Any Cuban shopping tips?
Souvenirs are available at all major cities and towns in Cuba. They range from wooden handicrafts, local paintings to the classic Cuban Cigar.
Havana has a souvenir market on a Thursday afternoon, which is great for local artists showcasing their work, however Trinidad seem to have the better quality souvenirs, especially of the hand carved variety. I would recommend Cienfuegos as the place to buy your cigars!
Dan Cockburn - Product Manager
What is the food like in Cuba?
Food in Cuba consists mostly of rice, fish, meat, beans and plenty of fresh fruit. You can't go to Cuba without trying the famous Mohijo or Cuba Libre, but beware that they don't use measuring glasses so they might be stronger than the ones you have tried at home! Fresh lobster served with salad is also a lovely treat if you visit the island of Cayo Macho. There is also plenty of safe bottled water available throughout Cuba.
Karol Rogacki - Customer Operations
What clothing is best for this part of the Americas?
It can get hot and sweaty here at times, so lightweight cotton (or quick-drying fabrics) is best as a starting point! Long sleeved shirts and trousers will help prevent mosquito bites, especially in the evenings when they could be buzzing around. You should also take a jacket and/or sweater for evenings, as it will cool down. Essential kit includes some sunglasses and a sunhat, along with good sunscreen. A lightweight waterproof jacket or rain poncho is optional, as you can get some tropical rain here now and again!
Karol Rogacki - Americas Operations
Lucy Davies, our Base Manager in Cuba, has written an article where she takes you through a brief history of Cuba, old and new!
Also, staff member Sophie Ashworth travelled to Cuba recently and you can read her article here to get a personal viewpoint of the country.
What do I do about money when I arrive in Havana?
Cuba unfortunately has very few ATM machines, making it slightly more difficult to manage your money supply while in Cuba. Cuba has dual currency system: Cuban Peso (CUP; it's unlikely you will ever need it) and Cuban Convertible Peso (CUC; the one tourists always use). It's best to take all spending money in Sterling cash (Euro or Canadian dollars will also be fine), which can be easily exchanged upon arrival in Cuba. Travellers cheques are accepted at major banks but incur a 5% commission, and some smaller outlets cannot accept them. Also, along with credit cards, they must have no association with an American bank i.e. Virgin Credit Card or American Express travellers cheques, as they will not be accepted anywhere in Cuba.
Sophie Ashworth - Marketing
Exodus staff - expertise on hand to help
All the staff at Exodus share a passion for adventure travel, and are always happy to answer any questions you may have. You can find an expert for the area you are interested in here and can contact them to get further information. If you don't see your specific country listed, please email email@example.com and they will get the answers you need!
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We hope you enjoy using the Departure Lounge to meet your fellow travellers and continue to contribute right up to the start of your journey with Exodus.