In the modern era, Cuba is considered to be a safe place to visit. This is due largely thanks to its widespread policing efforts, coupled with its strict laws.
Having said that, full safety it’s never 100% guaranteed and it’s important to be cautious while visiting Cuba for small crimes and tourist scams.
Provided that you follow the appropriate safety measures outlined below, you’ll have an excellent time in Cuba with as few potential downsides as possible.
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February 24 – Canadians Tourists Warned: Don’t Go to Cuba with High Expectations
When going on vacation to Cuba, Canada advised not having too high expectations.
In an article titled “All inclusive in Cuba: don’t get your hopes up,” the authors warn those who choose to vacation on the island that they must book a five-star hotel if they want the same level of quality as a four-star hotel in Mexico or the Dominican Republic, although even that choice is no guarantee that they will find it.
“If a person tells me that eating well is a priority for them, I don’t recommend Cuba,” Annie-France Lambert, from the Voyages Simon Pelletier agency, told the association. The expert explains to her countrymen that although Russian and Canadian visitors made up the majority of island visitors, the loss of Russian business following the conflict in Ukraine has left even the top hotels struggling to provide enough dining services.
Dangerous Areas In Cuba To Be Aware Of
While many places in Cuba are safe, there are a number of areas that you would want to either avoid outright or use extreme caution in. Even though Havana itself is safe, for example, there are many surrounding neighborhoods that are not.
Likewise, you would want to take care when traveling to areas like Guanabacoa, Marianao, and Centro Habana. They are known for having safety issues, particularly with tourists, so you may just want to skip them altogether.
Best Safety Practices To Follow While Visiting Cuba
- Be on the lookout for pickpocketers. This is one of the most common issues that has been impacting Cuba since the onset of the pandemic and the increase in tourism.
- Currency-related scams are also on the rise, which makes sense due to the influx in tourists and other travelers.
- Thieves in Cuba tend to target people carrying valuable items like jewelry and bags, so try not to display these types of things in public.
- Thieves also target tourists who are using smartphones, tablets, and other types of expensive electronics equipment. Be aware of this and practice caution.
- Items like those outlined above have been known to be stolen from hotel rooms when travelers leave for the day, so make sure they’re under lock and key if they’re being left unattended for any length of time.
- Always let people know what your travel plans are. This is true not only of the people who may be accompanying you to Cuba, but of those back home as well.
- Use your smartphone to broadcast your location via GPS so that someone knows where you are at all times.
- Follow the United States Department of State on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter for the duration of your stay.
- Do the same for the United States Embassy as well.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are your options if you have an emergency while visiting the country?
Emergencies happen every day and not all of them are crime related. You could get sick, you could get into a car accident, etc.
Depending on the nature of your emergency, you would definitely want to contact the police. Cuba’s emergency services number is 106 (equivalent to our 911).
How big of an issue is crime in Cuba?
Many people don’t realize that Cuba is actually considered to be one of the safest countries in all of the Caribbean. Having said that, there is crime in any country and any major city and you should always be cautious when in an unfamiliar place.
Stay alert when in public. Don’t leave your valuable items unattended. Don’t flash extreme displays of wealth.
Where are some of the safest places to go in Cuba?
As stated, there are a wide variety of places in Cuba that are considered by many to be totally safe. In addition to the aforementioned Havana, these include but are not limited to places like Camaguey, Santiago de Cuba, Holguin, and others.
Typically, the places in the country with the highest cost of living tend to have the lowest crime rates. Here, you can enjoy the rich culture that the country has become known for over the years.
What is Cuba’s infrastructure like?
Unfortunately, Cuba’s infrastructure has a bad reputation – particularly when it comes to the quality of its roads. In addition to a lack of lighting in many areas (making driving difficult at night) you also have potholes and more.
Instances of road maintenance are few and far between. Things have gotten to the point where car accidents are actually the leading cause of death in the country.