A little bit of history:
(from the top of my head, there is very little to find about this on the web I think, even in Spanish):
At some point during the Cuban Revolution and before I was born, being in possesion of any foreing currencies in Cuba became illegal (unless you had a special permit from the government). Many Cubans spent time in jail for this ...
I believe you are mixing two pieces of advice.
The best currencies are Euros, Canadian Dollars...
This is because of the trade embargo against Cuba from the USA. This means US dollars are very expensive to exchange in Cuba, so other currencies should be used. Euros are often said to get the best exchange rate.
This is not saying that vendors, hotels or ...
No, travel is still not completely free. However, you are now allowed to travel to Cuba and spend money there legally under the following 12 categories:
official business of the U.S. government, foreign governments, and certain intergovernmental organizations
professional research and professional meetings
That is the Teatro Fausto, on the corner of Prado and Colon, in Havana Cuba. The "ants" you see in the photo were an artist's exhibit in 2012 for the Havana Biennial. They are no longer on the building.
You've got it more or less backwards.
The restrictions are essentially aimed at controlling the rate at which hard currency (i.e. USD / EUR) leaves the country, so goods which are imported are only available with CUC. Therefore there is high demand among Cubans for CUC. As a rule of thumb, if you manage to get sufficiently off the beaten track that people ...
Coaches in Cuba - Astro and Viazul
There are two main coach companies providing island-wide transport in Cuba: AstroBus and Viazul. Astro caters mostly to Cuban residents and intrepid travellers. Most of the seats are available for purchase only to residents with a valid ID, and just a few are available for foreigners albeit at higher rates. Overall its ...
It's the Fausto Theater, as identified on this photo blog.
More information on the history of the theatre found on cinematreasures.org.
Located in the Habana Vieja (old town) district of Havana, on the
Prado at the corner of Esquina Colon in the Jaruco neighborhood.
The Cine-Teatro Fausto was built in 1938 and designed in an Art Deco
style, by ...
Legally speaking, you are not permitted to travel to Cuba from the United States for touristic purposes. The regulations bind "persons subject to US jurisdiction" which includes most people who happen to be in the United States, regardless of their citizenship, as well as US citizens wherever they are. As you will be in the United States at the time of ...
"Cuban nationals applying for admission to the United States, as well as third-country nationals, with a valid visa or other travel authorization issued by the U.S. government may be transported to the United States from Cuba. [...] This includes individuals eligible to enter the United States under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), as administered ...
The official place to exchange currencies is CADECA, this entity purchases and sell certain currencies according to Cuban Central Bank Rates. These rates are updated daily.
You can find CADECAs in the airport, and in major cities. Exchange rates should be the same country wide.
Note that you will be exchanging your GBP for CUC and not for Cuban Peso,
The US restrictions on travel to Cuba are found in the Treasury Department regulations. The prohibitions generally apply either to "any person within the United States" or "any person subject to the jurisdiction of the United States."
The first term is defined at 31 CFR 515.330:
(a) The term person within the United States, includes:
I have U.S. residency (Green Card). Do I need a visa to visit Canada
or can I use my Green Card?
As a U.S. Green Card holder, you do not need a temporary resident visa
to travel to Canada. At the Canadian border, you will need to present
your valid passport and Green Card.
Citizenship and Immigration Canada
According to the US Department of State,
Tourist travel to Cuba is prohibited under U.S. law for U.S. citizens and others under U.S. jurisdiction.
Legally traveling to Cuba as a US Citizen requires a reason specified under one of several types of licenses to do so.
General & Specific Licenses for Travel: The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s ...
Like any medical specialists, in any country, advance booking is likely a necessity. You could walk in but if they're busy or on leave, you wouldn't be able to see anyone.
So I'd recommend contacting a few in advance. This is relatively easy to do online:
The Frank Pais Orthopedic Hospital in Havana (I saw this when I went through the city in July) has ...
I stayed in Cuba last summer. Accidentally, I found a reliable, safe and at the same time cheap casas particulares network. I wrote about it in my Spanish blog (sorry for the SPAM, but I thing it could be interesting to read it in Spanish or using a translator). To sum up:
The 'head' of the network is in the Hamel Hostel (La Habana). It will cost 5 USD per ...
Note: It appears that recent US rule changes have made these OFAC declarations applicable to anyone transiting through a US airport whether they are a US citizen/resident or not. Thus it appears that the US won't permit anyone to travel from the US to Cuba for tourism. The original answer was:
For those of you playing along at home, here is a copy of the ...
I've received a reply for Booking's Twitter profile on this matter:
Hi XXXXX, reviews for accommodations in Cuba are no longer displayed in order to comply to a local regulation. If you have more questions, feel free to contact us at any time.
Presumably by "local regulations" they mean the embargo placed on Cuba by the US.
Since you mention that you are open to getting to Cuba not necessarily directly from Europe but through a intermediate destination, my recommendation would be to consider one of two Canadian travel hubs: Montreal and Toronto.
I recommend these because destinations in and around where Cuba are the main tourist places for Canadians for a big chunk of the year....
While I initially laughed at the idea, apparently there might be:
Hotel Islazul, Guantánamo city may be able to arrange tours to the
American military for around $40 though this service is not always
It does seem to be a long shot though. It's a US Military base, which generally means off limits unless you're enlisted, family, or have an ...
This is an update from March 2016. The ferry company mentioned in the other answer now states:
[...] as January 2016, ferry operators are still awaiting final approval and licensing from the Cuban government. Because of this, CubaKat (and other ferry companies) are waiting to begin full operations.
CubaKat’s goal is to offer our ferry service, ...
Not yet a real ferry service, but the first US cruise to Cuba is supposed to sail today. http://www.miamiherald.com/news/business/tourism-cruises/article74753237.html
UPDATE: the cruise sailed and arrived in Havana: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/world/americas/cuba/article75096132.html
As passengers cheered, Carnival Corp.’s Fathom Adonia ...
I can answer my own question after travelling to Cuba.
All the places I visited were free of charge, including Varadero and other major spots like Guardalavaca. Before I visited Cuba I read that you have to pay for access to the beaches, but this information is outdated or false: you don't have to pay for access anywhere.
Interesting snorkeling sites I ...
I'll answer my own question:
Airport transfers by tour companies can be on either big coaches/buses (not equipped for baby carseat installation) or vans (that might have appropriate seatbelts although this can't be guaranteed)
The official tourist "yellow cabs" in Havana (operated using newer cars, typically Chinese/Korean ones) typically do have the proper ...
There is only one definite confirmation and that is the flight. If you are on it, then it exists. Now, you might want to know if it will probably occur in advance and for that, the second best option is the airline itself.
You checked Cubana's site which is a good step.
To do better, call them and ask about that flight when whether it runs a the particular ...
Wikitravel has a page on Americans in Cuba.
Under the 'Buy' section, they go into a lot of detail, but there are a few key points:
credit cards will not work. Well, they will .. maybe .. if completely unaffiliated with US companies. US credit cards definitely won't. So don't rely on those or US bank cards.
Most travellers carry cash. There is however, a ...
Long story short. I think what you're concerned about FATCA (Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act). The minimum amount required reportable by any foreign institution is $10,000, which means that if you keep under that amount in your Mexican account they technically don't have to report it but they still might anyway.
There is no requirement to report ...
Strictly speaking travelling to Cuba isn't illegal. The US doesn't have exit controls, so it's citizens are allowed to travel wherever in the world they want. What the US does have is a very strict embargo with Cuba. Effectively this means in order to travel to Cuba a US citizen or resident needs a licence to spend money there.
These licences, which ...
The answer seems to be yes. On January 23, 2015 Mastercard said they will lift the transaction block on US cards in Cuba source. On June 27, 2016 the Central Bank of Cuba today authorized the use of MasterCards issued by Stonegate Bank in the US and Banco Popular of Puerto Rico in operations at ATMs in the Cuban capital source. So MasterCard is present in ...