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  1. #1398
    Quote Originally Posted by Jooks  [View Original Post]
    I'm just beginning to research travel to Cuba. Hopefully, someone can give me advice. I imagine my questions have been answered somewhere in the forum but it's so difficult weeding through all the posts. I gave up after 20 minutes. Please forgive any repetition.

    I am a US citizen located in the NYC area and will be traveling alone. I'm not entirely clear about the visa process and whether I'm better off flying to Cuba from another country, assuming it's legal. Or should I go through an agency to get a visa? If so, please recommend an agency.

    I'm a 60+ guy who likes adventure, beach in addition to a little mongering. My primary motivation is to see Cuba before it gets too commercialized. I'm not one for pre-planned tours but would like to plan a basic itinerary for 10 days.

    Thanks for any thoughts.
    First of all let me say that Cuba is a country with amazing people and culture; its like going back to the early 60's. It has everything you're looking for and more. I've had the pleasure of travelling there from Toronto for the past 14 years; maybe 40 times. I go about 3 times a year now and am about your age. I love it. I have had US friends come to Havana over the years through Toronto via Varadaro (about a 2 hour drive up the coast). Its relatively cheap--about $500 Cdn, return, through say WestJet Air or Sunwing Air. In the past Cuban customs never stamped Passports, only a paper Visa documents, which they keep. PM me and I will give you my go-to taxi driver friend who can help you plan your trip and drive you around; also get you a nice Casa to stay at. Also, its worth spending the time to read the posts; lots of good info there. Good Luck and enjoy.

  2. #1397

    Newbie travel

    I'm just beginning to research travel to Cuba. Hopefully, someone can give me advice. I imagine my questions have been answered somewhere in the forum but it's so difficult weeding through all the posts. I gave up after 20 minutes. Please forgive any repetition.

    I am a US citizen located in the NYC area and will be traveling alone. I'm not entirely clear about the visa process and whether I'm better off flying to Cuba from another country, assuming it's legal. Or should I go through an agency to get a visa? If so, please recommend an agency.

    I'm a 60+ guy who likes adventure, beach in addition to a little mongering. My primary motivation is to see Cuba before it gets too commercialized. I'm not one for pre-planned tours but would like to plan a basic itinerary for 10 days.

    Thanks for any thoughts.

  3. #1396
    Quote Originally Posted by Mondo707  [View Original Post]
    Hey fellow mongers,

    Just posting the info about this festival at the end of February in case some of you guys are interested in this type of event.

    I will be arriving on the 23rd and hope to make all 4 days of such fest.

    The best popular bands in Cuba bar none, every day 3 different bands.

    If anybody will be around for the fest hit me up so we can have a Cristal or Bucanero and go after some Cubanitas.

    For more information, there is a Facebook Page: Carnaval De La Salsa En Cuba.

    Mondo.
    Thanks for this. I went to Baila en Cuba end of Nov and we had top Timba bands every night. Alexander Abreu, Maykel Blanco, Van Van, Charanga Habaner, etc. Fantastic time.

  4. #1395

    1st Salsa / Timba festival

    Hey fellow mongers,

    Just posting the info about this festival at the end of February in case some of you guys are interested in this type of event.

    I will be arriving on the 23rd and hope to make all 4 days of such fest.

    The best popular bands in Cuba bar none, every day 3 different bands.

    If anybody will be around for the fest hit me up so we can have a Cristal or Bucanero and go after some Cubanitas.

    For more information, there is a Facebook Page: Carnaval De La Salsa En Cuba.

    Mondo.

  5. #1394

    Humour

    Quote Originally Posted by Guillermo  [View Original Post]
    And that's because you were flying from... Moscow?
    Other than hot flaquitas I luv people with a good sense of humor!

  6. #1393

    Las Parrandas de Remedios

    Big party in Remedios, originally started for Christmas, still continues for whatever reason. I was in Santa Clara before Christmas, and my chica said she is going to Remedios with her friends from university for dance practise for the event. I tagged along with her and another amiga, her novio and son. We were to take the bus, and the bus station at SC was full of touts offering shared ride to Remedios. So we reached really early and had trouble finding the practise spot, for a small city like that I would have thought every knows where it would take place. Finally we reached there, and it was fun, my amigas novio got me cigars and rum and we sat in a shade and watched them. They were talking mostly than doing anything. I liked one of the negras in the mix, going to shrink school in the university, and ended up staying in her place and all others returned back to SC. We spent sometime humping and then walked around the city, and sat on a bench and spoke a lot. Some of these girls are so intelligent and hardworking, I am hoping they will have good future. We woke up late, went to the playa at Caibarien as she was scared of coming with me to Santa Maria. The playa is nothing compared to what we can find across the cayos, having a negra with brains and bums in the water meant a lot. Got introduced to her extended family, my gang came from SC and we all went to the carnival in the evening. Everyone was dressed well, most chicas were with family and novios though. The event was hyped a lot, perhaps for cuban standards it was a good event. I stayed back with her, and left for SC in the morning.

    I only took 50 cuc with me when I left SC, with transportation, cerveza, nice lobster lunch, I was left with nothing to give her. She did not ask me anything, I told her that I will leave something for her with my SC amiga, she just smiled and gave me a warm hug and the sound of bye with cuban accent made me humble. I think for every scambag that I came across from taxi drivers to obnoxious and self righteous casa owners (ton of them in SC), there is also ton of good souls.

    If you are good, dress decent, talk spanish at least a bit, above all respect the chicas, I am positive the experience will be something you can remember for long. Save every peso from the scambags and give double / triple of that to good people, they need it even if they don't ask for it.

  7. #1392
    Quote Originally Posted by Taboc  [View Original Post]
    However Aeroflot did not ask for any form while flying into Havana.
    And that's because you were flying from... Moscow?

  8. #1391
    Quote Originally Posted by Combo  [View Original Post]
    Yes, based on my single experience since the new regulations, this seems to be what the USA Is asking foreign airlines to do (except probably Cubana).

    But it's purely a formality. They just want you to give them something before getting on the plane. They aren't going to question you about it and they probably won't do more than glance at it to see than you signed it.
    Very good info. Here's what happened when I tried to go legally solo. Leaving was smooth just sign the affidavit and keep receipts and itinerary. Once in Cuba I was pulled and made to wait for two hours before I was allowed in. Everyone on the charter was group related so me being solo must have raised a flag. Upon arrival back in Miami I had receipts from restaurants and a fake itinerary on my phone. They asked for my invitation letter, damn. I tried to steer her back to my itinerary but she wanted my invitation letter. I said it must be at my home with other papers. She looked over her glasses and said "Mr Gogo you can't be going to Cuba alone and do your thing, next time do it right". She said she was going to make notes on her computer but I noticed she never pressed the keys but faked it. After that I was cleared.

    With the commercial airlines now authorized to book tickets to Cuba I guess they are just playing games to make it look like they are checking.

  9. #1390
    Quote Originally Posted by Taboc  [View Original Post]
    Mr G, I had similar experience. Copa and Aeromexico agents asked for the form to be filled in, it asked the reason for travel (family visit), and other details like name, passport number etc. The Copa agents gave me the form, Aeromexico did not have forms at the gates, and they said I can only get them at the checkin gate. I did not have time to go out and get the form, so they gave me a paper and asked me to write on it as a form.

    However Aeroflot did not ask for any form while flying into Havana.
    Yes, based on my single experience since the new regulations, this seems to be what the USA Is asking foreign airlines to do (except probably Cubana).

    But it's purely a formality. They just want you to give them something before getting on the plane. They aren't going to question you about it and they probably won't do more than glance at it to see than you signed it.

  10. #1389
    Mr G, I had similar experience. Copa and Aeromexico agents asked for the form to be filled in, it asked the reason for travel (family visit), and other details like name, passport number etc. The Copa agents gave me the form, Aeromexico did not have forms at the gates, and they said I can only get them at the checkin gate. I did not have time to go out and get the form, so they gave me a paper and asked me to write on it as a form.

    However Aeroflot did not ask for any form while flying into Havana.

  11. #1388

    La 70 is the coolest area of MDE

    Quote Originally Posted by MrGogo  [View Original Post]
    I'm confused brother. I have traveled both legally and illegally to Cuba so I know the routine well. Are you saying the agents in Panama asked for an affidavit? Never heard of a non USA country asking you for an affidavit. If you are saying the agents in the USA Asked for an affidavit, that's understandable but they also want an itinerary and receipts of your visit if customs in the USA Asks when returning. Were you part of a sponsored group? If you were part of a sponsored tour you pre-pay from the tourist agency in the USA For the Visa card.

    If you aren't sponsored and paid Copa airlines for those over-priced tickets that run you 2 hours extra each way through Panama before reaching Havana; you need to PM me so I can give you the hookup on how to fly quicker and cheaper to Havana bro. Copa wanted 860 usd to fly to Havana but I go another way and pay half that.
    The Copa agents asked for the affidavit at the gate both in the US and again in Panama. However, they didn't even look at it. Just a formality that, I believe, the US Government asks of them. They did not ask for an itinerary (or receipts upon return). Again, the affidavit is purely a formality. But if you book on Copa's website, they explicitly warn you to bring it. No this was not an overpriced sponsored trip.

    Flying through Panama worked well for me since I was traveling to Colombia directly following my Cuba visit. CHI-HAV-MDE-CHI for $820 was a pretty good deal. If I hadn't been visiting Colombia afterward, I likely wouldn't have flown through Panama.

    Like you, I've flown to Cuba both legally (sort of) and illegally. Previously through Bahamas, Canada, and Mexico. If you know of a quicker, cheaper way to Havana, please let me know!

  12. #1387
    Quote Originally Posted by Combo  [View Original Post]
    You'll have to buy a tourist card at the airport in Cancun.

    I would declare Cuba on the immigration form. Going to Cuba isn't a problem. Lying to an agent is.

    I was there a few weeks ago. I flew on Copa airlines through Panama and the Copa agents asked me for my signed affidavit stating that I met one of the 12 categories for permitted travel. I was there for a week-long music festival (fits into "public performance, clinic or workshop" Of course I did other things while in Cuba which technically isn't allowed.

    I doubt Cubana will ask you for the affidavit, but it might be a good idea to fill one out anyway in case the USA Immigration people ask for it. Just pick one of the 12 categories which could plausibly apply to your trip.

    The fact of the matter is the agents don't care. They haven't cared for at least a decade and they care less now than ever.
    Awesome, thanks a lot Combo.

  13. #1386
    Quote Originally Posted by Combo  [View Original Post]
    You'll have to buy a tourist card at the airport in Cancun.

    I would declare Cuba on the immigration form. Going to Cuba isn't a problem. Lying to an agent is.

    I was there a few weeks ago. I flew on Copa airlines through Panama and the Copa agents asked me for my signed affidavit stating that I met one of the 12 categories for permitted travel. I was there for a week-long music festival (fits into "public performance, clinic or workshop" Of course I did other things while in Cuba which technically isn't allowed.

    I doubt Cubana will ask you for the affidavit, but it might be a good idea to fill one out anyway in case the USA Immigration people ask for it. Just pick one of the 12 categories which could plausibly apply to your trip.

    The fact of the matter is the agents don't care. They haven't cared for at least a decade and they care less now than ever.
    I'm confused brother. I have traveled both legally and illegally to Cuba so I know the routine well. Are you saying the agents in Panama asked for an affidavit? Never heard of a non USA country asking you for an affidavit. If you are saying the agents in the USA Asked for an affidavit, that's understandable but they also want an itinerary and receipts of your visit if customs in the USA Asks when returning. Were you part of a sponsored group? If you were part of a sponsored tour you pre-pay from the tourist agency in the USA For the Visa card.

    If you aren't sponsored and paid Copa airlines for those over-priced tickets that run you 2 hours extra each way through Panama before reaching Havana; you need to PM me so I can give you the hookup on how to fly quicker and cheaper to Havana bro. Copa wanted 860 usd to fly to Havana but I go another way and pay half that.

  14. #1385
    Quote Originally Posted by SeanEZ  [View Original Post]
    Any recent experiences from Americans traveling to Havana on Cubana from Cancun? Interested in if Cubana airline will issue one or can get at the airport the tourist card.

    Also now that Cuba stamps US passports do you declare Cuba on immigration form upon re-entering USA or hope they won't catch the stamp? Any recent experiences with this?

    Thanks.
    You'll have to buy a tourist card at the airport in Cancun.

    I would declare Cuba on the immigration form. Going to Cuba isn't a problem. Lying to an agent is.

    I was there a few weeks ago. I flew on Copa airlines through Panama and the Copa agents asked me for my signed affidavit stating that I met one of the 12 categories for permitted travel. I was there for a week-long music festival (fits into "public performance, clinic or workshop" Of course I did other things while in Cuba which technically isn't allowed.

    I doubt Cubana will ask you for the affidavit, but it might be a good idea to fill one out anyway in case the USA Immigration people ask for it. Just pick one of the 12 categories which could plausibly apply to your trip.

    The fact of the matter is the agents don't care. They haven't cared for at least a decade and they care less now than ever.

  15. #1384

    General questions

    Any recent experiences from Americans traveling to Havana on Cubana from Cancun? Interested in if Cubana airline will issue one or can get at the airport the tourist card.

    Also now that Cuba stamps US passports do you declare Cuba on immigration form upon re-entering USA or hope they won't catch the stamp? Any recent experiences with this?

    Thanks.

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