Having an approximate travel budget for Cuba is complicated. The prices are not written anywhere and how expensive or cheap the trip is, it depends, to a large extent, on your negotiation skills and what time of the year you travel.
Today we uncover how much we spent in Cuba in 15 days. We were recording audios with the prices of things, otherwise it would have been impossible to keep a record. The credit card was used only once, when we saw that at the end of the trip we were running out of cash. The bulk of our budget was based on cash brought from Spain.
As we mentioned in the summary of the trip, we had very little preparation. Simply the return tickets, the visa, travel insurance and the first two nights in Havana.
The flight tickets Madrid – Havana price was 625€ each one, including a checked bag. Flights to Cuba fluctuate a lot during the year. Without any doubt, October is one of the cheapest months to travel. During the summer months, the price may be more than twice what we paid.
Total flight costs = 1250€ (2 people)
As we already told you in the Complete Guide to planning your trip to Cuba the tourist visa price was 22€. Keep an eye on the transfers in the United States before going to the island. If you enter Cuba from this country you will have to pay a different price depending not on the state, but the US airport from which you travel (around 100$).
Total expenditure visas = 44€ (2 people)
It is mandatory to enter the country. If you do not have any insurance, upon entering you are obliged to take the national insurance of the country, Asistur, which cost 2.5 CUC per day.
We, after checking the price, took the insurance at the same time we processed the visa before our trip. We did it with the Onlinetour agency, paying 32€ for the two of us.
However, cheap comes expensive. As I will tell you in this post, during our stay in Trinidad I had go to the hospital and the calls to the insurance, the doctor, etc. I had to pay 150€ from my pocket, which I never recovered.
That is why I prefer to hire an insurance that covers all my needs in case of accident. Now we travel with MONDO, since after comparing different options I have the best prices and gives you the coverage you need.
Total expenses in medical insurance = 32€ (2 people)
FIRST NIGHT ACCOMMODATION
We only booked the first two nights in a casa particular through Airbnb. The price was 63€.
Total expenses for two first nights in Havana = 63€ (2 people)
EXPENSES DURING THE TRIP
Before heading to Havana Dani and I withdrew 1,000€ in Madrid. Of those, we changed 600€ to CUC in the exchange house (CADECA) of Havana airport. A bad decision because this house of change has the worst rate in all of Cuba. We should have changed only about 100€ and the rest in the CADECA of the city, with a better rate.
At the end of the trip we withdrew about 200€ since we were running out of cash. As always we were traveling with our EVO smart account card, we were not charged any commission. That was the total of expenses during the trip. Here I give you a breakdown of those expenses to give you an idea of the different prices. Remember that it depends a lot on your negotiation power and the time of the year in which you go.
As explained in the Guide to planning your trip to Cuba, we always stay in Casas Particulares. They let you see the room before you decide. You can see several until you find the one you like.
- Havana: 30 CUC (26€ aprox.) / Night
- Cienfuegos: 15 CUC (13€ aprox.) / Night
- Trinidad: 15 CUC / night
- Viñales: 10 CUC (9€ aprox.) / Night
- Cayo Jutías: Bottle of Rum to bribe the guards (8 CUC) Do not miss this incredible anecdote in this post.
- Havana Airport – Havana Center – 25 CUC (22€ aprox.) One way – 20 CUC (18€ approx.) Return (Private Car).
- Havana – Cienfuegos – 22 CUC (about 20€)/ Person (Agency Bus)
- Cienfuegos – Trinidad – 6 CUC (about 5€)/ Person (Shared Taxi)
- Trinidad – Viñales – 35 CUC (31€ aprox.)/ Person (Shared Taxi)
- Viñales – Havana – 12 CUC (about 11€)/ Person (Viazul Bus)
We rented bikes at various sites.
- Havana: 15 CUC (approx. 13€)/ Person
- Trinidad: 5 CUC (approx 4€)/ Person
- Viñales: 6 CUC (5€ aprox.)/ Person
EXCURSIONS AND OTHER ACTIVITIES
- Show in Guajirito – 30 CUC (La Havana)
- Transportation to Tope de Collantes (Trinidad) – 25 CUC round trip per two person (Shared Taxi)
- Entrance to the Salto del Caburní – 6.75 CUC (With previous entrance purchased in Agencia Turismo Paradiso in Trinidad) or 10 CUC (Purchased when entering)
- Transport to the Ingenios + Ancón Beach (Trinidad) – 35 CUC round trip per two person (Private Car)
- Ascent to the Tower of Malacca – 1 CUC (Trinidad)
- Entry to the Ingenio de San Isidro – 1 CUC (Trinidad)
- Cueva del Indio – 5 CUC (Viñales)
- Palenque de los Cimarrones – 5 CUC (Viñales)
- Afternoon at the pool of Los Jazmines – 3 CUC (Viñales)
- Transportation to Cayo Jutías (Viñales) – 15 CUC / Person Roundtrip (Taxi shared)
- Houses of music of Trinidad and Viñales – 1 CUC (if you go during the weekend)
In this section, we indicate some prices that we paid to eat and drink. We hope it will be useful for the elaboration of your budget.
Eating in a good paladar (restaurant) as in Doña Eutimia (Havana), Doña Nora (Cienfuegos) or Sol Ananda (Trinidad), costs around 20-25 CUC for two people.
The restaurants of the state, where you can pay in national currency, are infinitely cheaper, although the quality sometimes leaves much to be desired. There you can eat for less than half. We only went to one in Havana. After the experience we decided to go to other more expensive places but more decent. We continue to buy the snacks with the national currency, such as coffee, buns, ice creams, etc.
Dani tried a lobster at Cayo Jutías that bought from a Cuban who had just caught it. They grilled it on the same beach. The price was 9 CUC. However, in a restaurant, the lobster costs more than 15 CUC and, as we were told many Cubans, they came from the freezer and were not fresh.
We always have breakfast in the casas particulares. The price ranges go from 3 to 6 CUC per person. With no doubt this is the best option for breakfast, as they are usually generous and varied.
In addition, many casas particulares will offer you lunch or dinner. It is also a good choice if you are not going to move away from the house as they usually prepare very good food. We only tried this option in Viñales and we paid 5 CUC for the vegetarian option and 8 CUC for the chicken option.
There is also a lot of difference in the prices of the drinks. In Havana a mojito can cost up to 6 CUC (la Bodeguita del Medio), while in Viñales it can cost you 3 CUC (Agroecological Farm El Paraíso). A beer can cost between 1 and 2 CUC. A large bottle of water 1-2 CUC. A fruit smoothie in Viñales 1 CUC (Finca de Raul Reyes).