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Cuba Information and Links


 


It is very important to be aware of the fact that Cuba has two money systems: Pesos Nacionales and Pesos Convertibles. The banknotes are quite different, the words "Banco Nacional de Cuba" and "convertibles" is printed on the convertible pesos, while the words "Banco Central de Cuba" are printed on the national pesos. It is more difficult to distinguish between the coins. The official exchange rate is: 1 Peso Convertible (CUC) = 24 Pesos Nacionales (CUP) (more information). Do not bring US$, bring Canadian $ or Euro instead. There is an extra exchange fee on US$ due to the bad relations between the USA and Cuba.

One of the most common scams in Cuba is that someone wants to change money with you and either give you a very bad exchange rate, or give you Pesos Nacionales instead of Pesos Convertibles. Another common scam is to sell the famous 3 Pesos Nacionales banknote (Che Guevarra) for 1 Peso Convertible, which is 8 times its actual value. This banknote is a very nice souvenir from Cuba and it is hard to find unused notes, so you might decide to pay this price, thus also helping a Cuban person to get some extra income.

Another very common scam is that somebody asks where you are going and starts being your guide along the way to your destination, and then asking for payment afterwards.

Booking a flight to Cuba

It is impossible to book flights to Cuba or within Cuba through American websites. You may book a flight from Canada through Air Canada. If booking a flight from Mexico to Cuba please note that Mexicana.com does not accept Visa, Master Card, or American Express for flights to and from Cuba due to the US embargo against Cuba. Instead, book your Mexicana e-ticket through a Canadian or European travel agency, e.g. CheapTicketsCanada.com, OpenJet.co.uk, Opodo.co.uk, or Wideroe.no. You may also book Cubana Airline tickets through the online travel agencies listed above or directly at Cubana.

Some airlines flying to Cuba: Cubana Airlines (from several cities), Air Canada (Toronto and Montreal), Mexicana (Mexico City and Cancun), Copa Airlines (Panama), Air France (Paris), Iberia (Madrid), Air Europa (Madrid), Virgin (London), Martinair (Amsterdam), Condor (several cities in Germany), Air Jamaica, Bahamas Air, Cayman Airways, Air Caraibes (Martinique), Lan (Santiago de Chile).

Recommended Books

Lonely Planet: Cuba: A comprehensive all-round guide for Cuba.

The Rough Guide to Cuba: A extremely informative guide to Cuba providing basic facts, contact information, travel tips and more. It contains comprehensive information on all regions of Cuba.

Streetwise Cuba: Revised yearly, STREETWISE(r) is the best-selling map of CUBA, with coverage of the country in its entirety. Highways and roads are noted, and points of interest such as hotels, viewpoints, campgrounds, beaches, and fishing and diving areas are highlighted and fully indexed.

Click here for more books on Cuba!

Recommended Websites

Lonely Planet Destination Guide - Cuba: Online destination guide with information about what to see, events, transportation, money, hotels and more.

Lonely Planet - Postcards and travelers tips from Cuba: Information and tips provided by Lonely Planet readers.

Vacacionar Travel: Travel agency to Cuba, Mexico and the Caribbean offering hotels, flights, car rentals, tourist packages, and much more. Hotel prices are low compared to competitors. We personally recommend this travel agency!

Cuba Travel: The Cuban portal of tourism.

Across Cuba: Travel information about Cuba, private lodging (casas particulares), bed and breakfast.

Cuba Accommodation: Rent a private room, apartment house of villa in Cuba. Renting a room or house gives also a fantastic cultural experience because you will truly experience the reality of Cuba. You can make friends, learn Spanish, learn to dance salsa cubana, experience Cuban home cooking and Cuban nightlife. The website also offers general information about Cuba, restaurants (including private "paladares"), museums, transportation and more.

Cuba Solidarity: A website promoting friendship and solidarity with Cuba, opposing the U.S. embargo and travel ban, and Supporting normalized relations. Presents also travel information and news.

Granma: The English edition of the newspaper Granma presenting news and comments from the Cuban point of view. Recommended!

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