Joe “Sloppy Joe”/”Josie” Russell, Ernest Hemingway and unidentified boy (far left) with a striped marlin on a boat, Havana Harbor, Cuba.

Ernest Hemingway at the wheel of his boat, Pilar, with Carlos Gutierrez.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Planning your trip and traveling to Cuba from USA with HavanaCubano/ACI Tours, Inc.

If you do not see an FAQ on our list please contact us for answers.

 

What are the visa requirements for entering Cuba?

All U.S. Travelers need a Visa to enter Cuba. This Visa is called a tourist card and we will procure those on your behalf as part of the tour package. If you were born in Cuba, but have U.S. Citizenship, please contact us so we can assist you in obtaining your special visa from the Cuban Government, if needed.
A current valid U.S. Passport is needed to enter and depart Cuba, so please make sure your documents will be current for six months beyond the duration of your stay in Cuba.

 

What options do we offer for travel to Cuba??

We offer two departure options to Cuba.

Option A.  From Miami International (MIA) using U.S. Government approved charter air service direct from Miami to Havana, Cuba. ACI Tours will book a round trip reservation on a charter airline on your behalf once your tour reservation has been made for the corresponding dates of your particular tour. The cost of this airfare is included in the price of our U.S. based departure tours.

Option B. From Cancún International Airport (CUN), using a regular scheduled airline to Havana, Cuba. The cost of this airfare is included in the price our Mexico based departure tours.

Additional airline surcharges, U.S./Cuba/Mexico departure taxes and baggage fees are your financial responsibility and not included in the price of the tour.

EH-C717T Ernest Hemingway at his home in Cuba, the Finca Vigia, circa 1947. Photograph in the Ernest Hemingway Photograph Collection, John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.
Ernest Hemingway at his home in Cuba, the Finca Vigia, circa 1947. Photograph in the Ernest Hemingway Photograph Collection, John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.

*Cancun Departures

HavanaCubano/ACI Tours, Inc. believes that a Cancun, Mexico based departure will create a more seamless and enjoyable experience for our clients for several reasons.  First, the Miami-Havana charter flight  travel route has become over burdened with high volume traffic due to the recent interest in visiting Cuba. Miami is the busiest (most flights) U.S. departure point for Cuba. This is compounded by Cuban-American ex-pats that frequently travel to the island, making the flights very crowded and loaded with carry-on luggage. For photographers and divers, carry-on space is necessary and vital to protect our all-important gear.  Second, we are able to offer a special more attractively priced package, an option we are regrettably unable to provide from a U.S. based departure due to the encumbrances of the U.S./Cuba embargo that restrict price competition. Third, a Miami departure requires a 4 hour check-in, and luggage is limited to 20 kg/44 lbs per bag.  The Cancun scheduled airline departure offers a standard check-in process, a daily 3PM flight to Havana facilitating connections and eliminating the need to arrive the previous day, in most cases, and the long check-in.  This is especially advantageous for the weekend trips, and the luggage limit is 40 kg/88 lbs per bag. Cancun also has the advantage of being an extremely popular destination, receiving a large number of flights from all parts of the U.S. including charters. The flight time to Cancun is comparable to that of Miami from most points in the U.S., and airfares are competitive (often times even lower).
Our U.S. Department of Treasury OFAC license is available for perusal upon request. Below is an excerpt of our license which indicates specifically the ability to do so within the guidelines.

OFAC authorized

 

Do I need travel insurance?

We do not provide travel insurance, but we can provide referrals to companies that do upon request. Please see the terms and conditions of sale below, travel insurance to protect your trip purchase may be a wise choice to protect against unplanned circumstances.

 

Do Cubans speak English?

Some English is spoken on the island. Our owner/operator and professional photographer guides are fluent in Spanish and available to translate for our guests.

 

What kind of currency do U.S. traveler’s use and what is the exchange rate?

Cuba utilizes a system of dual-economy that assigns one currency for foreign visitors, the Cuban Convertible Peso (CUC) and another for Cuban nationals, the Cuban Peso (CUP) officially known as Moneda Nacional (National Currency) also referred to as “Chavitos” by the Cubans. Foreign visitors are obliged to use CUCs for any and all purchases made in Cuba and are forbidden to change their CUCs into Cuban Pesos (CUPs).

U.S. dollars cannot be used in Cuba for any purchases and have not been accepted in Cuba since 2004. All foreign visitors must change their national currency to Cuban Convertible Pesos (CUCs) for any purchases made in Cuba. This includes U.S. dollars.

CUCs are issued in the following denominations: 1, 3, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100.  CUCs are not part of the international currency exchange; therefore, the currency cannot be bought, sold or exchanged outside of Cuba. In 2011, the CUC was re-valued to equal the U.S. dollar (USD) at a 1:1 ratio. As of May 2015, this exchange rate has held the 1:1 ratio and subject to change at any time. Be advised that the Cuban government typically charges an exchange fee for foreign currency transactions. It is currently 13% for U.S. dollars (USD), e.g., $100 USD=87(CUCs).

You have the ability to exchange U.S. and all other foreign currencies at banks and official government exchange houses operated by CADECA (Casa de Cambio S.A.) found throughout cities, airports and some hotels including the Melía Habana. Banking hours are 8:00AM-3:00PM.  Generally hotels offer more flexible hours. As in other parts of the world, the foreign currency exchange procedure will require you to have your passport as an official form of ID. The exchange rate is identical regardless of location.  Be advised that legal currency exchange is solely the function of banks and CADECA.  Beware of individuals offering unauthorized currency exchange services. It is illegal and leaves you vulnerable to fraudulent practices.

Upon departure, the hotel cannot change CUCs back into U.S. dollars. This can be done at the airport prior to departure and again incurs an exchange fee.  Bear in mind please, that this process can be slow, so plan accordingly.

 

What is required to book a trip?

We require a deposit of $500 when the trip is booked. Please see our Terms and Conditions page for details.

 

 

Do you have any additional question about flying to or traveling in Cuba?
Please contact our office if you have any concerns regarding the information and terms and conditions of sale herein.

 

 

PHOTOWALKS INFORMATION COMING SOON.

PHOTO WORKSHOP INFORMATION COMING SOON.