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How much it cost travel to Cuba 2 weeks

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1. Posted by marti jacobs (Inactive 9 posts) 37w

Hi everyone,

We plan to visit Santiago de Cuba for 14 days from May 1-8. We want to immerse ourselves into the city.

Be that as it may, are there are interesting day trips in case we want a break from the city? I know Siboney is a possibility. Any other ideas (we will have no car but relying on bus, taxis)? Or some any area(s) that might be worth visiting nearby, overnight or otherwise? Don't want to spend a lot of time traveling/driving given we only have two weeks.

We are so excited. Thank you so much.

2. Posted by CheersT (Travel Guru 2458 posts) 37w

Here's my basic Cut & Paste for first timers...

=========================================

FIRST AND MOST IMPORTANT: Buy a Guide Book from Time Out, Rough Guide, Lonely Planet, Moon, etc. Any Cuban guide book holds 1,000 times more info than any thread on an Internet Travel Discussion Forum so it's a crucial investment to start your research so you can come back and ask specific questions.

Further thoughts:

1.) If you're an experienced traveller in developing countries and you've stayed in inexpensive hostels/hotels elsewhere then Cuba will hold no surprises. Travelling independently in Cuba will be easy.

2.) Cuba is no longer an exotic destination. There are loads of excellent guide books like the ones mentioned above and there are several Internet forums/blogs that make it an easy place for specific research.

3.) The whole country is very safe and non-threatening. Crime/scams are minimal compared to most other Latin destinations.

4.) Cuba has a very defined Gringo Trail with decent transport and accommodation options, if you're still nervous it's easy to have a local guide/resolver/travel agent give you a nice comfort zone by setting you up with a semi-arranged itinerary so you're not completely on your own or you can hire a full time guide too.

i.) http://www.yourowncuba.com/

ii.) http://pototocuba.com/Pototow/

iii.) http://www.jorge-cubaholidays.com/

5.) For casa particulars (Cuban version of a Bed & Breakfast), local guides and other local services and info use the three companies at Point #4. Here's some additional suggestions:

i.) http://www.cuba-junky.com/

ii.) http://www.cubaccommodation.com/

iii.) http://www.destinohabana.com/

iv.) http://cubacasas.net/

The list goes on and on...

6.) Transport Options:
i.) http://www.yourowncuba.com/cuba-tours-services-transfers-guide.html

ii.) http://taxivinalescuba.com/

iii.) http://www.umbrellatravel.com/cuba-hotels/transfer/transferOnly.aspx

iv.) http://www.viazul.com/

7.) I'm sure you know that your US credit/debit cards are useless. Your US Dollars presently suffer a 10% surcharge that no other currency faces, but this is expected to be dropped shortly. Whether it makes sense to exchange your US Dollars to another accepted foreign currency (like Canadian and Euro) is only a question you answer, it depends entirely on what exchange rate you can access for the foreign currency.

Here's the ONLY website that gives accurate exchange rates for Cuba:

http://www.bc.gob.cu/Espanol/tipo_cambio_METROPOLITANO.asp

For a first time visitor a guide book is by FAR your most important (and cheapest/easiest) investment to start your research.

Have fun with your planning and good luck.

Cheers,
Terry

3. Posted by CheersT (Travel Guru 2458 posts) 37w

Oh, and to answer your actual question, haha, here's a very general (and quite generous) guideline for daily budget per person, with two people sharing a room, excluding booze....

Casa: 15 CUC
Breakfast: 5 CUC
Lunch: 8 CUC
Dinner: 15 CUC
Cover charges/Admissions/Etc: 10 CUC
Taxi/Bus: 7 CUC
Water/Snacks/Etc: 10 CUC

So, about 70 CUC per person.

That said, you can easily do it way cheaper (especially if you have a little Spanish) or of course way more expensive - especially if you're staying in hotels and you're a big partier buying rounds for all your new Cuban friends.

Cheers,
Terry

4. Posted by marti jacobs (Inactive 9 posts) 37w

Quoting CheersT

Here's my basic Cut & Paste for first timers...

=========================================

FIRST AND MOST IMPORTANT: Buy a Guide Book from Time Out, Rough Guide, Lonely Planet, Moon, etc. Any Cuban guide book holds 1,000 times more info than any thread on an Internet Travel Discussion Forum so it's a crucial investment to start your research so you can come back and ask specific questions.

Further thoughts:

1.) If you're an experienced traveller in developing countries and you've stayed in inexpensive hostels/hotels elsewhere then Cuba will hold no surprises. Travelling independently in Cuba will be easy.

2.) Cuba is no longer an exotic destination. There are loads of excellent guide books like the ones mentioned above and there are several Internet forums/blogs that make it an easy place for specific research.

3.) The whole country is very safe and non-threatening. Crime/scams are minimal compared to most other Latin destinations.

4.) Cuba has a very defined Gringo Trail with decent transport and accommodation options, if you're still nervous it's easy to have a local guide/resolver/travel agent give you a nice comfort zone by setting you up with a semi-arranged itinerary so you're not completely on your own or you can hire a full time guide too.

i.) http://www.yourowncuba.com/

ii.) http://pototocuba.com/Pototow/

iii.) http://www.jorge-cubaholidays.com/

5.) For casa particulars (Cuban version of a Bed & Breakfast), local guides and other local services and info use the three companies at Point #4. Here's some additional suggestions:

i.) http://www.cuba-junky.com/

ii.) http://www.cubaccommodation.com/

iii.) http://www.destinohabana.com/

iv.) http://cubacasas.net/

The list goes on and on...

6.) Transport Options:
i.) http://www.yourowncuba.com/cuba-tours-services-transfers-guide.html

ii.) http://taxivinalescuba.com/

iii.) http://www.umbrellatravel.com/cuba-hotels/transfer/transferOnly.aspx

iv.) http://www.viazul.com/

7.) I'm sure you know that your US credit/debit cards are useless. Your US Dollars presently suffer a 10% surcharge that no other currency faces, but this is expected to be dropped shortly. Whether it makes sense to exchange your US Dollars to another accepted foreign currency (like Canadian and Euro) is only a question you answer, it depends entirely on what exchange rate you can access for the foreign currency.

Here's the ONLY website that gives accurate exchange rates for Cuba:

http://www.bc.gob.cu/Espanol/tipo_cambio_METROPOLITANO.asp

For a first time visitor a guide book is by FAR your most important (and cheapest/easiest) investment to start your research.

Have fun with your planning and good luck.

Cheers,
Terry

Woooow, this is such a great response!!! thank you so much, I'll follow your advises

5. Posted by marti jacobs (Inactive 9 posts) 37w

Quoting CheersT

Oh, and to answer your actual question, haha, here's a very general (and quite generous) guideline for daily budget per person, with two people sharing a room, excluding booze....

Casa: 15 CUC
Breakfast: 5 CUC
Lunch: 8 CUC
Dinner: 15 CUC
Cover charges/Admissions/Etc: 10 CUC
Taxi/Bus: 7 CUC
Water/Snacks/Etc: 10 CUC

So, about 70 CUC per person.

That said, you can easily do it way cheaper (especially if you have a little Spanish) or of course way more expensive - especially if you're staying in hotels and you're a big partier buying rounds for all your new Cuban friends.

Cheers,
Terry

Hi Terry, thank you for taking you time to help me :) I think with this advises will be cheaper than what we thought.

6. Posted by CheersT (Travel Guru 2458 posts) 37w

That said, it is VERY easy to haemorrhage money in Cuba too. It's just that kind of a place, it sucks you in somehow.

I meet a lot of backpackers who get into hanging out with locals and end up blowing their 2 week budget before the first week is even over.

If you're not into partying though it's very easy to stick with the numbers I've given you, and come home with money leftover. (One small point, don't exchange more money than you need. CUC is valueless outside of Cuba so you don't want to be stuck with a pile of it. You can exchange it back into your foreign currency before you leave, but you take a bath on the exchange rate.)

Cheers,
Terry

7. Posted by Calcruzer (Moderator 1989 posts) 36w

Just a note, for anyone who has trouble understanding the exchange rate site put up by Terry (CheersT) since it is in Spanish and doesn't cover all currencies, just know that the Cuban dollar rate is pegged to the US dollar, but so that people can make some money in the exchange, the cost to buy is roughly 1.03 and the cost to sell is roughly 0.97

A place where the US dollar to any other currency in the world may be easily calculated using English entries is at www.x-rates.com (do not use xrates.com as that is a different site that I do NOT recommend).
Then just consider the exchange rate above for US to Cuban conversion.

Enjoy your trip.

8. Posted by CheersT (Travel Guru 2458 posts) 36w

One last point to be completely clear... the website that I posted shows ALL the foreign currencies that are accepted in Cuba. It's a fairly short list.

If your home currency isn't mentioned (like for example Australian Dollars) then it's NOT accepted in Cuba so you'll have to exchange to a third currency.

Cheers,
Terry

PS The 10% surcharge on US Dollars will hopefully be removed fairly soon.

9. Posted by Calcruzer (Moderator 1989 posts) 36w

Thanks, Terry for that clarification, which I was not aware of.

10. Posted by CheersT (Travel Guru 2458 posts) 36w

You'd be amazed at how many Ozzie & Kiwi backpackers I meet here in Cuba with gobs of money... and zero way to exchange it...

Cheers,
Terry