Are you dreaming of visiting Cuba? I’m not surprised! I have been there and can’t stop thinking I should go back, especially to Havana at least for a day! But before you go, there are things female travellers should know about Cuba. Read these before taking the flight.
1- Cuban Men Like to Wink
Cuban men, as typical Caribbeans, like flirtation. Be prepared, especially if you are blond with clear eyes, to get a lot of attention. But it is not a bad attention, it’s just playful. You won’t feel in danger in any way. Winks in Cuba are used as a secret language too.
A single male wink means compliment and approval.
If you get the wink twice, it’s a promise – “I’ll see you later.”
2 – Where to Buy Cuban Cigars
If you want to buy Cuban cigars, those bought from tobacco farms are without labels and their quality is not officially approved, but they are not less good. They are also cheaper but you need to consume the cigars sooner before they lose their moisture.
The other alternative is the tobacco and rum shops that are owned by the state and their products are beautifully packed and labelled. They are of course more expensive – with a corresponding ‘for foreigners only’ pricing strategy.
Think what’s more important to you – helping local farmers get a bit more cash directly in their hands or fueling the state through the official tobacco shops?
3 – Bring Cubans Small Gifts
If possible, bring along some mascara. This is the cosmetic product that Cuban women have difficulties to obtain and will be very happy to have some as a gift.
Also, soaps and other toiletries will be very appreciated. I guess with the time the products that Cuban people don’t have easily available are changing. But with all people travelling to Cuba, you should be able to find information prior to your trip what items are the most wished-after.
4 – Take Your Own Products with You
Take with you all the hygienic products that you think you may need during the trip. They can be bought in Cuba but it is difficult to find and are expensive.
5 – Be Prepared for the Humidity
The cosmetics that will take with you must be adapted for very humid conditions and with a sun protection. Even during the winter months, the sun at noon is shining strongly and obliquely, and the air is with average humidity 75%.
6 – Where to Buy Coffee in Cuba
If you want to bring back home some original Cuban coffee, you have two options: “Serrano”, which is sold in stores and minced; and coffee beans, freshly roasted in coffee plantations, which is the cheaper option.
The aroma of the second one will fill your suitcase while you go home. Whichever you choose, brew it in an Italian coffee maker, as Cubans themselves do and you’ll get the original taste.
7 – Handmade Goods
What to buy from Cuba? You will see at many Cuban places handmade items. I liked the most the leather sandals because they are not only beautiful but also practical. The choice is only of 3 or 4 models but their quality is very good. (I bought one pair). The price at the places with fewer tourists like Pinar del Rio is about 11 euros.
8 – Be Generous – Give Tips!
Be ready to give a tip almost everywhere. This is not required but expected. Coin of one convertible peso is the usual amount.
9 – It’s Your Chance to Learn Authentic Salsa!
If you do not take a few lessons of salsa before travelling to Cuba, you will regret it. Cuba lives in the rhythm of the dance and you will want to join. In addition, local men are always ready to dance with a foreign woman.
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10 – Wear Your Mini Skirts in Cuba!
Cuba is a country where you can wear short skirts, shorts and dresses without a single worry. You will blend perfectly into the local environment. Take your favourite little dress, comfortable shorts and enjoy wandering in the tropics.
What are the three things you are in interested the most about Cuba? What would you like to try or learn?
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