Is Cuba Safe?
Cuba is a relatively safe country to visit, especially compared to other Caribbean South American countries. There is a large police presence in Cuba, and crimes against tourists are punished severely.
Hurricanes and tropical storms are the most common natural disasters in Cuba. Cuba is considered a model Caribbean country when it comes to natural disaster preparedness. It’s fairly easy to avoid most bad weather by simply avoiding hurricane season, which lasts from August to October. October is typically the worst month for hurricanes.
Frequently asked questions
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- Are There Many Insects In Cuba?
Cuba does not have an especially large population of insects. But it is a tropical climate and there are mosquitoes, ticks, sandflies, houseflies, bees, and wasps. Make sure to bring insect repellent with you when you go on hikes and other outdoorsy adventures.We know they’re not insects, but there are several arachnids native to Cuba. Tarantulas live in the tropical forests, but keep in mind that they are not venomous to humans.
- What Should I Do In Case If An Emergencyin Cuba?
The emergency contact number for police, fire, and EMS is 106.Before you leave, make sure to get the numbers for your country's embassy.
Americans can keep the numbers listed on this website handy in case of an emergency: U.S. Embassy in Cuba - U.S. Citizen Services Assistance.
Visitors from other countries should visit their country’s embassy website to find out similar information.
- What Are the Medical Facilities Like in Cuba?
Cuba is known for having one of the best healthcare systems in the world. But unfortunately the embargo has meant that much of Cuban medical equipment is out of date. Sometimes clinics and hospitals are short-staffed. That being said, Cuba does have convenient medical treatment for visitors. If you are in a major metropolitan area you should be able to find an international clinic with English-speaking staff. Havana has the Cira Gracia Hospital that specifically caters to foreign visitors.
- If I Need Medicine, Can I Easily Get Itin Cuba?
Cuba has convenient health clinics in every major city. Many clinics are even open 24 hours, and common over-the-counter medications are usually easy to find. There are pharmacies that specifically cater to international customers in Cuba’s major cities and popular resort towns.There is no guarantee that you will be able to fill your prescription medication while in Cuba. Make sure you know the generic names for your prescription, and bring plenty of your medications with you.
- Is Crime a Problem in Cuba?
The government does not publish statistics about crime, so it is difficult to know how much crime Cubans deal with on a daily basis. We do know that very little of Cuba’s violent crime is directed at tourists, partly because crimes against tourists are taken especially seriously.Visitors are most likely to be victims of theft, pickpocketing, or friendly con artists. Use common sense – be careful to avoid hustlers, and keep your valuables secure or locked up in a safe. Do not leave anything unattended, especially in areas known to attract large numbers of tourists.
- Are There Many Snakes In Cuba?
Cuba has many species of snakes. It is extremely rare to see a venemous species of snake in Cuba – so low that they are rumored to not exist on the island. Non-poisonous snakes are fairly common in Varadero and the surrounding area, but your chances of encountering one are still fairly low.
- Is It Safe To Swim In The Oceanin Cuba?
Beaches on resorts typically have color-coded flags to let swimmers know the relative swimming safety. Public beaches with lots swimmers usually have lifeguards on duty. Some beaches, like Cayo Coco and Cayo Guillermo, have a reputation for tranquil water and good swimming conditions.Because Cuba’s beaches sit on the Caribbean, sharks are sometimes in the vicinity. This is part of the reason it is inadvisable to go swimming in the early evening or at night, when sharks tend to be the most active. There are also jellyfish in the water, so keep a good lookout.
The biggest concern at Cuban beaches is keeping your valuables safe while you're in the water. If you leave your belongings on the beach while you swim, you run the risk of having them stolen before you return. Leave anything of value in your hotel room's safety deposit box before you hit the beach.
- Is the Water Safe to Drinkin Cuba?
Water in Cuba sometimes has bacteria that causes diarrhea, and it is the cause of most travelers’ upset stomachs. Avoid tap water and buy bottled water whenever possible. Make sure that your bottled water has an unbroken seal. If bottled water is not an option, be sure to boil your water, or make sure to carry iodine purification tablets.There is a chance that tap water in Cuba may carry cholera. Cholera causes sufferers to have diarrhea, which can become severe. The most recent outbreak of cholera in Cuba occurred in 2012.
Be wary of produce that has been washed in tap water. You should eat raw fruit and vegetables only if you have washed them first in purified water.
- Do I Need to Take Malaria Pills or Get Vaccinations for my trip to Cuba?
There are no vaccinations required to enter Cuba. Depending on what activities you plan to do while you’re there, you may want to get a hepatitis shot. You should also make sure you’re up to date on your tetanus and MMR shots. Consult with your doctor to see if they recommend any other vaccinations for your trip.You do not need medication or vaccinations for malaria to enter Cuba. Malaria is very rare on the island. There are anecdotal reports of the disease, but according to Cuban health officials there is no risk of contracting malaria in Cuba.
- Is it Safe to Eat the Local Fruits and Vegetablesin Cuba?
Fruits and veggies are safe to eat as long as they are thoroughly washed in purified water. Avoid produce that you have not washed yourself – produce washed in tap water may have bacteria that will give you an upset stomach.
- Are There Many Mosquitoes in Cuba?
Cuba does not have a notably large population of mosquitoes. You are more likely to be bitten in the evening, especially around sunset. They are more noticeable in places like wetlands and swamps, which you will encounter on trips to coastal parks like Ciénega de Zapata National Park and Punta Francés National Park. Remember to bring bug spray with you when you go hiking, horseback riding, or on trips to the beach.