My experience with travel insurance in Cuba

My experience with travel insurance in Cuba
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Who doesn’t know that you should not drink tap water or drinks with ice when you are in another country? It seems  obvious, but some people still fall into the trap and end up like me: hospitalized for amoeba infection. This is the general reason to say in this case:


In Cuba we did not drink tap water. We did not drink any of the drinks they sold on the street.

We always drink bottled water, have cocktails only in first-class paladares (restaurant)  and have breakfast every day in our private house.

I do not know exactly the focus of the infection because after analyzing it, it could be anything. The ice that they put in the breakfast juice in all the houses… the water bottles that we bought and then discovered were filled with boiled water… the mojitos of the paladares, that could be using tap water… Whatever it was, I spent an awful night.

So my advice is:

No matter how careful you are. HIRE A TRAVEL INSURANCE.

Because I spent one day in hospital and lost that day of vacation, but if I hadn’t got that insurance, I would have had to pay more than 500€ in medical bills.

And my second advice, almost as important as the first:


As we already told you in the Complete Guide to organize your trip to Cuba, we took the basic insurance that they gave us when taking the visa. And in the end the cheap came out expensive, as we will tell you later.


It had been a long day discovering the surroundings of Trinidad. Although we were having fun in the house of music I was not in full power, so we left soon. As soon as we got home we knew we were going to have a difficult night.

The next morning without being able to get up, Dani called the travel insurance to see which hospital he should take me to. Curiously in Cuba there are hospitals for Cubans and specific hospitals for tourists. International Hospitals. Luckily, the one in Trinidad was quite close to our private house. However I was so dehydrated and weak that we had to go on bicitaxi.

I’ve never been in a hospital in my life where I have been attended so fast. 20 minutes after entering the door I had the dropper on. Then they did some tests to confirm that they were amoebas, which 90% of those who were there had.

After two liters of serum in vein and treatment I began to recover. After four hours prostrate there I was eager to return to the private house. However we were not aware that the complicated thing was yet to come.


When you travel with health insurance and you have to go to hospital you have two options:

  • Paying the amount of the invoice and ask to be reimbursed later.
  • Calling insurance so they do it directly and leave the hospital without paying.

We did not want to have to pay in advance so we had to call the insurance three times… After an hour and a half we got the phone and we were able to go home.

In general the Cuban health care surprised me a lot, and for good. However I find it hard to believe that the service will be so good in local hospitals.

But my experience with travel insurance did not end here. The most unpleasant surprise, and the reason why I say that cheap came out expensive, was coming.

Upon returning to Spain we found a bill of 150 in phone calls to insurance. We tried to get money back from the calls but in the end they did not give me a solution. Because a bad decision when choosing health insurance, I ended up paying a lot more than necessary.


The only reason we chose that insurance for Cuba was the price. After that experience and for the following trips we decided to do a much deeper analysis on what type of insurance would suit our travel style the best.

 The biggest difficulties we encountered were:

  • Having to hire an insurance that although they were announced as specialized, they ended up being closed packages with services that we did not need and without possibility of customization. I’m talking about compulsory inclusion of services such as laptop theft, adventure sports, cancellation, etc. These services interest us to be able to add them as optional according to the trip since otherwise the final price would end up increasing automatically.
  • They did not cover basic aspects that you do not usually think about but that can make you spend a lot later. For example, the one that happened to us: the cost didn’t included the telephone calls abroad.
  • Difficulty in hiring: Long and tedious questionnaires that never seemed to end to hire a simple insurance. For an important trip you have to prepare countless things; The last thing we wanted to waste time was filling in endless forms.

With these premises we set out to search among the infinity of insurance that we found in the net. Finally we found one with certain aspects different from the rest in terms of customization and with which we managed to save enough money: MONDO.

Apart from the classic coverages offered by other insurance, we saw that in MONDO the possibilities of setting up insurance were much broader. They offer you the basic insurance and plenty of extras that you can choose if add them or not. This way you can dispense with a lot of services if you are not interested.

To hire it you are simply asked 5 questions and with them they know what cover could suit you. That would be the cheapest insurance you can get in the market. MONDO uses a search engine where they compare between a lot of different insurance to offer you the best and cheapest.

Of course before we hired it we talked to them. We wanted to make sure we did not have the problem we had in Cuba with the expenses on phone calls. With MONDO it is as easy as calling them and asking them to call you back; or even show them the telephone bills later and ask to be refunded.

And lastly, since we are considering in the future to make a journey much longer than we accustomed, an annual insurance called our attention. Before trusting a year of our health to a stranger we prefer to make several trips with them and so far we are very happy.

If you also feel identified with these needs and want to hire, you can do it through Capture the Atlas; MONDO gives you a discount of 5% and we receive a small commission so that we can continue with this amazing project to inspire you to live more adventures.

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And remember, in this blog we will never recommend something that we have not tried or that we do not believe in our heart that may be useful. 

written by Ascen

– other posts of the Cuba collection –

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