Practical Information

Health Insurance

Most hotels have a doctor on call 24 hours a day to provide primary health care. There are more than 440 polyclinics and 280 hospitals in Cuba, some of them with special wards for tourists. In addition, there are international clinics in Pinar del Río and Havana, at Varadero Beach, in Cienfuegos and Trinidad, on Cayo Coco, at Santa Lucía and Guardalavaca Beaches and in Santiago de Cuba. The main tourist resorts also have international drugstores. If you aren't covered by an insurance policy while traveling, you can obtain one in Cuba through the ASISTUR, S.A., travelers' aid company, which offers medical, financial, legal and car insurance policies; handles sending you back home in case of illness or death; and provides help in finding lost luggage, obtaining new travel documents and making plane and hotel reservations. Its switchboard is open 24 hours a day to handle emergencies.


Cuba's health system is said to have one of the world's most complete programs of primary attention, the lowest of infantile mortality rate in Latin América and free services for all the people.


The national currency is the Cuban Peso, which is equivalent to 100 centavos (cents). Notes can be of 1, 3, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 pesos. Coins can be of 1, 5 and 20 centavos, and there are others of 1 and 3 pesos. At the Bureaus of Exchange (CADECA) created to sell - buy Cuban Convertible Pesos, the exchange rate can vary now between $20.00 and $25.00 Cuban pesos to the Cuban Convertible Pesos (CUC). The exchange rate to the American dollar is fixed $ 1.00 CUC - $ 0.80 USD


The electric appliances endowed with round spikes should be brought with an adapter of plane spikes that are the type used for the plugs existent in the country. Electric current of general use is 110 V / 60 Hz, although in the recently constructed hotels it is 220 V / 60 Hz.


Internet Access:
There are no Internet cafes in Cuba, but there is access in most hotels. Sadly, the service is almost always slow and unreliable. It is also expensive: rates range between 5CUC for 15 mins to 15CUC for an hour. An alternative to hotels is ETECSA offices, equipped with computers and Internet access. You buy a card and scratch off the login number and password to access the Internet. Most Cubans have no Internet access, as it is still illegal to have it at home.
Telephone Calls:
International phone calls can be made from your hotel room using any pre-paid cards or International Telephone Centers. You can also use your mobile in Cuba, although it is expensive and you should check with your provider beforehand about rates. For dialing to Cuba you must dial the country code (+53) followed by the code of the city or town and then the number you want to call. Rates are very expensive from the UK and calls should be avoided if possible. To dial from Cuba you need to dial 119, followed by the country code, then the code of the city and then the number that you want to dial. Using your mobile will be expensive at about 5CUC per minute, and more if calling from a hotel phone. A 25CUC phone card could easily be used in a 5-minute phone call.

Departure Tax

There is a 25cuc departure tax to be paid on leaving Cuba. It’s important to put aside this money, as at times the ATM at the airport is not working.

Emergency Contacts

Country Code: +53
Emergency number: 088 & 116
Medical Urgency (SIUM): 104
Information number: 113