Your Safety is Our Priority
Our motto is – ‘Safety First’, thus your safety is our number one priority. From the time you start planning, we provide safety tips and travel information in preparation for your journey. Once You are in Cuba, we provide hands on assistance through your journey.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates
Cuba is open to international travellers. Visit our Travel Alerts page for any COVID-19 Updates and the latest protocols.
IS CUBA SAFE?
There’s a false misconception about Cuba being unsafe, that deters many travellers back from escaping to this amazing island. The misinformation in the media about the political history between Cuba and the US, the lack of access to travel information on the internet and some outright inaccuracies have stopped many a dreams of travellers from experiencing this once unreachable destination.
TOURISTS IN CUBA FEEL SAFE
A March 2021 study by the from the US Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) showed that Cuba is generally safe to travel to. The biggest concerns of safety were caused by potholes in the road, airborne viruses caused by mosquito bites and drinking water quality – latter can be overcome by drinking bottled water.
There are also potential of tourists be faced with pickpocketing and potential currency scams, issues shared by other destinations from Paris to Rome. Like with any other destination, it is important to always remain aware and keep an eye on purses and personal belongings when in public. These are also alleviated by having your local tour guide on hand.
Overall, Cuba is one of the safest countries you can travel to.
Cuban laws and culture designed to protect tourists
The Cuban government recognises the importance of tourists to the Cuban economy, thus they have strict laws to protect tourists that are also enforced. As an example, there are severe penalties for violations, including jail time for petty theft. Panhandling in Cuba is illegal and is strictly enforced to protect the tourist experience from minor annoyances and petty scams.
Zero tolerance for illegal substances (drugs) and related crimes
The government is strict in its enforcement of laws against the illegal use, sale, and smuggling of narcotics. There are strong punishment for traffickers, and are enforced strictly by the police, for both locals and tourists, thus illegal substances (drugs) in Cuba are very scarce.
Statistically negligible homeless population, no gangs
Homelessness is illegal in Cuba and is punished, thus you will not see homeless people on the street. Their culture is built on extended family support networks, thus the multigenerational households minimize societal problems for at risk populations.
Cuba has one of the lowest civilian firearm-ownership rates in the world. The purchase of firearms is extremely prohibitive and gun policies are highly restrictive.
Low Political violence and terrorism threats
This may surprise you considering the sentiment in the media around the world regarding Cuba, but even the OSAC rates Cuba as a “LOW-threat location for political violence” and the U.S. Department of State “has assessed Havana as being a LOW-threat location for terrorism.”
In fact Cuba ranks 135 out of 163 on the Global Terrorism index 2020 and has no impact from terrorism.
Cuba is truly one of the safest destinations in the world to visit. There is no evidence of any threat to tourists. We actively monitor safety conditions in Cuba and will cancel travel arrangements upon any indication of a threat to your safety.
Insure your trip
This is a requirement to enter Cuba. Read the fine print! Your policy must cover COVID-19, repatriation and hospital cover as a minimum for entry into Cuba, it is also helpful to have options for cancellation of flights, tours as well as against loss or damage of your personal property.
Take copies of your travel documents; printing in Cuba may be difficult
We meant to live in a paperless society, but in the country where internet access and printing can be tricky, you must come prepared. Keep a copy of your passport, insurance document, credit cards on your phone and in a printed form. You just never know when you may need it.
Ensure you have your visa (Tourist Card)
Technically, you must carry your visa aka tourist card with you, you may also require to show this document if you need to apply for an extension of your stay, so make sure that you do not lose it.
Pack medications and first-aid essentials
Cuba’s healthcare system is known for its high-quality doctors and whilst they are fantastic, their resources are rather limited so it is important to pack all medications and first aid essentials so you are prepared for minor injuries. Download our Health and Hygiene Checklist to help you prepare.
We also ask that if you can bring extra for the Cuban people or leave all your unused items behind, they are truly appreciated.
Bring plenty of cash
In Cuba, ‘Cash is King’! US travellers will not be able to use ATMS, travellers from around the world will not be able to use ATM cards of US owned banks, and when you can use them ATM withdrawals offer abysmal exchange rates.
Whilst you can get by on a budget as our trips cover most items you may need to pay for, we recommend to bring EUR 50-150 of spending money per day. It is better to plan to take more money than to get caught short of funds. You can always bring back excess cash.
Check vaccination requirements
Whilst vaccination records no longer are required in Cuba, you may be required to present your vaccination status on your return. Check before you travel so you don’t get caught out.
There are no Cuba-specific vaccines required for your trip, however,
We also recommend contacting your doctor for his or her recommendation before your departure for any other vaccinations you may require.
Wear your seatbelt
This is not a Cuba specific advice. Seatbelts save lives!
Our drivers are trained to keep you safe and will enforce our strict seat belt policy that all of our guests must adhere to. We want you to be safe as you take in the sights and sounds of this country from one of our private cars.
Don’t drink the tap water
We recommend only drinking bottled water, in fact we ask that you bring your water bottle so we can top you up with safe drinking water. The reason we do that is that we can reduce plastic waste by buying the largest bottle and distribute it, rather than have each client buy small bottles.
Don’t pet animals
You will see cats and dogs roaming the streets, your casa owner may also have pets, it is important not to hold or pet these animals, as they are generally not clean and may carry bacteria on their fur.
Pay attention to street and sidewalk conditions
Orsolya always warns the ladies about high heel shoes! Even if you don’t wear them you need to keep vigilance at uneven surfaces, especially at night time. Also always look both ways, as Cuba’s old cars may not be able to quickly avoid a poorly timed jaywalk.
Save our emergency contacts
We will provide you emergency contacts on your arrival, make sure that you save these contacts in your phone. In the unlikely case that you do need emergency assistance on your trip, your Simply Cuba tours guide will assist you.
Use common sense
Just as with travel to any destination in the world, we encourage guests to use common sense judgment when traveling to Cuba. Things like, don’t bring expensive jewellery, keep an eye on your belongings, don’t carry all your cash, lock up your passport in the safe and the likes will ensure you to have a smooth trip.
Read our emails
We know that getting everything all at once is overwhelming, which is why we will send you information to get you prepared for your Cuba holiday in bite sizes. We will share with you everything you need to prepare and dream about your trip to Cuba.
Would you love to discover Cuba?