Canada Cuba Sports & Cultural Festivals (CCS&CF) has over 20 years worth of experience in arranging sports and performing arts tours, conferences and events in Cuba for numerous North American organizations. We represent agencies and institutions of the Cuban Ministries of Culture, Education, Science & the Environment and Sport. We also facilitate programs in Cuba for universities, schools, professional associations and research/cultural institutions and sports federations located in Canada and the United States. Each project is custom designed to meet your group’s requirements, within a framework of guiding principles; link people sharing common interests, project an honest image of each other’s reality and encourage co-operation. Our team of caring and highly experienced professionals will work together with you in planning and delivering every aspect of your custom program to ensure that your trip meets all your expectations.
Our tours offer much more than a tourist beach package. They include all training and games for sports teams, and great concerts and workshops for bands/choirs, interaction with Cuban counterparts at different venues, participation/entrance fees for cultural activities and tours, all ground transportation in modern air-conditioned motor coaches for the whole week, and 24 hr. bilingual guides. We offer cultural and educational experiences that no tourist would be able to access.
Yes, Cuba is considered to be the safest Island in the Caribbean and Havana the safest city in Latin America.
Yes, Cubans are exceedingly friendly people by nature. Cubans are approachable and will talk to you about anything. Don’t be surprised if you end up being invited to their homes. You may choose to invite your Cuban counterparts to participate in social activities with your group, however, you as their host are expected to assume the cost of the invitation as the cost will be beyond the means of most Cubans.
Similar to traveling to any other Caribbean country, although perhaps with less overall poverty. The socialist system has pros such as free health care and education, and also cons such as the lack of many material goods that we take for granted. They do the best they can with their resources. By and large, Cubans are cultured and well educated people who love music, dance and sports. The socialist system impacts the residents of the country but it does not really impact visitors much.
The entry requirements are a valid passport and a Cuban tourist visa. Passports from any nationality are accepted and should be valid for at least one week after the scheduled return date of your flight. The tourist visa form will be provided on board your flight. You will need to present one copy of the tourist visa upon arrival at the Cuban airport and the other copy upon departure. Permanent Canadian residents must present a PR card for re-entry into Canada. Under U.S. law, American citizens are not allowed to travel to Cuba unless they obtain a travel license from the U.S. Treasury Department.
It is going to be very hot during the day. From May through September (rainy season) the evenings are warm and humid and it will rain heavily for a short period most afternoons. The average temperature is approx. 35c. For the rest of the year, the average temperature is approx. 26c.
The currency used by tourists in Cuba is the Cuban Convertible Peso (CUC). It is accepted anywhere in Cuba and its current value is $1.05 CAD for one Cuban Peso approximately (it fluctuates). Bring Canadian dollars and then exchange them for CUC at the Cuban airport (you can also exchange them at banks or hotels, but the airport is the best place). Cuban Convertible Pesos cannot be exchanged outside the country, so if you have any money left over, exchange it back to Canadian dollars before leaving Cuba. Credit cards are accepted in Cuba, however due to the U.S. embargo credit cards and travellers cheques drawn on US banks and companies cannot be used. ATM machines don’t always work in Cuba, so debit cards are not recommended.
Yes, the water is safe, although bottled water is best and available everywhere (approx. $1CUC per bottle).
Lots of it, although it may look different than what you are used to. Most meals are buffet-style so you can pick and choose what you like. There are no North American style fast food restaurants in Cuba.
Your group will be provided all ground transportation via a modern air-conditioned coach as outlined in the itinerary. Taxis are also readily available from the hotel for those wishing to go out in the evenings.
Please note that the Cuban government now requires all visitors to show proof of medical insurance. Visitors without out-of-country medical insurance will be required to buy medical insurance from a Cuban insurance company at the airport to be allowed into the country. Although proof of Canadian provincial health insurance is sufficient for visitors to enter Cuba, your provincial plan may cover only part of the costs, so it is recommended that you buy supplemental health insurance. Please note that the optional RBC insurance that we offer meets all Cuban government requirements.
Canadians traveling to Cuba are under no health restrictions and do not require vaccinations. However, it is recommended to contact your medical provider to determine your individual needs for immunizations and/or preventive medication when travelling abroad.
Our bilingual guides stay with your group 24/7 at the hotel to offer assistance with any special needs/emergencies. Cuba has a great health care system and there are many hospitals and clinics all over Havana. The hotels have a doctor and nurse on site, as do the schools that will be visited in Havana, so help is always nearby. Bring any medicines you are likely to need. While there is an excellent health care system in Cuba, it will be extremely difficult to find certain medicines in the countryside.
Entering Cuba: In addition to personal jewelry, cameras, cell phones, laptops, and other valuables, visitors are allowed to bring into Cuba, duty free, 2 bottles of liquor, 1 carton of cigarettes and up to 10 kilograms of medicine. Gifts up to a value of $250 CAD can also be brought in. Of that, $50 is duty-free; the rest is 100 % taxable. For more information click here.
Visitors leaving Cuba can take out 50 cigars, and 1.14 litres of liquor (two regular-sized bottles of 750ml). Please note that provincial age restrictions apply to liquor and tobacco products when re-entering Canada. To export other items, such as art and antiques, obtain a permit from the National Registry of Cultural Objects. Most legitimate vendors have such permits and can officially stamp your receipt.
The Cuban airport tax is now $25 CUC and it must be paid in cash upon departure from the Cuban airport.
For other restrictions and additional information, please click here.
When travelling with minors, and if the parents or legal guardians are not accompanying the child, it is recommended that you provide evidence that the child’s parents or legal guardians consented to the child’s travel with you. You can find a sample of the consent letter on the Canadian Foreign Affairs website, as well as all the instructions and procedures regarding this topic. Please visit: http://www.voyage.gc.ca/preparation_information/consent-letter_lettre-consentement-eng.asp
To call from Cuba to Canada is sometimes easier, but calls made in Cuba must be paid in Cuba, not collect. 1-800 numbers will not work in Cuba. You can purchase calling cards for $10 CUC, and they include approx. 10 minutes of international long distance calls. Most mobile phones will roam in Cuba, but the per minute charges are very expensive. Check with you carrier before leaving home to enquire about travel packages they have that may lower your costs while in Cuba. TIP, consider turning off the data function on your smart phone before arriving in Cuba to avoid costly surprises.
Tipping is becoming common, a $1 – $2 CUC tip (per table) is adequate for wait staff. It is traditional for each person to contribute approximately $10 for the week to be shared between the guides and drivers. Hotel maid – one dollar per day per room is acceptable (cosmetics or good quality clothing items may be substituted).
  • Clothes for hot weather, lots of T-shirts
  • Laundry detergent (for clothes washed in room)
  • Bathing suit, sunscreen, hat, sandals
  • Hand soap, face cloth, beach towel
  • Comfortable shoes for walking
  • Camera, Sunglasses, Hair dryer
  • Female hygiene products
  • Shampoo, soap and toothpaste (hotels provide soap, but you may prefer your own brand)
  • Small packages of facial tissues (toilet paper substitute for washrooms outside of hotel)
  • Battery powered travel alarm clock
  • Aspirins, Imodium, Peptobismol
  • Insect repellent
  • Individual water bottle, snacks
  • English/Spanish dictionary
We are members of TICO (Travel Industry Council of Ontario). TICO is a self-managed, not-for-profit corporation, responsible for administration and enforcement of the Ontario Travel Industry Act on behalf of the Ontario government. The Travel Industry Council of Ontario’s mission is to promote a fair and informed marketplace where consumers can be confident in their travel purchases. All payments made to us will be protected under The Travel Industry Compensation Fund. http://www.tico.ca/