FLY FISHING IN CUBA
Expansive, rarely-fished saltwater flats. World-class bonefishing with shots at tarpon and permit. Delicious, home-cooked meals. Vibrant culture. Warm, welcoming people. Illuminating conversation. You'll discover all this and so much more on our exclusive fly-fishing adventure in Cuba. Through these trips, you'll get to know Cuba through a diverse selection of activities, from a private musical performance to one of the most interesting fly shops we've ever found—and of course, world-class fly fishing. A wealth of natural wonders and interesting people make Cuba one of the most enriching destinations you'll ever visit.
You are sure to leave with a deeper understanding of Cuba and its people—as well as some tall tales from one of fly fishing’s best-preserved fisheries.
Havana & Playa Larga Departures
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Trinidad, Cienfuegos, & Playa Larga
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Wild landscapes and saltwater flats that have been protected for decades, creating a haven for bonefish, tarpon, permit, snook, and snapper, as well as hundreds of species of migrating birds and marine creatures.
Four days of fishing near Ciénaga de Zapata National Park with local guides, some of whom are park naturalists, working to preserve this important ecosystem.
Authentic interactions with Cuban entrepreneurs, artists, musicians and conservationists where you'll have many opportunities to speak one-on-one, exchange ideas and learn about life in this unique island nation.
Delicious meals in privately-owned paladares, featuring homemade,
These adventures fully comply with all current Cuban and American government regulations.
The recently announced travel restrictions to Cuba may cause travelers and anglers to fear they have missed their chance. Rest assured that Orvis continues to provide fully compliant trips to this incredibly unique destination.
Frequently Asked Questions
I’m a U.S. citizen. Is it legal for me to travel to Cuba With Orvis?
Yes. You can be rest assured that your trip with Orvis is fully compliant with the latest regulations issued by the U.S. Department of Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control. While the updated trade and travel restrictions announced on 11/8/17 will restrict individual people-to-people travel to Cuba, group people-to-people travel will still be authorized through organizations such as Orvis that sponsor exchanges to promote people-to-people contact with local Cubans. Travelers will be required to adhere to a full-time schedule of meaningful educational exchange activities. The Orvis trips meet these criteria. Orvis launched trips to Cuba in 2016 after over 18 months of extensive research to offer our customers a truly unique, authentic trip that continues to be fully compliant with all applicable U.S. laws and regulations.
The Cuban government and people open their arms to U.S. visitors. On some occasions an immigration official might ask you questions about your stay on the island (e.g. what electronic equipment you are bringing, how much cash you are carrying and who you will meet with). This is standard and you should not be concerned – it’s part of the experience! Please be transparent and feel free to show them a copy of your program.
What travel documents do I need for entry to Cuba?
All U.S. citizens and permanent residents will need a passport with a minimum of two blank pages that is valid for at least six months after the scheduled date of return from Cuba. The Cuban government requires all travelers to obtain a Cuban visa (also known as a tourist card) prior to arrival into Cuba. Orvis will arrange for your tourism visa as well as required Cuban health insurance. We’ll mail your visa to you 1-2 weeks prior to your departure.
Please note: Cuban law requires that individuals who were born in Cuba and departed the island prior to January 1970 obtain a special entry visa from a Cuban consular office overseas. Orvis will work with you to obtain all required permissions. If you think this may apply to you, please contact an Orvis travel specialist for additional details.
How do I get to Cuba from the U.S.?
The U.S. Department of Transportation has approved commercial flights to Havana from multiple U.S. cities including New York, Newark, Houston, Atlanta, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Tampa, Charlotte and Los Angeles. Check-in and baggage policies may differ from domestic flights because travel to Cuba is still restricted. The airline will require you to certify that your travel to Cuba falls into one of the approved categories of travel authorized by the U.S. Department of the Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control. Your trip qualifies as authorized travel as part of an educational people-to-people exchange sponsored by Orvis. We’ll send you more details about flights and arrival and departure information in your trip confirmation package. If you have any questions about booking your commercial flight to Havana, please call Orvis Adventures at 800-547-4322.
Do I need any inoculations/vaccines?
Cuba doesn’t require any specific immunizations to enter. We recommend you consult your physician to discuss your particular situation and any medical conditions.
What is the currency? Will I be able to use or exchange U.S. dollars?
Cuba has two currencies, the Cuban Peso (CUP) and the Cuban Convertible Peso (CUC—pronounced “kook”). The CUP is exclusively for use within the domestic economy and it is unlikely that you will encounter it. The CUC is used for all transactions involving imported goods and in the tourism economy.
You can exchange U.S. dollars (USD) for CUC at all major hotels and at state-owned currency exchange locations throughout the island. The standard rate is $0.97 CUC per $1 USD. However, it is important to note that the Cuban government levies a 10% surcharge on USD-denominated exchanges, meaning the effective exchange rate is $0.87 CUC per $1 USD (e.g. for every $100 U.S. dollars that you exchange, you will receive $87 CUC).
Newer $20, $50 and $100 bills are preferable because it can sometimes be harder to change small bills and worn and torn bank notes will not be accepted.
Can I avoid the surcharge on U.S. dollars by bringing a different currency?
Maybe, but probably not.
This hidden 10% surcharge on U.S. dollar-denominated exchanges leads some travelers to believe that they will get more “bang for their buck” by taking Euros or Canadian dollars instead of USD. While this may be true for a lucky few—travelers who maintain bank accounts in Canada or Europe, for instance, or who otherwise have easy access to other currencies at low conversion rates—most people find that any savings they think they achieve by purchasing Euro or Canadian dollars in the United States are wiped out by the high fees and poor rates that most retail currency exchange locations charge.
How much money should I take with me?
The importation of hard currency to Cuba is unrestricted. However, travelers who arrive with more than $5,000 USD (or the equivalent in other currencies) are expected to declare so on their customs forms upon arrival. In practice, bringing in cash in excess of $5,000 USD is not a problem, but may cause minor delays during your entry procedures.
Meals, ground transportation, fishing permits, local guide service and accommodations are all included in the cost of your travel package. Not included are gratuities, alcoholic beverages, souvenirs and other incidentals. Most travelers find that $250 per person per day is more than enough to cover these expenses.
Please note: you will meet several well-known Cuban artists during your trip and some travelers may choose to purchase artwork to bring back home with them. (The importation of Cuban artwork to the United States is unrestricted.) If you think this may apply to you, please contact an Orvis travel specialist for further information.
Can I use my credit and debit cards in Cuba?
No, credit and debit cards will not work in Cuba.
Can I bring home cigars, rum and other items?
U.S. regulations permit travelers to return to the U.S. with up to $400 in merchandise from Cuba. The United States lifted the restriction on the importation of Cuban cigars and rum for personal consumption; however, normal limits on duty and tax exemptions will still apply.
There is no limit on the amount of money you spend on art and information materials and you can bring back as much art work, music, books, posters, postcards, photographs, crafts and other art and artisan goods as you’d like. For more information, visit the U.S. Customs site.
Is it safe to walk around?
Cuba is one of the safest countries in Latin America. Part of the beauty of visiting the island nation is being able to walk freely without worrying about violent crime. Just as with any international travel, in any big cities throughout the world, petty theft does occur and precautions should be taken; you should never leave purses, bags and other valuables unattended, even in your hotel room.
Travelers should exercise basic situational awareness at all times and are advised not to leave belongings unattended, nor carry purses and bags loosely over one shoulder. Visitors should avoid wearing flashy jewelry or displaying large amounts of cash. When possible, visitors should carry a copy of their passport with them and leave the original at a secure location. When exchanging currency, use official stores and informal money exchanges in the street.
Will I have cell service and Internet connection?
Telecommunications in Cuba have vastly improved recently, but remain slow and unreliable. Internet is limited to hotels official Internet cafes, and a few public wi-fi hotspots scattered throughout the major cities. Most U.S. cell phones do not work in Cuba. Verizon and Sprint recently signed roaming agreements and now function for calls and data on them island at a very high rate. Please check with your provider about availability and pricing. Prior to the trip, Orvis will provide travelers with contact information for hotels/residencies as well as emergency contacts in the U.S. and in Cuba.
What medical services are available?
Cuba makes generally satisfactory routine health care services available to all foreign visitors and the cost of a basic Cuban health insurance policy is included in the price of your travel package. However, you will likely not have the ability to purchase prescription medications locally. As such, it is strongly recommended that you remember to pack any prescription and/or over-the-counter medications you require in sufficient quantities to cover the full duration of your trip.
Please note: this program requires travelers to engage in moderately strenuous physical activity during often hot (80+ degrees Fahrenheit) weather conditions. Please notify an Orvis travel specialist if you have any health issues that we need to be aware of.
Do I need to speak Spanish? Will interpreters be present?
An Orvis host will be present throughout the trip and a bilingual guide will accompany all scheduled cultural tours. Translation will be readily available to facilitate interaction and maximize your experience. For Spanish speakers, there will be plenty of opportunities to communicate in group settings and one-on-one conversations. Most fishing guides speak English very well and have no problems communicating with you while you are fishing.
Will my hair dryer and phone chargers work or do I need converter plugs?
Cuba generally has electric outlets that are 110 V or 220 V and are labeled. Most of the places you will stay will have access to both. Some bed and breakfasts and hotels do not have outlets for three-prong cords, common for computers, so a two-pronged adaptor for any three pronged devices is recommended. Most electronic devices (cell phones, computers, tablets, camera battery chargers, etc.) have convertors built in and is marked on the chargers. It’s recommended that you bring an adaptor and possibly a converter to deal with 220 V electricity.
Will I be able to take photos?
Yes, but there are some exceptions. Cuba forbids photographing military or police installations or personnel, or harbor, rail, and airport facilities.
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