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CULTURE SHOCK: On this trip, we’ll share with you the Cuba we love, but also want to manage your expectations. The level of service may not be what you’re used to, choice of food may be limited, the roads aren’t great, and poverty is wide-spread. Keep an open mind, and realize things may go wrong. That said, what makes Cuba amazing is this rapidly-changing island has been cut off from Western civilization for decades and is just coming into its own.
LOCAL LGBT SCENE: LGBT Cubans were not able to choose where they lived until recently, so there was never a gay ghetto. Now that people are permitted to live where they wish, the gay scene in larger cities is blossoming. Not surprisingly, the most vibrant gay nightlife is in Havana.
WEATHER: December through March are the coolest months of the year in Cuba. The average daily maximum temperature is 25C/77F, dropping to about 18C/65F at night. During these months, occasional cold fronts may come through from North America, which can mean a few cool nights (around 5C/40F), and possibly rain.
REQUIRED VACCINATIONS: Based on the entry requirements for Cuba, there are no vaccinations needed for entry. To determine if you should take preventative measures to reduce the risk of illness, you should consult your doctor or a travel medical clinic, as OUT Adventures cannot provide vaccination recommendations.
ELECTRICITY: You will need an international travel plug/adapter for type A/B/C/L sockets. Visit http://www.power-plugs-sockets.com/cuba/ for more information.
CONNECTIVITY: It can be tough to stay connected with the outside world, as Wi-Fi is rarely available. When it is, you may not be able to access email or social media. Rather than fighting it or getting frustrated, why not disconnect your electronics and connect with this amazing culture and place? You can always post your photos later.
AMERICAN TRAVEL TO CUBA: This tour meets the legal requirements of “Support for the Cuban People” category and incorporates a full-time itinerary featuring exchanges and cultural activities that better the Cuban people. OUT Adventures works and plans the logistics of this tour through a US-based agency that is subject to the jurisdiction of the United States. For more information, please click the “Have a Question” button on your right, and ask away!
Out Adventures is all about good times with likeminded guys. Whatever’s on the itinerary – from fireside camping to five-star decadence – our goal is to make the experience magical. We’re also committed to supporting the communities we visit by hiring local guides, staying at locally-owned accommodations when possible, and celebrating local cuisine. It all adds up to a great way to immerse yourself in the culture.
For everybody’s peace of mind, medical travel insurance is required on all Out Adventures tours. At a minimum, your travel insurance must provide cover against personal accident, death, medical expenses, emergency repatriation and personal liability, with a minimum medical coverage of US $200,000.
For more details, please speak to an Out Adventures staff member or visit squaremouth.com for a quote.
All Out Adventures are led by a gay (or gay-welcoming) guide. Whenever possible, we hire destination locals. And we can also connect you with the right people if you’d like to delve deeper into the local culture. If you’re pleased with your guide, we recommend a tip of US $5-10 per person, per day…they’ll certainly appreciate it!
Out adventures are a great way to meet people from around the world and all walks of life. Bear in mind that everybody’s there for a good time, so mutual respect will go a long way. Please be on time for any meet ups, empathetic to the needs of others, and ready to roll with whatever the adventure brings.
Although we can’t tell you who your fellow travellers will be for privacy reasons, we can tell you many great friendships began with an Out Adventure. And just because we’re a gay tour operator doesn’t mean we’re exclusive: friends and family are always welcome to join the fun.
If you’ve never travelled on your own, it’s an amazing way to get to know yourself while making new friends along the way. We can arrange for you to share a room with people in your age range at no charge, or you can pay a supplement for your own room. If there’s an odd number of solos, we’ll rotate a single room on a random basis.
We love when groups of friends join us on an Out Adventure, whether you’re celebrating a major milestone, or you just love to travel together. However, since we have travellers that will be flying solo, or as a couple, we would love your help ensuring everybody feels welcome and has an epic time. Here are some ways you can give us a hand, while also getting to know and befriending your fellow travellers:
If you’d rather relish an exclusive escape with just your own party, we also offer private departures. This is a great way to create and manage your own holiday guest list, while possibly saving money as well. Please contact one of our Adventure Specialists if you’re interested in a customized quote.
The itinerary is correct at time of publishing. If anything, it will only improve with feedback from prior travellers and our own research. It’s best to reference your final trip documents, rather than our website, in case there have been any changes that affect your departure.
Every Out Adventure offers optional excursions that are not included in price of this trip. Please see the daily itinerary in your final pre-trip packet to learn what’s available.
Your central Homestay/B&B info will be provided in your pre-trip documents approximately 21 days prior to departure.
If you are checking in to a hotel or our homestay under your Out Adventures reservation, a complimentary arrival transfer will be included.
The local currency is the Cuban Convertible Peso. We usually recommend carrying local currency for small purchases, however credit cards are accepted at most upscale restaurants, and at hotels. We also recommend carrying approximately $400 CAD to be used only in the case of an emergency, or if your credit/ATM cards are placed on hold (please note: American credit/ATM cards will not work in Cuba). PLEASE NOTE: Cuba has an extra 10% charge on changing US Dollars to the Cuban Convertible Peso. Other denominations such as the Canadian Dollar and Euro only have a 3% charge.
If you are happy with services throughout your trip, a tip is recommended. Tipping details will be provided in your final trip documentation, however we recommend budgeting approximately $150 USD.
Most Out Adventures entail carrying your own luggage on occasion. And while you’ll never schlep far, things can quickly get costlier than a celebrity breakup if you don’t keep your baggage under 20kg/44lb thanks to costly surcharges on domestic flights. You should also bring something smaller for day trips to carry water, your camera, and any souvenirs you find along the way.
The following packing list is a guideline, not gospel. Our Out Adventure Specialists are happy to answer any specific questions about how much or little to bring.
General Personal Items:
All Out Adventures guests must have a good level of health. All tours, regardless of activity level, involve uneven steps, stairs, walking tours, and you will be required to carry your own luggage from time to time. Unfortunately, we are not able to accommodate individuals with limited mobility unless they are willing to absorb the cost of a private guide/assistant which varies by country and is only possible on a case by case basis. It is also your responsibility to advise Out Adventures of any pre-existing medical conditions that may increase the risk of you requiring medical attention, or that may affect the normal conduct of the tour and the enjoyment of the tour by other participants.
Below is a breakdown of our Physical Rating guide.
1 – Relaxing
2 – Light
3 – Average
4 – Demanding
5 – Challenging