Eco-friendly travel guide to Cuba advises how to be a responsible tourist. Learn how to travel in a sustainable way and how to respect the local people and culture. Make your trip green by supporting locally owned hotels, organic restaurants and other businesses. Read more on how to protect the environment by making conscientious choices and how to travel green in Cuba, Caribbean, North America.
- Air quality: 3.2 / 5
- Bus connections: 1 / 5
- Train connections: 1 / 5
- Hitchhiking: 3.8 / 5
- National parks: 4.2 / 5
- Outdoor activities: 4.1 / 5
- Locals' English level: 2.8 / 5
- Safety: 3.5 / 5
- Accommodation: US$18 - $820
- Budget per day: US$22 - $350
- 1 Responsible Travel
- 2 Air Quality and Pollution
- 3 Respect the Culture
- 4 Top 10 Places to Visit
- 5 Explore
- 6 Eat
- 7 Drink
- 8 Activities
- 9 Accommodation
- 10 Regions
- 11 Cities
- 12 Getting There and Moving Around
- 13 Sustainable Shopping
- 14 Recycling
- 15 Work and Study Abroad
- 16 See Also
Are you a tourist who wants to visit Cuba but as a responsible traveler? If yes, as a traveling enthusiast, there are specific responsibilities that you have in addition to other moral obligations. While visiting the country, you must identify and control your activities accordingly so that you don't cause any harm to the local communities or the environment.
- Say no to plastic: One of the most effective ways of responsible travelling is not using any plastic bags. Plastic bags take more than 500 years to biodegrade and that should give you an idea of how harmful they are for the environment. Always carry a reusable bag when you are travelling so you can use it for groceries, shopping etc.
- Road over air: If it is possible to get to your destination via road then do not take a flight. Not only will that help in a massive reduction of your carbon footprint but will also protect the environment from harmful carbon emissions caused by airplanes.
- Eco friendly travel agent: There are plenty of eco friendly travel agents who are doing a wonderful job planning trips that are safer for the environment by booking green hotels, choosing the most eco friendly way of travelling and educating the travellers about the impact of their actions on the planet.
- Travel in a more sustainable manner: This means adopting eco friendly habits like using metal straws and reusable cutlery, terminating the use of plastic be it shopping bags, cups, bottles etc. While this may come off as a very insignificant step but it makes a huge impact not only in reducing your carbon footprint but also helping the environment and specially the sea life. They are the ones that suffer the most from the use of plastic and it disrupts the entire eco system.
- Keep the beaches clean: Picking up after yourself on the beach should go without saying, but just take a look around the sand the next time you're by the shore—obviously someone didn't get the memo. Stray bottles, cans, bags, and napkins can be ubiquitous along waterways, and even just one piece of litter can pose a problem. This garbage can be picked up by the wind, get stuck around the necks of birds and other animals, and carried back out to sea by the tides. Keep anyone in your party accountable for their messes, and if you encounter some trash that isn't yours, pick it up anyway and throw it away.
- Try to ride bicycles more than rented cars: This will not only help in reducing noise and air pollution but it will also help keeping you fit and healthy. Rented cars and private vehicles only add to the problem of pollution but at the same time they also deprive you from truly experiencing the place and discovering the little nook and crannies.
- Support the local economy: Shop local and eat local food. It will help the local people who usually have a very sustainable business model and organic things to sell and it will also help you in learning about the local culture.
Air Quality and Pollution
Following the World Health Organization's guidelines, the air quality in Cuba is considered moderately unsafe. The most recent data indicates the country's annual mean concentration of PM2. 5 is 20 µg/m3, which exceeds the recommended maximum of 10 µg/m3. So before travelling to Cuba bear in mind the health concerns dirions of children, older adults and people suffering from breathing problems. The best time to visit Cuba is from December to May, during the dry season when you can expect dry, sunny days and plenty of blue skies. Cuba has a tropical climate with two distinct seasons. The dry season (December to May) sees warm, sunny days, with daytime temperatures of 26°C-31°C and 19°C-21°C at night. The wet season begins in June. Previously, visitors to Cuba would have avoided travel entirely between August and October, when there is a risk of hurricanes.
Respect the Culture
Cuba's population is multiethnic, reflecting its complex colonial origins. Intermarriage between diverse groups is widespread. Estimates of the percentage of people of African descent in the Cuban population vary enormously, ranging from 34% to 62%". Asians makeup about 1% of the population and are large of Chinese ancestry, followed by Japanese. Many are descendants of farm laborers brought to the island by Spanish and American contractors during the 19th and early 20th centuries. Roman Catholicism is the largest religion, with its origins in Spanish colonization. Despite less than half of the population identifying as Catholics in 2006, it nonetheless remains the dominant faith. Cuba also hosts small communities of Jews (500 in 2012), Muslims, and members of the Baháʼí Faith. The official language of Cuba is Spanish, and the vast majority of Cubans speak it. Haitian Creole is the second most spoken language in Cuba and is spoken by Haitian immigrants and their descendants. Other languages spoken by immigrants include Galician and Corsican.
Top 10 Places to Visit
This nation is the largest among all the others present in the Caribbean island having great potential when it comes to the attraction of tourists. This place is a whole pack of combo ranging from tradition, nature, culture, historical life, and city’s daily life. Due to all these factors, Cuba had become the most attractive destination for tourists. Here are the top 10 places in Cuba that you should visit.
- Maria La Gorda - Straight away in the western side of the cube, this town is located. The Maria La Gorba is a well-decorated place to visit in the whole of Cuba, this place lacks colonial buildings but has an ambiance with lively feelings, this be the major factor for becoming a busy point for tourist to rest over. The marine life of this place is what adventurers thrive for. Even though this place lacks good architectural support but the beaches fill the space and balance the whole of this place.
- Cayo Largo - Right away from the center of Cuba is this small resort which is popularly known as Cayo Largo, in the local language it means a place with a long Cay. If you are tired of the Cuban crowd then this place is the perfect escape. Along with great solitude, you can enjoy the gorgeous beaches. One of the very famous beaches namely Playa Sirena tempts thousands of visitors every day throughout the year. The marina is another popular spot in Cuba that has intriguing marine animals such as sea turtles and people also observe the hatchings seasonally.
- Santiago De Cuba - Located on the eastern side of Cube this place popularly known as the Santiago de Cuba is a city located near the coast and a short tour of this city will make you realize that you have entered into an area which hasn’t been explored since ages and surprisingly this place is filled up with past colonial influence in the form of magnificent buildings constructed in that period. The must-go place over here is the Parque Cespedes. This is the place where you will find the colonial structure all over the place.
- Vinales - The vinales valley is the best and the most beautiful national park among the other national parks in Cuba. This park is surrounded by mountains filled with greenery and tobacco plantation sites. Few natural caves are also located over here namely the Cuevas del Indio or basically the caves of India, being the most popular among the other caves present in this park. These caves are the most visited from the past few years by adventure freaks.
- Havana - Cuba has its capital in the city of Havana, and your time spent here can be worth it as the city is colorful. It has buildings constructed in the mid-century with colonial design, still is a modern city with unique places to visit. The nightlife of this place can be rated ten on ten and due to the coast nearby it has some spectacular oceanic views, the location of Havana is the major reason which makes this city a must visit once in a lifetime.
- Trinidad - If someone wants to know about the history of this country then this place is all you need to be in. it consists of all the historic architecture, scenic vibrant views and luxurious cuisines in the whole city. Plaza Mayor is the most visited and the most popular place in this region with neo-Baroque statues covering it. Quite a few museums present here allows the tourist to walk along and indulge the entire historic event that took place during the great wars. If you want to witness the artworks and antiques from the 19th century, the Palacio Brunet mansion does the trick for you as it is just the replica of this beautiful mansion.
- Varadero - This is a beach resort, very popular in this region surrounded by several miles of Atlantic Ocean which makes it the most visited beach of all time. The magnificent beauty of this beach due to white sand and warm water makes it very much reliable for adventure freaks. Also, the wildlife, bridges, and botanical gardens of this city is a thing to witness and cannot be missed. The Bellamar Caves are the oldest caves with an extensive system of Cavern.
- Cienfuegos - Everybody calls this place the “pearl of the south” because well-preserved homes back from the 1950s are found here, with terrific structural designs and also replicas of modern architecture are found. Beautiful green parks, historic museums, and the crowded city enjoying its life are what people search for. The gold beaches of this city are also a must-visit.
- Baracoa - This city is also called the “first city of Cuba” and has managed to preserve all the architectures built during the colonial time with a stunning look all over the city. This city is situated right beside the rainforest which makes this place highly recommendable for nature lovers. The mountain named El Yunque can be overlooked by the whole city, tourist doesn’t miss a chance to get in here and enjoy the fresh air provided by the green parks and nearby forest. This place is not more than 30 minutes from the stunning beaches.
- Guardalavaca - Rimmed by glittering beaches, Guardalavaca, in the Holguin province, is quieter and more remote than Varadero. Lush foliage fringes the sweeping strand of beach here, providing plenty of shady patches for those seeking respite from the tropical sun. Divers and snorkelers can explore a plethora of sea life along the coral reefs. Day trips from Guardalavaca include jungle adventures, sailing trips, and sightseeing tours of Santiago de Cuba.
Cuba, the Caribbean's largest island, drips with history, culture, and a captivating mystique. Cuba also abounds in natural beauty. This vast island has more than 5,000 kilometres of coastline, much of it rimmed by dazzling beaches. With all this history and beauty, as well as superb diving and fishing, Cuba offers a depth and diversity few Caribbean islands can rival.
- Parque De Diversiones - It is a modern amusement park with Chinese technology, Wi-Fi, computerized spaces, and a braille guidance system for children with visual disabilities has opened in Cienfuegos, Cuba. That includes the cost of two Chinese carousels and an electric train. Besides, another train with a cyber car and automated computer equipment is available to infants. An orientation guide in Braille is available for blind and visually impaired children so they can know in what exact place of the park they are. Children and their parents can attend a 3D room with a capacity for 60 spectators, and visit areas for the exhibition and sale of fish, pony rides, displays of birds, and space for music shows.
- Parque Nacional Alejandro De Humboldt - Located at a good height, this national park is considered as one of the most humid areas on the Island, and the biodiversity is terrific. With a great variety of species and the best geographical feature, this place is declared as a World Heritage site by UNESCO. Santiago De Cuba is the country where this National Park is located.
- Desembarco Del Granma National Park - The name of this park has been held out by the Castro brothers in the memory of the revolution of their land. They gradually overthrew the government ruling before. The area where this park is located today experiences less action except for the tourist who comes in to see the various culture of plants and species of animal which lives on the edge of the marine cliff and terrace located in this park.
- Caguanes National Park - Head to the north coast of the island to visit this national park, which is home to 79 caves and more than 200 species of birds. It's arranged over ten small islands, and the coastal environment includes mangrove swamps. This one is a favorite with birdwatchers.
- Punta Francès National Park - In order to reach Punta Frances you will have to hire a boat from the Isla de la Juventud right from the coast located south of Cuba. This place is known for its great diving spot and also the beaches are a thing to observe during sunsets. This place is home to sea turtles and manatees and also crocodiles have a good time over here.
- Guanahacabibes Peninsula National Park- On the westernmost tip of Cuba lies this national park, home to the renowned diving center at María la Gorda. Dive under the waves and then relax on the white-sand beaches, or explore the woodlands and mangrove forests.
- Playa Pilar - Located in the west of Cayo Coco, the particular beach offers a solitary and laid-back holiday. It is a comparatively smaller beach than the others and stretches for only 4 kilometers. So, there are not many people hopping around the beach, unlike other beaches, and is thus very quiet. If you are seeking an escape from the scheduled lifestyle, then this is the ideal place for you to lay back and relax. The sound of the sea waves breaking on the shores of the beach can be heard too because of the tranquil ambiance, which is quite therapeutic.
- Varadero Beach - If you are looking forward to a splendid Cuban holiday, then the Varadero Beach in Cuba can serve your purpose. The beach spreads over 25 kilometers area and remains replete with white sands all over. The towering palms enhance the holiday feels further. The particular beach has got several touristy activities, which is the reason behind its tourist influx, especially in July and August. The island offers around thirty diving sites, for amateurs, learners, as well as for experts. If you are not a diving enthusiast, then you can indulge in other activities too.
- Playa Paraiso - Popularly known as the Paradise Beach in Cuba, the Playa Paraiso is no less than a heaven because of its untouched beauty and pristine coastline. The turquoise blue waters further enhance the beauty of the beach. It is one of the calmest beaches that you will find in Cuba and has the most tranquil waters too.
The Cuban history had a lot in their plate such as the early communalism and conquest along with dictatorships and lastly revolution. After all these never-ending actions this city has been set up to various cities where tourist can flock in and get to know more about Cuban History.
- José Martí Memorial And Plaza De La Revolución - A memento for Jose Marti the famous poet, journalist and the one who martyred for Cuba during the struggle for independence from Spain has been built and named Plaza de Revolucion which dominates the Havana’s Southern side. This place has a 17-metre tall statue of Marti along with a tower in order to allow a panoramic view of the whole city.
- Fortresses Of El Morro And La Cabaña - Two fortresses facing each other guarded the entrance of the harbour of Havana during the 16th century to protect the city from getting looted by Pirates, this castle is a must-visit place with wonderful working lighthouse and views of the Old Havana from the top. La Cabana located here was build during the 18th century.
- San Pedro De La Roca Fortress - Like its Havana counterpart, Santiago de Cuba's El Morro fortress – formally El Castillo de San Pedro de la Roca – was built to guard against pirate attacks. Dating from 1638, it occupies a promontory at the entrance to the Bay of Santiago, 16 kilometres south of the city centre. Inside is a small museum with exhibits on piracy and the Spanish-American War.
- The National Museum Of Fine Arts - Although the National Museum of Fine Arts (the MNBA – 'Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes' – in its Spanish incarnation) is a single institution, in practice the Cuban and international collections are divided into two separate buildings (see second building below). Of the two, the Cuban collection is undoubtedly the most valuable. Paintings, sculptures, engravings, and installations by some of the best Cuban artists in history can be seen here. From the boom of modern art in the 1930s to the works inspired by the changes that followed the 1959 revolution, to pieces from the 1990s following the collapse of the Soviet Union, this collection offers a fascinating portrait of Cuban history and culture.
- Finca Vigia Or Hemingway's House - It seems Ernest Hemingway lived in many of the world's most beautiful places, but he also did some of his best work in Cuba. Finca Vigia, which means "lookout house" was his home in Cuba. The house can only be viewed from the outside, though the windows are large and the house filled with light, and visitors report that it's an entirely worthwhile experience. Finca Vigia and the Hemingway Museum are located in the town of San Francisco de Paula. Admission is CUC 5 though sometimes foreign visitors are asked to pay more.
Cuban cuisine is a blend of African, Spanish, and other Caribbean cuisines. Some Cuban recipes share spices and techniques with Spanish and African cooking, with some Caribbean influence in spice and flavor. This results in a blend of several different cultural influences. The characterization of meals in Cuba is done accordingly, first, the Congri which is rice filled with black beans is served with meat made up of pork, chicken, or beef. On the other side friend banana plantains with limited salad are served. The Pescado which is Fish is available in almost all the hotel, an interesting dish which is the Aguja or more commonly known as Swordfish is served as special seafood in coastal areas. Few other cold-blooded animals such as Pargo and prawns are also available in handy.
- Traditional Local Restaurants
- Doña Eutemia - An Old Havana stalwart that serves the best ropa vieja in town, this little place is a real find. Sandwiched between more touristy restaurants in one of the busiest alleys of the old town, Doña Eutemia stands out for great food at accessible prices. Don't forget to try a frozen mojito while you're here, and book ahead to make sure you get a table.
- San Cristobal Paladar - Very much of the colonial taste of Cuba adapting from its surrounding decor to the shrimp dishes, Malanga and Yucca, the ambiance of this place is classic retro providing its charm. The main course can be explored after tasting the initially mixed platter. The variety provided by the restaurant when it comes to the main course is filled with Lobster, Lamb which has been formerly served in China by the 19th-century era. The retro charm consists of old artifacts, old pictures of black and white quality, and a stack of books with an interesting genre. For a short introduction about the place, the owner will be more than happy to do the needful.
- Vegetarian and Vegan
- Oasis Nelva Café Creperie, Old Havana- This small creperie sits above a handicrafts shop and serves crepes and smoothies. Everything is cooked with olive oil, and it's a good spot for veggies who want to grab a quick bite. It's a relaxed little place, and it's well worth stopping in.
- Topoly - An Iranian restaurant with an amazing wraparound terrace, this place is great for vegetarians and vegans. The staff is great, and it's a great spot to sit and watch people in the park next door. Slightly more expensive than the average, but worth it.
- Street Food
There is no better way to capture the flavor of a city than through its street food. Some of the famous street foods are found in :
- La Guarida - La Guarida stood out to me the most out of all visited venues. To get here, you'll go into what feels like an old, abandoned home, climbing dozens of large, marble stairs until it opens up to a bustling old Hollywood feeling restaurant on the very top floor. The walls are adorned with photos of famous past visitors, like Jack Nicholson, Oliver Stone, and Steven Spielberg. Jazz music fills the air and light curtains wave as a light breeze passes. The food is okay; not great, but overall La Guardia makes for a really good night out.
- Street Pizza - Hands down the best budget street food in Cuba. In basically every street shop window around the country, you'll find people cooking up these doughy cheesy delights. Individual cheese pizzas cost between 5-10 pesos (20-40 cents), depending on the town. There are also meat options for all the carnivores.
The purchasing age of alcoholic beverages is 18. Cuban national cocktails include the Cuba Libre (rum and cola) and the Mojito (rum, lime, sugar, mint leaves, club soda, and ice). If you request a rum in a small country restaurant, do not be surprised if it is only available by the bottle. There are also smaller brews, not available everywhere, such as Hatuey and Corona del Mar. These are sold in CUP. Coffee culture in Cuba therefore has profound roots, embodied in very peculiar forms of preparation and distinctive flavors, in which Cubans take enormous pride.
Tap water in Cuba is generally safe for hygiene in hotels. Bottled water can be purchased throughout the country. When traveling to any international destination where you are not accustomed to the local water, it is advisable to be cautious of ice in soft drinks and alcoholic beverages outside of metropolitan hotels. Organic Cafes
- Cafe Arcangel - It was founded by a couple of bed & breakfast owners with the desire to bring a "distinctively new coffee bar" to Havana, a goal that they have achieved and surpassed, becoming the most popular coffeehouse in the city. The eclectic style of the place combines European, American, and Cuban elements to create a cozy atmosphere, complemented by consistently good service and low prices. An ideal spot for a big breakfast in preparation for exploring the city, and also great for lunch and drinks.
- Café El Escorial - It is a good choice if all you want is a place to enjoy a good Cuban coffee and a nice view. Located on the corner of Old Square – one of the main centers in Old Havana – this café has tables on the porch and is nicely equipped with umbrellas for the hot Cuban weather. However, bear in mind that this is a state-run business, which in Cuba is synonymous with slow and low-quality service, so be ready to hear that some of the items in the menu are not available (on a good day, the menu will include Cuban coffee, coffee frappé, coffee liquor, and coffee daiquiri).
- Plaza Vieja - There is no more pleasant and comfortable place to cool off and rest from the brave Caribbean sun. Located in the corner of the eclectic and lively Plaza Vieja, the Factory offers exquisite artisan beers elaborated in-house with Austrian technology. This place is visited by hundreds of habaneros and tourists daily; who not only seek the rich taste of beer but also enjoy Cuban cuisine and the atmosphere of the Plaza Vieja that surrounds this Factory. We recommend pairing their selection of brews with an order of croquetas or empanadas to get a fuller taste of Cuba.
- Alameda De Paula - The brewery emerged majestically as part of the rehabilitation project at the old Port of Havana, a project meant to preserve the legacy and architectural memory of the area with a multifunctional purpose. Besides the beer, visitors to Alameda de Paula get to appreciate the constant sea breeze and the interior design of the tobacco warehouse conjunction of colors, textures, murals, aged wood and rustic appearance that bring a unique harmony and energy.
the so-called Pearl of the Antilles and the largest island in the entire Caribbean Sea, Cuba can seem a world apart from the refined paradisaical holidaying spots that surround it. The hills are still marked by the footprints of men like Che Guevara and Castro. Then there's historic Old Havana, bursting with age-stained Baroque builds and glorious palazzos, the sounds of live jazz and cabaret after dark.
- Yoga and Retreats
The art of practicing yoga helps in controlling an individual's mind, body. It also helps in increasing flexibility, muscle strength, and body tone. After a busy and hectic schedule, people should find a way to rejuvenate, and doing yoga is one of the best methods to cope with stress. Here are the most famous yoga centers in Cuba are:
- Vidya Yoga Studio
- Yalorde Yoga Cuba Retreats
With access to a range of quality and affordable accommodation options, you'll find the perfect place to live in Cuba. The vast majority of hotels, hostels, guesthouses, and homestays include breakfast – and nine times out of ten, this is toast topped with an egg, sugar, banana, and a cup coffee (not on top of the toast, that would be weird).
- Melia Cayo Coco
- Iberostar Selection Varadero
- Iberostar Parque Central
Hostels and Guest Houses
Some people often think about what is the real difference between hotels and guest houses. A guesthouse is a small and private house given out for rent daily to give a clear idea. Guesthouses are usually just as social as hostels in Cuba, and if you're traveling with a buddy, it's often cheaper or around the same price to get a private room.
- Hotel Nacional De Cuba
- Paradisus Rio De Oro
For the travellers who appreciate a space of their own at the end of the day, an apartment or flat is the perfect home away from home. Furnished rooms and kitchen facilities give groups and families the flexibility to enjoy downtime separately or plan the next day's activities over a shared meal. Often available for short and long-term. Some of the famous apartments in Cuba are:
- Casa Arteaga
- Cozy Vedado Floyd Apartment 2
Couchsurfing is a travel community with millions of members worldwide and is the best way to experience Cuba like a local. Reach out to over hosts in Cuba to discover unique places to stay and locals to stay. Use Couchsurfing to find accommodation in Cuba, meet up with locals and travelers, and more.
During the summer months, a lot of people set off to go camping. Tastes vary considerably from the very primitive to the highly comfortable. In terms of weather though, most people want the same: dry, sunny and warm weather with not too much wind. In extreme weather conditions, there is a much greater chance of damaging your caravan or tent. Some of the famous campsites in Cuba are:
- Campismo Cayo Coco
- Campismo Yacabo Abajo
|Western Cuba (Pinar del Rio, Havana, Matanzas, Isla de la Juventud)|
The capital, the rolling hills of Pinar del Rio and an off-the-beaten-path island with good scuba diving add up to an exciting region
|Central Cuba (Villa Clara, Cienfuegos, Santi Spíritus, Ciego de Avila)|
|Eastern Cuba (Camaguey, Las Tunas, Holguín, Santiago de Cuba, Granma, Guantánamo)|
- Havana – cosmopolitan capital with a swinging nightlife
- Baracoa – a quaint beach-side town, and Cuba's first capital
- Pinar del Rio – center of the cigar industry
- Santa Clara – home of Ernesto "Che" Guevara's most successful battle during the Revolution; a mausoleum is erected on the outskirts of town and now holds his remains, recovered from Bolivia in the 1990s
- Santiago de Cuba – coastal city rich in Caribbean influence
- Trinidad – World Heritage Site with charming, colonial-era buildings
- Varadero – popular beach area, east of Havana, filled mostly with tourists
Getting There and Moving Around
A tourist visa card is a requirement for travelers from most nations. The penalties imposed by Cuba on airlines bringing in undocumented travelers can be quite severe. To enter Cuba, Cuban citizens residing permanently in another country require a current Cuban passport with the appropriate authorization. There are many ways to go to Cuba; some of them are:
Jose Martí International Airport outside Havana is the main gateway into Cuba and is served by major airlines from points in the United States of America, Canada, Mexico, and Europe. There are also regional flights from other Caribbean islands. Cuba's national carrier is Cubana de Aviacion, connecting the island to a handful of destinations in Mexico, South and Central America, Canada and Europe. Your checked luggage, though, is at great risk. It is increasingly common for your luggage to be opened and anything of value removed. This used to be a problem at Jose Marti International (Havana) only, and now it seems to have spread to all airports.
There are no major buses that will take you to Cuba.
There are no major trains or railway systems in Cuba.
If your Spanish is good then the government of Cuba has facilitated hitchhiking as the most helpful and economical way of exploring the city with a flexible schedule. El Amarillo is the guys wearing yellow uniforms directed by their administrators, the road network consist of points where automobiles are required to stop and pick up hitchhikers, it is known as the Amarillo Points. The highways consist of full-service stops for hitchhikers, the peso-priced food along with water, and also an indoor waiting arena opened for hikers 24/7. Hitchhiking is the only option where you can travel cube without spending much. Transport be the most expensive thing in the cube to afford, saving your money when it comes to transport can extend your trip for a longer duration.
Getting around Cuba efficiently means using buses, long-distance taxis, or planes and, within cities, taxis in their myriad forms. Some services still work on a two-tier basis. One service operates for convertible-peso-paying travelers and another, cheaper one for those paying in national pesos (foreign visitors are usually still obliged to pay in CUCs)
- Walk: Although Cuba is generally a safe country to walk through, a trip to Cuba may expose you to "minor" crimes such as currency scams, pickpocketing, and theft. You should also be aware of threats to your health like contaminated tap water, mosquito-borne diseases, and terrible road conditions if you are driving.
- Bicycle: The most straightforward long-distance cycling opportunities for visitors are prepackaged cycling tours. Several of the national tour operators offer Ciclo Turismo packages, but you're generally better off booking with a foreign company. McQueen's Island Tours is an experienced operator, and are also the best-equipped agency when it comes to renting bikes in Cuba for independent touring. As with touring packages, you'll need to book your bike in advance. McQueen's has an office in the Kohly district of Havana and rents out mountain bikes and hybrids.
- Electronic vehicles: A singular green bus manufactured by a Chinese company has been circulating the streets of Havana for several days, marking a milestone in Cuba's history of public transportation. The electric bus was brought over by China's Yutong to reduce Cuba's dependence on fossil fuels, which is part of a national plan to mitigate the effects of climate change.
- Public bus: While large numbers of foreign travelers use long-distance buses, very few use local buses as a means of getting around Cuba. The almost complete lack of information at bus stops, absence of timetables, and overcrowding are more than enough to persuade most visitors to stay well away. However, as most journeys cost less than half a national peso, you may be tempted to try your luck. The only written information you will find at a bus stop is the numbers of the buses that stop there (and sometimes not even that). It is also possible to travel between some popular tourist destinations, such as Havana and Varadero, on special tourist minibusses carrying 4-5 people. The cost is a few dollars more but highly recommended if you are not planning to sleep the whole distance - plus you can ask the driver to stop along the way.
- Tram, Train, and Subway: The major train line network joins Havana and Santiago de Cuba directly with few stops in between Santa Clara and Camaguey. Few other cities such as Manzanillo, Moron, Spiritus, Cienfuegos and Pinar der Rio also has rail line connecting to each other. One of the most reliable trains in Cuba is the Tren Frances which is the one running from Santiago de Cuba to Havana directly every alternate day. This train does not contain sleeper boogies and only has first-class seats. This is the only train running all over Cuba missing no place in between.
Other trains are also available throughout the country but are not very much reliable when it comes to comfort. Breakdowns are very common, and if one occurs your total schedule can be disturbed because it takes a long time to get the engine replaced. No food services are available, so it is recommended to bring your own home made food while planning for a long trip throughout the country. Also, the cancellation of trains by the railway department is frequent.
As in any developing country, most of the merchandise available is designed for tourists to take back home. The biggest Cuban exports for tourists are rum, cigars, and coffee, all of which are available at government-owned stores (including the duty-free store at the airport) or on the streets. Officially you'll need permission to export paintings that are larger than 70cm/side. When you buy artwork from an approved shop, then they'll give you also the required document, which consists of one paper and one stamp that will be glued on the back of your painting.
- Food Market: A food market is a pedestrianized area that has been designated for restaurants and cafes. One can also visit the Cuban food market to taste some of the most delicious local dishes available here. Street Food in Cuba filmed in various parts of Havana. Most of the authentic local street foods can be found around Parque el Curita and the nearby streets Galiano and Simon Bolivar. Street Food prices start at 5 Pesos (20 US Cents), a coffee will cost you 1 Peso (4 US Cents).
- Flea Markets: Cuba is far from a paradise for keen shoppers, but those on the lookout for an interesting souvenir will enjoy sifting through the wares at these markets. While Havana is the most likely spot for shopping, there are markets in many other cities across the island. Some of the best flea markets in Cuba are:
- Varadero Street Market
- Guardalavaca Flea Market
- Second- Hand Stores
Thrifty lovers would spend hours just to scour for the right piece of clothing that resonates with them. In a way, shopping at a second-hand shop is no longer about finding the right design for yourself, but it's about finding the right history that you would happily boast. Some of the famous second-hand stores in Cuba are :
- Treasures And Trivia
Sustainable Eco-fashion is a movement and process of fostering change to fashion products and the fashion system towards greater ecological integrity and social justice. The most famous brands which make eco-fashion clothes and accessories in Cuba are :
- Upcycling Fashion
Cuba implemented a recycling policy in 2011, and government cooperatives purchase the collected recyclables from these independent collectors. Some are used in domestic manufacturing, and some are exported. In 2014, Cuba provided a list of projects looking for foreign investment, which included recycling infrastructure.
Finding value in something that has passed its expiry date and has no more wear and tear is part of the recycling process in Cuba. There are different mechanisms to ensure this. Finding value in something that has passed its expiry date and has no more wear and tear is part of the recycling process in Cuba. There are different mechanisms to ensure this. Some of the recycling companies in Cuba are:
- Erg Ltd.
- Dutxh Incinerators
Work and Study Abroad
Studying abroad in Cuba isn't easy. The country is under Communist rule, which means there are some cultural and country-specific differences you may not expect. For some students, however, the culture shock is part of the appeal. Cuba boasts tons of cities, both inland and along the coast, that are worth visiting. But these six are the best for students due to their international schools, ease of travel and tourist attractions.
Studying abroad in Cuba may be a great opportunity for you not only to learn Cuban Spanish in cities such as Havana but also to learn about the rich culture and history of the Cuban people. Cuba is the home of nine UNESCO World Heritage sites of natural and historical significance. Cuba occupies a unique position in the history of the colonial Americas. Today, Cuba is a melting pot of cultures, with influential music, art, and literature, and even a uniquely Cuban style of cuisine. Cuba has been a popular European and Canadian tourist and student destination, and opportunities are increasingly available for American students to visit for a semester, year, or summer. If this sounds like something that you want to do, make sure you follow up regarding current details on travel restrictions, visa, and related issues with the program in question.
An au pair is a helper from a foreign country working for, and living as part of, a host family. Typically, au pairs take on a share of the family's responsibility for childcare and some housework and receive a monetary allowance for personal use. A large number of opportunities are available for Au pair in Cuba.
Volunteering means a person who voluntarily undertakes or expresses a willingness to launch a service. Opportunities are now available for professionals, volunteers, nurses, doctors, and healthcare professionals in Cuba