Trinidad. We dropped Varadero and Cienfuegos for this time. We understood that if we tried to cover all of those, we would spend more time in a car than experience Cuba. I recommend at least 2 nights at each place and rather go out of the touristic areas in those places to see the real Cuba. Here is a list of the most popular destinations in Cuba:


Havana is a must when you travel to Cuba! Havana has something for everyone, whether you love live music, art, history, architecture, cars, forts, and theatres. You should stay at least 3 days to fully get to explore this city. Check out colourful and the historic Habana Vieja, walk along Malecon and check out the Morro Cabña show at 9 pm at the fortress Morro, also don’t forget to check out the old abandoned mansions in Vedado!


Valle de Viñales is a great escape from the busy cities. The valley is perfect for horse riding and checking out the tobacco farms. Viñales is also great for biking to the very interesting Mural de PreHistoria.


Varadero is an important choice for beach lovers. However, be aware that you will probably not get the experience you want unless you are staying at a resort. The ocean outside Varadero is rough and at times it can be quite windy. We decided to skip Varadero after asking Cubans how it is at the time we were travelling. We went to Playa Ancon instead.


If you love colourful buildings this is the perfect place for you. This small colonial town is charming and you feel like you are in a town that is still in the 1850´s. This town has great restaurants and makes sure to check out Casa De La Musica after 10 pm! Few minutes ride outside of Trinidad you can relax at the beach Playa Ancon, which is a much better alternative than Varadero, it is calm, not as many tourists and fewer sellers!


Cienfuegos is Cuba´s Paris. The city is influenced by the French colonisers. This city is a must if you love architecture and Cienfuegos earned UNESCO world heritage site in 2005. This city also has a beautiful and natural bay. If you have time make sure to visit the spectacular El Nicho outside of Cienfuegos.

Santa Clara

If you are interested in Che Guevara, Santa Clara is a must for you. Che Guevara, whose liberating of Santa Clara in December 1958 marked the end of the Batista regime. You can check out the Che Guevara Mausoleum and other monuments related to the historic events. Santa Clara is also known for having a great nightlife.


Camaguey is known for beautiful Catholic churches and cathedrals and architecture. Camaguey has a history of being attacked by pirates and therefore it has labyrinthic streets as a defence strategy.


Santiago is the largest city and Cuba and its the cultural capital of Cuba. Santiago is the birthplace for many famous poets, musicians and salsa dancers. If you travel to Cuba in July, do not miss the carnival!


The tropical and lush environment in Baracoa is a magic place to relax and spend a few days and enjoy some white chocolate. Baracoa is a good place to escape the big tourist crowds and do hiking among the beautiful landscape.

Source: Lonely Planet

Suggested itineraries

7 days:

Havana 2 days

Viñales 3 days

Havana 2 days

10 days:

Havana 2 days

Viñales 2 days

Cienfuegos 1 day

Trinidad 3 days

Havana 2 days

14 days:

Havana 3 days

Viñales 2 days

Santa Clara 2 days

Cienfuegos 2 days

Trinidad 3 days

Havana 2 days

18 days:

Havana 2 days

Viñales 2 days

Cienfuegos 2 days

Trinidad 2 days

Santa Clara 2 days

Camaguey 2 days

Santiago  2 days

Baracoa 2 days

Havana 2 days

Resources you should use in Cuba

Lonely Planet Cuba (Travel Guide)

I don’t know what we would have done without the Lonely Planet Cuba book! It seriously was a life-saver. It answers all your questions about everything to prepare for your trip to Cuba. It tells you what to expect, what to see, eat, and do in the places you want to go and with a little description about each place.

Know you won’t have internet access everywhere in Cuba. Only at some specific places like parks etc and it is expensive and shit. You can’t just use google map or search for something on TripAdvisor. This book has done all the research for you. The book also has a detailed map of Havana, suburbs of Havana and also map of all of the other destinations. It also has contact details to recommended Casa Particulares! So make sure you get this book and buy it a few months before, so you can read through it and prepare yourself for the trip. This book will save you a lot of time and stress while you are in Cuba as well. You can get the book here: Lonely Planet Cuba (Travel Guide)

Map.Me App 

This is like Google Maps just offline.
Download the Map.Me and type in Cuba and make sure to download the map before you go! This makes you be able to zoom in where you are and find the destination you need.  We also used this while a taxi driver didn’t know the direction, so it is pretty helpful when Google Maps is not available.


I can’t say this enough! Pinterest helped me so much in the search of all of my answers about Cuba. I used Pinterest before buying the Lonely Planet book, which is ok if you don’t want to spend the money for the book. However, Pinterest also has a lot of the same information about Cuba and you usually need to read through the blog post to find what you are looking for. So, I advise getting the Cuba Lonely Planet book if you can. With Pinterest, you can get some ideas on how people spend their trip in Cuba and their personal experiences as well, which is pretty handy. I have a large Cuba board on Pinterest that you can look through. 


One month before you go:

Visa / Tourist Card

You need a tourist card or Visa to be able to enter Cuba. Many flight companies offer you to pay for the tourist card at the same time as check in! Remember to keep the second part, you need to deliver that when you leave Cuba. If you are unsure if you need a visa or tourist card, first call the flight company and they will let you know.  Here is a list of countries and if you need a visa and how long it will last.


If you want to stay at Hotels or resort in Varadero you need to book very early. It is are usually full during high season. Same with Airbnb, the best get booked at least a month before. We were lucky to get to book our Airbnb in Havana just a week before.

We stayed at Mylena and Otto. We had an amazing stay. They were so welcoming, helping us out where to go and also tips about out itinerary. Their breakfast was amazing. Vedado is also a great place to stay in Havana where it is quieter than for example Habana Vieja. We didn’t book anything else than our 2 days Airbnb in Havana and we asked our hosts if they know someone in Viñales and they booked the casa particular for us there. When they set you up for the next Casa Particular they get 5 CUC of the payment there every night.

Casa Particular

Casa particular is a big deal in Cuba. It is also well controlled and safe. Best of all it is cheaper and you get an authentic experience and stay with Cubans at their home. You will get your own room, usually with an own bathroom as well.

You can send a direct email to the casa particular or book from these websites. mycasaparticular,  casaparticularcuba,  or cubaparticular  (You should do this some weeks before to be sure you get a reply in time) I tried to this a few days before and they didn’t answer because as you know, Cubans have limited internet access and they might not be able to answer as soon as possible.


There are buses that go from city to city in Cuba. It is called Viazul  You can book bus tickets online, but the booking closes a week before the date you want to travel, so you should book it around 2 weeks before you go. Viazul is often full during high season. If you are not able to book 2 weeks before, you need to go to the bus station and get the tickets at least two days before. If you are travelling by that bus on other dates you should just get all of the tickets at the same time. Be aware that the Viazul bus station is quite far from central Havana so you need to take a taxi there, that could cost you around 10CUC.

We decided to not take the Viazul bus because it would cost us more to take the taxi to and from the bus station. We talked to our Casa Particular hosts and they always knew a Taxi Colectivo driver. Taxi Colectivo is a taxi which is usually a modern car and you share it with people that are going the same way.

The taxi colectivo turned out to be cheaper and faster for us. We came to Trinidad 2 hours faster than the Viazul bus would have done. Make sure to ask to get a modern car, even though it is cool to sit in the old classic ones, they are very slow and not reliable.  You don’t have to book taxi colectivo before a few days before you go, you can ask your hosts about booking one for you.

I don’t recommend to drive by yourself, as the rental cars are super expensive it is actually cheaper to get a taxi for the day than a rental car. Don’t expect to be able to drive at night, it is completely dark on many roads and you will not know if you hit something. Viazul buses can end their trip at night, but will not start at night. If you order a Taxi colectivo, they will mostly start driving in the morning, if you order it from your Casa Particular or Hotel.


One Week before you go:

Start packing 

I am so glad I started packing early. You don’t want to miss out of bringing important stuff because it can be very hard to buy in Cuba. Things you should consider bringing: soap bars/liquid soap, tissues, pads and tampons, sunscreen, sunglasses, toothpaste and toothbrush, chargers, antibacterial, your favourite snacks and adapters. The power points are American, but they mostly use the ones with only two holes in it. It is not easy to find these products in Cuba, and if you do it is not cheap, so save yourself time and effort and bring all necessities and toiletries for the trip.

Related: Hottest travel items for 2017

Get travel insurance

For travelling to Cuba you need a valid travel insurance. We didn’t get asked to show it, but it is required to have it. I recommend  World Nomads . With World Nomads you can have the travel insurance for a short period of time and you need to book it at least three days before departure. You can get a price by filling in the form under. 


Print everything

Be prepared and have all bookings printed. Flight tickets, accommodation, transport, and travel insurance paper.

Double check bookings, transport times and accommodation

If you got to book Casa Particular or a taxi remember to ask for name, address and picture of the house (car), there are scammers that can lead you to the wrong house.

Get in contact Airbnb or Casa Particular

Get a confirmation that you are coming and that you have got the right information. Make sure to have the address of the casa written down at  Havana airport, they can ask you about details.


Things to be aware of when you travel to Cuba

  • Be prepared to spend hours at the airport on arrival and departure. Especially in Havana. They can stop you and ask very detailed questions. I recommend to check in 3 hours before your flight from Cuba. Be sure to keep your part of the tourist card!
  • It is a fine for bringing paintings out of Cuba. I needed to pay 3 CUC for bringing one.
  • Don’t bring US dollars to Cuba it is a total 13% tax and penalty to exchange that. Euro or Canadian dollars have a better rate.
  • You only need CUC. There are two currencies in Cuba. CUP is governmental and you don’t really need it. I wouldn’t recommend changing more than 10 CUP, you can use CUP at the cinema, markets and Coppelia ice cream.  It will be cheaper, however, tourists mostly get charged in CUC.
  • Eat breakfast at the Casa Particular – it is not easy to find breakfast in Cuba especially not before 9 am, except at hotels. Breakfast at casa particular will be around 5 CUC per person.
  • Be prepared for waiting a looong time in lines at banks and CADECA to exchange money. Remember to bring your passport for exchanging money.
  • Don’t be surprised that you need to pay a few cents to go to the toilet, even inside restaurants.
  • Be aware of scammers. People can stop you on the street and try to exchange money with them, don’t do this, they can give you invalid money back. There are also many that can try to sell you fake cigars or bring you to the wrong Casa Particular. Even though they are annoying they will not touch you or be aggressive.

Are you travelling to Cuba? Tell me about your plans 🙂 Or have you been there and have some tips I missed?


Must haves for travelling to Cuba





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  • Anastasia
    Posted at 15:57h, 26 December Reply

    Thank you for the detailed itinerary – I’ve been planning a trip to Cuba for ages and it would be extremely useful! I also absolutely loved the pictures!

    • thevikingabroad
      Posted at 16:14h, 26 December Reply

      Awesome! Happy you liked it. You will love Cuba! 🙂

  • Ada
    Posted at 16:19h, 26 December Reply

    wow! I didnt realised it might be so difficult to travel there! Especially with internet, bringing dollars and all this questions at the airport! Also I didnt realised that there is so many amazing places to see! I am planning trip to Cuba next year, end of September, beggining of October. I am a bit worry about the weather conditions but that the only time I can go. This is a great post ! I am glad I found it! Am saving it for when I am gonna plan my trip 🙂

    • thevikingabroad
      Posted at 16:39h, 26 December Reply

      Then you have plenty of time to save and plan 😀 I am sure it will be ok to travel around that time, maybe just bring rainboots and rainjacket, umbrella etc. It will be less people at that time as well, which is great! 🙂

  • Veronica Leirvaag
    Posted at 16:22h, 26 December Reply

    I really want to go there! Thanks for sharing 😊

  • Divine Mwimba
    Posted at 16:57h, 26 December Reply

    I have gone to other locations in terms of destination areas but never Cuba. I should definitely consider this for my next trip!

    • thevikingabroad
      Posted at 17:23h, 26 December Reply

      Yeah you should, It is totally different from anywhere else in the world 🙂

  • My Adventure Passport
    Posted at 22:03h, 26 December Reply

    This is super helpful, I can’t wait to go to Cuba and am definitely saving this blog for reference!!! 😀

  • Ali
    Posted at 23:01h, 26 December Reply

    Great post! I’m fascinated by Cuba and definitely want to travel there some day.

  • Travel Pockets (Crystal)
    Posted at 23:03h, 26 December Reply

    Great tips! We are thinking about going to Cuba in April 2017, but haven’t made a commitment yet. Part of me is still a little afraid to make this trip, but I know if I want to go, I have to do it now! What was the most difficult thing you had to deal with in Cuba?

    • thevikingabroad
      Posted at 21:31h, 27 December Reply

      Hi Crystal! You should not be afraid to go. Cuba is very safe. But it is very important to be prepared. The hardest was how the system worked, all the waiting at banks, airport and the internet. And it was actually hard to find breakfast, so it is best to eat that at the casa particular or hotel. It is challenging to travel there and not all would go as you planned, but you will be safe and have a great time. Cuba is definitely worth the trip, it will challenge you in so many ways 🙂

  • ilse@thelifeinlimbo
    Posted at 07:33h, 27 December Reply

    Beautiful, comprehensive post! Thank you for taking the time to put all this together!

  • blair villanueva
    Posted at 08:24h, 27 December Reply

    Cuba is another place I would love to visit someday. Its food, music and unique culture are very interesting. Plus its colorful houses that are instagrammable!

    • thevikingabroad
      Posted at 10:55h, 27 December Reply

      Yes, you should 🙂 Cuba is perfect for instagram 😀 Especially the city Trinidad 🙂

  • Charlotte
    Posted at 10:48h, 27 December Reply

    Great post! I haven’t been to Cuba since early 2010, so I’m thinking of doing another trip. Can’t wait to see if it has changed a lot or is still the same! 🙂

    • thevikingabroad
      Posted at 10:55h, 27 December Reply

      That is awesome! I am sure it has change a little. More tourists maybe 🙂

  • thevikingabroad
    Posted at 10:57h, 27 December Reply

    Thank you 😀

  • Carola
    Posted at 10:58h, 27 December Reply

    I would love to visit Cuba. A friend of mine has been there last year. And she thought it was amazing. I loved hearing her stories. I love it that you wrote down the destinations. It makes it so much easier to choose and plan! Cienfuegos sounds great. The 14 day trip looks awesome. Go to know which things I should arrange before going!

    • thevikingabroad
      Posted at 21:43h, 27 December Reply

      You should definitely visit! I want to go back soon 🙂 It was a challenge to stay in Cuba for 10 days on a budget. It really changes you. Thanks for commenting 🙂

  • Ree love30
    Posted at 11:31h, 28 December Reply

    I absolutely love these photos! The colours of the buildings are just beautiful. This is weird because we are planning on either going to Sri Lanka or Cuba next year! I’m particular I really want to go to Trinidad so this post has come at a great time. Will save it to look through again when we decide on the destination. Ree Love30

    • thevikingabroad
      Posted at 16:27h, 28 December Reply

      Thank you so much! That is awesome! I would love to go to Sri Lanka. They are both very unique countries I think. thank you 😀

  • Andrew Edie
    Posted at 14:29h, 28 December Reply

    Great post! Appreciate the insight as Im leaving for Cuba in 2 days!

    The only thing I am still concerned about is getting into the country. What was the reason you gave for your travel into Cuba? Did they question any of it? Is it really a big deal?

    Also how much money do you reccomend bringing for 1 week of travel?


    • thevikingabroad
      Posted at 15:50h, 28 December Reply

      Thank you! I didn’t get asked the reason to get in. But, we got picked and asked many questions and said I am a blogger and photographer. They might ask if you are from the US, but I have heard people just saying they are there to help Cubans, or as a journalist. I just said I had my own website as well and they can ask to get the address. They might ask you many questions, but it is a routine. It depends how much you spend, but if you bring 1000 euro then you are safe, just don’t exchange all to CUC right away in Cuba, it is very expensive to change back and you cant bring more than 200CUC outside of Cuba. Hope that helps! Happy Travels 🙂

  • Meghan Ramsey
    Posted at 23:13h, 28 December Reply

    Very helpful tips. Cuba is on my list for the next few years. Sad to say I probably won’t make it there this year! Thanks for the insight.

  • Sauumye
    Posted at 15:20h, 29 December Reply

    Wow!! I have wanted to visit Cuba ever since I saw it in a fashion show by Chanel. It’s so mesmerising. Love the guide you have put together. Thanks.

  • Fenrile
    Posted at 10:11h, 30 December Reply

    Wow, this is post is detailed and so useful. I always wanted to visit cuba and try on their cigars Haha. But we really are thinking about visiting Cuba with my girlfriend. I’ll definitely bookmark your article because between the itineraries, tourist card, or the process in the airport etc, all the information you gave is really useful.

    • thevikingabroad
      Posted at 10:49h, 30 December Reply

      Thank you! You would go to Pinar Del Rio and Vinales 🙂 You should definitely go!

  • thevikingabroad
    Posted at 23:04h, 02 January Reply

    That is awesome! Where did you stay ? 🙂 Would you go back?

  • Melanie Trethowan
    Posted at 19:59h, 12 January Reply

    Thanks for your insights into Cuba. It seems to be one of those undiscovered destinations that is about to be discovered big time!

  • Halef
    Posted at 21:44h, 12 January Reply

    Yup, definitely we will be in Cuba this year. We will mainly focus on Scuba Diving on the island, so hopefully I will be able to find more information while researching and planning the trip.

    Great post on the Cuban recap! Travel safe!

    • thevikingabroad
      Posted at 00:38h, 13 January Reply

      Great! I didn’t scuba dive there. But there are some great locations for that in Cuba for sure ! Thank you 🙂

  • thevikingabroad
    Posted at 14:11h, 14 January Reply

    Thank you! That is awesome 🙂 I am sure you will love Cuba. It is a place you need to plan a lot beforehand though 🙂

  • Candy
    Posted at 23:20h, 19 January Reply

    This was such a great read. I saw The Lonely Planet book being suggested on a few other sites, so it seems to be the best book out there 🙂

    • thevikingabroad
      Posted at 10:30h, 20 January Reply

      Thank you ! Yes, it is a must have in Cuba 🙂

  • Edith & Juan
    Posted at 21:19h, 20 January Reply

    This was really helpful to read. This is definitely one of the places we most want to visit. Hopefully soon. 🙂

  • Julia
    Posted at 05:47h, 23 January Reply

    Hi….. Ioved your post. Lots of tips that I’m sure I will put to use when I go to Cuba in April. I have a question about CUC. I plan on bringing euros but I’m not sure how much to take for a 10 trip to Cuba? U.S issued cards don’t work in Cuba so I will have to bring enough cash meals and excursions.

    • thevikingabroad
      Posted at 11:04h, 23 January Reply

      Hi, this depends on how long you will stay. I will maybe bring 1000 euros for 1 week, and don’t exchange everything to CUC at once 🙂 you can go to banks or CADECA to change in Cuba. I would bring the card as well, because some places it is possible to take out for Americans, it doesn’t hurt to bring it:)

  • Neville
    Posted at 17:04h, 30 January Reply

    I think this is one of the so much vital info for me.

    And i am glad studying your article. However should commentary on some
    general issues, The website taste is perfect, the articles is actually nice : D.
    Just right task, cheers

  • Julianette Casanova
    Posted at 21:14h, 01 February Reply

    This was so helpful! I am going with my family for exactly 14 days! Now I know where to begin my planning. I am a bit worried about carrying so much money around for 14 days. I’m also pretty worried about what to check off as our reason for travel on the Visa. I was thinking educational, or people to people but I keep getting mixed answers.

    • thevikingabroad
      Posted at 10:05h, 02 February Reply

      Thank you 😀 That is awesome, the reason could be just being a tourist and help out or journalism if you have a blog. Carrying that much money shouldn’t be a problem, Cuba is very very safe and if you stay at Airbnb they might have a safe as well 🙂 Thank you for stopping by and have fun in Cuba 🙂

  • Jane
    Posted at 07:53h, 07 February Reply

    Hello, I enjy readding threough your article post.

    I wated to wrrite a ligtle comment too suppoort you.

  • Janet
    Posted at 10:01h, 14 February Reply

    Great post! I clicked on your post from Pinterest as I’m going there on Saturday – great tips!

    • thevikingabroad
      Posted at 10:53h, 14 February Reply

      That is awesome 🙂 You will love it 😀 hope this post helps. Thank you so much for stopping by 🙂

  • rita
    Posted at 16:27h, 19 March Reply

    does us citizens need a visa.. is it bettet to change dollars to cuc in the us before tavel?

    • thevikingabroad
      Posted at 10:34h, 20 March Reply

      I think you need a visa or at least a travel card, you can contact your flight company and ask. I don’t think you can change that in US so I will change a little bit at the airport and at a CADECA in Cuba 🙂

  • Betty
    Posted at 15:09h, 14 April Reply

    Hi there,
    Thanks a lot for the detailed information. I am planning to g to Cuba this year around august-november. Verry nervous in a good way. Hope to be there for at least 2 weeks or a bit more.
    I will for sure buy the guide you are sugessting for more information over the cities. Also verry curious at the stay in the casas.

    • thevikingabroad
      Posted at 16:10h, 14 April Reply

      Hey, happy to help. As far as I know that is low season there it could rain a lot. but less tourists 😀 Good luck 😀

  • Xamariam Algarin
    Posted at 10:08h, 18 April Reply

    Hola! Con el favor de Dios, estaré viajando en Julio a Cuba. Serían 11 días. Me gustó mucho el reportaje y definitivamente me ayudara. Tengo varias dudas en cuanto al visado, cuáles son las aerolíneas que te incluyen la visa? Que más se necesita para tener la visa a Cuba? Qué tipo de visa es la que se necesita? Gracias por la ayuda.

    • thevikingabroad
      Posted at 18:54h, 19 April Reply

      Hola Xamariam. Creo que depende de qué país eres tu, pero para nosotros la misma aerolínea el momento de hacer el Check In en el aeropuerto en Quito Ecuador nos emitió el Permiso de Turismo que tuvo un costo de alrededor de 20 USD. Nosotros volamos con la aerolínea Copa pero entiendo que todas las aerolíneas que vuelan a Cuba pueden emitir el mismo permiso. Yo te recomiendo que hables con la aerolínea que te interesa viajar y les preguntes antes de comprar el pasaje. Cuba te va a encantar, ¡es una tierra hermosa!

  • Valérie
    Posted at 09:02h, 28 April Reply

    Great post! It confirms what we were thinking for our trip to Cuba in July. Since it will be during Cuban’s vacation we were wondering if we should book all the casa particulares in advance.. Any tip for us?

    • thevikingabroad
      Posted at 09:14h, 28 April Reply

      Hi. you can book casa particulaers in advance. The fancy ones that are more like airbnb get booked out early. Airbnb is working in Cuba too. I would at least book the first couple of days there. July should be easier, it is low season. So I am sure you will find some when you are there too 🙂 Hope it helps 🙂

  • Valérie
    Posted at 07:09h, 29 April Reply

    Yes thank you! Your post got me even more excited for my trip! 😊

  • Brooke Carbon
    Posted at 18:45h, 06 May Reply

    Traveling by cruise ship in July, just one days stay. Where do you give your gifts of soap etc. I’ve been told not to do it on the street, or to give all of it to one person as it won’t be distributed. Any suggestions?
    Thank you

    • thevikingabroad
      Posted at 11:43h, 08 May Reply

      They will ask you when you get off the cruise or in the streets 🙂

  • EllenM
    Posted at 12:16h, 20 May Reply

    Great information. I’m going to Cuba with Road Scholar (formerly Elder Hostel). I plan to exchange my US$ at a bank near where I live. Going to get the book you recommended. Don’t look forward to not having internet/WiFi.

  • thevikingabroad
    Posted at 16:30h, 04 June Reply

    oh thank you so much 😀 xx

  • Stephanie
    Posted at 17:06h, 07 June Reply

    Me and my boyfriend are going in november 2017!
    We are also planning it all by ourselves.
    Very excited.
    Your tips are very welcome.
    Thank You!!!

  • Simon
    Posted at 18:06h, 25 June Reply

    Hi, thank you for all of the amazing detailed info! My question is regarding travel insurance. I am traveling on Alaska Airlines and they say that $25 of each fare goes to cover insurance. They do not provide an insurance card and I cannot seem to reach anyone at Alaska to find out how to print this info out. Heard of this? Any ideas? Thank you!

    • thevikingabroad
      Posted at 04:20h, 26 June Reply

      Hey :), thank you 😀 That might only cover the actual trip travelling to Cuba. If you get a policy number and it says how many days it covers it should cover the whole trip. I would ask them. I recommend World Nomad Travel insurance. They usually do not ask to see the insurance paper at the airport, but you could have a hard time if you get asked and don’t have it. Thank you for stopping by 🙂

  • Julian
    Posted at 23:31h, 27 June Reply

    Hi there, your post was amazing, I trully love to plan all by myself, like you did, and in Cuba thats not so easy… Your tips about how much money to bring its very usefull. At least something worked already very good, for me, accommodation, through, I founded accommodation in Havana, Vinnales, Trinidad, Cienfuegos and Remedios, and the support of this website was always very helpful. Thanks again, tips for Transportation_?

    • thevikingabroad
      Posted at 11:48h, 28 June Reply

      that is awesome. For transportation, we mostly used taxi colectivo which we booked through our hosts. It is pretty good as long as you get a newer car. There are also buses, they are called viazul and you can book it online in a week in advance.

  • Jasmin Nieles
    Posted at 19:45h, 02 September Reply

    Thank you so much for this insiteful post! I will be going to Cuba in November for just 6 days and would like to do as much as possible, this was a great help. How is cell service there? I have T-Mobile, how can you contact anyone as far as drivers, hosts at your casa particular?

    • thevikingabroad
      Posted at 15:35h, 03 September Reply

      I doubt you will have service with a foreign plan. They have telephone boxes and I would do all the planning before you get to Cuba. You can probably borrow a phone from the first casa particular you stay at, make sure to save all the numbers. If you don’t have it all planned you can get help from the first casa particular and make them call and book drivers and hosts for you. Many of them use emails at times, but do that at least a week before as the internet is very limited there and they might not check every day.

  • Kristine Heimstad
    Posted at 13:47h, 29 September Reply

    Hei! Takk for nyttig informasjon om Cuba. Jeg planlegger en reise i november men lurer på om jeg kan fly direkte fra USA til Cuba? Jeg har lest så mye forskjellig angående reiserestriksjonene..

    • thevikingabroad
      Posted at 15:07h, 29 September Reply

      Hei, Ja det er billigere billetter fra Miami siden det er nærme. Det er jo ikke vansklig å reise til Cuba for Nordmenn, men fra USA kan det hende du må undersøke litt angående reglene. Jeg er litt usikker siden Trump har gjort endringer de siste tiden. Anbefaler å sjekke på Skyscanner

  • chloe
    Posted at 05:26h, 05 October Reply

    I loved your post. Amazing, Loved the way you explain it and that is exactly what we want to do. We want to fly from Spain Do you think we are too late to book a Flight ticket. is it compulsory to take a travel insurance? Would it be a good idea to go to a casa particular and then travel and stay to another airbnb? Do you think it is to late to travel at the end of December?
    Thank you

    • thevikingabroad
      Posted at 09:16h, 05 October Reply

      I don’t think it is too late to buy the ticket for December no 🙂 They usually don’t check if you have travel insurance, but if they do at the airport it is hard to fix. I recommend world nomads travel insurance 🙂 It is hard to find casa particular online, but many of them are registered on Airbnb, so the best is to get an Airbnb for the first days. hope that helps 🙂

  • Patricia Ramirez
    Posted at 12:01h, 13 October Reply

    Your post was so helpful for me! I’m going to Cuba next month and I had a lot of questions. How much money did you spend there? Where did you change your money? Thank you!!

    • thevikingabroad
      Posted at 18:15h, 13 October Reply

      We didn’t spend more than 1000 dollars. We changed first at the Airbnb and then at a CADECA at a hotel in Havana and then at the bank. The banks usually have huge lines and takes forever.

  • Autumn Fiske
    Posted at 20:09h, 13 November Reply

    Thanks for the great content! I am looking forward to going to Cuba and feel a bit more prepared. I’ll be staying at Casa Particulares to get to know the locals better.

    • thevikingabroad
      Posted at 22:28h, 13 November Reply

      That is amazing. I am sure you will have a blast 😀

  • Anna Pauliina Paananen
    Posted at 21:29h, 30 November Reply

    Cuba is sooooo on my list. I’m also a huge Che Guevara fan. Really would like to go soon before it changes too much. Good tips, thank you!

    • thevikingabroad
      Posted at 21:40h, 30 November Reply

      Hope you get to go to Cuba. Thank you for stopping by my blog 😀

  • Nina
    Posted at 16:45h, 10 December Reply


    I am flying to Havana and wanted to make a trip to Cienfuegos – how reliable are the taxi colectivo and how much would that cost?

    • thevikingabroad
      Posted at 17:04h, 10 December Reply

      It depends on how you get the taxi colectivo. I would ask the place you stay at, Casa Particulares usually know drivers and will give you a good deal. I don’t think it will be more than 20 CUC if there is a full car. 🙂

  • Nina
    Posted at 06:42h, 12 December Reply

    are they going rather regularly? So let’s say I plan to travel on a certain day around x time, should that work?

    • thevikingabroad
      Posted at 09:31h, 13 December Reply

      Yes, everyday. Usually in the morning. Good idea to get it book 2 days before 😀

  • sophia
    Posted at 00:41h, 13 March Reply

    Hi! I am going end of April, can I just rock up to a casa and not have to book anything before I leave the US? I love to dance bachata…. can I just walk around and find a place to dance? When would you suggest I go/walk back to my casa at night, being a single female?

    • thevikingabroad
      Posted at 10:37h, 23 April Reply

      Hi, yes, you can, April is not the busiest time. But I recommend having the first stay booked and then you will be fine the rest of the trip, people always know other people with casas 😀 There are a lot of dance places, and you can just go there. Cuba is really safe but there could be some cat calling, unfortunately.

  • Primoz
    Posted at 09:45h, 08 December Reply

    We went to Cuba this summer. First landed in Havana and then after 3 days headed south to Cienfuegos, El Nicho, Trinidad and then to Varadero as the kids wanted to swim. Was a great experience, and we are planning to return.

    • thevikingabroad
      Posted at 13:03h, 08 December Reply

      That is awesome! I would love to go back too 🙂

  • Tooba Shah
    Posted at 13:02h, 13 April Reply

    Hi, this is really helpful. I read a BBC article on Cuba and decided to plan it for next year since right now the world is going through a crisis. Stay safe by the way. 🙂
    I’m based in Pakistan and hopefully can plan my trip well. Thank you for sharing.

    • thevikingabroad
      Posted at 15:35h, 13 April Reply

      Thank you for stopping by! You should go to Cuba for sure, when it is safe to travel again! 🙂 Stay safe 🙂

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