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When to go

The high season for visitors is Dec - Apr when the weather is usually sunny, mostly dry and not too humid, though there can be cool days. Hurricane and tropical storms are possible Aug - Nov.

Language

Spanish.

Getting local currency

You can purchase Cuban Convertible Pesos at the airport or in banks or cadecas (money exchanges) in principal towns. US dollars are not accepted so you need to take cash in  sterling. Euros are also accepted but the rate may not be as favourable. There are some ATM machines which supposedly accept debit cards but they are not always reliable. You can also get cash with a credit or debit card (not issued by a US bank). You can change surplus money back to convertible currencies at the airport at the end of your trip. 

NB: The more valuable convertible peso (CUC) has been reserved for use in the tourism sector and foreign trade. In October 2013, as part of a package of economic reforms its value will be gradually unified with the lower-value CUP, ending a system resented by ordinary Cubans.

Time difference

GMT -5 hours.

Getting there

10 hours on a direct flight to Havana.

Combines with

Mexico’s Yucatán, with flights from Cancún to Havana, 1 hour 15mins.

Key events

Carnival:  There are carnivals throughout the country on different dates. Havana’s carnival moves around date-wise year upon year, but is always accompanied by parades, music, drumming and dancing. Santiago’s carnival in July is probably the biggest and the best.
International Jazz Festival: Havana, Dec. Workshops and concerts. One of the world’s best.
 
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