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About Havana

Havana is the awe-inspiring capital city of Cuba. With a population of 2.1 million residents, Havana is described as three cities in one. With its five hundred-year existence, it boasts the most diverse styles of architecture in the world. Touristic attractions include The Great Theatre of Havana, Museo de la Revolución and the Cuban café culture.

Cheap flights to Havana are now available for a limited period of time, now is the time to get ready for a voyage to this culturally rich city! Havana is the home of José Martí International Airport (HAV), located a short 20-minute drive from the city centre. José Martí International Airport serves a multitude of airlines, including COPA Airlines, KLM and Air France. Popular international flights depart from Cape Town and Johannesburg. The flight duration from Johannesburg to Havana is approximately 16 hours!

Why visit Havana

colourful old houses

Old Havana

The most beautiful spot in Havana has exquisite Spanish influences. Enjoy incredible live Cuban music and be sure to visit the Plaza de la Catedral and Hemingway Bar.

beige monuement

El Capitolio

Occupying the city skyline, this monumental building displays a combination of Neoclassical and Art Nouveau styles. The National Capital Building was the seat of government, after the Cuban Revolution.

cuban lady smoking cigar

Habanos Cigar Festival

During the month of February, Havana is ignited with tours of cigar factories and cigar tasting over a period of 5 days. Enjoy the best of Cuban tradition!

General information

Essential details you need to know before your trip

Country Cuba
Currency Cuban Peso
Exchange Rate 1 ZAR = 0.07 CUC
Language Spanish
Hub Airport José Martí International Airport
Airline Cubana de Aviación
Time Zone GMT -5
Travel Adaptor Type A, B and C

Best time to visit Havana

Havana experiences a warm tropical climate. During the dry season (November to April) the city has the sunniest days and warm temperatures. Tourists can enjoy the Havana Jazz Festival which takes place in December. Havana’s wet season (May to July) sees a rapid increase in temperature. December to April is the best time to visit; visitors will avoid the rain and occasional hurricanes. For cheap flights to Havana, tourists should consider the low season (April to June), when the city offers great deals and discounts on rooms, and it is less crowded.

Weather & Climate in Havana

Average temperature (°C) & rainfall level (mm) per month

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Low °C 19°C 19°C 20°C 21°C 22°C 23°C 24°C 24°C 24°C 23°C 21°C 20°C
High °C 26°C 26°C 28°C 29°C 30°C 31°C 31°C 32°C 31°C 29°C 28°C 27°C
Rainfall (mm) 64 69 46 54 98 182 106 100 144 181 88 58

Overview

Hospitality and Havana go hand-in-hand. The city is elegantly decorated with bold colours and deeply ingrained history. Bask in the ambience of revolutionary heroes, who have left their mark throughout the cityscape, and the moving storytelling of the Cuban nation.

The city is best experienced through an attentive stroll. It is a life changing fiesta for the senses. In Old Havana, a transient aesthetic awaits. Gaze upon women smoking cigars; this legendary and empowering image of women engulfed in thick cigar smoke has spiritual and religious roots. Havana and its people will remain in your heart forever. She captivates and moves you through live rumba music; the locals embrace each other through the sensual dance of the rumba.

This renowned hospitable city continues to welcome people to its shores. It is heart-warming to see the locals so proud and humble of their home, culture and identity!

Visa & Customs

South African passport holders do require a visa to enter Havana and Cuba.

Visa Process Requirements:

• The traveller’s passport must be valid for 6 months after return date. • One application form, to be completed by applicant. • Original return air ticket and a copy. • A letter from applicant’s bank, stating applicant has sufficient funds to cover their stay in Cuba.

Health & Safety

All travellers should be up-to-date on routine vaccinations before their trip. These vaccines include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, dipthera-tetanus-pertussis, varicella (chickenpox) vaccine, polio vaccine and yearly flu shot.

Travellers going to Havana are encouraged to get vaccines for hepatitis A and typhoid.

The tap water is not safe to drink. Visitors should boil water before drinking it or purchase bottled water. There is a moderate risk of the Zika virus transmission. The mosquito-borne virus can be spread through sexual contact and from a pregnant woman to her unborn child. Travellers to Havana should use mosquito repellents and sleep under mosquito nets.

Havana is a safe city. However, tourists are advised to be cautious in any major city.

Tips for staying safe in Havana:

• Be wary of pick-pockets and bag-snatchers on bicycles. • When in public spaces, keep your bag in eye-sight at all times. • Avoid walking in alleyways at night. • Agree on taxi fares before getting in a cab. • Be wary of the illicit sale of counterfeit cigars around Centro Habana and Habana Vieja.

Cost of Living

Item Cape Town Johannsburg Havana
Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant R100.00 R100.00 R66.65
Domestic Beer (0.5 litre draught) R25.00 R25.00 R13.48
Cappucino (regular) R22.22 R22.57 R18.07
Taxi 1km (Normal Tariff) R10.00 R10.00 R6.67
Pack of Cigarettes (Marlboro) R38.00 R40.00 R32.66
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