Board a flight to Cuba from the UK and you'll be on the largest Caribbean island in around 10 hours. Cuba measures 1,250 km by 191 km, and is located 31 km from the Bahamas. Havana, the capital, is famous for Revolution Square, vintage American cars, salsa dancing and hand-rolled cigars. Two hours from Havana is the tourist resort of Varadero where the sand is white and the hotels are 4-Star all-inclusive. Roam further and you'll find seven National Parks where rivers, mountains and rainforest can be enjoyed. Book your cheap flight to Cuba and explore this diverse island for yourself.
In Havana Vieja, or Old Havana, time seems to have stood still. The classic cars, wrought-iron balconies and colourful bars all look like they've been untouched since the 1950s. This part of the city was founded in 1519 and over the centuries areas have been burned down and re-built so different styles of architecture stand side by side. Cobbled streets and live music add to the atmosphere, so take time to wander. The Plaza de la Catedral is worth a visit with The Cathedral of the Virgin Mary of the Immaculate Conception dominating the square. The address is 156 Empedrado and it is open to visitors everyday from 9am to 5pm with early closure on Sundays. The Plaza de Armas is the oldest square in Havana and a pretty place to stop. Plaza de la Revolucion on Avenida Paseo is the place where the iconic images of Che Guevara and Camilo Cienfuegos can be found, and these images are illuminated at night. To learn about Cuba's more recent history, take a tour of the Museum of the Revolution at Calle Refugio No. 1 e/ Monserrate y Zulueta. It is open every day. With regular flights to Cuba available, getting to Havana is easy.
Spanish cuisine and Caribbean flavours influence the food on the island. Staples include rice, black beans, chicken, fried plantains and pork. Fish tacos are a favourite and tapas can be found in many bars. Frozen rum-based cocktails and ice-cold beers are in abundance everywhere. Hop on acheap flight to Cuba and try a Mojito, because this is where the cocktail was invented! While you dine, local musicians often appear. It is common for them to pass around a hat to collect some coins for their time.
The driest season spans November to April and is the best time to visit the island. It rains in May to October but it comes in heavy, short bursts with high humidity for a while. The worst part of hurricane season is during August and September and Cuba can be impacted.
In Havana there is a bus service used by local people but tourists tend not to use these, and those that do need to be aware of pickpockets. Old vintage cars are used to get locals and tourists around and these are called almendrones. They have a set route, like a bus, but they only take a few passengers. The fares are low but you will be sharing with strangers. Taxis operate in Havana, but are rare in most parts of the island. They are government run and used mainly by tourists. Expect to pay around 50CUCs per kilometre. If you are not staying in Havana after your flight to Cuba, the coach network, called Viazul, is used to get around most of the island and are pre-bookable. Fares are between 18CUC and 25CUC.
The currency in Cuba is the Cuban Peso (CUC) and the local language is Spanish. The time is 5 hours behind GMT. The population of Cuba is 11.2 million and the main religion is Roman Catholicism. British passport holders will need a tourist visa which can be applied for online for a small fee. The turnaround time is fairly quick. Some airlines include this with their cheap flights to Cuba, but be sure to check.
|Food and drinks||Prices average|
|Beer (0.5 litre)||£1.00|
|Meal at McDonald's||£4.00|
|Water (0.33 litre)||£1.00|
|One way tube ticket||£0.00|
|Taxi starting price (normal tariff)||£1.00|
|1 summer dress in a chain store (Zara, H&M,...)||£34.00|
|1 pair of jeans (Levi's 501 or similar)||£24.00|
|Average monthly disposable salary (net)||£19.00|