Cuba Tourist Traps

  • Steps up to the bar area at Casa de la Musica.
    Steps up to the bar area at Casa de la...
    by pfsmalo
  • Tourist Traps
    by pfsmalo
  • One of the band waithing to come round.
    One of the band waithing to come round.
    by pfsmalo

Cuba Tourist Traps

  • Varadero

    Varadero Tourist Traps

    One night I stopped one of the "old taxis" said I wanted to go to Cardenas, 10 kms away. The Lady driver looked at me and said "OK". I got in and she turned around and started to drive me back towards my hotel, turned around again and stopped in a garage parking lot to do the "paper work" time ,destination, etc.. She then started the meter as we...

  • The cigar story

    Do buy cigars when you can appreciate the quality or as a present for friends.It stimulates local economy and you'll definitely find the best quality in Cuba.In order to get the real stuff go to the government owned cigar shops.When some one on the street or in your hostel is offering you premium quality for a bargain in the original box etc. etc....

  • Pay for your own photo`s

    Ok I suppose it happens in any touristy city, but the Habanarians are a bit over the top with their prices, wanting not a dollar but asking for 5 to take a picture, however you live and learn, wait for an opportunity and take them for free. Try not to give them too much as it just encourages them and they think we are all millionaires!

  • Cuban money, make sure you get the right...

    In Cuba there are two types of money. The peso that the locals use is called the National currency. The tourists use "Convertible" pesos. The convertible peso is worth about 5 times more than the national currency but the paper bills and change look almost identical. The only way to tell is looking closely. The convertible pesos say "converible...

  • artificial currency of cuba CUC

    You can change your canadian dollars to CUC at the airport, at CADECA which are kiosks especially set up for exchange into CUC. The rates are fixed by the government and the fluctuations are based on the strength of the currency being changed since CUC is an imaginary currency. they charge 11 per cent to charge your CAD to CUC, which is...

  • Do not rent a Car in Cuba!!!

    All car renta companies in Cuba are run byr the Goverment. You have to give a deposit of 200 CUC (Cuban tourist currency) in cash ot directly debited from your credit card.Once you return the car they mention they dont have cash, or that the terminal isnt working. They tell you not to worry and that the desposit will appear in your statement 3 days...

  • EVERYONE in Cuba is desperate to make a...

    Beware all con artists trying to persuade you that it costs a dollar to park here, a dollar to drive past this point in the road, a dollar to sit on this park bench, 10dollars to travel a 3 minute ride in a motorcycle - and best yet - if you bring your cycles back early you will have to pay a penalty of ten dollars! Everyone is so short of money...

  • Cueva del Indio in Vinales - dont even...

    You will be offered by many agencies or you might even think about it - La Cueva del Indio. Just outside of Vinales, about 5km, you pay an entrance of $5 CUC for that. Let me tell you - save your $$$. Bad jokes all the time from the guides and within 10 mins, you are out. It really is nothing spectacular...if I were you, I would save my $ and go to...

  • old havana, the soft sell!

    In Havana watch out for couples often with children who may start to chat to you. they will ask to help or point out and take you to local tourist spots. whilst doing so they will tell you how hard life is and how poor they are, and after the sob story ask you to help them. It is up to you if you do, and they will be grateful. There is no real...

  • Biggest tourist trap of Cuba?

    The Tourist Card :)Other countries provide this kinda visa for free giving it to you on the flight or at the airport after arriving ... Cuba asks money for it and you even can't check in your flight without one.Costs varies from 17 euro untill 60 or more, depends on the company who is selling it to you.

  • travellers cheques

    I am going to Cuba with my husband on 6th April and have problem getting Traveller's Cheques that are not American Express as AmEx is no longer accepted in Cuba ( so I read). If I won't be able to get the traveller's cheques I will take hard cash in Pound Sterling as apparently cash mashines are rare in Cuba and use of credit cards very limited....

  • Currencies to take to Cuba

    Don't take US dollars, debit cards or travellers cheques when travelling to Cuba. Stick with either Euros or Sterling pounds. Dollars won't get you very far - more expensive to convert. And stick with a mix of cash and Visa or MasterCard drawn on a British or European bank.See my blog on for details of my recent...

  • tourist hunting

    the cuban are very strange people !!!! you can find the best person and the worst , unfortunately i had a bad experience : be careful with the people who step up to you friendly because they get ripped of you !!! they propose you to visit the city then they drive you to their neighborhood and they said if you want to come back to the city center...

  • Never change your currency on the street

    In Cuba their is the moneda nacionaland the chavito which is cuc conversion of the dollarwell one time i saw a guy that had no idiaof the difference and he changed his dollarson the street and received national currency.. the best way for you is to take travelerschecks and change then at bfi Banco Financiero Internationalyou get a better deal than...

  • Mural de la Prehistoria

    Made in 1960's by local painters with direction and and command of Mr.Castro.I know it's amazing scenery around, even good restaurant below the cliff but can't help myself to say this is a way to pull out money from foreigners pocket couse I didn't see any cubans there. Maybe at first there was some "normal" explanation of ruining this beautiful...

  • CUC Cuban Convertible Currency or...

    By introducing the paper money Chavitos as the legal currency for tourism, the government of Cuba and Carlos Lage has fallen into a great lottery victory. Whatever currency or credit card you bring into the country, you sacrifice 11 per cent at the altar of Cuban Economy, your contribution to the welfare of Cuba. if you have american money, it is...

  • Money Exchange, credit cards

    Take a calculator with you so you know the exact amount of Convertible Pesos coming to you. If you don’t have a calculator, do NOT accept any transaction that doesn’t come with a printed receipt. No printed receipt invariably means that you’re being short-changed. Ripping off tourists during money exchange transactions has become a very common...

  • Begging children

    Every child in Cuba has to go to school and gets food there. There are no "street kids" like in other Latin American countries. But some kids ask tourists for little gifts or sweets or money. This way some earn more than adults with a proper job which causes social problems. Therefore don't give money or things to kids which can be resold. There is...

  • The milk story

    Sometimes tourists will be asked to buy milk for infants of the family. This is a trick. The person will buy the milk in your presence and afterwards, when you are gone, he/she gives back the milk and gets your money. By the way: children up to seven years get milk for free in Cuba.

  • Check your bills

    Especially in state restaurants and bars some employees like to gain some extra money by tricking you. E.g the total on the handwritten check is higher than the addition of the various items or there is only one number as total written on the bill. Always double check the bill and if necessary ask the waiter for the receipt of the registration...

  • Tropicana Nightclub...not as good as U...

    Tropicana, everyone knows where it is, how to get there and how much it costs...and it's a lot. But also every cuban knows that Tropicana is not what it used to be 20-30 years ago. It's really expensive to get in and once U are there U realize that U pay for a normal cabaret just with some more "mulatas" dancing and a big show. For some it's the...

  • Cuban Cigars...don't buy it on the...

    There are many tips about this subject but I will had my own one experience. One of the more common traps the tourist gets into is Cuban Cigars. Most of the cigars the hustlers offer on the streets are fakes. I could tell U histories about many friends who arrived at my place very happy because they found very good price for a nice Cohiba or...

  • Everyone learns from there own mistakes

    Yes i did it and i wa warned 100 times dont buy cigars off a beach vendor but i did and yes they where fake. i compared them to the real ones too i though i was getting such a deal.................... Go to the local market there more expensive than you may think though just but singles as souviners and gifts a box rums 40 and up USD

  • Watch the Jineteros !!!!

    Well ,I would never have belived it but the Jineteros they are all over you in Havana. I guess i looked like a tourist but still it was for me a bit too much ! I managed on the first evening to be fooled by 2 of the kind,It did not cost much but still I got them following me for a good while. After that I did just say no gracias and just walk away...

  • in every city

    begging is something you will get almost everywhere..santiago was no different..but found that they were not as persistent as in some places I have can see why some of them do it..they are not having a very good life..but some do not need to, but its easier than working.. I found that if you avoid eye contact and say a polite "NO" and...

  • Cigars

    Dont buy cigars on the street. You will get sand, or very bad copy. You have very little chance to get good cigars on the street. Buy cigars in the shops and ask for bill. You need to show that on Cuban customs when leaving Cuba. If not so, you can lost your cigars.And in shop, you are sure to get orginal Cuban cigars.

  • Meals at Casa Particulars

    Below are a couple of things we only discovered when we had to pay our bill at the end of our stay in our first casa. The casa owner purposely misled us or just did not inform us.1. Drinks are extra. If you eat in at your casa particular, note that all the drinks you request/accept during the meals are not free, i.e. they are not included in your...

  • Airport Baggage Handlers

    Be careful of those waiting to take your luggage as you exit the airplane. They will take your luggage right out of your hand and throw it in your trunk before you can protest or do anything to stop it. One friend had to pay $20 to get his suitcase back. If you're lucky, they'll just demand a $3 tip, but thats only IF you're lucky. WATCH YOUR...


    Many times yu may see in Cuba beautiful, young women and men dressed in most colourful Cuban costume--some with music playing - others dancing among themselves and they want their picture taken by you------BUT FOR A FEE!!!! Just shake your head "NO" and walk on if you do not wish to pay a fee or you can negotiate the fee that they request---BUT...


    DO NOT buy your famous CUBAN CIGARS for a CHEAPER PRICE from a sidewalk or beach vendor as you will be taken for QUALITY and PRICE!!! Be sure to buy your CUBAN CIGARS and RUM at the many reputable shops availalle in Varadero, Havana and right In the Resort.

  • Of course Varadero is a tourist trap!!

    Yes yes we all know that this is a resort area by now and that you will have difficulty finding those hidden treasures in this area. But for most people this is the cheapest way to get themselves into Cuba. Packaged deals are just that, a deal, and sometimes a real steal of a deal!! Dont feel badly if you end up here, you will still meet TONS of...

  • My Baby Needs Milk

    I was sitting in a cafe having my coffee and cigarette when a man approached me and told me in flawless English that he wasn't begging for money; all he wanted was some milk for his 2 babies. He took me to a nearby grocery store and I bought him a bag of milk powder for US$12.00. Not a large amount, and I thought I was doing something nice.The...

  • I don't know whether this...

    I don't know whether this falls under TouristTrap or Warning and Danger but while in Havana and in some parts of Cuba i notice alot of prostitution. Its ashame that once again the blockade and the lack of freedom that Castro has towards the Cuban People there is more prostitution then before the revolution. Cuba's AIDS crisis is growing rapidly.

  • La Bodeguita del Medio is one...

    La Bodeguita del Medio is one of Havana or rather Cuba's biggest tourist trap. I went there once with my girl cousin and the bill for 2 people came to almost $60. I was shocked!!! The quality of the food sucked and over priced. In Miami for what I had consumed at any Cuban restaurant my bill would had been about $15 to $20. Your better off going to...

  • The Cuban peso is just as old...

    The Cuban peso is just as old and falling apart as all of Cuba including the comedian in chief himself 'Fidel Castro'!!!

  • Do not change money at the!!!

    Do not change money at the airport. At the airport they claim that the US$ is equal to 1 CUB peso , but in reality you can not buy or purchase nothing in Cuba with Cuban Pesos cause everything is payed for in US$ . Dont make the mistake of exchanging your currency for Cuban Pesos cause the Peso has no value...

  • Tropicana

    All the tourista do it.....and it is a fun evening out.A tourist trap? Maybe....but something you must do while in Havana. They actually do sing "BaBaLoooo". Enjoy the complimentary beverages. Admission price includes a glass of champagne and a whole lot of rum!!


    This is a painting done on the side of Mogote Dos Hermanas by Leovigildo Gonzalez Morillo. There are pictures of dinosaurs, stick-men, sea monsters. By right, they are supposed to symbolize the theory of evolution.Well, the mural is just HORRIBLE.They can be found walking south-west from Viñales, then following the road heading west. There is a...


    THE JINETEROS AND HOW DO THEY OPERATE IN HAVANA AND OTHER PLACES IN THE COUNTRY!!HOW DO THEY MANAGE TO TRAP u WITH THEIR EASY TALK AND FRIENDLY ACCTITUD!Check the trablelogue Jineteros in Havan page!!!! If I think U can handel it let them talk to U ,but must of the time the will find the way to take the control of the situation so U better sya...

  • Cuban Cigars

    One of the more common traps the tourist gets into is Cuban Cigars.Your attention please!!Most of the cigars the hustlers offer on the streets are fakes. Never buy boxes of cigars if they are constructed with glass. These kind of boxes are fake. You cannot use glass to package cigars because the greenhouse effect will ruin the cigars.If the cigars...

  • The Camel

    I know it's kind of romantic coming to Cuba and gettin in A CAMEL when you are in Havana.One day I was in one of them, the M1, and saw a thief taking a tourist's wallet from his pocket. I called this to the attention of the tourist so that he could recover his wallet in time. If you don't HAVE TO take the CAMEL, don't get on it!!For us it's only a...

  • Guide Books

    For many years I've been disapointed with Lonely Planet guide books - How many people are doing the same trip as the writer? How many restaurants are packed, simply because their name is in the LP book? And have you tasted the food in those places? Those LP books work if you want a map, but anything more and it just doesn't seem to deliver the...

  • Be aware of the undercovered police!!!!!

    Under covered police is everywhere. Even block by block, they call CDR. The government is afraid of foreigners bringing ideas of freedom to the locals, as well of the locals saying too much about lack of freedom and hardship in Cuba.Just remember Cuba is a beautiful country, and Havana is a great city, but they live under a dictatorship, so the...

  • airport

    when you get to check in desk, be careful when clerk weights your suitcases. Sometimes they say "suitcases are overweight" (it can really be) and may charge you a superfee. Often it is because they want a tip. As soon as you give it, suddenly "overweight disappears"!!!!

  • Jinateras (translated to jockeys)

    Jinateras and jinateros are local girls and guys who ' ride the tourists'. Otherwise known as prostitutes and touts. These can be found in any area where tourists are concentrated. They will try to befriend you and offer to show you around, or show you a bar or restaurant in return for a drink or a meal. I know this is common in a lot of countries...


Cuba Hotels

See all 986 Hotels in Cuba

Top Cuba Hotels

Varadero Hotels
457 Reviews - 1039 Photos
Havana Hotels
1665 Reviews - 4067 Photos
Holguín Hotels
110 Reviews - 316 Photos
Cayo Coco Hotels
92 Reviews - 177 Photos
Guardalavaca Hotels
53 Reviews - 180 Photos
Santiago de Cuba Hotels
150 Reviews - 391 Photos
Cienfuegos Hotels
124 Reviews - 370 Photos
Trinidad Hotels
277 Reviews - 909 Photos
Cayo Guillermo Hotels
21 Reviews - 59 Photos
Cayo Largo Hotels
41 Reviews - 118 Photos
Matanzas Hotels
30 Reviews - 127 Photos
Santa Lucía Hotels
9 Reviews - 27 Photos
Santa Cruz del Norte Hotels
1 Hotel
Zulueta Hotels
1 Hotel
Yaguajay Hotels
See nearby hotels

Instant Answers: Cuba

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

15 travelers online now


Cuba Tourist Traps

Reviews and photos of Cuba tourist traps posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Cuba sightseeing.
Map of Cuba