Yes there are. Coral reefs that almost rise right out of the sea surround the entire island and make it a paradise for divers and snorkellers. The island itself consists of an elongated mountain chain with its base in the depths of the Caribbean. One of the world’s deepest sea troughs, at 7243 metres, is located 60 km off the coast of Santiago de Cuba. The largest and most stunning beaches are situated in the north, with Varadero beach being the best of them all.
Yes you can pre book a transfer (arrival only) and extra nights with Shoestring.You can add these on to your booking form.
You are responsible for having a valid passport and visa when you travel. British passport holders currently require a tourist card for Cuba but please check here for up to date information. Please check your nearest embassy if you need a visa/tourist card. Make sure you inquire at least a month before departure if you need a visa so you do not run into time problems.
The international access code for Cuba is +53. The outgoing code is 119 followed by the relevant country code.The city code for Havana is (0)7. Mobile phone companies have roaming agreements with many international mobile phone companies, but not the United States. A GSM network covers most main towns, and cell phones are available for rent. Public telephones are widely available for domestic as well as international calls, but international calls are expensive. Pre-paid phone cards are also available. Internet cafes are located in the main towns and cities.
If you book alone you will share your room with a fellow traveller ( from the same sex when possible ) unless you have booked a single room.
Cuba is a safe country, where relatively few crimes occur. Of course, it is not wise to walk down alleys on your own in old-town Havana in the middle of the night. Pickpocketting occurs and occasionally there are cases involving camera thieves on mopeds. Pickpockets are relatively easy to fend off. Carry your money and valuables under your clothes or leave them in the hotel safe. If you carry valuables with you, wear your backpack on your front. Carry your camera on your chest tied to a solid belt. Do not show off jewellery and expensive watches. If you use your common sense and stay alert, you really shouldn’t have any problems.
In Cuba, they celebrate the following public holidays and festivals: 1st January Liberation Day, 2nd January Victory of Armed Forces, 1st May Labour Day, 20th May Independence Day, 25-27th July Days of Rebelliousness, 10th October Anniversary of the beginning of the War of Independence in 1868, 25th December Christmas Day.
Every year in July, the Carnival of Santiago de Cuba is taking place. The carnival commemorates the '26th of July Movement' but parades and festivities with a religious background are also celebrated. You may be able to enjoy 'Carnival' in the most swinging and exciting city in Cuba during one of our tours!
Please click here to check what voltage and plugs are in use in Cuba. You might also like to consider taking a universal electrical adaptor.
The official currency is the Cuban Peso (CUP), divided into 100 centavos. However, the 'tourist' currency is the Peso Convertible (CUC), which replaces the US Dollar as currency in tourist-related establishments such as hotels, restaurants and so-called 'dollar shops'. US Dollars are no longer accepted as payment, and a 10% commission is charged to exchange them. The CUC is almost equal in value to the US Dollar. Some places only accept Cuban pesos and others only Pesos Convertible (usually tourist related establishments). Money should only be changed at official exchange bureaux or banks to avoid scams confusing the two currencies. Visa and MasterCard are generally accepted in major destinations as long as they haven't been issued by a US bank. Diners Club has limited acceptance and American Express is not accepted anywhere on the island.
Please check the world clock in order to find out the exact time difference.
Bring thin clothing. For the evening, a closed neck long-sleeved T-shirt or a thin cotton roll neck sweater is recommended to protect against mosquitoes. Also bring a sweater and a waterproof jacket. Do not forget an umbrella as protection against rain and too much sun. For footwear, bring a pair of good-quality, worn-in walking shoes and flip-flops or sandals. Also bring sunglasses, suncream, toiletries, a travellers’ health kit, hat/scarf, camera, spare batteries, pocket knife, lighter, a small stock of non-perishable snacks and sweets, an alarm clock, writing materials (there is a shortage of paper in Cuba), books, passport with valid visa, sufficient money, photocopies of passport, visa and travel insurance, your flight ticket(s), travel insurance details including alarm number, important addresses and a good travel guide.
You would ideally pack all your stuff into a weekend bag or backpack, rather than a solid suitcase, as they are unwieldy and take up too much space. A small backpack or shoulder bag is best for carrying hand luggage.
If you want to take a travel guide or map, we suggest you click on Lonely Planet