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    Holidays to Jibacoa

Relaxation is the order of the day in the resort of Jibacoa

Set on the north coast of Cuba halfway between the capital Havana and the popular resort of Varadero, you can stretch out on the long sandy beach sheltered by rocks or enjoy some snorkelling around the nearby coral reef.

Those wanting to stretch their legs can explore further afield – perhaps visit the villa where Hemingway wrote some of his novels, venture into the countryside to learn about rural traditions, or discover the vibrant capital of Havana and let it all hang out at the famous Tropicana Cabaret.


Culture and history

Cuba is a multi-ethnic country where the people, culture and customs derive from diverse origins. These include the aboriginal Taino and Ciboney tribes, Spanish colonialism, the introduction of African slaves, a close relationship with the Soviet Union during during the Cold War and proximity to the United States.

Since 1959, the Cuban Revolution has had a great affect on local life. As a result, Cuban cuisine is a blend of Spanish, African and Caribbean.

Cuba has produced famous artists in many different disciplines, including literature, music, fine art, ballet, film and theatre.

At least half the doctors in Cuba are women and women constitute a substantial part of the workforce. Topless sunbathing is not allowed. The most popular game is dominos. Topless dominos is definitely not allowed.

Things to do

Whether you're experiencing the country as a solo traveller or taking it easy at an all-inclusive beach resort, here's a little flavour of what you can expect on a Saga holiday to Cuba.

Travel west from Havana to find the tranquil Las Terrazas Nature Reserve and eco-village where you can hike through wooded trails spotting the colourful birdlife and perhaps plucking a banana fresh from the tree.

In the striking Jurassic valley of Viñales you’ll discover the different techniques of coffee and tobacco farming. Stretching out along Cuba’s ample coastline are the famous white sandy beaches of Veradero, Playa Paraiso and peaceful Jibacoa.

East, past the Bay of Pigs, you’ll come to the coastal town of Cienfuegos and the colonial jewel that is Trinidad – a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Sancti Spiritus province.

Travel further east to Santa Clara and visit the Che Guevara mausoleum or take a flight to the steamy city of Santiago de Cuba where the country’s liveliest musicians strike a rhythm all their own.

Flight time

It takes around 10 hours to fly to Cuba from the UK.


Peso -

Cuba operates a dual currency system. Visitors use the Cuban Convertible Peso (CUC) as opposed to the Cuban Peso (CUP) used by locals. You can’t buy or exchange CUC outside Cuba, but you can get your currency at the airport or hotel when you arrive.

Credit and Debit Cards: Check with your bank before you travel that your card will be accepted in Cuba. Don’t rely on this as your main source of currency though, as you’ll be charged a commission of 11-13% on credit card transactions and ATM withdrawals. That’s if you can find an ATM in the first place!

Cash: If you are bringing cash, make sure that it’s in sterling or euros: you won’t be able to exchange Scottish, Manx, Channel Islands or Northern Irish bank notes or British coins.

Travellers cheques: Commission for exchanging travellers cheques can be high and some banks and hotels refuse to change them at all.

American banks: American Express travellers cheques, credit cards drawn on American banks and US dollars are not accepted for payment.

Passports and visas

It’s a good idea to carry a photocopy of your passport. You will need a tourist visa to enter Cuba, but Saga will sort all that out for you.

Visit GOV.UK for more advice on passports and visas.


A few words of Spanish to get you started…

I don’t speak Spanish – no hablo espanol

Hello – hola

Goodbye – adios

Please – por favour

Thank you – gracias

Yes – si

No – no

Excuse me – perdon


Cuba is five hours behind GMT.


Cuba uses 110/120 and 220 volt AC (60 Hz), American-style flat 2-pin sockets and, in some hotels, European round 2-pin sockets. You should bring an international adaptor with you as you may not find one locally.

As power cuts and voltage drops occasionally occur, it’s a good idea to bring a torch with you. Air-conditioning may be switched off to conserve electricity.


Spanish; Castilian -

The official language is Castilian Spanish. Some hotel staff and many people in larger towns speak English.


Tipping is very much part of life in Cuba, as wages are low. Gratuities are therefore much appreciated by drivers, guides and hotel staff and are left to your own discretion. Musicians who play during meal times also live on their tips.

Attendants at public toilets will also expect a small tip.

Although tipping is optional, of course, it can at times seem a little relentless in Cuba!


The climate in Cuba is subtropical with cool trade winds providing relief from the heat and humidity. The average year-round temperature is approximately 27°C and there's plenty of sunshine.

Rainfall is common throughout the year, especially from May to October, and the island is sometimes affected by hurricanes and tropical storms. Temperatures can be quite low in the winter so pack a few warm clothes if you are travelling then.


Mozzies and other flying insects can be a problem in this part of the world, so you may find it helpful to wear long-sleeved shirts and trousers and use mosquito repellent on exposed skin, particularly in the evenings. It is advisable to take a universal sink plug with you to Cuba.

As health information can change at any time, we’d advise you to consult your GP at least 12 weeks before departure.

Country-specific information and advice on possible health risks is also published by the National Travel Health Network and Centre and the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office provides important health and safety information for British nationals travelling abroad.

Population and size

Although Cuba is the largest of the Caribbean islands, it has a much lower population density than most nations in the region. Around 11 million people live there.

Cuba is half the size of the UK, and would fit 70 times into Australia!


Smoking is banned in most public places in Cuba, although some hotels and restaurants have separate areas for smokers.