Travel companies offer mainly trips to Varadero at the hotel on system "all inclusive". While vacationing in Varadero, of course, you will enjoy the sun and the Atlantic ocean, but never know the real Cuba. Varadero is a tourist area where Canadians, for example, come as Russian in Turkey.
To learn closer to the country — need to travel through it, visiting several cities.
The most expensive is the ticket. The average price of Moscow and St. Petersburg: 35-40 thousand rubles in both directions. To search for tickets on sites-aggregators, which shows deals from all airlines and compares prices. Direct flights can be found only at "Aeroflot" and "Transaero", the European companies carry out flights with transfers. Look for promotions: with the discount you can find tickets for 25-30 thousand if you have a Schengen visa, you can check for flights departing from European cities: Rome, Paris, Madrid, Amsterdam and others. If you are tied to a date — have a chance to find discounted tickets, which sell travel Agency for a few days before departure, they can cost 20-25 thousand rubles in both directions. Flights can be found in Havana or Varadero, you need to watch that it is cheaper. From Varadero to Havana can be reached by bus in 2 hours.
Now we have to decide where you will live and make a route. Hotels in Cuba are very expensive, so most travelers prefer to stay in "Kasa particular" (Casa is Spanish for "house"), that is, in private apartments. Cuba is good because it is not necessary that you book in advance, passing through the street you can always meet the blue signs, which mean that the rooms here legally surrender. Even in the "tourist" Varadero recently, you can find the Casa, for example, not far from the hotel "Pullman". Generally rent of the apartment (one or several rooms) with private bathroom and toilet. The kitchen is usually shared with the hosts. Double room will cost you 25-35 cookies (1 cook approximately equal to 30-35 rubles, depending on the course). Also in case you enjoy a Breakfast for 3-5 cookies per person, lunch and dinner for 10-15 cookies. Moreover, some owners are offended if you eat elsewhere. Don't forget to bring your hosts some souvenir from Russia, they will be very happy.
If you want to book a hotel or Casa for a few nights in advance, keep in mind that, firstly, in Cuba there are problems with the Internet, and secondly, the people there do not hurry anywhere, and confirmation can wait a long time.
Route you can make in advance and can be determined by the course of the trip, stopping where you like. For example, starting its way from Havana, you can go to the Caribbean coast to Cienfuegos and Trinidad, and then drive to the East, to Santiago de Cuba.
How to get around. Between more or less large cities buses go. If you travel three or four — it will be cheaper to take a taxi. You can also rent a car, the roads in Cuba is almost empty and relatively good.
Currency. To better bring euros or canadian dollars. The us dollar is not held in high esteem, the course it is not profitable, as there is a payment of a fee. To change money at official banks. In Cuba, there are cookies (convertible currency) and the "peso Cubano", which usually pay the locals.
Language. Knowledge of English is unlikely to be very useful, to speak it except at the airport, banks and in hotels at the reception. All the rest speak Spanish. But it is in any case should not scare you or be the reason for the refusal of travel. After all, you are not going to conduct philosophical discussions in Spanish, and to communicate at the household level is sufficient to learn a few basic words will help the rest of the PhraseBook and sign language.
Weather. In Cuba is always hot, from November to February it is cold in the evenings and water, especially in the Atlantic ocean, may not be very warm.
Security. There is a myth that in Cuba you cannot go beyond the property, most likely it is cultivated by travel companies. It has nothing to do with reality. Cuba is the safest country in the entire Caribbean region. You can calmly walk in the evenings without fear of robbery and robbers. Of course, you shouldn't leave belongings unattended, can steal even Slippers and a towel on the beach, but a knife to the throat you will not be put, and life is not in danger. People from all over the world to freely travel around this wonderful country.
The shops and restaurants. Large supermarkets can be found only in Havana. In conventional stores often do not put price tags on products, and a bottle of water you can sell for 2 cook instead of 0.75. In the markets you also will sell everything on the "tourist" prices, so the fruit, for example, easier to order from the owner of your Casa. There are restaurants in all the cities, they are often directly in the apartments. Dinner for one will cost you 10 to 20 cookies. In Camaguey and Santiago.
Rum and cigars. Shops and duty free you can buy rum of excellent quality at a very low price. Cigars you will offer at every step, and sell them "illegally", everything is done in strict secrecy. The cost of 1 cigar purchased "with hands", is only 1 cook (35 rubles), the shops, of course, more expensive. National cocktails — Mojito, Daiquiri, kančančara (in Trinidad). Ask to make you a cocktail "Fuerte" (strong, sturdy, Spanish), then the bartender will pour more rum.
The dancing and music. The music of Cubans in the blood. They seem born with the ability to sing and dance. Be sure to visit the disco for Cubans somewhere away from the tourist areas. Every city has "Casa de La música" (house of music) where the musicians play and everyone is dancing salsa on the street. It is worth seeing! Also, almost every restaurant in the evenings musicians play.
Locals. They are very smiling, friendly and welcoming. But tourist can see for miles and for them it is primarily a source of income, so every day you will receive a lot of attractive offers taxi tours, dinner, cigars. If you look at Cass, and then choose next — you could seriously be offended and not to say Hello then. Take it easy. Most importantly — be open, smile, dance and enjoy life in Cuba, as it can do they.
Thus, bright unforgettable two-week trip to Cuba will cost you 50 – 60 thousand rubles per person, with tickets and all expenses. Happy journey!