Travel Medical Insurance Obligatory for Visitors to Cuba
From the 1st of May this year, the Cuban Government will enforce a new regulation on visitors to the island, that will oblige them to have travel medical insurance that covers them for their stay in Cuba. Visitors will be asked at immigration for their travel insurance documents which need to include, as a minimum, cover for emergency medical expenses, and repatriation costs. If acceptable documentation is not provided, then tourists will have to buy insurance from Cuba's provider of services to toursits - Asistur S.A. - which has an office in the immigration area of the airport. Policies start from $2CUC per day.
Because this is a new law, we are not totally certain about some details of how it will be applied. The Cuban Government is saying that all international travel insurance will be recognised, except that for U.S. insurance companies. Some travel insurance, such as that which is included with some credit card accounts, does not provide you with an official letter of coverage. In this case we suggest you print out the travel insurance policy and write on this: your name; policy number; and the insurer's emergency contact number. You may have to call your provider to find out this information. However, because we have no experience with this new regulation, there is no guarantee this will work. We will surely know more about how this new law will be applied in the near future.
Travelers on our tours can also buy travel insurance specific to Cuba through Cuban Adventures, before arriving to Cuba. Asistur Travel Insurance purchased through us will give you the advantage of dealing directly with Cuban institutions without having to contact an agency outside of Cuba to confirm to a Cuban entity that you are covered. For instance, if you need medical treatment or even hospitalisation, the voucher that we provide you is all that you need to show for free treatment anywhere in Cuba. You will also have a local 24-hour hotlineto call for prompt response. Click here for details.
Barber shops and beauty salons to be privatised
Barber shops and beauty salons in Cuba are set to be handed over to private management. The measure marks the first time state-run retail establishments have been handed over to employees since they were nationalised under Fidel Castro in 1968. Barbers and hairdressers will now rent the space where they work and pay taxes instead of receiving a monthly wage, and will be able to charge market prices. In Cuba the state controls more than 90 per cent of economic activity and the measure may signal the start of a long-expected privatization drive, by President Raul Castro, who took over from his elder brother - Fidel - more than two years ago. The new policy, which began this month, applies to beauty salons and barber shops with three or fewer seats. It has not been officially announced by the Cuban government nor mentioned by state-run media. Click here for more on this report from Reuters.
Victoria, Australia - 15 day Original Cuba Tour
I loved my two weeks in Cuba and have not stoppedraving about it to everyone I know since. Cuba was even more fun and fascinating than I expected, and this tour made it very easy to fall in love with everything about Cuba, without doing any of the hard work!. Our guide Jorge was great and never stopped working, whether it was getting us on the road early in the morning, or getting us out of the night club (also early in the morning), and dealing with all the things that may not always go according to plan, because that's also part of being in Cuba. But what I'll remember the most were the people - the family's that invited us into their homes (and farms!) for Christmas and New Year , the people who run the marvelous B&B's and provided delicious dinners, the random people we met who were artists or salsa dancers or teachers or hitchhikers or served ice-cream in shops! And the marvelous mix of people from around the world that I got to travel with, all so interested in Cuba and wanting to get under its skin - it's not easy to do anywhere as a tourist but this trip really let me do much more than just scratch the surface. I've written some more impressions about Cuba on my travel blog.
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Newest Member of our Team
Meet Osvaldo, the newest member to our team of Cuban guides. Being a dedicated vegetarian, Osvaldo is an extremely rare breed here in Cuba, where most people's favourite dish is roast pig on a spit. He also brings other exceptional qualities to his work as a guide, such as always being on time. Before joining Cuban Adventures Osvaldo was as a pharmacologist. He has two beautiful daughters who are also vegetarian.
Thanks for your support!
Kind regards John Ahrens - Manager Big Planet Adventures