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Top 5 Packing Tips for Your Trip to Cuba

top 5 packing tips for Cuba with pictures from Cuba

Packing to visit a country you’ve never been to before can be hard, so today I wanted to give you my top five tips for packing when going to Cuba.

They are:

1. Bring a carry-on suitcase

You’re going to be so thankful you didn’t bring too much luggage!

  • the rooms are smaller than American rooms, much like European rooms
  • you’ll know that everything you need will be right there with you when you make it to Havana

And believe me, when you’re carrying your suitcase down the bumpy streets in Trinidad – where the buses often can’t get to your casa – you’ll want the rolling bag that is light and easy to handle.

2. A lock for your suitcase

If it’s a long, hot, sweaty day, you might not want your passport in a carrying pouch on your body.

Instead, get a TSA lock, and when you leave your room each day, put your valuables in your suitcase and lock it. After that, no worries – it’ll be fine at your casa particulares (casa particulares are Cuban Bed and Breakfasts).

3. A small day pack

I recommend using a small day pack instead of a backpack.

Because really all you need each day is your:

  • water bottle
  • mini bottle of sunblock
  • and something to put your hat in

That’s also why I like a little drawstring bag as a day pack.

4. Sunblock and bug spray

Sometimes we forget those things, and there’s no Walgreen’s in Cuba. So be sure to pack these!

I like to take Burt’s Bees bug spray which I buy on Amazon. It’s organic, and I don’t have to worry about it damaging my skin or feel guilty if I use it every day.

And you’ll want bug spray for when you leave the cities. In the cities there’s a lot of fumigation that happens and there aren’t a lot of mosquitoes there as a result.

But, when you get out into the countryside – and you’ve got to go, because the Cuban countryside is amazing – be sure to bring your bug spray!

5. A bar of soap and washcloths

I put this on every packing list, because again, it’s like traveling in Europe, where they don’t always give you a washcloth.

In Cuba, sometimes at casas they’ll forget to leave soap for you, or there’s typically shortages in Cuba, and it can be hard to find some.

I bring the little bars of soap from hotel visits, or I bring a nice bar like Dove soap; something that smells good and is really good on your skin. And then that last day you can leave it, along with a tip for the maid as a thank you. Because imported, name brand products like that don’t come in.

I hope these tips helped! Have a great trip to Cuba!

Haven’t booked your trip yet? Check out one our upcoming Havana tours!

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2019 Tours for Everyone!

We are offering three different types of group tours this year.  Check them out and see which is the best fit for your Unique Cultural Experiences in Cuba. The dates for each are found on our “Included in Every Tour” post.

  1. EPIC tour: our classic tour that spans half the country of Cuba, so you get a feel for large cities such as Havana and Camaguey, as well as small cities like Cienfuegos and Trinidad.  See citrus orchards, sugar cane plantations and the cattle-raising heart of Cuba.
  2. Relaxed Pace EPIC tour: all our EPIC tours visit the same cities, but this one requires much less walking, perfect if you’d rather experience taxi-to-curb service or a pedicab ride through Havana’s plazas rather than walking it.
  3. Reptiles & Amphibians tour: Interact with the people AND snakes of Cuba.  We will do night hikes with local experts studying the endemic animals of Cuba at their most active time, the beginning of the rainy season when the moon is dark.  Be on the beach to see the sea turtles hatching as well.



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Pure Cuban Artistry in Pauyet

On our tours that take us from Trinidad to Camaguey, we love to stop in Pauyet to visit Victor Rafael.  He is an artist who melts, twists and bends silverware from all over the world to create sculptures and jewelry.

The Pauyet cooperative of a dozen artists has participated in more than 55 exhibitions in countries such as Brazil, Argentina, Portugal, Spain, Canada, Italy, and Russia, where it participated in the traditional White Nights Festival in 2012.

Read more about it in the national Cuban newspaper, The Granma (English version) here:


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KGNU Radio Interview on 6/7/17

Cuba: Before Starbucks and After Fidel

Listen to the Viva Cuba President’s interview on KGNU’s Morning Magazine show (Minutes 16:13-23:07) here: .

Hear about the challenges facing Cuba in the last two years of since President Obama started loosening the embargo.  Learn about difficulties with transportation and lodging that have developed, as well as the excitement Cubans have with the influx of Americans and access to capital.