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Cuba

Cheap flights to Cuba

In 1492, on discovering Cuba, Christopher Columbus called it “the most beautiful land that human eyes have ever seen.” He wasn’t wrong. This Caribbean Island promises sublime views, exotic beaches and a swinging nightlife. The faded grandeur of Cuba’s past is all around with stunning colonial era candy-coloured houses and beautifully sculpted churches.

Havana is often the first stop for many visitors. The lively capital is full of faded but elegant Spanish architecture and cars from the 1950s. The sea wall Malecon is one of its most impressive sights and a walk along its perimeter promises view of endless ocean and the El Castillo Havana. As the sun sets Havana fills with people who come to hear jazz and Cuban reggae and drink some of the best rum in the world.

The quaint sleepy town of Baracoa appears to be lost in time, tranquilly and beautiful to stroll around. To see where Cuba’s most famous export the cigar is made, a trip to Pinar del Rio is well worth a visit. Historically, Santa Clara was home to one of the country’s most famous revolutionaries, Ernesto Che Guevara and his remains are interred in a mausoleum that lies on the city’s outskirts. Santa Clara also boasts some of the best nightlife and culture on the island. Explore the Caribbean culture of Santiago de Cuba or take an enchanting stroll through hypnotic Trinidad, once a major sugar producer, now a town that seems lost in the 1800s.

With little traffic, Cuba is the perfect country to cycle around; past the lush green plantations, tobacco fields and bustling squares; past pensioners playing Cubilete or dominoes and romantic towns like UNESCO protected Camagüey with its labyrinth-like layout and eye-catching murals.

Exotic birds and fruits live on the fringes of Cuba’s spectacular beaches. Perhaps the most sublime of all are the beaches of Cayo Coco Island, where the whitest, softest sands are lapped by clear turquoise waters as warm as a bath. With an air of being long forgotten, Cuba is the epitome of paradise.

The following information is correct as of August 2014 and is subject to change. Please check with the airline directly for complete accuracy.

Fly In

The main airport in Cuba is the Jose Marti International, located just 9 miles from the centre of Havana. Public buses and local taxis make it easy, fast and cheap to reach the city.

What you need to know

Currency: The Cuban Peso (CUC)

Visas: A visa is required for visiting Cuba. A passport with at least 6 months validity is also essential. Tourists need to acquire a tourist card prior to travel. This is obtained from a local embassy on presentation of a valid return ticket, an in date passport and consular fee. The tourist card is valid for 30 days.

Laws: Cuba has strict laws on the use, possession or trafficking of illegal drugs. Breach of immigration law is also dealt with very severely so don’t overstay your welcome! There is no clear smoking or drinking age restriction in Cuba. A smoking ban was brought into effect in 2005 but it is rarely adhered to. One topic that is definitely taboo in Cuba is the criticism of the government or the Castro regime. Also, be sure to tip where you can as low wages mean workers in Cuba often rely on the generosity of tourists.

Best Time to Visit

The busiest time of year in Cuba is during the summer months of July and August where temperature can get up to the mid thirties. December and January promise cooler evenings and fewer tourists while national holidays like Christmas and New Year bring festivities galore. October and November are hurricane months so avoid going at this time if possible.

There are plenty of festivals to entice visitors to Cuba for example the International Jazz Festival each February or the Havana’s International Book Fair the same month. The Cigar Festival in February in Havana is an insight into one of Cuba’s most famous exports. In July Santiago hosts the Fiesta del Fuego with theatre, dancing and food followed by Carnival a few weeks later. Havana Contemporary Music Festival, Ballet Festival and Theatre Festival all take place in October. 

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