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Is Cuba safe for travelers?

Mon 23 Oct 2017

Is Cuba safe for travelers

Cuba has become one the favorite destinations to visit the Caribbean. Europeans and Canadians had preferred the island for several years, now Americans can join them, but is Cuba safe for travelers? In this post of bandcuba.com, bed and breakfast in Cuba, we’ll tell you everything you need to know before traveling to this island.

Tourists are important for Cuba

Cuba is located in a very privileged spot in the Caribbean. Stunning turquoise water surrounds the island; a wonderful mix of culture and a rich history make of Cuba an interesting destination for everyone.

For many years the island was vetoed for American citizens. But now they have the opportunity to enjoy the riches of the island. And based on the number of travelers who have visited Cuba in recent years, their interest in getting to know Cuban culture is growing. But anyone traveling abroad is always interested in their safety.

Europeans and Canadians are frequent visitors, and now American citizens want to join them. With that in mind, we will like you to know the answer to this question: Is Cuba safe for Americans?

In the middle of the political and economic situation of Cuba, tourism became a major source of income for locals. Many Cubans depend on this activity. And that is one of the reasons travelers from all over the world are welcome to the island.

As in any other country, a security event can occur, like in anywhere in the world. But that's no reason to discard your next trip to the island. With prevention and common sense, most of these situations are easily avoided.

Latin America and the Caribbean are known for having a high crime rate. But compared to the rest of the countries in the area, Cuba is very safe. The rate crimes in the island are low. And knowing how important tourism is for Cubans, the government tries to protect travelers with severe punishments for those involved in crimes against tourists. Even though, you need to take precautions while you are on the island, as you’d do it in any other country.

Take note of these advises and have a safe trip to Cuba.

Is Cuba safe for travelers?

safe trip to Cuba

Comparing the crime rates with the rest of the countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, you’ll find that the island is very safe. It doesn’t mean that crime doesn’t occur at all. It is important to act with care to avoid being victims of any crime. Pickpocketing, purse snatching, and assault can occur, especially in the big cities.

Be smart and take precautions if you travel to Havana, Santiago de Cuba, Trinidad or any other city. Again, the measures you take are not different from what you do when traveling to any other country.

In Havana, you’ll see police officers on the street, especially near to the tourist attractions. This can persuade criminals to commit any crime. Even though, be careful.

Be a smart traveler

While more precautions you take, the better the experience will be. Start taking care of your belongings before departing. Lock your suitcases and make them shrink-wrapped if possible before the check-in. This will reduce the risk of theft from luggage.

  • If you travel by yourself, make sure to take a registered taxi every time. And if you go with a tour agent, keep close to the guide and follow their indications.
  • Don’t walk alone at night, even if you are close to your accommodation. And avoid streets you don’t know or with poor light.
  • Also, don’t call people attention wearing jewelry or flashy watches. Also, keep the camera out of sight.
  • Having a bag that you can hide under your clothes to keep important documents and money is a great inversion.
  • If you are a victim of burglary or robbery stay calm and do not resist. Go to the local police to report the crime. If you lose your passport, communicate with your country authorities.

Be careful on crowded places

Crowded places as tourist attractions can become the perfect place to pickpocketing or assaults. The best advice is to make it difficult for this people. Don’t take any valuables or high tech items such as laptops or Smartphone. Probably you won’t use them on the street anyway.

You should be careful at public transportation, markets or big tourist attractions. Don’t leave any of your items unattended and don’t put anything in the back pockets of your clothes.Tourism in Cuba

One of the best things about Cuba is its people charisma. They like tourists and they will talk to you as a family, even if you just met. But be aware that some people will offer you help with second intentions. Between the major concerns are jineteros or hustlers. This is people specialize in defrauding tourists.

They can be everywhere offering tourist services and they’ll be persistent. If a hustler approach to you, don’t be rude. Just say you are not interested since the beginning.

Another tip to traveling safely to Cuba is to keep an eye on your belongings if you visit some of the famous beaches in Cuba. Tourist can easily get distracted at the beach, be aware you can lose any important item if leaving unattended.

Also, it is possible that some people come after you to ask you for money. You’ll recognize this person because they always have a sad story and not always they are true, try to avoid them. If you want to collaborate with Cubans there are a few ways to do it.

You can give some gifts to the owners of the Casa particular you are sleeping at. Also, you can make donations to schools, pharmacies, etc.

Safety on the road

Renting a car and drive around Cuba is one of the favorite ways to know the Caribbean island. Some precautions have to be taken if you want to avoid any problem.

Take the main road when traveling between cities. These are in fair condition. While you are on the road, pay attention to the presence of pedestrians and animals. You could find horse-drawn carts. Also, it’s possible to find unattended vehicles, left there until they are fixed.

Plan your itinerary to take road during the day. At night, the lighting conditions could not be the best.

Some car-related crimes you should be aware are theft from cars. So, don’t leave any valuables inside. Those will be more protected at your accommodation.

Hitchhiking is common in Cuba. While sometimes this could be a way to meet a local and share the road with him, it also can be risky. Sometimes hitch-hikers just want to take your money. So, the best recommendation is not to pick up any of them.

Women traveling alone

A woman traveling alone will attract people attention anywhere in the world. But this doesn’t mean is too risky to do it. While walking alone on the streets expect to hear comments from men trying to call your attention.

It can be annoying but remember Government protects tourist and if they try any physical contact they can go to jail. So, even they will avoid getting closer. Even though take precautions. Don’t walk on the streets by yourself at night or along lonely areas.

What not to do in Cuba

Knowing the law in any country you travel will keep you out of any trouble. The same happens in Cuba. Illicit drugs such as marijuana are illegal in Cuba. Also is prostitution. Never accept these things while you are on the island.

If you get caught in relation to any crime, you could go to jail. You could spend a few days in prison just for a minor incident until the investigation is complete.

The Cuban government is trying to prevent sex tourism, especially if it involves minors. Travelers can be convicted of any offense related to the corruption of minors aged 16 and under. And Cubans who offer sex services can be fined or sent to jail also.

Police officers are attentive to Cubans who approach tourists. If there is any sign of prostitution, they could take action.

Another thing to avoid is taking pictures of any security officer or installation. This is forbidden in Cuba.

Security at Casas particulars

A common concern between travelers is the security at the Casas particulares. Some homestays have a safe box where you can keep all your valuables. Ask for this service when you book a room.

In general, the owners in Casas particulares wants to make the travelers feel like home. So they’ll provide everything that you need to be comfortable. They want to maintain a good reputation for maintaining the business and will not be interested in keeping your belongings.

However, there have been some cases of lost objects. So keep it all secured. If they do not have a safe, keep everything in the suitcase and keep it locked while you are out of the house.

As you can see, the concerns of traveling to Cuba are not distant to those of any place. You just need to take smart precautions.What do you think now, Is Cuba safe for travelers? If you are planning a trip to the Caribbean island, contact us and find the best accommodation.


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