Cuba is a fascinating place not only for its colonial charm and culture, but also for its intricate architecture, its beautiful beaches, and its classic cars.
Basic Style Etiquette for Men and Women: Practical, classic, and comfortable.
Women should pack leggings, t-shirts, cardigans and flats.
Men should pack t-shirts, dry-fit pants, a light jacket, and comfortable walking shoes.
Summer Months: Pack clothing that is lightweight and tends to dry quickly.
Women should pack tank tops and shorts, or dresses with flats or sandals.
Men should pack t-shirts, shorts, lightweight slacks, and comfortable walking shoes.
Beachwear should only be worn if you are going to the beach.
Culture: Experience Cuba with an open mind and an open heart. Cuban people are very friendly; speaking a little bit of Spanish will enhance the quality of your trip experience and will put your new friends at ease. Be aware of sharing your political views, it is a very sensitive topic and many Cubans are not comfortable discussing this topic.
Suggested Activities in Havana:
Walk Around Old Havana: A UNESCO world heritage site, this historic area is an interesting mix of Baroque and neoclassical monuments. Take your time to absorb the color, the architecture, and the feeling of being in the present, while you witness the past creations.
Visit Fusterlandia: This vibrant arts complex is named after Jose Fuster, the creative force behind this artistic neighborhood. Fuster, known as the “Picasso of the Caribbean,” is responsible for encouraging his fellow Cubans to create art on their own homes.
Stroll Along The Malecon: This boardwalk right beside the ocean is a peaceful place to watch the sunset among the waves. It is also the perfect place if you want to relax and watch people pass you by.
Keep in mind that there are many other places to explore in Cuba such as Cienfuegos, Santiago de Cuba, Baracoa, and Gibar (to name a few). Papilia can provide you with itineraries to these destinations.
If You’re a Foodie: Check out the Paladars, which are privately owned restaurants in Cuba. Some restrictions have lifted, which make it easier for chefs to have access to spices, however if you tend to veer on the safe side, bring some hot sauce along with packets of salt and pepper.
Safety Tip: Do not rely on credit cards or traveler checks in Cuba. There are two currencies in Cuba, the Cuban Convertible Peso (CUC) which visitors mainly use, and the Cuban Peso (CUP). Even though both currencies can be used by visitors, pay attention to the exchange rate and currency the vendor is using.
What US citizens should know:
Although President Barack Obama expanded the categories of authorized travel to Cuba, US citizens can legally travel to Cuba if they are engaging in 12 categories of activities such as professional research, participating in an athletic event, performing in a concert, working on a humanitarian project or taking part in educational activities. They also need approval from the Treasury Department to spend money in Cuba.
Under the new regulations, US visitors to Cuba can legally bring $100 of Cuba’s coveted cigars home with them.