If you’re organizing a trip to Cuba for free, I think this post on how to prepare it will be quite useful to you: I’ve spent two weeks touring the island, and we chose to travel to Cuba for free. So if you’re up for your own adventure, read on: accommodation in private houses, rental car and roads, where to eat, dream beaches and everything you might need.
After deciding if we opted for a vacation package even if we went to our own air because it could be cheaper (many people do this), we saw that it did not compensate and finally we bought only our plane tickets (direct from Madrid with AirEuropa). The price of flights to Cuba has not been any bargain, but as everyone wants to go at this time, they were reasonable (just over 700 euros each, round trip).
nice with the plane ticket to Havana bought, the trip really started.
Organize a trip to Cuba at your own pace
The first thing I did was read and read: guides, blogs… later, I considered that renting a car was the best option. We spent three days in Havana upon arrival and then drove freely. Cuba is still an ideal destination to improvise.
We weren’t sure whether to cover the whole island or just one area. Finally, we focused on the western half, because we were more interested in what it contains and because the roads are in better condition, although I would like to go back to Santiago de Cuba.
By the way, if you are going to travel to Cuba for free in a rental car, here is my list of Cuban songs essential for the route. A trip to Cuba is not a trip to Cuba without being Cuban.
Driving in Cuba and moving around Cuba: transport
Renting cars in Cuba is expensive for the standard of living there and also there is very little fleet of cars so it is advisable to take it booked from here because I know of more than one that has been planted in Cuba and were finished, disrupting the entire route. It is not necessary the international license for drivers with a valid license in Spain.
Coins in Cuba
In Cuba, there are two currencies, the CUC, and the CUP, the first for tourists, the second for Cubans. Almost everything is paid in CUC although it is recommended to bring something in a CUP because some things are paid in this currency (like the famous Coppelia ice creams ). Cuban pesos cannot leave the country so you will have to change your euros there.
The money is exchanged in the CADECAS (Exchange Houses).
Internet in Cuba
Wifi in Cuba is very scarce. All along my route I only got connected twice, once at Viñales, where I bought a card for 30 minutes, and at the hotel in Varadero.
I know things have improved lately, but still get ready for the disconnection hahaha.
Staying in Cuba: Private Houses
We stay in private houses, which allow us to sleep in the center of each city in an affordable way; for about 30CUCs at most per double room and night with breakfast (about 28 euros a change). In addition to saving logically, since a hotel would go double, I loved the idea of living with Cubans in their homes, because we learned a lot about the way they see their country.