FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions
Why travel with Discover Corps?
Our mission at Discover Corps is to inspire travelers to become advocates for our planet’s natural wonders, cultural treasures, and local communities through immersive and sustainable vacations with purpose. For more information read here.
What does a Discover Corps trip include / exclude?
Full-time Local & Bilingual Guides: who know the area and want to share their knowledge!
Reliable & Comfortable Transportation: to and from the airport and anything within the itinerary.
Comfortable Lodging: 4-5 star accommodations. *Note: Casa Particulares in Cuba*
Most Meals & Drinks: with the exception of 1-2 meals in *some itineraries.
Clean Bottled Drinking Water: In cases where safe drinking water is not readily available.
Admissions and Entrance Fees: For all places included in the itinerary.
CISI Evacuation Medical Insurance: For up tp to $50,000
Flights: Discover Corp does not book your flights, unless it is within your itinerary. *Note: we still charge a fee for this service.*
Travel insurance: While we do not provide travel insurance, we highly recommend it.
Visas, Vaccines & Other Paperwork: only if required by the country.
Some Meals & Drinks: Some itineraries you may have 1-2 meals on your own.
Laundry Service, Room-Service & Cell-phone reception.
Tips / Donations / Gifts
*Note: Our trips host no more than 12 people (we also offer private departure for a fee).
What exactly is a Group Tour?
A Group Tour is the best way to travel to Cuba if you are traveling on your own, with a friend or looking for the most affordable trip option. It’s the same rich cultural immersion experience, but shared with a small group of curious, like-minded travelers. Cuba draws a wide variety of travelers, so your group may include a mix of different ages, genders and races.
*Note: Our group tours are never more than 12 people. If you would like to request a private departure, please contact your Travel Specialist at Discover Corps or email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 1-619-758-3030.
Is travel to Cuba illegal?
No it is not illegal to travel, however travel to Cuba is still restricted. ‘Tourist’ travel to Cuba is still not permitted by the new US regulations – no matter your citizenship. Only travel that falls within one of the 12 categories that are approved by the US State Department is permitted. Discover Corps trips to Cuba fall within the permitted categories and are approved by the US State Department. For more information see here.
Is Cuba a family-friendly destination? Is travel to Cuba safe?
Absolutely, and families are some of our most frequent clients. Our team has consulted with family travel specialists to understand the ins and outs of what goes into a great family vacation. We know when your family is on vacation, time is precious. That’s why we’ve curated a variety of special Family Tours that fit the needs of a variety of age groups.
*Note: Keeping this in mind, it is still important to be aware of your surroundings. We recommend avoiding displays of affluence. Pickpockets are very skilled. Try to avoid bringing unnecessary purses or bags with you. Women should carry an across the shoulder purse with thick straps if possible. Men should not carry their wallets in their back pockets. Do not carry your passport, identifying documents, cash, credit cards, and insurance papers together. If robbed, you will lose all your supporting documentation.
Are Discover Corps itineraries flexible?
Our team before, during and after your trip will work with you closely to ensure we are meeting all your needs / wants for your purposeful vacation and we do our best to be as flexible as possible. Our itineraries are packed full with interesting activities and exciting moments, however, we understand sometimes you may need to just stay back and rest. *Note: The price of our trips are, however, fixed.
Do you have to be from the US to travel with Discover Corps?
No - At Discover Corps we help to provide anyone from any country their dream vacation with purpose!
How far in advance should I book my trip to Cuba?
The earlier the book, the better. As flight prices increase, we recommend always checking out to see if it is affordable first before booking a trip with us. Additionally we usually need about 60 days to properly plan your trip and make all the needed reservations.
When is the best time of year to visit Cuba?
The best time to visit Cuba is December through March, when the Caribbean weather is beautiful. However November, April and May are also good times. Hurricane season is in June - October. For more information see here.
Will I go to the beach in Cuba?
U.S. travel restrictions prohibit excessive “beach time” in Cuba. However we try to include a quick trip to the beach.
Are Vaccines needed to go to Cuba?
There are NO required vaccinations or shots for travel to Cuba. However per Discover Corps' Health & Safety Protocol, we require that all travelers provide proof of a negative COVID-19 Test. However, you should still consult your doctor to assure that all of your immunizations are up-to-date. We recommend that you consult with your local travel clinic for recommended inoculations for travel to Cuba. Your local travel clinic may have some recommendations specifically for you. For more information see more here.
What accommodation does Discover Corps Provide?
Since 1997, the Cuban Government has permitted Cubans to rent rooms in their homes to tourists on the island. This revolutionized the lives of many, providing a much needed source of extra income as well as a broader view of life outside Cuba.Today, ‘Casa's Particulares’ are essentially family-run bed & breakfasts (think AirBnB’s with private breakfast in the morning). Families invest in making sure their houses are up to international quality standards, and they greet you with Cuban hospitality - but also give you the privacy and comfort you desire.While houses vary in style from eclectic to classical, they all provide a comfortable glimpse into Cuban life and will be your home while on the island. Which Casa you'll be staying in changes from trip to trip, but there are a few photo examples below. For more information see here.
How do I obtain a visa?
It is easy to obtain a visa to Cuba. For more information see here.
Can I fly to Cuba?
Yes, it is easy to book a flight to Cuba. For more information see here.
Can I use credit cards or ATM cards in Cuba? How much money should I bring with me?
There are no American banks in Cuba and your cards will not work, therefore you must bring cash. For more information see here.
What are some sample costs in Cuba?
While all scheduled activities are included in the price of your trip, there will be times when you may want to go out independently, buy souvenirs etc. For more information see here.
Are there limits to the number of items I can bring back through customs from Cuba?
Yes, the United States government imposes strict restrictions on the number of goods you can bring back from Cuba. At this time (September 2022) Americans returning to the U.S. are no longer allowed to bring rum or cigars out of the country. For more information see here.
How much should I set aside for tips in Cuba? Who do we tip?
The Discover Corps program fee includes tips for luggage handling, restaurants, and programmed activities throughout the tour. Your guide will make sure these tips are paid appropriately. However, tips are one of the primary ways that Cubans earn dollars. So, we do encourage tipping musicians, housekeepers and other people you might interact with. For more information see here.
Should I bring donations with me to Cuba?
Cubans warmly welcome gifts however small. Everything you contribute is an overture of friendship – and a great ice-breaker. Cubans lack many basic items we in North America take for granted. We strongly advise against handing out gifts or money to individuals you meet on the street. In areas frequented by tourists, professional scammers attempt to fleece foreign guests with sob stories that win them cash or items they can sell on the black market. However our Discover Corp guide can help you find your donations and gifts a good home. For more information see here.
Will there be internet access during the trip?
Internet access is difficult to get in Cuba and is not widely available. However it can be found at two sources: upmarket hotels in cities like Havana or at a telepunto (stores that offer Internet services). Some hotel lobbies have Wi-Fi available for $6-8 per hour, which allows you to use your own devices – laptops, iPads or smartphones. At a telepunto, scratch cards cost $6 for an hour and come with a username and password, which you then enter into the terminal provided. Any extra time on the card can be used again at another telepunto. Internet availability outside of Havana is possible but not as widespread as in the capital. Please consult your Discover Corps guides on the ground if you need internet access and they will help assist you. For more information see here.
Can I use my cell phone in Cuba?
No, your cell phone will not receive service while in Cuba. WiFi is also terribly unreliable in Cuba and is extremely slow and expensive. On the bright side, you can take this time to be "unplugged" while you are away. For more information see here.
What electrical outlets do they use in Cuba?
In general, you should not have trouble using small electrical appliances brought from the U.S. (hairdryer, electric razor, etc.) as the standard electric current in Cuba is the same as in the U.S. with a two prong outlet.
What else do I need to know?
Travel in Cuba is much different than the rest of the world. As the government regulates everything from the flights travelers take into Cuba to the hotels that travelers stay at, the key word is flexibility. The schedule is subject to change as are, in rare cases, the hotels and accommodation. We will try our best to stick to the schedule of activities as planned, but ask that you embark on this journey with an open mind and a willingness to accept ambiguity in certain situations. It is a very interesting time in Cuban history and you will be at the forefront of this momentous change.