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Thread: Traveling to Cuba with the family. Any last minute advice ?

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    Default Traveling to Cuba with the family. Any last minute advice ?

    GM kids,

    I'm Traveling to Cuba with the family. Any last minute advice ?

    We will be staying the Plaza for 2 nights, Varadero for 3 nights with a day trip to Viñales.

    My wife read some horrible reviews of the Plaza hotel (no hot or running water, roaches, peeling wall paper....).  We hear food is not the best at the hotel or the paladares.  

    How much of this true ? Any first hand account from a DR'er ?

    Suggestions on what to do, visit, place to eat are welcome ?

     

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    Quote Originally Posted by pgolivares View Post
    GM kids,

    I'm Traveling to Cuba with the family. Any last minute advice ?

    We will be staying the Plaza for 2 nights, Varadero for 3 nights with a day trip to Viñales.

    My wife read some horrible reviews of the Plaza hotel (no hot or running water, roaches, peeling wall paper....).  We hear food is not the best at the hotel or the paladares.  

    How much of this true ? Any first hand account from a DR'er ?

    Suggestions on what to do, visit, place to eat are welcome ?

     
    ...as in all cuba hotels... the reviews are probably better then the truth...first hand knowledge......

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    Quote Originally Posted by pgolivares View Post
    GM kids,

    I'm Traveling to Cuba with the family. Any last minute advice ?

    We will be staying the Plaza for 2 nights, Varadero for 3 nights with a day trip to Viñales.

    My wife read some horrible reviews of the Plaza hotel (no hot or running water, roaches, peeling wall paper....).  We hear food is not the best at the hotel or the paladares.  

    How much of this true ? Any first hand account from a DR'er ?

    Suggestions on what to do, visit, place to eat are welcome ?

     
    I went once to a different hotel. I read the reviews and they were over the top for being bad. When I got there non of it was true except one. They really did not have pizza. The horror. .

    Go enjoy yourself.

    Take a guided trip to Havana and a must see is the show Tropicana show in Havana. It's really a must see. http://www.cabaret-tropicana.com/en/
    Last edited by AnnaC; 07-02-2017 at 10:36 AM.
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    Los Nardos is an up'ish scale, reasonably priced Restaurant in Havana for Tourists. It is across from the Capital Building (up a lot of stairs). It is usually easy to find, it is the one with the line up.

    Two blocks from The Plaza Hotel is Obispo Street (? ave). Follow it to the Harbour. It is full of Shops and Restaurants (and Tourists). Then turn Left and walk toward the Harbour Entrance (also very Touristy).

    Once at the Ocean, turn Left on Paseo de Marti (back to your Hotel) or follow the Malécon.

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    You'll need proof of travel insurance when you enter Cuba. If you don't have any, it can be purchased at the airport. Remember when changing your money to CUC Pesos, it's a one way transaction - Dollars you exchange can't be turned back into dollars if you find you have too many left over when it's time to come home. Credit cards issued by US banks are generally not usable.

    Cuba is still on a ration system so items that are available to eat on monday may not be available again until next monday when they are used up. Fraternization between tourists and locals outside of the tourist areas is not actively promoted or condoned. Be wary of locals offering you goods and services, or you openly offering goods and services to them. Prices for tourists who must use CUC pesos for all transactions are higher than for locals using their local pesos. It is a crime for tourists to be in possession of or engage in the exchange of local pesos for goods and services.

    Sometimes you need to be careful what you are taking pictures of. Other than that, it's pretty straight forward. Be careful, be observant, eat drink and be merry.

    P.S. The upper limit for cash being brought into the country is $5000.00. Amounts over that, need to be declared or could be confiscated.
    Last edited by Cdn_Gringo; 07-02-2017 at 11:01 AM.

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    Don't bring any US Dollars. You will pay an addition 10% Tax when exchanging it. Bring Canadian Dollars or Euros (convert before you leave).

    I don't think the Cubans still check for Health Insurance. That was years ago.

    Cuba has two currencies... CUC (equal to a US Dollar) and Pesos (24 Peso to a US Dollar) but Havana runs on almost all CUC. Tourist areas only use CUC.

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    Not sure OP's home country...here is updated info for US citizens:
    https://www.globotreks.com/destinati...raveling-cuba/

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    Thank you all. This is good stuff.  

    I'm thinking of exchanging USD$300 to start with. Not sure if that will be enough for 2 days for 4 of us. At Varadero it's all inclusive at the Barcelo Sol y Mar.

    I'm thinking I could change at the hotels, can I?

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    BTW ... I'm traveling from the NYC to HAV and back. 

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    Quote Originally Posted by pgolivares View Post
    Thank you all. This is good stuff.  

    I'm thinking of exchanging USD$300 to start with. Not sure if that will be enough for 2 days for 4 of us. At Varadero it's all inclusive at the Barcelo Sol y Mar.

    I'm thinking I could change at the hotels, can I?

    Just to reiterate my previous point.....

    Don't take USD to Cuba, you will be charged 10% on top of the exorbitant exchange rate.

    Go to your local Bank at Home, and buy Canadian Dollars or Euros.

    Almost all Tourist Hotels will exchange Foreign money to CUC.
    A better rate can always be found at Local Cuban Bank or at a Cadeca (ask when you get there).
    Never at the Airport, on arrival.

    The Airport will change any excess CUC back to USD.
    If they wont.... just ask any any vendor at the Airport. They just took USD at -10% and want (desperately) to change it back to CUC.

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