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Cuba Travel Services 2014

Mintur Cuba

In an effort to update the travel suppliers still operating for this year we are providing a list of Cuba Travel providers and offers for 2014.

During 2013 and the early part of 2014, Cuba’s national travel suppliers of Havanatur and CubaTUR, under orientations from MINTUR, have cancelled numerous contracts with foreign travel operators who had licenses in Cuba. For example; Havanatur reduced its foreign travel agency count from 55 agencies in 2012 to 5 this year. From these 5, several we know will lose their licenses this year.

Therefore, we want to provide operators who are licensed to sell Cuban Travel Services through to August 2015, in this case if you travel before this date the below suppliers will be licensed at least until then and possibly after.

Cuba Hotel Reservations

Iberostar Cayo Coco Resort

If you intend to reserve a hotel in Cuba for the rest of 2014 or 2015 we recommend these non-prepayment websites:

Hotel Cuba – All Cuban Hotels

Hotel Bookings Havana – Havana Hotels

Hotel Bookings Old Havana – Old Havana Hotels

Hotel Reservations Varadero – Varadero Hotels

Hotel Booking Cayo Coco – Cayo Coco Hotels

Cuba Car Rental

Bmw 5 Series Havanautos

For those looking to rent a car in Cuba in 2014 we recommend the following suppliers:

Transtur Rent a Car

Havanautos

Cuba Car

Flights to Cuba

Flights to Jardines del Rey Cuba small

To book flights to Cuba we recommend booking on the banner shown on this website

If you would prefer personal assistance from a Cuba Travel Specialist please use the chat button on this website and all bookings will be handled by an agent 1on1 with you.

 

Cuba Guide

Flights to Cuba | Airlines offered by Havanatur

Flights to Cuba

Flights to Cuba

Airlines with flights to Cuba, Havana include Air France, Aeromexico, Air Canada, KLM, Conviasa, Condor, Virgin Airlines, copa. All Airlines fly into Terminal 3 Havana while Flights from USA to Cuba fly into Terminal 2.

Passengers view route information for airlines that offer flights to Cuba Havana, compare the prices of both low cost and traditional airlines which fly to Havana and book your flights to Cuba directly.

Free Havanatur VIP arrival service is offered to all passengers who book their flights to Cuba with Cuba-Air.com partner Havanatur.

Havanatur allows you to find the cheapest flights to Havana (from hundreds of airlines including Copa, Iberia, Air Canada) without having to enter specific dates or even destinations, making it the best place to find cheap flights for your flight.

To book cheap flights to Cuba, choose from the list of flights to Havana or Varadero on the Havanatur Website

 

“Flights to Cuba from Havanatur the lowest rates”

 

Havanatur also offers flights to Cuba via Havanatur Nassau, Bahamas and Cancun Mexico and Cayman Islands, Panama City and many more routes. Havanatur is the main charter agent for Cubana Airlines and offers special charter services between Miami and Cuba via CTS or Marazul.

Havanatur also offers Canada´s West Jet, CanJet and Air Transat Bookings. Havanatur in collaboration with Cubana offers Toronto (YYZ) Montreal (YUL) flights plus year round Cubanana flights into Havana (HAV), Holguin (HOG) and Varadero (VRA), with seasonal flights offered to Cienfuegos (CFG), Cayo Largo (CYO), Camaguey (CMW), Santiago de Cuba (SCU), Ciego de Avila (AVI) and many others all serviced by Havanatur Booking engine shown on this page.

Latest rates for Flights to Cuba from Havanatur can be up to 20% less than booking through a third party due to the fact that Havanatur actually charters the jets that fly the above routes in most scenarios this charter service to Cuba is exclusive to Havanatur Flights Service.

More recently popular routes have become those through Panama City and the Dominican Republic Santo Domingo Airport

Let us not forget Cuba flights through Madrid Spain London England which are very popular routes for European travelers to Cuba.

All in all Havanatur is Cuba´s foremost charter company always using Cubana as its partner

Latest offers for Havanatur Flights also on Havanatur Facebook Flights to Cuba

Flights to Cuba Havanatur 101

 

Havana airport car hire 2012

Havana airport car hire Update

Havana airport car hire

 

With the high season fast approaching for Havana airport car hire we´ve been looking at options and prices for the year end mad rush for confirmations. CubaCAR, Havanautos and REX are offering international bookings through their aforementioned Havana airport car hire partner sites. VIA is only offering through CarRentCUBA this winter.

 

“Book early at Havana airport car hire partner sites”

 

As a guide to Havana airport car hire we looked at experiences this summer which, for many, were not very good at all. Once again, visitors to Cuba left their Havana airport car hire bookings to the very last moment and many of you were gouged with incredibly high rates.

 

Havana airport car hire

Sebastien Beignoles

 

One visitor to this forum, Sebastien Beignoles from France ended up paying 89 euros for an economic car with manual transmission. As he said in his own words

 

“we looked around Old Havana for Havana airport car hire first trying Hotel Inglaterra then Parque Central then down to the Armadores Santander and Cruise Terminal and we could find nothing, after having our casa owner call around we located one car way our in Miramar near the PabExpo center, the price worked out at 89 Euros per day!”

 

Sebastien´s comments are not unique and 100´s have complained about Havana airport car hire rates being hiked to incredibly high levels for the July and August months and, specifically, for those people who did not book in advance.

 

Havana airport car hire

Juan Marquez

 

Juan Marquez from Argentina also said “we´d been looking around for Havana airport car hire for about half a day and simply couldn´t find one so, we decided to simply take a taxi from Havana to Pinar del Rio where we had prebooked the Hotel Jasmines, this cost us 125 CUC for the one way journey but we still did not have a Havana airport car hire for the remainder of our trip. Thankfully, we found a car in Pinar del Rio just by chance because a German guest at Hotel Jasmines was returning a car that day so we went with him and were lucky enough to take the car he returned”

 

It also seems that major suppliers are holding some vehicles back and are expecting to obtain very high rates for Minivan and Van type vehicles of the 7 to 9 seat capacity. Again, it is highly advisable to book earlier at say CubaCAR.com if you are looking for this type of vehicle and maybe REXCUBA if you need a more luxurious type of car.

 

 

Havana airport car hire 2012

 

Cuba Airport Customs duties tax

Cuba Customs duties

Cuba Customs duties

A massive increase in Cuba customs duties took effect in Cuba on Monday, catching many air travelers unaware and leaving some shocked at the new fees.

A Cuban American who arrived with her husband for a visit to the island where she was born, speaking outside the CubaCar Rental office said she was astonished when officials charged her $599 in Cuba Customs duties.

“We come every year, and they had never charged been Cuba Customs duties like that,” Gonzalez said outside the terminal at Havana’s international airport, her orange, shrink-wrapped bags packed on a luggage cart. “There is a lot of angst among the people.”

Authorities have defended the measure to increase Cuba Customs duties as necessary to impose order in airports, which at times can look more like cargo terminals for all the baggage.

“officials charged her $599 in Cuba Customs duties”

 

Experts say the measure targets so-called mules, which make frequent trips back and forth to places like Ecuador, Panama and Miami, carrying huge bags overstuffed with merchandise destined for resale or to supply the island’s growing ranks of private entrepreneurs who then do not pay Cuba Customs duties.

But some fear that these increased Cuba Customs duties could also hurt Cuban families that rely on goods imported five suitcases at a time, as well as the many islanders who are able to visit relatives abroad by agreeing to bring back heavy loads for others who pay the airfare.

Travelers are allowed to bring in 66 pounds (30 kilograms) of miscellaneous goods without being charged. Everything after that gets taxed at $4.55 a pound ($10 per kilogram).

Islanders get a once-a-year pass to pay excess baggage fees in the local peso, worth 24 to the dollar, but starting with their second trip they must pay the much higher dollar-based rates. Anyone who’s not a permanent resident pays the higher rate from the start.

“They charged me 102 Cuban pesos ($4.25) because I’m a Cuban and it’s my first time traveling to the U.S.,” said Maria Roque, a resident of Matanzas province who was returning to Cuba from a trip to visit her son.

But Roque said she was put on notice at customs: “The next time, I’ll have to pay in dollars.”

While the new duty schedule was announced two months ago, many travelers said Monday they were taken by surprise. The terminal appeared normal on the outside, but passengers said operations seemed confused and sluggish at customs.

“There’s a lot of unhappy people in there,” said Yoanny Garcia another Cuban-American, who reported paying twice theusual customs fee. “There are people who came with a little money set aside to help family, and then they get hit with this.”

Cuba Customs duties Information

Car Rental Cuba booking advice

Car rental Cuba

Car rental Cuba

Our experience with Car rental Cuba and some of the issues we discovered could be unique but, after talking on the forum and with other visitors this summer 2012 we feel that we can make some comments to help others.

 

We searched on the internet in early June and found several companies offering Car rental Cuba, some had cars in Cuba in US dollars (which we later found was not the case) while most other were charging in Canadian dollars or Euros. We noted some websites and decided to leave it a few weeks. My husband and I returned to the web to make the final booking on Tuesday July 2nd. No I am not a “date freak” but I remember this day well because, when we visited several of the websites we´d taken note of all of them came back with “no availability” or they were offering just very expensive (luxury Audi Cars) ranges of cars we could not afford. We even called Cuba Car (my husband is Colombian) at two locations in Havana; one place was the Sevilla Hotel while the other was an obscure office in Miramar at 3ra & 46, both advised to “reserva en internet” or reserve online…. Some help!! We could not get a reply from about another 4 numbers we had, especially the Cuba Car office at Jose Marti Airport which simply rang and rang, no answer…

 

By late that day we were panicking because we needed the Car rental Cuba to complete our itinerary of visiting 4 Cuban provinces with all of the hotels in Cuba already confirmed and paid. At 7pm my husband called on last location which was Hotel Inglaterra in Old Havana and they told us to try the official website for foreigners called Cuba Car.com

 

After contacting their chat system they quickly confirmed that few cars were available and it would have been easier to book in June than July and, that they no cars available for our arrival date (20th July) at Jose Marti Airport but, they could a Car rental Cuba of a medium car (what turned out to be a Hyundai Accent) at the Habana Libre Hotel. Yipeeeee!!!

 

We completed the online forms and sent off the request. It took until the next day to get answer; by this team we were pretty anxious and worried. An invoice came through and, after clicking the link we were able to pay online using our Chase card (US Issued credit card). We got the customary “no-reply” email confirming we had paid but nothing else. Being as anxious as we both were, we contacted their chat system again and the lady “Natasha” passed us to Pedro (all this on the chat…technology) who confirmed that all we had to do was sign the invoice we´d soon receive and send our driving license (this made collecting car super quick BTW). Two days later we received the Car rental Cuba voucher which showed the familiar Cuba CAR logo and a booking code TA-284871 and some other minor details (flight number, car type, etc)

 

“Advice – Car rental Cuba in High season. book well in advance”

 

Even though the above had been relatively painless, we were still very anxious after having heard stories of people showing up to find no car available. Basically, until we were sat in our car and had started our journey through Cuba, I don´t think we´d have been happy with any amount of paperwork.

 

Fast-forward July 20th , we made the short trip across the border at Tijuana and the first of two flights (stopover in DF) that would bring us back to Havana. The flight was uneventful and we arrived in Havana at 8.47 PM with just 12 minutes delay! Pretty cool for a dual stopover flight which took us across Mexico. Havana Customs were pretty quick and, within 40 mins we were sat in our taxi and on our way to the Havana Libre Hotel to collect our Car rental Cuba. It looked like there had been a serious downpour just before we arrived because our taxi kept hitting deep puddles on the road and the water would presumably crash up into the underbody of the car. Not a nice sensation, especially with his erratic driving…ufff

 

We arrived at the front of the hotel but had to gain access from the right because the stairs were being repaired, we dragged our cases behind us and Miguel held the rucksacks over his shoulder. We arrived at the CUBA CAR desk and could see several people there. There were a total of 8 people in what resembled a line of waiting people, we stood last in line. We overheard people saying they “hoped they could get a car” while my husband said a Cuban American couple were arguing about why they had not booked a car in advance. It all looked quite worrying. I whispered to my husband “think there are no cars…?” he just looked at me blank faced…obviously no car meant losing ALL of our precious plans, hotel bookings or worst, trying to do the whole trip in a taxi…not good…

 

Then, I heard something then my husband raised his hand. I asked what he was doing, he said “they´re asking those who have bookings to raise their hands” I looked around and there was just my husband with his hand in the air… He then marched towards the desk with me grasping his hand, our cases in tow and passing all these people, I felt bad…When we got to th desk they beckoned “voucher” “tienes voucher” which, with my basic Spanish made me grab our travel pouch and the voucher we´d printed at home before leaving for Cuba. I reluctantly handed it to him as all the stories flashed before my eyes of Canadian´s online complaining about not getting their cars in Cuba… But, within seconds he looked up from his list and said to my husband “perfecto, ya todo esta en orden” brilliant!!! I thought, we´re on our way!

 

Car rental Cuba

Hyundai Accent at casa in Trinidad

 

Literally within 30 minutes we were descending the drenched “La Rampa” street towards the Malecon and on our way to Varadero (our first Hotel). The car was almost new and was a Hyundai Accent automatic of a light blue color. I´d heard the stories but this car was perfect. We had just one puncture on our whole road trip around Cuba which included Varadero, Trinidad, Cayo Coco (we drove there) and Santiago de Cuba.

 

Our experience with Cuba Car.com was excellent, the service was a little quirky (the delays in getting responses) but overall the outcome was great. We know that nobody else in the cue that day was getting a car and, after talking to others on our three week journey, many people were unable to find cars in Cuba and some even had resorted to taxis. Our last minute booking with Cuba CAR.com worked and, I am thankful to them for being so serious and providing us a solution (even though it was not at the airport) when nobody else wanted to.

 

Thanks!!!

 

 

Josephine and Miguel

Coronado , San Diego, CA

Car rental Cuba from USA

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