Who would'nt want to visit this swinging country in the Caribbean Sea? When you think of Cuba, you think of salsa, cigars and rum. But the country offers so much more! The Cubans are engaging and friendly people. It seems like music is made on every street corner. Enjoy beautiful colonial towns, lush nature and white sandy beaches with coral reefs. Havana is especially impressive, offering the visitor plenty of museums and a vibrant nightlife. Marvel at the retro 50’s cars, gaze at the monument to the iconic Che Guevara and snorkel to your hearts content on this eclectic paradise. The trip has a relaxed pace and several of the places we stay overnight have hotels with a swimming pool. It's hard not to come back completely enamored with this tropical island!
Travelling with the correct travel documentation is your own responsibility. Please ensure your passport is valid for a minimum of 6 months beyond the finish date of your trip.
For Cuba, a visa (tourist card) is required in order to gain entry. Please check this information in good time before your trip commences as this information is always subject to change. You can check this information through a site such as this one
. To arrange your tourist card for Cuba, you should either contact your nearest Cuban embassy or use an agency such as CIBT
All visitors to Cuba are required to prove they have travel insurance covering medical expenses from approved foreign companies for the duration of their stay, or they will have to buy it from Cuban vendors on arrival in the country. US travel insurance policies are not accepted.
Accommodation and transport
We have specially arranged a private air-conditioned mini bus for the group for this trip through Cuba. The bus is, in principle, available to the group on the free days too. If members of the group wish to use the mini bus on the free days to go somewhere then it will need to be discussed with the tour leader who in turn will discuss it with the driver. There will be an extra charge to be paid, negotiated locally. The transfers to and from the airport are not included.
During the tour you stay in simple hotels in 2-person rooms with private bathroom with breakfast included. Triple rooms are not possible on this trip. Most hotels are spacious and have a garden, a restaurant, one or more bars / nightclubs and a pool. Hotels are not always in the center of town but sometimes a little outside. Getting to and from the center in these cases will be at your own expense.
In Viñales and Trinidad you will stay in so-called "casas particulares". This is a kind of bed and breakfast accommodation, staying with a Cuban family, in their home. It is a very special experience! The group will be divided among the various "casas particulares" which are all close together. Between two and four people stay, per family. Staying in a casa means you're a guest of a Cuban family but you still have your own room, usually with private shower and toilet. Often it is possible to dine with 'your family', please ask locally for the possibilities. Breakfast is included.
Travellers who book alone will be paired with a fellow traveller. We keep in mind to try and pair travellers of the same sex. If you prefer to have a room for yourself for the entire trip then this can be arranged, at a supplement. This should be indicated when placing your online booking.
Our tours are led by trained, local English speaking tour leaders. We know that our travellers appreciate being accompanied by these local tour leaders who, compared to their counterparts (living outside of the destination) have more detailed knowledge of their country. He/she knows the area well, can provide background information and ensure that the trip goes smoothly. He/she knows what to do if something were to go wrong, but is not a "walking encyclopedia". Therefore we would like to refer you to study a good travel guide (book) in advance of travel.
Your tour leader understandably expects a tip at the end, if she/he has completed the job well. Shoestring pay the tour guides a wage which is higher than that of most adventurous travel companies. Our guideline for tipping is between € 1, - and € 2, - per passenger per day (the equivalent thereof).
This journey is classified as Category A
The difficulty of our trips varies greatly. Added to this is the fact that travel difficulty is a very personal perception. To give an impression of the difficulty of a particular journey, we have developed a classification system.
Category A: Light travel for everyone to do. Short distances, good hotels, travel at a slow pace.
Category B: For everyone to do as well. Sometimes long distances. Good hotels and camping facilities, sometimes an adventurous overnight experience, travel at a normal pace.
Category C: Good to do for anyone who prepares themself well and is flexible. There are tougher parts of the journey, such as longer distances or walking tours. Several nights can be spent in basic accommodation.
Category D: A relatively difficult journey, travelling long distances, often primitive accommodation or tents, and challenging walking tours.
The Cuba-tour falls under category A. Any healthy person can make this trip; the travel distances are average and most hotels comfortable. We overnight in mid-class hotels, but take into account that you are in a developing country, with a much lower standard of living than your are used to at home. A flexible and positive attitude is much more important than physical fitness.
Nature of the trip
Who doesn’t want to experience the Carribean’s most swinging country? Cubans are very friendly people who love their salsa, cigars and rum. It seems like there is music on every corner of the street. Every visitor gets greatly charmed by this tropical island with its beautiful colonial towns, abundant nature, white sandy beaches, coral reefs and impressive Havana City, America’s oldest Spanish town accommodates numerous museums and a bustling nightlife. Cuba boasts a unique lifestyle and has until now successfully managed to protect this style against the influence of its big American neighbour. After Fidel Castro the experiment will probably end. The tour has a relaxed pace and in most places you will overnight in a hotel with swimming pool.
We know that travelling to remote corners of this planet has its effects. At Shoestring we really try to make an effort to keep our impact to a minimum. We try to avoid the use of plastic water bottles on our treks through Nepal and we do not dump our litter during our trips through Africa. All of our staff have been trained to take special care to ensure we make as little impact on the environment as possible.
Furthermore we support a lot of local projects which are mostly related to clean drinking water or making sure that children get vaccinated against illnesses such as tuberculosis. On most tours you will be able to visit some of the projects we support through our local agents. Find out more about the different projects Shoestring are involved with, how you can make a difference and our environmental policies here
Travel insurance, including medical repatriation insurance, is mandatory. It is not included with our packages and it is your responsibility to purchase suitable travel insurance. Make sure that it covers all the activities that you are likely to undertake, such as rafting and trekking. Many ‘free’ insurances that come with banking packages, credit cards etc, are quite often inadequate to cover you on our tours, so make sure you check the policy before you travel. You should enter your travel insurance details via your my.shoestring account and you are required to give a copy of your insurance policy to your tour leader upon arrival. Without proper insurance like this, you will not be allowed to join the tour as we will not be able to respond adequately in case of an emergency if you do not have the right insurance.
1114 AA Amsterdam-Duivendrecht, The Netherlands.
You can call us on number +31 20 6850203 or +44 (0)1306 744797 and email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Opening hours Monday to Saturday 10 AM to 5 PM (Local times in Netherlands).
More country information about Cuba
Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently asked questions about Cuba