Usefull Apps in Cuba

Remember that the Internet connection in Cuba is different to most of the other internet connections. So don’t rely on internet based apps for your sightseeing, eating and other activities. Although the online environment is different here, there are a lot of useful Apps, that can make your trip to Cuba a great experience.
Please remember to download the apps before you come to Cuba, especially if you use an iPhone.
Here is the first part:

IMO 

Snip20160830_2
source: google play store
Imo is an App to make Video and Audio calls. Until now it’s the most efficient one for Cuba. So if you you want to talk to your loved ones at home, especially if you stay longer I recommend to download it. You can get it for free in the Appstore or Google play.

Conoce Cuba 

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source: cnccuba.com
Conoce Cuba is a website and an App that lists several business in Cuba. In different categories you can find your own preferences. The App is available for Android, Iphone or you PC. You can also find the places on an offline map, so you won’t get lost.
The App can be dowloaded on: http://cnccuba.com.

A La Mesa 

If you search for restaurants in Cuba and want the most out of given opportunities you should  visit https://www.alamesacuba.com/ and download their App. A La Mesa is the most complete list of Restaurants in Cuba and gets updated every 15 days.
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Bellas Artes

Havana has a lot of museums with all kinds of themes and exhibitions. Some are motor interesting and worth a visit than other, some are hidden and others are just a must see on your trip to Havana. 

One of them is the museum Bellas Artes. If you are into art you should not miss it. 

The museum is art museum that has a Cuban and an international part with different exhibitions. The Cuban section takes you on a journey through Cuban Art from the colonial times until now. 

 It divides up into four sections: Art from the Colonial Period (16th to 19th century), Art from the turn of the Century (1894-1927) , Modern Art section and the Contemporary Art section which is mainly dedicated to the 1960’s. 

The pieces are selected very well and the museum is to spend almost a day if you take a reasonable time in the different sections. The pieces also help to understand Cuban history and society during the centuries. 

The building itself is quite interesting and it also has a small theater where different artists make concerts, especially on weekends. 

Most of them are jazz artists but you can find electronic or pop music as well. 
The museum is open: 

Tuesday – Saturday : 9.00 am- 5.00 pm 

Sunday : 10.00 am- 2.00 pm 
The entrance costs 5 CUC for tourist and 5 CUP for Cubans and residents. 

There is also the possibility to take a guided tour through the museums and let the staff explain the exhibitions and permanent collections to you. 

Bellas Artes is located in : Calle Trocadero e/ Zulueta y Monserrate, La Habana Vieja Telf.: (537) 861 0241

 

María La Gorda

The Beach María la Gorda in the west of Cuba is famous for nature fans and scuba divers. If you want to surround yourself with nature and natural beaches with crystal clear water and white sand you will love it there.
The Peninsula of Guanahacabibes is located in the extreme West of the Provice Pinar del Río.
The Beach María La Gorda is paradise for divers and snorkelers. In the summer you can also widnes the birth of sea turtles in north of the peninsula and in march there are a few days that you could watch the crabs moving to sea. The second event is a little less pleasant but still interesting.
You will also have to be aware that the only ways to stay in Guanahacabibes are the Hotel in María la Gorda and some Casas Particulares in a small village called “La Bajada”.
I highly recommend to reserve something in advance. Going with your own transportation is also recommendable, to move around there more easily.
To make the stay and the way there and back easier I recommend to go there from Viñales or the city of Pinar del Rio and heading back to one of the two before going all the way to Havana.
In la Baja there is nothing to buy and no gas station, no bank and no ATM. So be prepared for that. The people working in the Casas prepare Dinner and Breakfast, so you won’t have to starve.
In my opinion the best way is going there by bike or taking a bike to move around and explore the interesting nature and to find a beach just for you alone.
The best time to go would be summer and autumn.

Mobile Phones in Cuba?

I already mentioned the Internet in Cuba and its different online environment.
So please keep that in mind if you want to get a Cuban cell phone number, because you won’t be able to use a mobile internet connection because there is none.
But if you want to text and call, since some months you can get a Cuban sim card, also as a tourist. If you are traveling a long time around the island, or stay for a longer time it could be useful.
If you are just staying for a few days or a short time, I would think about it.
The cost of a new number and sim card ist 40 CUC, of wich you get 10 CUC as credit.
One person can get up to three sim cards.
To get it you need to go to a ETECSA- office and ask for “sacar una linea” (get a ‘line’,  sim card). When you queue up outside the ETECSA you have to ask for the last person, as always. Make sure to ask for “ el ultimo para cubacel” (the last one for Cubacel, wich are all mobile based issues), to not mix up with other lines.
Make sure to bring your original passport, not a copy, and there you go.
There is also the possibility to rent a sim card, wich costs 3 CUC per day.
All sim cards in Cuba are pre paid cards, so you have to charge them with new credit. You can get cards with credits from the ETECSA or private people that sell them. Those usually have signs that say “agente de telecomunicaciones” outside their houses, so you will find them easily.
Once a month there is also the possibility to recharge your phone with 23CUCs and get 30 as a bonus to use within one month.

How to extend the Tourist Visa in Cuba?

 

To enter Cuba you need a so called Tourist Card, wich you can get at travel agencies or airports before you travel to Cuba. It costs usually around 20$ depending on where you get from.

At the Interjet or Aero Mexico desk at the airport in Cancún you can get the card for 20USD or 300 Mexican Pesos. Air Canada also hands the Tourist Card out on it’s flights from Toronto.

You also have the option to buy it from tour agencies like islands-and-more from Germany. The price may vary, depending on the agencies or airline.
Sometimes you have to write down the address of the first Hotel or Casa Particular you are going to stay in.

Once you enter with the Tourist Visa it is valid for one month, but you can extend it two times for an additional month.

For that you need to go to the migration office and present the following papers:

– Passport
– your Tourist Visa
– your Travel Insurance
– Stamps (Sellos) in the Value of 25 CUC (You can get them at the banks) – A Voucher from your BnB or Hotel

The Migration Office is in the Vedado at
Street 17 between J and K.
You will have to go to part in the back of the building.
The office is open:
Monday to Friday from 8 a.m- 5 p.m
and on
Thursday and Sunday from 8a.m – 12 a.m