Cuba



Cuba is situated just 90 miles south of the Florida Keys and is the largest island in the Caribbean. With miles of golden beaches, rich, colourful scenery and a proud cultural heritage this stunningly beautiful and exceptionally diverse country has been enticing visitors since Christopher Columbus landed there in 1492. As a last bastion of world communism this land of elegant towns has achieved something of a reputation that pays homage to its beauty and resilience. Cuba is truly a unique charter destination, a quality few countries can lay claim to.

Cuba has a sub tropical climate, which is influenced by the cool northeast trade winds. It boasts mile upon mile of unspoilt golden sandy beaches, mountainous countryside with sugar cane and rice fields and a fantastic coral reef, second only in length to the Great Barrier Reef. The coral reef of the Cuban coast is home to some of the most breathtaking snorkelling and dive sites in the world. Whale Sharks can be seen during summer and also Marlins from May to September, as well as other game fish like Tarpons and Bone Fish.

Although tourism is growing, Cuba is largely uncommercialised and unspoilt. You can easily escape from it all to your own secluded anchorage. The local people are welcoming and friendly and will ensure you have a fantastic time and leave with fond memories. Cienfuegos or Trinidad incorporates sailing through the Canarreos Archipelago and the Juventud Islands or Jardines de la Reina Archipelago, a protected area that is perfect for diving.

The colonial town of Trinidad on Cuba’s South Coast is about four hours drive from Havana or Varadero. UNESCO World Heritage listed, the town’s charming cobbled streets, colonial architecture restored to its 16th century glory and laid-back lifestyles make it a delight to explore on foot. The base is situated just 10 minutes from the main city. Cienfuegos, a major city (second only to Havana) is today one of the largest and most prospering cities in Cuba.

With rich architectural heritage from the 19th century, Cienfuegos has a commercial harbour with a well equipped marina very close to the French influenced centre of town. The Teatro Tomás Terry, where Caruso once performed, and the Palacio de Valle, a Moorish-styled villa of an early 20th-century sugar tycoon which is nowadays a restaurant, are among Cuba's most famous historical buildings.

Although navigation aids are surprisingly clear and present, the ability to ‘read the water’ and navigate by sight is paramount. The largely outdated chart information for the area requires a prudent watch to be kept at all times when sailing through the reef scattered coastal waters.

» Easily accessible (Direct flights from Europe)
» Untouched natural beauty
» Secluded anchorages
» Varied and interesting sailing areas
» Abundant marine life
» Beautiful beaches

Weather Conditions

Climate

General weather for Cuba

Cuba is the largest Caribbean island. Much of the island is low lying but there are mountains inland. The north coast, on which the capital Havana lies, is the wettest part of the island. May to October is the wet season. The island can be affected by hurricanes from around June to November. It is drier between November and April and still very warm with highs of 26-29°C (79-84°F) in Havana and five to seven hours of sunshine a day. This is the most popular time to visit Cuba. It rains much less and because of this the temperature and humidity drop making conditions much more comfortable. The average high temperature creeps out of the thirties and into the mid twenties, and it cools down in the evenings, reaching average lows in the high teens.

Cuba is part of the West Indies, the island chain that curls up from the north coast of Venezuela, past the southern tip of Florida and towards Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. Cuba’s position in the Caribbean between the North Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico, northwest of the Windward Passage, means its climate and day-to-day weather conditions are greatly moderated by the local trade winds.


Average Conditions - Cuba:


  JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC

High Temperature ( C )

26

26

27

29

30

31

32

32

31

29

27

26

Low Temperature ( C )

10

10

12

13

15

19

19

20

19

17

13

11

Precipitation (mm)

71

46

46

58

119

165

125

135

150

173

79

58

Average Sunshine Hours

6

6

7

7

8

6

6

60

5

5

5

5


Current Forecast:

Santiago De Cuba
Day Temp Wind Wave Vis Weather
Tue
21st
28°C
SE

11 kts

1.9 ft 6 km
Wed
22nd
29°C
ESE

6 kts

2.7 ft 3 km
Thu
23rd
30°C
E

8 kts

1.7 ft 4 km
Fri
24th
29°C
NE

5 kts

1.3 ft 3 km
Sat
25th
30°C
NE

3 kts

1.3 ft 2 km

General Information

Flights to Cuba: Cuba's national airline is Cubana (CU) (website: www.cubana.cu).

Flight Times: From London to Havana is 8 hours, and from New York is 3 hours 30 minutes.

Main Airports:Havana (HVA) (José Martí International) is 15km (9 miles) southwest of the city. To/from the airport:Bus and taxi services to the city are available (journey time - 1 hour by bus; 20 to 30 minutes by taxi). Facilities: Duty-free shops, bank and bureau de change, tourist information/hotel reservation, restaurants and bars, and car hire.

There are also international airports at Camagüey, Cayo Coco, Cayo Largo, Ciego de Avila, Cienfuegos, Holguin, Manzanillo, Santiago de Cuba and Varadero.
Departure Tax: US$25 Airport Service Charge for passengers leaving Cuba. Transit passengers and children under two years are exempt.

Visa and Passport Requirements:

Country

Passport?

Visa?

Return Ticket?

British

Yes

Yes

Yes

Australian

Yes

Yes

Yes

Canadian

Yes

Yes

Yes

USA

Yes

Yes*

Yes

Other EU

Yes

Yes

Yes

Passports: Passports valid for at least two months after the departure date from Cuba required by all nationals referred to in the chart above without diplomatic representation in Cuba.

Visa Note*: Nationals of the USA are subject to the Cuban assets control regulations. The regulations require that persons subject to US jurisdiction be licensed to engage in any travel related transactions to, from and within Cuba. Transactions related to tourist travel are not licensable. The restriction includes tourist travel to Cuba from or through a third country such as Mexico or Canada. US law enforcement authorities have increased enforcement of these regulations at US airports and pre-clearance facilities in third countries. Travelers who fail to comply with the department of treasury regulations will face civil penalties and criminal prosecution upon return to the US.

Types of Visa and Cost: Tourist Visa Card: £15. All other visas: £36 (plus a £15 processing fee.)

Validity: Valid for stays of up to 30 days, visas must be used within 180 days from date of issue; extensions of 30 days are available in Cuba. Application forms for tourist visa cards can be provided by us or downloaded from the website of the embassy of the Republic of Cuba in the UK.

Electricity: 110/230 volts AC, 60Hz. American-style flat two-pin plugs are generally used, except in certain large hotels where the European round two-pin plug is standard.

Currency: Convertible Peso (CUC; symbol CUC$) = 100 centavos. Notes are in denominations of CUC$100, 50, 20, 10 and 5. Coins are in denominations of CUC$1, and 20, 5, 2 and 1 centavos.

Currency Exchange: Money should be exchanged at state-run CADECAs (cheaper than banks) or international air- and seaports. Dollars attract a 10% surcharge on top of the normal commission (US citizens should bring Euros to exchange). All local currency must be exchanged again before leaving the country. Card transactions attract a surcharge (3 to 5%).

Credit/Debit Cards and ATMs: MasterCard and Visa are increasingly accepted, provided they are not issued by a US bank, or a bank with links to the USA, but hefty fees are often added. ATMs are still rare, but cash can be obtained in banks with non-US Visa credit and Visa debit cards. Cirrus/Maestro is not accepted.

Telephone: Country code: 53. Phone cards for both internal and external calls are readily available from shops and kiosks. Some calls must be made through the international operator, and may be subject to delays.

Mobile Telephone: Roaming agreements exist with most international mobile phone companies. For extended stays, consider buying a Cuban mobile and SIM card for internal calls. The mobile network is often more reliable than landlines, though coverage is far from universal.

Internet: Available at hotels and some Internet cafes. Some websites are censored.

Post: Letters to Western Europe can take several weeks. It is advisable to use the airmail service.

Language: The official language is Spanish

 

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