Cuba Photo by Balint Földesi via Flickr Creative Commons

Most visitors to Cuba require a tourist visa which is valid for 30 days. Citizens from some counties can receive this on arrival, but most including citizens from the UK require a visa in advance. While the Cuban government has no restrictions on US citizens, the US government still does. Any US citizen intending to travel to Cuba can only do so with a license that has been issued by the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control. While there are ways of circumventing this, by flying in from another country for example, more and more customs facilities are being established at popular cruise ports.

Health and Safety

Cuba has a large network of police and established neighborhood watch programs to keep the streets safe. The levels of petty crime like muggings and pick pocketing are generally low. Tourists should however watch out for scams which are quite common involving cigars, credit cards and currency exchanges. Women typically garner a great deal of attention so it’s best to travel in large groups, especially at night, and dress on the modest side.

While many travelers drink the water with no side effects, it is advised to purchase bottled water from local stores. The high temperatures also demand that travelers stay well-hydrated to avoid the risk of getting heat stroke.

Cuba has one of the best healthcare systems in the world and the highest number of doctors per capita. Finding an MD in the time of need will not be difficult. Medication, on the other hand, is not always available and it is advised that an ample supply of specialized prescriptions be taken with. It is also recommended that travelers obtain the following immunizations for these illnesses before departure: Hepatitis A and B, Typhoid, Rabies and Tetanus-diphtheria.

Click here to learn about the History and Culture in Cuba