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US Citizens can travel to Cuba. Find out everything you need to know here

Soulful Cuba

Explore Havana in a 1950s classic car, learn to salsa with locals and zipline over spectacular forests to swim in a tropical waterfall

What's Included

  • Accommodation in twin rooms
  • Max 14 travelers per group
  • Exclusively for people in their 30s & 40s
  • Arrival transfer included
  • 7 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 5 dinners
  • All activities mentioned in the itinerary
  • Experienced Pack Leader with your throughout the trip
  • Private minibus

Flashpackers must provide evidence that they have purchased travel insurance for the duration of their adventure. Remember, flights aren't included and prices are based on sharing a twin room. If you'd like to upgrade to a single room, you can add this during the booking process or by contacting our Customer Experience team.

ABOUT YOUR TRIP

In Cuba you’re pretty cut off from the outside world, so this won’t be your average Flash Pack adventure. But isn’t that the most exciting part?

From 1950s Cadillacs and rickety old tractors to crumbling colonial mansions and retro political billboards, Cuba feels suspended in time. You’ll need to be open-minded – even the best-made plans can go awry here – but for the chance to witness the magic of a country reinventing itself before your eyes? Cuba’s unpredictability becomes part of its charm.

Over eight days with Flash Pack you’ll cruise the Malecón of Havana in a classic convertible. You’ll take salsa and reggaeton lessons before hitting the lively night scene with your dance teachers, now Cuban friends. You’ll visit vibrant Trinidad and you’ll soar across tropical valleys on a ziplining adventure. And you’ll meet extraordinary characters at every turn: like the Cuban Masters cycling athletes, who’ll take you on a backstreet tour of the capital, and an inspirational cultural leader keeping the country’s Afro-Cuban roots alive.

A world of its own that seems to follow no rules; if you’re willing to embrace the unexpected, this adventure is yours. Because there’s nowhere quite like Cuba.

We know that travel to Cuba can sound daunting so we’ve put together this Traveling to Cuba FAQs page to help you understand the entry requirements. Remember that our Travel Experts are here to help you every step of the way.

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Hello, Havana
  • Begin your adventure in Cuba’s charismatic capital, Havana, where a private Flash Pack transfer will be waiting for you at the airport
  • Travel through the vibrant streets filled with vintage cars and bicycles to your privately owned casa particular – Cuba’s answer to a boutique hotel, full of local flavor
  • Get to know your group over welcome mojitos, before heading to the atmospheric Old Town for a delicious family-style feast
Cycling & salsa
  • Embark on a bicycle tour of Havana, led by a group of retired cycling athletes known as Cuban Masters; these colorful characters are best placed to introduce you to their city
  • Enjoy an energetic salsa lesson, joining your expert dance partners afterwards at a paladar (local restaurant) before hitting a lively salsa club loved by locals
Road trip to Trinidad
  • Havana calls, but first you’ll stop at Punta Perdiz, on the infamous Bay of Pigs, where you’ll swim in the fish-tank clear water and dine overlooking the rocky coast
  • From here it’s to your casa particular in the enchanting colonial town of Trinidad
  • Tonight, enjoy a cocktail-making class and dinner at a local restaurant
Local crafts & Cuban rhythms
  • Step back in time as you explore Trinidad’s Unesco-listed old town, filled with cobbled streets, ornate churches and pastel-colored houses dating back to the 19th century
  • Visit a local initiative teaching youngsters traditional crafts, and try your hand at pottery under the guidance of a local expert
  • Hit the beach for a barbecue and drinks, then feel the beat of local rhythms with a Cuban drumming class
Ziplining & reggaeton
  • Embrace adrenaline on a thrilling zipline tour, soaring high above the forest canopy, before hiking to a pretty waterfall where you plunge into cascading waters
  • Join some locals for a reggaeton workshop, a free-spirited dance style that’ll see you shoulder popping and body waving in no time
Modern music & cultured clubbing
  • Back in Havana you’ll visit a recording studio; meeting contemporary musicians to chat to them about the city’s famed music scene
  • Tonight you’ll party at one of Havana’s best-loved venues: the Fábrica de Arte Cubano (FAC), a nightclub and art gallery warehouse where no two nights are ever the same
Classic cars & star-lit cocktails
  • Discover Cuba’s Santeria religion with a visit to Beyond Roots – an organization working to preserve the island’s Afro-Cuban cultural heritage
  • Cruise through Havana in style in a fleet of 1950s convertible cars, riding along the sweeping waterfront as the sun sets over the ocean
  • End your night with dinner and cocktails at an upscale paladar, toasting your fellow Flashpackers beneath the starry Caribbean sky
Hasta luego, Cuba
  • Say adios to your new amigos and make your own way to the airport; your Pack Leader will be on hand to help you arrange a transfer
  • Return home feeling privileged to have accessed such a special and once secretive destination – whose streets and culture offer a living history unlike anywhere else in the world

OUR FAVORITE HOTELS

Throughout this trip you will be staying in casas particulares (privately owned properties). Although not up to luxury hotel standard, what they lack in facilities they make up for in charm and local character. Here's a taste of the places we sometimes use on this adventure. The casas you'll stay in for your departure will be shared with you one month before you go.

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Boutique 25 Y G, Havana

Set in a beautiful colonial-style mansion in the heart of leafy Vedado, this intimate 8-room casa features a tasteful mix of modern and vintage furniture, and vibrant Cuban artwork. Head up to the top-floor solarium for sundowners – and amazing views over the city and sea.

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Hostal La Moda, Trinidad

Lovingly restored by its friendly owners, the beautiful villa on the edge of the historic center retains its colonial charm with pretty tiled floors, wrought-iron doors and pastel-hued walls. The large rooftop terrace is the perfect spot for sundowners and bbqs.

Important Notes

Which airport do I need to fly into? Plus airport code

Fly into and out of Havana José Martí International Airport (HAV).

What time should my flight arrive? (to arrive in time for the welcome meeting)

Before 4 pm ideally. The welcome meeting and dinner will be from 7 pm onwards starting at the hotel, which is located approximately 30 minutes away from the airport.

Note that baggage claim in Cuba can be very slow, so don’t feel alarmed if your bags take a long time to appear.

What time should my flight depart on the last day?

There are no activities planned for the last day, so leave any time you wish. The airport is approximately 30 minutes away from your final hotel.

Are airport transfers included?

If you arrive on Day 1 of your adventure, or you book pre-tour accommodation with us, your airport arrival transfer will be included. If you book alternative pre-tour accommodation or are arriving by another mode of transport you must arrange your own arrival transfer.

Arrival transfers are private to Flash Pack and will be in groups depending on flight times. Sometimes this means waiting in the airport for a short while until other flights have arrived.

We don’t offer a departure transfer as Flashpackers leave at different times of the day and many stay for extra nights. However, your Pack Leader will offer you support with finding a local taxi, which will cost around 40 EUR.

Will I need a visa?

Please see our Traveling to Cuba FAQs page for details.

Are tips included?

Please note that tips are not included in the cost of this adventure. Suggested amounts per person are:

  • Pack Leader: 6.50 USD / 6-7 EUR per day
  • Drivers: 5 USD / 4-5 EUR per day
  • Local tips: your Pack Leader will be able to advise on how much to tip local guides, restaurants, etc. Some Pack Leaders will collect a tipping kitty at the welcome meeting to take care of local tips.

However, all tips are at your discretion depending on what you feel comfortable with.

What standard of accommodation should I expect?

The accommodation choices in Cuba are plusher than your average Cuban dwelling, but not quite up to Flash Pack’s usual high standards. However, we are staying in some of the best places in each location. Casas particulares (privately owned properties) are some of the most charming places to stay but room sizes vary and we may need to split the group into different accommodation as casas rarely have more than six rooms.

Regardless of where you stay in Cuba, power cuts and breaks in hot water are sometimes unavoidable, but we’ll always make sure hotels or casas are clean and comfortable, with rooms that are truly unique. Sometimes hotels/casas cancel on us at the last minute, so with this in mind, we always have a backup hotel/casa of a similar standard.

Bear in mind that most hotels in Cuba have thin walls, so be prepared for background noise. For example, there may be music in the street that you can hear from your room. If you’re a light sleeper, it’s a good idea to bring ear plugs.

What is traveling in Cuba like?

Cuba is a country that is changing rapidly and travelers need to be prepared that things might not always go according to plan: basic itinerary changes will likely happen, along with the odd power cut. There is often baffling red tape and the simple luxuries that we take for granted – such as air conditioning and toilet seats – are often missing in this beautiful country. However, those who love the odd surprise and the charm of visiting places a little different to home will absolutely fall in love with Cuba.

Is there WiFi in Cuba?

Mobile roaming isn’t easily accessible in Cuba and it’s super expensive so best to turn it off when you land in Havana and get used to connecting via WiFi only, which is accessible in your accommodation. Don’t expect to connect while moving around from A to B. If you need to be constantly connected to the internet, this trip may not be for you. However, it’s the perfect excuse for those who want to unplug and appreciate local culture.

What vaccinations and medication will I need?

While we are not medical professionals and cannot offer personalized medical advice, we want to ensure you have a safe and enjoyable adventure. Here are some tips to help you prepare.

1. Consult with a healthcare professional

We recommend scheduling an appointment with your travel nurse or doctor at least eight weeks before your adventure. This will give you ample time to receive any necessary vaccines or medications.

2. Up-to-date medical advice

3. Government travel advice

4. Medication tips

If you take prescription medication, ensure you bring enough to last the entire adventure, plus a few extra days in case of travel delays. Carry a copy of your prescription with you in case you need to visit a clinic while abroad.

We hope this information will help you prepare for a safe and healthy adventure.

What do I need to bring?

A full packing list will be sent to you upon booking, but here are a couple of things to know in advance:

  • You need to bring everything – from medicine to toiletries – with you to Cuba as it will be hard, if not impossible, to get things like paracetamol, deodorant or ear plugs once there.
  • Tap water in Cuba is not drinkable we recommend bringing a water-filter bottle so you can always have a fresh supply of drinkable water, rather than having to source single-use plastics and/or rely on bottled mineral water always being available.
  • Food choice is scarce in Cuba and there’s not a lot of variety, so it’s a good idea to bring snacks from home.
  • If you’re vegan, you might want to consider bringing some nuts and nut butter to supplement your diet, as traditional Cuban meals often revolve around meat. Having said that, you’ll find plenty of veggie side dishes, such as beans, chickpeas, sweet potato and salad.
  • Keen snorkelers might want to bring their own mask and snorkel, however local equipment will be available to rent.
Will this itinerary change?

Shortages and unforeseen circumstances are part and parcel of Cuban life. But one of the benefits of traveling with an organised tour company is that we can help you navigate bureaucracy and bumps along the road. All we ask, is that you arrive with a sense of adventure and an understanding that unlocking the richness of Cuban culture doesn’t always align with clear-cut comfort.

What currency should I bring?

Euros, in small denominations, is the currency to bring. US dollars are accepted but they are no longer king, due to their checkered past in Cuba. You’ll get a better exchange rate with euros.

Before heading to Cuba, check that your bank card can be used in the country (if your bank is US owned, then your card won’t work in Cuba due to the US Embargo on Cuba). As currency at ATMs and CADECAs can be limited, you’ll need to bring plenty of cash.

NOTE: bring both cash and a bank card so that you always have a backup way to access money. 

Everything will be priced in Cuban peso once there, but locals will happily let you pay in euros and give you change in local currency. If you’re keen to get hold of Cuban pesos, use a local CADECA or ‘casa de cambio’ money exchange (there are a few ATMs in Havana and Trinidad but these shouldn’t be relied on for cash). Avoid the airport exchanges and wait until you get to Havana instead.

What level of fitness do I need for this trip?

You’ll need a reasonable level of fitness for this trip. The most challenging activity is the Day 2 cycling tour of Havana, which covers around 10 miles and includes some uphill sections.

What are the drive times like?

The longest drive on this trip is from Havana to Trinidad, which takes about 4 hours and includes a stop at a Zapata Peninsula National Park for swimming and snorkeling. We recommend having a read through of the itinerary above, and getting in touch if you have specific questions on fitness.

Is there specific legal advice for US citizens travelling to Cuba?

Please see our Traveling to Cuba FAQs page for details.

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