FACTS FOR VISITORS

Climate

Cuba has a tropical climate with an average day temperature of 25 °C and an average humidity of 78 per cent. The climate is split in to two seasons. A wet and hot period from May to October and a dry and cooler period from November to April.

The rainfall in the summer months usually comes as short and sometimes heavy afternoon showers followed by hot and sunny weather. With about 330 days of sunshine a year, and an average sea temperature of 25 °C, Cuba is an all year-around destination for visitors.

In the winter months, cold fronts from the north can hit the Caribbean. During a period of a couple of days, temperatures can drop as low as 15 °C at daytime and 10°C at night. Sometimes these cold fronts are accompanied by rain and humid weather.

Because of the warm waters and its situation in the Gulf of Mexico, Cuba can be subject to hurricanes in the period from July to November, with September and October as the most vulnerable months. The Cuban government is generally well prepared for these tropical storms and a lot of shelters are build across the island.

 

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
  Air temperature (ºC) 23.1 22.9 24.1 25.1 27.1 27.6 28.4 28.1 27.6 27.7 24.6 23.5
  Sea temperature (ºC) 24.6 24.3 24.6 25.3 26.2 27.3 28.0 28.5 28.3 27.5 26.3 25.2
  Hours of sun 11.0 11.4 12.0 12.6 13.2 13.5 13.3 13.0 12.4 11.8 11.2 10.9
  Rain (mm) 45 38 47 72 177 216 139 158 184 190 79 41
  Days of rain 3 4 3 4 8 11 9 10 10 10 5 3
  Humidity (%) 79 77 76 74 78 81 79 80 82 83 81 80

 

Visa

Foreign visitors need a Tourist Visa (Tourist Card) to get in to Cuba. These are normally issued in Cuban embassies or consulates. Some travel agencies also offer visa services. To get a visa you must have booked a flight and have a passport valid until at least 3 months after your travel. The Tourist Visa allows you to stay in the country for 30 days, which can be extended for another 30 days. It costs somewhere between 25 and 40 euros, depending on how and where you get it.

Upon arrival in Cuba the immigration will stamp both halves of the Tourist Card and keep one for themselves. The other half you must keep along with your passport during your stay.

Currency

Cuba has a complicated dual-monetary system with two currencies; the Peso (CUP) and the Convertible Peso (CUC), with an exchange rate of 25 CUP for 1 CUC. In general CUC is for tourists while most Cubans get paid in CUP which is also the currency they are supposed to use for everyday purchases and transport. The fact is however that more and more normal consumer goods are only to be found in CUC.

Because of the economic crisis in the nineties, the Cuban government accepted the American dollar as legal currency side by side with the Cuban Peso. The Convertible Peso was invented at this time and became the second legal currency in Cuba when the American dollar again was banned in 2004.

The Cuban government has pronounced that they are aiming at a single currency system to make things less complicated and the economy more competitive in an international context. But so far they are still stuck with the dual system and no date has been set to change.