Tuesday, May 5, 2015

top 10 cuban souvenirs + travel tips!

by now you know I take souvenir shopping pretttttty seriously. I always want to buy something cool for everyone [not exactly possible] and of course, plenty for myself as well. I like to think of it as investing in the local economy...

so what's a gal to bring back from cuba? 

clockwise from left
cuban coffee
local film posters
cuban cigars: cohiba, montecristo, or romeo and juliet 
hand stitched table linens
accessories from el floridita bar (ice bucket, cocktail tray, mojito glasses, t-shirts)
CDs from local bands / art from local artists
vibrant coffee table book
havana club rum + matching mojito glasses (glasses not pictured)
panama hat 

....and I'm assuming since you're reading this, you're contemplating a trip to cuba so here are a few tips I didn't mention in my trip highlights.

1. do not buy cigars from vendors on the streets - they are not real no matter what they say (buy in cigar shops)

2. be careful of jineteros, tricksters, we did get slightly taken for a loop - there is no 'national day' in havana, che and fidel do not have houses in the city (don't let anyone try to show you), and do not agree to buy anyone milk for their children... be careful near the museum of the revolution, obviously a tourist destination, easy prey for jineteros

3. do not drink the tap water, use bottled water to brush your teeth.

4. big one! there's a reason ice is hard to find. don't ask for it, this is what us made us sick.

5. bring lots of cash and convert a few hundred at a time to CUC (not all at once). I spent about $550 over a week, not including meals. there are no ATMs in cuba so when you're out of money, you're out of luck.

6. the weight limit for baggage leaving the country is 20 kilos per person, not per bag. the attendant tried to charge us $28, which she said we could pay in pesos or CUC. this was immediately a tip off that something wasn't legit because there is a huge gap in currency rates, she wanted us to pay in CUC so she could pocket the money. our tour guide came over and negotiated out of the fees - but be careful as they may charge you $2 per kilo over 20 and the money is essentially just pocketed by the attendant.

feel free to email me or leave a comment if you have any other questions!


  1. I just love that you have a blog and I really enjoyed ready about your trip! Miss you!

    1. thank regan :)) I'm happy you're reading it! I miss you and definitely thought about our girl's trip to nyc during dinner at gramercy last night. what an awesome trip we had with great memories! XO