Cuba Budget Travel
First of all, Cuba is not Asia, which means, prices are way more expensive and it is not possible to live for 5 Euro per day as you can do in some Asian countries.
Best and cheapest period to go is between April until the end of June, and from the end of September until the beginning of December
After January 2021 all people will pay with the national Cuban Peso.
You can buy Cuban pesos with your foreign currency in one of the La Cadecas (Casas del Cambio).
Below a brief calculation in US Dollars (to make it easier to understand) for a normal day as a tourist in Cuba:
20 USD per night for a room
12 USD per day for food (3 USD breakfast, 2 USD street food lunch, 7 USD dinner)
8 USD per day for beverages (bottled water, juice, beer, etc)
20 USD per day for transportation
10 USD per day for recreation
10 USD per day for miscellaneous
Total: 80 USD per day
How to reduce costs?
You can cut your room costs in half by sharing with another person, as
casa rooms are by the room (2 people), not by the person.
It is VERY difficult to find a legal casa room for 20 USD or less in Havana.
More like 25-35 USD per night. So the way to keep down lodging costs (besides
having a roommate) would be to go some other town, where you can probably
get a room for 15 USD per night. But Havana also have some real cheap
budget hotels like the Hotel
Lido and some others.
When you find a cheaper casa particular you probably found an ilegal one.
Remind that it is forbidden for a Cuban to rent out rooms without a licensee.
Risk is you get kicked out of your room in the middle of night and the
casa owner gets a huge fine or even can loose his house.
Campings do excist
in Cuba however the so-called campismos are most of the times far away
of interesting places and cities. Besides, the majority of campings are meant for locals, not for foreigners.
You can cut your food costs in half by eating only street food.
You can't do much to cut your beverage costs because it's a hot climate
and you don't want to get dehydrated. If anything, your beverage cost
might be higher, especially if you drink alcohol. The only way to bring
your beverage cost down to nil would be to drink tap water, which first
have to be boiled, and nothing else.
Normally tourists take, besides a rental
car, the Viazul
bus which is not cheap but good. A 20% cheaper option is the
Astro bus, this bus has, officially, per route 2 seats for foreigners.
The third option is the train,
which is the most economical official way of getting around Cuba legally.
But trains never ride on schedule except the number 1 and 2 which are riding between Havana and Santiagode
can cut your transportation costs down by:
A. Taking a bike and using it to get around. You can
bring your own bike or rent a bike in Havana
Address: Edificio Metropolitano
San Juan de Dios
esq. Aguacate, Habana Vieja
Tel: +53 7 8608532
B. By staying in one town and getting around on foot.
You see a lot less of the country that way, but what you do see is a slower
pace, and can be extremely interesting, if you're into that sort of thing.
Especially if you speak Spanish.
C. Hitchhike. This is a little risky since for a normal
Cuban it is forbidden to give taxi service to a foreigner. It might happen
you get stopped by the police, the driver gets a fine and you get kicked
out of the car.
D. Take public transport, same regulations as in point
public transportation in Cuba are trucks. During the trip a lot of people
are standing. Inside the trailer fits about 50-70 people. A trip with
this means of transport costs, about 5 Cuban pesos (0.20 USD) for 50 km.
In the towns, search for the "terminal de camyones" (terminal
of trucks). The best is to come very early, around 6:00 am, in the morning.
To get a local price for a ride in a terminal will be difficult. The driver
either will ask (because you're a foreigner) for 4-5 time higher price
(instead of 10 pesos he might ask for 2 dollars) or will not be willing
to take you on board at all.
You can cut your recreation costs down by only doing free stuff like going
to the beach or just wander around the city. But if you take in even one
museum and one musical venue, you've probably already spent that 10 USD
recreation budget. Cuban friends are often generous with their time in
taking you to lower priced nightclubs and the like, but you would be expected
to repay their generousity by paying their way, so it comes out to about
the same. Or a good deal more if you and they are drinking.
You can cut down on the miscelaneous costs by remembering to bring with
you every single thing you are likely to need (insect repellant, sunblock,
etc) and not buying anything. Most travelers, even ones on a tight budget,
end up spending more than 10 USD per day on "miscelaneous."
One "miscellaneous" cost would be the 35 USD, or however much
it is now, exit tax when you leave (25 USD) Cuba. Oh yeah, and then there's
the internet, if you plan to use it while you're in Cuba. Most places
it is 6 USD per hour.
©Cuba-Junky | KvK / CC The Hague The Netherlands: 27315058