Tag Archives: cuba travel

Cuban food is delicious and flavorful blend of Spanish, Native American, African, and Caribbean cuisines that, like most Latin American cuisines, isn’t particularly spicy, but can be made spicier with some hot sauce at any paladares (privately-owned restaurants). Better still, the price at these restaurants for the quality food you get is very enticing: the average plate is much cheaper than at state-owned restaurants, coming in at around $3-$10 per plate. Portions are also often very large and perfect for sharing with your family, friends, and other travel companions.  

Have you been considering a trip to Cuba and wanted to learn more about the cuisine before you go? Here are 9 excellent Cuban meals to get your mouth watering:

  1. Pulpeta
    You can think of pulpeta like a Cuban spin on meatloaf. It’s well-seasoned mincemeat and ham mixed together with hard-boiled eggs stuffed inside. Rather than baking, pulpeta is generally cooked on the stove.
  2. Ropa vieja
    Ropa vieja (lit. “old clothes”) is the national dish of Cuba, which is interesting considering beef isn’t terribly common in Cuba outside of resorts and restaurants that cater to tourists. This heart stew is filled with tomatoes, onions, and tender beef chunks that slowly cooked until they are easily shredded.
  3. Paella
    Cuban paella is much like its Spanish cousin in composition, with its saffron rice, meats, and seafood cooked in a large, shallow pan, and is often filled with ham, chorizo, chicken, shrimp, lobster, scallops, and mussels.
  4. Ajiaco
    Ajiaco is another wonderfully hearty stew that has everything but the kitchen sink! This delicious Cuban stew has a little something for everyone: pumpkin, potatoes, plantains, corn, malanga, meats, spices, tomato paste, lemon juice, and even beer to add depth of flavor.
  5. Corn on the cob
    Cuba’s take on corn on the cob is both simple and delicious. First, the corn cobs are grilled before being rolled in mouthwatering cotija cheese, sprinkled with chili powder and garnished with a few drops of lime juice.
  6. Tostones
    Tostones are one of those foods that are found all throughout the Caribbean under different names depending where you are. This addictive dish is made using thick slices of plantains which are fried, pressed on to form something closer to a patty, and then fried again.
  7. Congrí
    This dish, simply rice and black beans cooked with garlic, oil, and spices, is found with pretty much any authentic cocina criolla (lit. “Creole cooking”), and is also referred to as moros y cristianos. It’s a delightful and satisfying dish with heart protein and flavorful rice that is the perfect accompaniment to any main dish.
  8. Arroz con leche
    Arroz con leche is a simple yet satisfying rice pudding made with rice, milk, sugar, and cinnamon that is the perfect comfort food for any occasion. The soft, sweet, creamy texture hits every high note a dessert should have.
  9. Cazuela de plátano
    This decadent dessert is made with bananas, raisins, pecans, butter, and brown sugar, and is an excellent dessert for lactose intolerant travelers. It’s the perfect combination of sweet, buttery, smooth and crisp to satisfy any sweet tooth.

If you’re hungry to try some amazing Cuban paladares, you’re going to need a passport and visa first. Fortunately, we can help you get both quickly and easily. Contact Texas Tower Houston at 713-874-1420 and we will always be ready to assist you with your passport and visa needs. For more information on what you need to get a Cuba visa, this article can help. 

Cuba has been open for tourism for a while now, and we wanted to share some of the most common questions we get from individuals seeking their travel visas. Cuba has some unique requirements for issuing travel visas, and outsourcing the task can definitely free up your time to plan your time in Cuba.

What are the U.S. passport requirements for Americans visiting Cuba?
Your passport must be valid at the time of entry, and two pages are required for entry/exit stamps.

Will I need a tourist visa to visit Cuba?
Yes. Although, technically tourist travel to Cuba remains prohibited. Your travel must fall into one of 12 categories of authorized travel. We can help you with that.

Are any vaccinations required to visit Cuba?
Currently, no vaccinations are required, but Hepatitis A is often recommended as water and foods may be contaminated. Dengue fever and the Zika virus are also prevalent.

Is it true U.S. credit cards don’t work in Cuba?
It’s true. U.S. credit and debit cards do not work in Cuba. You will need to bring cash to cover your stay. The Cuban government will require tourists to declare any amounts over $5000 USD. Another point to note is that the Cuban government charges a 10% fee for all conversations from U.S. dollars, excluding electronic transactions or cash conversions in other currencies. When exchanging currency, use the state-run offices known as CADECAs.

Can I bring Cuban pesos back to the U.S.?
It’s probably better not to try. Travelers may only export the equivalent of 5,000 USD in any currency other than the Cuban convertible pesos (CUC). Anyone wishing to export more than this amount must demonstrate evidence that the currency was acquired legitimately from a Cuban bank. (Source: U.S. State Department)

Is Cuba safe?
Cuba is relatively stable and characterized by a strong military and police presence. According to the State Department, the U.S. government rates the threat of crime in Cuba as medium. With the recent influx of tourists to the island, there has been an increase in the number of property crimes, as well as violent crimes. Crimes of opportunity, such as purse snatchings and car break-ins, are on the rise. Overall, Cuba is a safe place to visit, but caution needs to be exercised as in any country you are visiting.

If you’re heading to Cuba and still need to renew/obtain your U.S. passport and travel visa, talk to us – we can make the process fast and easy.

Planningfor Cuba

Planning a trip to Cuba? We can process visas for both business and tourism purposes.

Here’s what you need to obtain a Business Visa for Cuba:
BUSINESS REQUIREMENTS FOR CUBA VISAS:
One completed Cuba Visa Application
One passport type photo and your physical passport  will also need to be submitted with your application. Make sure your expiration date is six months beyond the completion of your trip to Cuba.  You will also need to have two blank pages available for entry and exit from Cuba. You’ll need to provide a copy of your flight itinerary and a recent bank statement. You will also need a company business letter detailing the nature of your business-related trip. If you need help with this – we’re here for you! Generate one now and print on your company letterhead.  Additionally, you will need to provide a letter of invitation from your host company in Cuba. 

TOURIST REQUIREMENTS FOR CUBA VISAS:
Tourist travel visas for Cuba have fewer requirements. You will need to submit a one completed Cuba Visa ApplicationYou will need to submit a passport-type photo along with your physical passport with two blank visa pages. Tourists will also need to submit their most recent bank statement and a copy of their flight itinerary.

To get started you can go here to our dedicated Cuba Travel Visa page.

cuba travel

There is a proposed travel ban for Cuba, while it wouldn’t shut off the ability to visit – it does change some of the permissible reasons for visiting Cuba. If you’re planning a trip to Cuba, talk to us about your passport and visa.

Also, it is worth noting Cuba is very strict about its CUC currency leaving the country, As one traveler experienced recently and nearly went to jail.

Questions and Answers about Cuban Travel

What are the U.S. passport requirements for Americans visiting Cuba?
Your passport must be valid at the time of entry, and two pages are required for entry/exit stamps.

Will I need a tourist visa to visit Cuba?
Yes. Although, technically tourist travel to Cuba remains prohibited. Your travel must fall into one of 12 categories of authorized travel. If the changes proposed by Washington go through, two reasons will be removed.

Are any vaccinations required to visit Cuba?
Currently, no vaccinations are required, but Hepatitis A is often recommended as water and foods may be contaminated. Dengue fever and the Zika virus are also prevalent.

Is it true U.S. credit cards don’t work in Cuba?
It’s true. U.S. credit and debit cards do not work in Cuba. You will need to bring cash to cover your stay. The Cuban government will require tourists to declare any amounts over $5000 USD. Another point to note is that the Cuban government charges a 10% fee for all conversations from U.S. dollars, excluding electronic transactions or cash conversions in other currencies. When exchanging currency, use the state-run offices known as CADECAs.

Can I bring Cuban pesos back to the U.S.?
It’s probably better not to try. Travelers may only export the equivalent of 5,000 USD in any currency other than the Cuban convertible pesos (CUC). Anyone wishing to export more than this amount must demonstrate evidence that the currency was acquired legitimately from a Cuban bank. (Source: U.S. State Department)

Is Cuba safe?
Cuba is relatively stable and characterized by a strong military and police presence. According to the State Department, the U.S. government rates the threat of crime in Cuba as a medium. With the recent influx of tourists to the island, there has been an increase in the number of property crimes, as well as violent crimes. Crimes of opportunity, such as purse snatchings and car break-ins, are on the rise. Overall, Cuba is a safe place to visit, but caution needs to be exercised as in any country you are visiting.

If you’re heading to Cuba and still need to renew/obtain your U.S. passport and travel visa, talk to us – we can make the process fast and easy.

We’ll give you a hint. It’s exotic, has beautiful beaches and is a mere 90 miles away from the coast of the United States.

If you guessed, Cuba, you’re right!

Cuba According to data put together from the travel insurance company, Allianz, Cuba was a major destination for Valentine’s Day 2017.

The company looked at data from some 18,000 trips purchased for two people the weekend before Valentine’s Day, or departing between February 10-12 and returning February 13.

Cancun continues to rank as the top destination, but for the first time Cuba has entered the list and exceptions are it will continue to climb in popularity. The reason is flights are affordable, accommodations are budget-friendly, and the travel visas are easy to acquire. Visitors still have to meet one of the 12 pre-approved reasons to set forth by the Department of the Treasury. A few of the reasons are doing charity work, visiting family members, or performing religious functions.

U.S. travelers require a passport and visa to enter the country, talk to us and we can expedite both!