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questions on travelling in cuba

Hong Kong, China
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questions on travelling in cuba

Hi everyone,

we are currently in colombia as part of a large south america trip and have just booked flights to cuba arriving in 3 weeks time. We are visiting family who are also visiting cuba and will spend a week in Havana with them, so we will have about 3 weeks to see the rest of the country. As this is not a huge amount of time and we do not like to rush and prefer to see less places and spend more time, I was hoping those of you who know the country well could direct us to 4 or 5 must see places. We are budget travellers so will look to stay in casa's rather than hotels. We would like to visit one really nice beach location (just for swimming and relaxing - not diving) and the other 3 or 4 a mixture of small towns with colonial/old charm and any great nature spots (hiking).

Other questions I have is we have HSBC bank cards from Hong Kong with 6 digit pins - is this likely to be a problem? if so should we bring hard currency (is eur better than usd there?)

Is it worth travelling by train or is viazul a better alternative?

If we needed to take an internal flight is it better to organise in advance (as in now)?

We are australians and my understanding is we ask for a tourist card when checking into our flight - do we need to pay for this?

really appreciate any advice

regards

James

Nosotros Cubaneamos
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Melbourne, Australia
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1. Re: questions on travelling in cuba

..answered I think in response to your identical post here on ThornTree.

Do post on either Board if you require more clarification though

www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/thread.jspa…

Havana, Cuba
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2. Re: questions on travelling in cuba

Flames, I don't have time for a detailed answer, others hopefully do, I just wanted to tell you to prepare for a complete culture shock going from Colombia to Cuba... :-)

Melbourne, Australia
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3. Re: questions on travelling in cuba

...hey they both start with "C"!

Hong Kong, China
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4. Re: questions on travelling in cuba

thanks guys - yes saw the response on TT. Thanks fidel. Hey DT - I did actually visit Havana 5 years ago and it was one of my greatest travel experiences. I am looking forward to experiencing more of the countryside this time (just wish my memory was better so I didn't have to ask so many questions). Just realised as well that i better start booking accomodation here for easter - flying out of cartagena on the 28th - i wasnt thinking!!!

Melbourne, Australia
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5. Re: questions on travelling in cuba

Personally I wouldn't worry too much beyond the first few days in Havana re booking accomodation. And remember Easter in Cuba ain't like Easter in Colombia.

Lincolnshire
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6. Re: questions on travelling in cuba

Hi Teamflames,

We have just booked to go back to Havana next feb after our first ever trip a few weeks ago - next year we are going to spend 5 nights in a casa at Valles de Vinales - look this up, it is a beautiful mountan valley where you can trek, horse ride, cycle ride, visit tobacco farms and all sorts of things, it looks fantastic.

Playa Santa Del Maria is a very beautiful stretch of beach near to Havana city, still very unspoilt and long may it remain that way x

Hong Kong, China
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7. Re: questions on travelling in cuba

hey fidel

yep - actually worried about colombia as we were planning on floating along the north coast... need to get organised.

Jools,

thanks for the tips will look into both - glad you enjoyed your trip

Cph
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8. Re: questions on travelling in cuba

We contacted Leo at “leo@casaparticulares.com” when we planed our trip to Cuba. That was a great help! He gave us all the necessary information, and arranged a casa for the first three nights, as required in order to get the visa. Meeting him on arrival, he gave us a bus time table and a list of Casa Particulares. The list included a Casa in inportant towns and if they were occupied they would see us on to a Casa with space within the network . What we did was to keep in contact with Leo via text messages and he arranged for the casa at our next destination. He was always able to find one with very short notice. At the bus station we were greeted by our casa hosts with a sign with our name. One should be aware that in some towns casa wners try to “steel” customers from each other. We had no problems and the contact with Leo worked fine, and made our trip very nice an easy going.

Mobil: +53 05 295 14667

Melbourne, Australia
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9. Re: questions on travelling in cuba

" He gave us all the necessary information, and arranged a casa for the first three nights, as required in order to get the visa. "

Then he (or someone else) may have given you inaccurate advice. It is NOT generally necessary to have accomodation booked to obtain a visa/tourist card.

And that is certainly not relevant to the situation of teamflames.

Edited: 11 March 2013, 00:06
10. Re: questions on travelling in cuba

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