PHOTOGRAPHY              Cuba
Photography is generally permitted with the exception of Police, military equipment, military personnel, airports and some of the museums. You can generally purchase film but it is expensive and often you can't get the right brand or type - better to bring some with you.

Public transport like busses are cheap, rarely run to schedule and are often packed. Taxis come in two sorts: the tourist taxi with a taxi meter and the private taxi, whereby the price should be agreed on before take off! The firms with tourist taxis have varying tariffs that differ greatly. In Havana best deal is Panataxi and Turistaxi. The finer and more expensive Mercedes taxi is avaialbe from the firm OK Taxi. In Havana the Bici Taxi, known to us as the Rikscha Taxi, is recommended for short trips, they are all over the tourist areas. The small motorised Coco taxis are somewhat expensive. For overland trips the busline VIAZUL is recommended for tourists, specialising in comfortable transport and airconditioned buses. The rail network is generally reliable and economical, however often over booked and full, unclean and has a lot of stops en route. Inland flights are handled by Cubana and Aerocaribbean, also Aerotaxi for more individual and expensive travel.

The sevice in Cuba is good, even if it takes a while longer, in comparison to European or the US. The principle is: friendliness and readiness to help simply outweigh the faults.

SHOPPING TIPS          Cuba
In the cities and hotels there are numerous shops where you can purchase cigarettes, rum, drinks and daily provisions. There are shopping malls in Havana: souvenir shops, art and crafts, musical instruments, books, pictures, CDs and so on can all be found in either the stores or at the markets.

- all prices in Peso Convertible -
Restaurant: coffee 1, beer 1-2, soda 1, cocktail 2-3, snack approx. 4, dinner approx. 10
Private restaurant/Paladar: coffee 0.50, beer 1, soda 1, snack approx. 2, dinner approx. 5
Shops: beer 0.75, soda 1,5l-1.50, water 1,5l-1, cigarettes 0.50 - 1, chocolate 0.60 - 1.20

The sun's rays are severe so don't underestimate them. Recommended is sunscreen with a high SPF factor.


TELEPHONE                   Cuba
International acces code: 0053 - Havana -7 Santiago de Cuba -226. The national telephone exchange Etesca maintains telephone centers and card operated telephones in all the big cities, which you can feed with telephone cards worth 10-20 Peso Convertible. Calls to Europe are expensive: minute 4,40 Peso Convertible. Etecsa's offices and a few hotels offer fax services, luxury hotels like the Nacional offer E-mail and PC rental.

GMT minus 4 hours - London 18:00 is in Havana 14:00

TIPPING                          Cuba
Restaurants and taxis approximately 10%. Because income in general is very low in Cuba, whether it's a hotel maid or a bell boy, every dollar is really appreciated. Average tipping in hotels is 1 Peso per day.

Entry into Cuba requires a visa, the so -called Touristcard. This permits a stay of up to 30 days but can be extended in Cuba for another 30. This card is obtainable through your nearest Cuban Consulate or you can order it. Business people need a Visa by application at the Cuban Consulate.

Specific businesses, the press and film production crews require a special visa which has to be applied for by your nearest local Cuban Consulate. Private travellers only require the Touristcard, which can be bought at the Cuban Consulate.

Current 4 day weather forecast.

Just like the Carribean, south and middle America, as a traveller one should not expect the European or American standard of overall service, any lack thereof is well reimbursed through the friendliness, good humor and bright demeanor of the people. Electricity and water cuts can occur, the hotels and tourist areas are not usually so affected by this.

We hope you understand that our information can alter at short notice, for e.g., by quoted prices or addresses in Cuba. We go to every effort to stay well informed and keep our information current.