Independent Trip To Cuba - It's Not Expensive

Independent Trip To Cuba - It's Not Expensive
Independent Trip To Cuba - It's Not Expensive

Video: Independent Trip To Cuba - It's Not Expensive

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Cuba is closer than you think! If you are intimidated by the prices offered by travel agencies - plan your trip yourself and get vivid emotions and unforgettable impressions.

Retro car in Cuba
Retro car in Cuba

Travel companies offer mainly all-inclusive hotel trips to Varadero. While vacationing in Varadero, you will certainly enjoy the sun and the Atlantic Ocean, but you will never know the real Cuba. Varadero is a tourist area where Canadians, for example, come as Russians to Turkey.

To get to know the country better, you need to travel around it, visiting several cities.

The most expensive thing is an air ticket. Average price from Moscow and St. Petersburg: 35-40 thousand rubles in both directions. You can search for tickets on aggregator sites, where offers from all airlines are shown at once and prices are compared. Direct flights can be found only with Aeroflot and Transaero, European companies operate flights with transfers. Follow the promotions: you can find tickets at a discount of 25-30 thousand, if you have a Schengen visa - you can search for flights departing from European cities: Rome, Paris, Madrid, Amsterdam and others. If you are not tied to a date - there is a chance to find last-minute tickets that travel agencies sell a few days before departure, they can cost 20-25 thousand rubles in both directions. Flights can be found to Havana or Varadero, you need to see which is more profitable. From Varadero to Havana, it takes 2 hours by bus.

Now you need to decide where you will live and make a route. Hotels in Cuba are very expensive, so most travelers prefer to stay in "casa particular" (casa in Spanish for "house"), that is, in private apartments. The good thing about Cuba is that it is not necessary to book something in advance, walking down the street you can always come across blue signs indicating that rooms are legally rented out here. Even in the "tourist" Varadero, recently you can find ticket offices, for example, not far from the Pullman Hotel. Usually part of an apartment (one or more rooms) is rented with a separate bathroom and toilet. The kitchen is usually shared with the owners. A room for two will cost you 25–35 cookies (1 cookie is equal to approximately 30-35 rubles, depending on the course). Also at the ticket office you will be happy to offer breakfast for 3-5 cookies per person, lunch and dinner for 10-15 cookies. Moreover, some hosts take offense if you eat elsewhere. Do not forget to bring the owners of the house some souvenir from Russia, they will be very happy.

If you still want to book a hotel or box office for a few nights in advance, keep in mind that, firstly, there are problems with the Internet in Cuba, and secondly, people there are in no hurry to go anywhere, and you can wait for a long time to confirm your reservation.

The route can be drawn up in advance, or you can determine during the trip, stopping where you like best. For example, starting in Havana, you can go to the Caribbean coast, to Cienfuegos and Trinidad, and then drive east to Santiago de Cuba.

How to get around. Regular buses run between more or less large cities. If you are traveling in three or four, it will be more profitable to take a taxi. You can also rent a car, the roads in Cuba are practically empty and relatively good.

Currency. It is better to take euros or Canadian dollars with you. The American dollar is not held in high esteem, the rate for it is not at all profitable, since the commission is being paid. You can change money at official banks. Cuba has cookies (convertible currency) and “peso cubano”, which is usually used by locals.

Language. Knowledge of English is unlikely to be very useful to you, it is spoken only at the airport, bank and in hotels at the reception. Everyone else speaks Spanish. But this should in no way scare you or be a reason for refusing to travel.After all, you are not going to conduct philosophical conversations in Spanish, and for communication at the everyday level, it is enough to learn a few basic words, otherwise a phrasebook and sign language will help.

Weather. It is not always hot in Cuba, from November to February it is cool in the evenings and the water, especially in the Atlantic Ocean, may not be very warm.

Safety. There is a myth that it is impossible to leave the hotel in Cuba, most likely it is cultivated by travel companies. This has nothing to do with reality. Cuba is the safest country for tourists in the entire Caribbean region. You can walk quite calmly in the evenings without fear of robbery and robbers. Of course, you should not leave things unattended, even sneakers and a towel on the beach can be stolen, but no one will put a knife to your throat and nothing threatens your life here. People from all over the world travel freely through this wonderful country.

Shops and restaurants. Large supermarkets can only be found in Havana. In ordinary stores, they often do not put price tags on food, and a bottle of water can be sold to you for 2 cookies, instead of 0.75. In the markets, you will also be sold everything at "tourist" prices, so that fruits, for example, are easier to order from the owner of your cash register … There are restaurants in all cities, often they are located right in the apartments. A dinner for one will cost you 10 to 20 cookies. Prices are lower in Camaguey and Santiago.

Rum and cigars. In shops and duty-free you can buy excellent quality rum at a very low price. Cigars will be offered to you at every step, and they are sold "underground", everything happens in strict secrecy. The cost of 1 cigar bought "from hand" is only 1 cook (35 rubles), in stores, of course, it is more expensive. National cocktails - mojito, daiquiri, kanchanchara (in Trinidad). Ask for a fuerte cocktail (strong, strong, Spanish), then the bartender will pour more rum.

Dance and music. Music is in the blood of Cubans. They seem to be born with the ability to sing and dance. Be sure to visit a Cuban disco somewhere away from the tourist spots. Every city has a Casa de la Musica (house of music), where musicians play and everyone dances salsa right on the street. It's worth seeing! Musicians also play in almost every restaurant in the evenings.

Local residents. They are very smiling, cordial and welcoming. But a tourist is seen a mile away and for them he is primarily a source of income, so every day you will receive a lot of tempting offers: taxis, excursions, dinner, cigars. If you look at the cash register, and then choose the next one, you may be seriously offended and not greet afterwards. Take it easy. The main thing is to be open, smile, dance and enjoy life in Cuba, as they know how to do it.

Thus, an unforgettable bright two-week trip to Cuba will cost you 50-60 thousand rubles per person, including tickets and all expenses. Have a good trip!

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