What does a 7 day trip include and cost?
Please refer to our Packages page for further details on this. The short answer is that it can start at $50 a day, and go up from there depending on what you want to add to your experience.
Didn't Trump close off Cuba for travel?
NO! Trump definitely has changed some of the way things are done since the last administration, but we at TheCigarLover.com already have planned for and were compliant before the changes even took place.
You can't book a cruise from the United States to Havana starting June 5th. If you already have one booked, you will be able to come. Secondly, they have eliminated the people to people category (which is what cruises used) and the educational category. Commercial flights appear to be unaffected at this time. Assuming nothing else changes, you will still be able to fly down and use the "Support of the Cuban People" category which is what we have always used anyways.
All current and future bookings through us at www.TheCigarLover.com remain unaffected by what has happened with our current administration.
Do you have any other packages available?
If you want to make your own travel and accommodation arrangements, we can also just help you have a hassle free trip. For a few dollars a day, we can recommend and make restaurant reservations, provide transportation and give you our complete guidebook with 200 of Havana’s best things to see and places to eat. Contact us for a personalized quote.
Will my US Credit Card work to book my trip with you?
We have plenty of options for you to book your trip with us, and your US Credit Card is in fact accepted for that.
Will my US Credit Card work when I am in Cuba?
At this time USA issued credit and debit cards are not accepted in Cuba. This may change in the coming years. Part of the service we provide is booking all of your arrangements before you arrive so you will have less things to pay for while you are in Cuba. We also handle changing money for you when you arrive so you do not have to go through the hassle of finding a money changer and getting a poor rate.
What is the local currency, and what is the exchange rate?
Cuba has two local currencies, but the only one that you can buy with foreign money is the Convertible Peso (CUC). These are issued at a 1:1 ratio on the US Dollar. The Cuban government also takes a 10% tax on all US Dollar transactions, and finally the exchange will take a fee of 3-5%. We will handle all money exchange for you, and due to a high probability of counterfeit bills we suggest only using us or a vendor that we suggest. You will not need any money when you arrive as your personal driver will already be taken care of by us.
What do I need to do to obtain a visa?
Your visa is purchased at the airline ticket counter. The cost varies based on airline (usually from $20-$85). You will be asked to choose one of 12 allowed reasons to visit Cuba. We walk you through these very easy steps when you book through us. See this infographic at the bottom of the FAQ for a quick explanation.
What Should I expect at customs and immigration upon my return?
You will clear customs and immigration like you would coming home from any other trip abroad. You will tell them you have been in Cuba and your reason for your visit. You will have no issues and this is all legal.
Should I rent a car?
We strongly advise our clients not to rent a car. Most of what you will see and do will be walk-able from our centrally located home. When you need to go somewhere further, we have trustworthy private drivers that we can call for whatever location you want to get to. Cuba’s law states if you get in a car accident while driving, you must remain on the island until the case is fully resolved. Therefore we recommend our clients never drive.
Is Havana a walk-able city?
Havana is one of the most walk-able cities we know. The home you will be staying in is very centrally located. Havana also does not have a lot of automobile traffic which makes it very easy to walk the streets. 90% of our recommended sites and things to do are less than a 10 minute walk from the house.
Can I rent a bike/segway/taxi?
Bike rental is available as well as taxis. We eliminate the cost and hassle of finding taxis by providing you with a personal driver.
Are menus in English?
Most of the restaurants we recommend and send you to have menus in both English and Spanish. The waiters usually speak both as well. Google Translate does have offline language packages that you can download and use while you're here in case you run across a word you don't recognize.
How do I access the internet?
There is a nice hotel with a very comfortable lobby one block from the house that provides internet access (WIFi) for about $2 an hour. Internet is definitely one of the things lagging behind in Cuba, and that $2 an hour is a fee to the government (not the hotel). During your Cuba experience you will be disconnected from the stresses provided back home!
How safe is it in Havana?
Havana and Cuba as a whole is considered one of the safest places on earth. Cuba’s tourism comprises 80% of their GDP and they protect tourists vigorously. Cubans are very friendly people and love meeting new people (especially Americans). Citizens are not allowed to own firearms and any theft or violence against tourists is swiftly dealt with. In our many years of visiting and bringing many clients down, we have had zero problems and expect it to stay this way.
When is peak travel?
Peak season in Cuba is from November thru March, and while our package prices will not change it will be more difficult to book these dates, so act sooner than later.
Did the Kardashians damage Cuba on their visit?
It was the best case scenario. Cubans ignored them because they did not know who they were and we don’t expect them to return.
When is baseball season?
Baseball in Cuba usually runs from August thru March
Can we leave tomorrow?
We love the enthusiasm! We generally need at least a few weeks to make your arrangements and make sure your trip is customized for YOU. We do not have generic one size fits all trips. Once you book with us, we spend some time to get to know what you enjoy doing and what you hope to see and then we build an itinerary just for you.
Do you offer group discounts?
Absolutely. Groups of 5 or more please contact us for a group rate.
Do I need to speak Spanish?
Not at all. While it would be useful, we will be on hand to make sure you never need anything and help you translate when needed. Also, most of the clubs, restaurants and tourists activities are offered in English and Spanish. Plus what a great opportunity to brush up on your Spanish. Cuban people love conversing and especially with Americans. You will make new friends fast and easy.
What is your cancellation policy?
In Cuba, we're not dealing with a capitalistic society. When you reserve rooms, a large portion of that amount is immediately paid to the state. That makes these rooms non-refundable for the places that we work with, and therefore also non-refundable to us. On top of this, due to increased demand, we need to book places immediately to guarantee availability. This is why we request a deposit to reserve booking.
After a lot of trial and error, we've come up with a cancellation policy that is as lenient as it can be, while still ensuring that our business can continue to operate. As a result our cancellation policy is as follows: all deposits are non-refundable. Once we receive the deposit, it immediately changes hands. However, if you cancel outside of 1 week in advance, we will give you credit on a future booking equal to the deposit amount (given that this booking is made with plenty of notice). If you are within that 1 week window, we have no way to recover those funds and your funds will not be refunded, nor will you have a future credit.