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Wanted to give primarily American travelers advice on visiting Cuba:


Currency and Credit cards do not work anywhere. There is 1 bank in Florida that has a relationship with Cuban Banks, but you must already be a member of that bank.  And I can't remember the name.  ****You absolutely must bring enough money to support your time in Cuba.  Recommendations are to convert Canadian or Euros into Cuban dollars.  Once you have Cuban dollars, your expenditure will be very reasonable.  

Hotel versus personal house and wifi:

Recommendation and the recommendation from the locals is to stay at a house.  This is cheaper and in some ways more convenient.  But this is not for everyone.  Went to the Malia Cohiba and Iberostar.  They ere the same as any hotel in the world; you need to ask yourself if you want to be a tourist and only do things with other tourist or actually see how the locals live and do things that way.  The house was gated, newly remodeled, wifi, kitchen and more.  Could walk to all of the local restaruants and stores.  It was just a nicer expereience imo.  

 The Malia wifi cost $10/hour and works horrible, Actually could not get it to work and they would not help or refund.  Iberostar cost $5/hour and worked perfect and can be used anywhere in Cuba that uses the same wifi.  So you don't need to use the 1 hour all at iberostar, but good luck finding wifi locations.  There are not too many and they are not posted.  ***wifi will be an issue.


Not too many people speak English, even at the hotels.  Be prepared for this.


Stayed close to New Havana , 4 blocks from the Malia Cohiba.  This area has about 15 restaraunts within walking distance.  About 7 of them are primarily for tourist, and the others are more for locals or deaper into the neighborhoods.  It is very common to see house, house, restaruant, house.  I ate at most of the local places.  Prices were half, and from what I could see, everything else appeared equal; so why pay extra with the tourist.  I drank the water, ate the ice...and had no tummy issues.  The mojitos and Caprihinias were amazing.  Local beers $1.

If you need a taxi from this area, catch them on the street, at the Malia or often people might just ask you if you need a taxi.  These guys are local drivers.  Not sure if what they are doing is illegal, but they are usually cheaper, just in an older car.  The choice is yours.  Rode with them all week.  From New Havana to Havana Old/Viejo is about 20 minutes and $20 to $25 dollars.  Once in Old Havana, walk around and see the sites.  Iberostar is here.  and the hotel Deauville Hotel which appeared to be where many younger tourist were staying.  It looked like a fun spot.  If your room is near this hotel, you could walk to old Havana.  


Found the food to be very flavorable; yet many of the meats were tougher than meats in America; even the fish.  This could be the quality of meat or the way they cook it.  But again, full of flavor.  Soups were amazing, beans and rice yummy. 

Walking around is safe, but realize that some of the buildings look worn down; but that does not mean crime or a bad neighborhood, neither does a group of people talking mean it a gang.  In Cuba, use common sense and don't let appearances impact your perception.   


There is no beach in Havana.  You will need to take a taxi 30 minutes to Santa something which is the closest.  This beach has 7 food stands and people selling fruit on the beach.  No one selling hats, watches, hair braiding or anything like that.   There are suppose to be really nice beaches 2 hours from Havana, but I ran out of money/time to see them. 


Saw a few, but by no means did I see swarms.  But you should still protect yourself as needed.  Did not get bit. 

So overall, major issues will be.  Money - make sure you have enough for the time you are there.  Because there is no way to get you money.  You will need to start selling your valuables.  Wifi - not everywhere and not free.

Also, it is very hot and humid and it rains thunderstorms, then the sun comes back out.   This is typical tropical weather.  

Hope this will help other travelers.