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Tips for Traveling to Cuba with Kids: What to know

Fri 31 Mar 2017


Traveling to Cuba with kids is possible and there are plenty of activities for the family to share. This trip might activate the children´s imagination. They will enjoy learning about the culture and see life from another perspective. Bed and Breakfast in Cuba brings all the tips you need to know to go on a family trip to this island.

Can I take my kids to Cuba?

This must have been the first question that crossed your mind when thinking about spending your next family vacation on the Caribbean island. The answer is: Yes. You can bring your kids and they´ll have a lot of fun if they are open to enjoy new experiences.

If you are from the United States there is a restriction, though. But, this doesn't mean you have to stop reading this post and start looking for another destination! A People to People license is required to bring kids to Cuba. What does it mean? You'll need a guide and a schedule that includes educational tours.

There are several travel experts who can put your trip together, according to your particular interests. Visiting the island is about cultural exchange. Your kids will be able to interact with locals and learn about their social life.

A piece of Cuban history will be present in every corner. The fortresses and colonial buildings reminds the times of the Spanish conquest. The vintage cars, restrictive rules and anti-American revolutionary heroes remind the embargo and ties with the Soviet Union.

But not everything has to be about learning. There are plenty of things to do with your kids: hiking, swimming, dancing, enjoying baseball games and much more. There are open parks and activities for children every night at the cities' squares. And they can share and play with local kids.

Why you should bring your kids to Cuba?

Wherever you go in Cuba the children will be welcome. Cubans loves kids and the island has a very family-friendly environment. You'll see that at your accommodation, when visiting attractions such as Casa de la Cultura and even at the street... where locals will be happy to interact with the kids.

But why we say Cuba is a destination for family trips? Here are some reasons, we're sure you will appreciate:

  • Is a safe place. The rate of crime is very low... but, be aware of all your stuff while walking on the streets, like you'll do it in any other tourist destination.
  • Medical facilities are good and accessible to foreigners through Servimed.
  • The streets are pedestrian friendly.
  • It's warm all year long.
  • Kids will have the opportunity to meet Cuban peers and play with them.
  • Have you heard about global citizens? Well, this is an excellent opportunity to raise your own.

Of course there are a couple of things you and your kids have to know before visiting Cuba. First, don't expect Internet connection everywhere. When it's available is very slow. So be prepare spend all this time away from tablets and smarthphones. You can take it as a "detox" from technology.

And second, when you'll try to find a guide, you will realize it might be expensive. There's a solution for that. Try to find some other family to join yours and divide the expenses.

Family activities in Cuba

Hiking in Cuba, riding horses, taking a ride on vintage cars, visiting the natural parks. The family will spend a lot of time outside and you'll all love it.

Get to know Heritage Cities

Did you know that Unesco has recognize some Cuban cities as World Heritage? Go there and discover why while you are walking around Havana, Cienfuegos and Trinidad. Their colonial architecture, monuments and public squares attracts tourists all year long.

Live music is present almost in every corner, and Cubans likes to go around the "plazas" at any time. So is a good chance to share with locals.

Even when these three cities are the most visited, Viñales Valley and the historic center of Camagüey are also recognized by Unesco.

Camagüey was one of the first seven villages founded by the Spanish conquers. And Viñales for the traditional agricultural methods they use. This is the place you need to go if you want to visit the tobacco plantations.

Horseback riding in Viñales

The best way to know the Viñales Valley is riding a horse with real Cuban Cowboys. Take a tour to visit the farms where tobacco is grown, visit caves and enjoy the best viewpoints of the valley.

It would be at least a three hours tour. To get to experience the beauty of the valley and its spectaculars views (it could take longer than that). And the best time to star is in the morning.

If you are not in Viñales, some companies offer transportation from Havana for extra charge. Find out the age limits for riding. This activity is not recommended for children under the age of six.

Don't forget to take your swimsuit, water bottle, hat, sun cream. Also, wear long pants and closed shoes!

Explore the Gardens of the Queens

Jardines de la Reina or Gardens of the Queen is a protected marine park. It includes a set of islands, cays, islets and banks. It's the perfect place to discover the marine ecosystem. The most popular activities are diving and snorkel in the mangroves. But you can take a boat to go around the islands

Here you'll find the world's third largest coral reef. Turtles, sharks and the Cuban crocodile are some of the frequent visitors to the park.

Is a long trip from Havana, about six hours driving, and then ride on the boat would be another six hours.

Visit the aquarium

Well, if you think the trip to Gardens of the Queen is too long (It worth, anyways) there is another way to know about sea life. Take your kids to an educational trip to the National Aquarium of Cuba in Havana.

You'll see many different species of fish, turtles, seals, sea lions, dolphins, and more.

Swim with dolphins

Are you looking for a closer experience with dolphins. Then, visit a definario where you can swim with this friendly mammal or watch a show.

Hiking at the national parks

Take your family to some of the best national parks that Cuba has to offer. You won't have enough time to know them all, but we recommend visiting at least one.

Parque nacional Alejandro de Humboldt, in the provinces of Holguin and Guantanamo; Baconao in Santiago; are some of the parks where you can go. You can also hike at Viñales Valley.

Visit the Museo of Chocolate

Take a time during your visit to Havana to know about Cuban chocolate industry. Stop at Museo del Chocolate and see chocolates being made. Of course you can also try some. Don't go without trying a cup of hot or cold chocolate!

Take a tour in a classic car

Among the typical images of Cuba we find the classic cars of the 50s. Do not miss the opportunity to take your children in one of these vehicles around Havana. They'll enjoy it for sure.

Learn to dance

It looks like Cubans have music and dancing in their DNA. Is there a better place to learn how to dance? Take some dancing lessons and get ready to practice a lot. Because you'll see live music bands everywhere.

Watch a baseball game

If you and your kids are sports lover, don't miss a baseball game. Where? You can buy a ticket to go to the Estadio Latinoamericano to watch a game. Or you can be even more involved in the game by playing with locals.

Cubans like to play at Parque Central, in Old Havana every day. Go there and the kids can join the players.

Tips to travel to Cuba with kids

Here we have some advises for your next family trip to Cuba. Booking in a casa particular is the best accommodation when traveling with kids to the island. The owners will try their best to keep your kids comfortable. This is a good way for them to know and share with some peers.

Also, when the children are sleeping, you can go and spend sometime by yourself at the common areas of the house.

Take everything you need from home. All your medicines supplies, sun cream, formula milk, wet wipes, nappies... It won't be easy to find these stuff in Cuba.

We already said that Internet connection is poor. So, before departing home download all the games you'll need for the kids to play during the trip. Also bring books, table games, crayons and toys, so they can play and don't get bored.

For transportation you can rent a car. This can be the most comfortable option for families to get around, but is also expensive. Buses are safe, and kids under 12 years old travel half price.

About the food... there are not kids meal at restaurants, but you can find food kids-frindly. Pasta, meat and fish are some dishes they can try. Also vegetables and tropical fruits. They would like to try an alcohol-free mojito or sugar cane juice.

Any doubts about traveling to Cuba with kids? This is an experience the family won't forget. Contact us if you are looking for the best casas particulars in Cuba.


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