Travel and transport
Virgin Airlines has direct flights from UK to Havana, and many airlines offer indirect flights. Charter companies run direct flights to Holguín, the international airport closest to Santiago de Cuba. You can also fly direct to Cuba from Canada, from Mexico and other destinations around the Caribbean and from some South American countries. Direct flights from the USA are now starting up.
Flights from UK to Cuba cost ￡600-￡1200 depending on the season and the route. Transfer to your destination may be costly e.g. Havana to Santiago de Cuba by air costs around ￡80, or a long bus journey for about 50 CUCs (￡32). If you fly into Holguín International Airport, depending on the time of arrival of your flight, you may need to stay overnight in Holguín and take the bus next day. The alternative is a private car from the airport to Santiago, which costs around ￡100. Finally, there is a departure tax of 25 CUCS (￡16).
Most travel agents can quote you prices. We are happy to recommend Caledonia Worldwide, a tour operator in Edinburgh which specialises in trips to Cuba. Cuba Medical Link has no commercial arrangement with Caledonia. We recommend them because we use them ourselves. They can arrange flights from the UK and also from most other parts of the world. Caledonia can arrange transfers from the airport to your destination as well as accommodation, Spanish language courses in Havana and Santiago, dance and music classes and trekking trips.
If you need transport from your accommodation to your placement it is generally paid for in pesos nacionales and so is very cheap. However, in Havana if you are staying some way from your placement you may need a taxi which charges in CUCs.