Questions on Cuba holidays
- Do I need a visa for Cuba?
- Is is true that one needs to show proof of health insurance upon entry?
- Do I need more insurances before travelling?
- Do I need vaccinations before travelling to Cuba?
- What currency in Cuba?
- Why doesn't DyM sell any plane tickets?
- With breakfast or half board?
- Can I book vegetarian / vegan meals with you?
- What's the weather like in Havana?
- Are there hurricanes in Cuba?
- Can I book separate services, like a course without accomodation?
- Does DyM offer airport transfers?
- What sort of presents should I take to Cuba?
- What about internet availability and phone calls?
- Where do I get more advice on Cuba?
- Can I get a catalogue of the DyM travel offers?
- Matthias, do you really work day and night?
"Do I need a visa for Cuba?"
No matter which country you are from - you always need a visa when entering Cuba. Citizens of the EU, the USA, Japan or Australia only require the so-called tourist card, which we can send you together with your other travel documents. If you are not sure whether your nationality requires more than the simple tourist card, please contact the Cuban embassy in your country.
"Is is true that one needs to show proof of health insurance upon entry?"
Unfortunately, yes. Since May 1st, 2010, whoever cannot show proof of a health insurance for travelling abroad which also includes Cuba, must take out insurance on the spot. Costs: approx. 3.- euros per person per day.
The Cuban consulate in Germany has given us the following information: "As a rule, the confirmation which you have received from a German insurance agency is sufficient. This is particulary the case when your stay in Cuba is shorter than 45 days and you fly directly from Germany." So, either simply bring a copy of the policy or get a confirmation from the insurance agency that Cuba is included in the service portfolio. North American insurance agencies exclude Cuba.
We assume that what is valid for Germany is also valid for other countries. So, we advise you to pay detailed attention to assuring that Cuba is included in your insurance policy. (Like all information concerning your travel documents, this remark is not legally binding)
"Do I need more insurances before travelling?"
This is up to you. We are obliged to inform you about the fact that there do exist travel insurances that are usually not necessary... Still, in case of a serious illness or if you have to cancel the journey for unexpected reasons, you would have to bear the costs entirely. In order to avoid such circumstances, we recommend a travel cancellation insurance policy for all services included, also for the flight you have booked.
"Do I need vaccinations before travelling to Cuba?"
Cuba does not stipulate any vaccinations at the moment. Cuba keeps being one of the top countries regarding hygiene and health system in Latin America and the Caribbean.
"What currency in Cuba?"
The legal tender in Cuba is the "Peso libremente convertible" (CUC) since November 2004. Cuban government is fixing exchange rates. A 10 % "charge" is calculated, if you change US-Dollars. If you change any other currency like Euros or Pound Sterling no charge is calculated. In Cuba you can pay with credit card without any problems and you can also go to the bank and get cash. Please note that credit cards or traveller checks made out to an American bank are not accepted.
"Why doesn't DyM sell any plane tickets?"
Nowadays, a lot of customers prefer to buy the tickets themselves. Internet agencies and specialized travel agencies can offer flights with renowned airlines for prices we cannot get. Our travel packages concentrate on the services within the country you are travelling to. There, our experience and our pre-selection can actually provide an added value you can enjoy.
"Can I book vegetarian / vegan meals with you?"
Yes. Some of our landlords have adjusted to that. In the beginning it was a little revolution and somehow unthinkable. But now some Cubans in our Casas serve excellent vegetarian and vegan food.
"With breakfast or half board?"
Until recently casas particulares were offered only with breakfast. In this respect you are having a choice now. We recommend booking half board, which means breakfast and dinner. This way you pay less for higher quality food. Also there is a variety of vegetables and fruits in Cuba that you usually won‘t be served in hotels and restaurants.
If you prefer cooking yourself, we recommend you to book an independent apartment.
"What's the weather like in Havana?"
Nice and warm! Of course, there are differences. Sometimes, the temperature can drop to 10-15 degrees Celcius between December and March. The winds coming from the North are called Nortes and they bring the colder air. But normally they don't last for more than 3 days. This is the best time to admire the waves breaking at the Malecon! However, it is usually hot and humid in July and August. It is hard to tell the season with most rain in Cuba. But normally, the sun reappears quickly after a tropical rain.
"Are there hurricanes in Cuba?"
There are hurricanes in Cuba just like in the whole Caribbean area. They usually turn up between August and November. But the risk to get into a hurricane is as small as to get bitten by a shark.
"Can I book separate services, like a course without accomodation?"
No problem. You receive more information on the pages of our individual journeys. You can book several services and combine them to an individual package deal if you like. Please feel free to ask us for advice. If you book several services, we can usually offer you a much better price.
"Does DyM offer airport transfers?"
Yes. Especially since the taxi drivers in Cuba are working selfemployed, we recommend to book in any case, an individual transfer on arrival in a city. Of course, it is no problem to get a taxi both in Havana and in Santiago from the airport to your accommodation. Usually the price will be negotiated these days. If the driver is driving with a clock, make sure that he is not turning it off before you get to take a look at it. If that happens, relax and imagine it being sort of a tip.
"What sort of presents should I take to Cuba?"
This is a difficult question for us to answer. Of course, the Cubans like cosmetics, pens and sweets. This is one aspect. The other one is that every form of presents underlines the economic gap between the Cuban and the tourist. But it's up to you how you deal with this topic...
"What about internet availability and phone calls?"
Of course there is a lot of change happening right now in this respect. Basically there are a few large 5 * hotels that offer stable wifi. So you buy a prepaid-card in these hotels and use your laptop in their lobby. Most hotels and casas particulares do have no Internet. Currently more and more hotspots are available. Just like hundreds of Cubans you can sit on the street and use them. Your mobile phone (GSM 900 - 1800 Mhz) functions as usual in Cuba. The roaming prices however (no matter which provider) are very high. Texting is often a good alternative. Inquire with your provider for the prices ...
"Where do I get more advice on Cuba?"
We recommend the purchase of a travel guide inorder to get the basic information. For a more individual travel planning, we recommend our personal consultation. No matter if you book one of our services or not - first hand information can save you from quite a lot of hassle and it can help you save a lot of your travel budget.
"Can I get a catalogue of the DyM travel offers?"
Unfortunately, you can't. We started to work exclusively via internet years ago. Due to our specialized programme, we have customers from all over the world and we are proud to be able to inform them at any time by our travel pages in the internet.
"Matthias, do you really work day and night?"
In fact this question is asked quite frequently if my response to a request is sent at an unusual time of the day. To answer this question the term „working“ should be analyzed more closely since it obviously has a negative connotation. The idea is maybe that of mere duty and the opposite of a pleasurable time.
For me it is a little different because I am working almost exclusively with things that I‘m enjoying. As for my deals I only offer what I myself would like to book and partake. The way I see it is that part of my work is to get a feeling for the individual needs of people to be able to create an offer that really fits their needs. Putting these deals together is actually quite enjoyable.
Plus: for me there is no such thing as fixed office hours. Creative work doesn‘t go well with routines. Interestingly, I have always been there in the past, if someone really needed me