Although Australians are permitted to travel to Cuba, the country’s relationship with the U.S. has put a strain on regulations with other regions as well. Now that the political climate is changing, more people are exploring travel to this little-known exotic locale.
Most Australians enter Cuba via Mexico or Canada, which can be expensive if not researched. Flights are now offered in the U.S. through Miami. Because of Cuba’s primitive infrastructure, independent travel is difficult and guided tours are recommended.
Apple Vacations, which is best known for its bundle packages that combine beach hotels and transportation, recently announced that it will offer guided tours to Cuba.
Tours of the Caribbean island will be highly structured with educational activities, only allowing for free time in the evenings. The five-night Havana Getaway includes a city tour, musical performances, cigar rolling demonstration and authentic Cuban food.
The seven-night Colors of Cuba tour includes visits to the colonial city of Trinidad in addition to Havana.
Exploring Cuba as part of a Caribbean cruise is another popular option.
Getting around Cuba
Because Australian dollars cannot be exchanged in Cuba, and credit cards, debit cards, and travellers’ cheques are not accepted when issued by U.S. banks, travellers often experience problems accessing funds in Cuba.
Cash advances may be obtained at banks, large hotels or exchange houses using only Visa or Mastercard. Avoid travel from June to November, which is hurricane season.
Australia does not have an Embassy or Consulate in Cuba. However, the Canadian Embassy in Havana provides assistance to Australians, including the issuance of Provisional Travel Documents. Australians do not require a special visa and can travel to Cuba with a standard travel card
Due to the shortage of fresh ingredients, and limited access to imported foods, Cuban cuisine can be bland, focusing mainly on meat and carbohydrates. However, food is cheap, although difficult to find for those with dietary restrictions. Alcohol and cigars, on the other hand, are very inexpensive, since Cuba is synonymous with world-class cigars and rum.
When it comes to using a mobile phone in Cuba, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to rely on one of the major carriers, as Telstra, Optus, and Vodaphone do not offer any coverage in the country. Fortunately, TravelSIM does offer mobile phone plans that work in Cuba.
Cuba, a beautiful and historic country filled with mystery, as it was only recently open to tourism, is an excellent option for travellers who enjoy guided tours. Although accessing funds is difficult, the Caribbean country’s world-class rum and cigars draw many travellers.