Cuba Holidays & Tours

A Cuba Holiday should be at the top of every intrepid traveller's list. Cuba is famed for its revolutionary history and slow concessions to the 21st century, but it is beginning to change, and now is the perfect time to holiday in Cuba. This intriguing Caribbean island moves to a unique and mesmerising rhythm and we love it; we are full of ideas and tips about what you could do on your Cuba Vacation.

A Cuba Tour is an adventure often filled with surprises, a lot of laughter and leaves you in love with this small island that creates unique memories. We love Cuba, and our experiences and first hand experiences of Cuban Tours and different Cuban Holiday Itineraries and Cuban hotels enables us to operate like many other tour operators that struggle with Cuba.

Why visit Cuba?

Visiting Cuba feels like taking a step back in time; you leave modern luxuries behind and experience something unique, intriguing, confusing and wonderful. Words do not do justice to this extraordinary place; suffice it to say, we fall more in love everytime we return.

What is there to do in Cuba?

  • Music. Music is the soul of this largest of the Caribbean islands. Dilapidated buildings are crumbling after years without love or investment, but behind the crumbling exteriors you will find pokey taverns serving zesty mojitos and lively musical entertainment performed by helplessly charismatic Cubans.
  • Revolutionary History.Throughout the country there are statues that pay homage to the martyrs of the revolution, huge billboards with political messages and no shortage of Cuban flags reminding you of where you are. 
  • Cigars. Cuba also boasts spectacular green, rural tobacco fields throughout which the pace of life is extremely slow as the comrades work the fields with ox and cart. 
  • Beaches. Cuba has a huge number of world class beaches surrounding the island, with some exciting new options for accommodation.
  • Cars. Bright and colourful cars are a large part of Cuba's attraction, as this island excels at keeping very old cars alive, thanks to the ingenuity of its mechanics and engineers in a country that imports very little. A sunset drive along The Malecon, the main esplanade of Havana, in an open top American classic is a great treat.

  • Do you need a guide when visiting Cuba?

    A little knowledge goes a long way in Cuba. Over the years, our team have learned a great deal about the idiosyncrasies and challenges of travelling across the island, and our carefully hand-selected, experienced guides and trusted people 'on the ground' are guaranteed to turn a reasonable trip into an exceptional one as they help you soak up the true essence of this strange, communist island. To find out more about why we love Cuba so much, and why visiting Cuba sooner rather than later is a must for the interested and intrepid traveller, then please do get in touch!

    When is the best time to visit Cuba?

    The best time to visit Cuba is from early December to April. During these months it is usually hot and dry. Expect daily temperatures between 20-29°C. April begins to get more and more humid as you approach the hurricane season in September and October, (we strongly advise against travelling to Cuba in these months).

    Map of Cuba

    Map of Cuba Cuba - Cienfuegos Cuba - Havana Cuba - Santiago Cuba - Trinidad Cuba - Vinales

    Where to stay in Cuba?

    There are lots of options for accommodation and places to stay in Cuba, but as a general rule of thumb, the best of Cuba is more about getting out and exploring this unique country and various locations rather than experiencing a luxurious or stylish 5-star hotel.
  • Highest quality: There are a multitude of hotels to choose from in Havana, the capital city, usually large, international-style hotels with rooftop pools, modern air-conditioning and reasonable wifi in the communal areas. These hotels are comparable to 4-star properties in other countries and tend to carry a hefty price tag as they are in high demmand. 
  • Medium quality: Often abundant with character and very boutiquey; typically these are converted colonial mansions with around 20 rooms, often built around an inner courtyard. These properties have a very authentic charm, and rooms are often antiquey and traditional with working air-conditioning and bathrooms. They are simple, yet fun places to stay.
  • Lowest quality: There are many guest houses across Cuba with just 2 to 4 rooms. Guest houses vary significantly in quality and they are excellent options if you are looking for a truly authentic experience! We can recommend some fantastic options run by friendly, enthusiastic and English-speaking Cubans.

  • How much does a Cuba holiday cost?

    All of our trips are entirely designed to suit your interests and budget; but as a guide -  a 12 day trip to Cuba starts at $2,500/£1,851 per person.

    Has Cuba changed much over the past few years?

    We often get asked if is is still worth visiting Cuba, or whether it too late. Cuba is very much worth visiting. There have been some small changes to the law allowing individuals to set up small hotels and businesses and not everyone is employed by the state. But Cuba is very similar to what is was has been for a hundred years or so, and we hope that the relaxing of laws will benefit the accommodation options in the near future, too. Cuba is country full of intrigue, history and charisma, and well worth a visit.

    Our favourite areas

    Do you need a visa to visit Cuba?

    Yes, although applying for a Cuba visa differs according to your nationality. For those with a European passport it is very simple, and we can advice you of the quick and economical process that gets you a visa within a couple of days. For anyone outside the EU, then there are various different options. Please do speak to us for further information.

    Is Cuba safe?

    Cuba is a very safe country for international tourists. Tourism is very important to the economy and the government recognise the importance of ensuring that Cuba is safe and welcoming to the international tourist. The main gripe that international travellers suffer is from hustlers, who might try a few different ways to supplement their state salary; the most common is the selling of bootleg cigars. A simple "no gracias" will suffice in geting rid of the street salesmen!

    What currency do they use in Cuba?

    There are two currencies in Cuba, the Convertible Peso (CUC) and the Cuban Peso.  International tourists pay for services in CUC and locals use the Cuban Peso at the local shops. A dual currency system sound complicated if you have not experienced it, but in practise it works. You cannot purchase Cuban money prior to landing in Cuba. Speak to one of our experts for more information on Cuban currency and how it functions.

    Speak to an expert who has lived in Cuba

    We love Cuba and would love to speak to you all about the different options. Pop into our offices in Putney, London or give us a call to start designing your Cuba Holiday.

    Our Tourist Guide to Cuba

    We have written a short tourist guide to Cuba which you can download here. Obviously nothing beats a good conversation on the phone but this is a good place to start planning your Cuba holiday.

    Is it legal for Americans to visit Cuba?

    Travel to Cuba is safe and legal. Your travel to Cuba must fall under one of twelve authorized categories. The two categories we use are
  • People-to-people educational group travel
  • Support for the Cuban People individual travel

  • People-to-people educational travel license requirements.
    South American Odyssey provides private custom journeys for couples,  families and small groups under the people-to-people educational license. Our provider is OFAC licenced and will provide flights visa and supporting paperwork for a completely legal yet tailormade trip to Cuba to suit your needs.

    Support for the Cuban People
    We also use the above licence which means (i) staying in a private home, (ii) eating in private restaurants and (iii) shopping at private businesses. Our partner stores your paperwork on your behalf for 5 years to be able to demonstrate compliance at no extra cost


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