Visiting Cuba: What you Need to Know May 23 2016

Havana Street

Cuba is the most fashionable hot spot for Summer 2016, which has already seen a Karl Lagerfeld's 2017 Chanel Resort Show held at Paseo Del Prado in Havana, and high-profile visit by the Kardashian family. Recently restored diplomatic relations between Cuba and the United States have led to an influx of American jetsetters, following Cuba's first visit by a sitting U.S. President in nearly a century and a free outdoor concert by the Rolling Stones held just last month, on March 25th. 

Our swimwear design team can’t get enough of the country’s colorful facades, retro-style classic cars, and lively architecture. It's an idyllic setting for our current swimwear styles, featuring vintage-inspired details. 

To prepare you for departure, we're sharing our key travel tips to make your visit to Cuba smooth and memorable, saving you some precious vacation time.

  • If you’re going to Cuba, you’ll need cash. The island nation operates on two currencies – Cuban convertibles (CUC’s) and pesos, and your plastic won’t work at most places. Do you have any euros or Canadian dollars left over from a previous trip? Bring these along with you. You’ll get a better exchange rate than you will with U.S. dollars. 

  • U.S. tourists’ visits to Cuba are supposed to be focused on interacting with Cubans, not just lounging on the beach, according to the U.S. government’s recently relaxed regulations. So, while it’s unclear how the government is checking, you are required to engage in “people-to-people” interactions for eight hours a day during your visit. 

  • The best beaches to visit while there? Playa Paraiso and Playa Sirena. Just don’t forget to pack a classically cool swimsuit to go with vintage-style restaurant nearby. 

  • Traveling independently? Don’t drive. There are no lights on Cuban roads, and you’re likely to happen come across rough roads, donkey carts, and wild pigs. Instead, consider hiring a car and driver – which will likely be a 50’s style classic car. 

  • Internet connections across the island can be spotty, so download an offline app that works with your smartphone’s GPS. 

  • Bring your own snorkel gear and sun shirt, so you can experience some of the most pristine reefs in the Caribbean.

  • Be prepared for heat and humidity by dressing casually. Pack comfortable and versatile pieces you can wear multiple times during your trip. 

  • Carry a copy of your travel insurance, and make sure your required tourist card is included in your flight or travel package. 

  • Restaurants tend to be small, and get busy after 8:00 p.m. A recommended favorite? El Figaro Bar and Restaurant, in Havana.

  • Planning on bringing home cigars for friends and family? That’s great, just don’t forget that you can legally bring back $100 worth. Keep your receipts to show any customs officials.

Now, you're ready to relax in Cuban style! Share your travel experiences with our team. We'd love to hear your unique vacation experiences.