Can you just pitch a tent and camp in Cuba?

Question: I am planning a trip to Cuba and would like to know if there are any laws concerning camping (tents). Are there specific camping sites, or can you camp just anywhere?  And for hiking, are there any regulations here?

Answer: Unlike countries like Canada or the U.S., in Cuba, one can’t simply take one’s backpack and tent and “get lost” in, say, the Sierra Maestra mountains for a few days.

In a July 2011 phone consultation with Cubamar Viajes, a Cuban Travel Agency specializing in Nature, Adventure, Youth Tourism and Socio-Cultural Interchanges, they explained that open hiking and camping by visitors is prohibited in Cuba. One of the main reasons has to do with Cuba’s laws for protecting the environment and for ensuring that these are enforced. Thus, hiking and camping can occur only in specified areas.

For visitors to Cuba who are interested in hiking and camping, it is important to contact a service provider on the Cuban end. Although not the only such agency, Cubamar Viajes would be a good place to start. Their website is www.cubamarviajes.cu and you can access it in either Spanish or English. Their contact information, including email address, is listed below:

Cubamar Viajes
Calle 3ra
e/ 12 y Malecón
Vedado – Municipio Plaza de la Revolución
Ciudad de la Habana, Cuba
Telephone (+53-7) 833-2523 / 833-2524
Fax (+53-7) 833-3111
E-Mail: [email protected]
E-Mail: [email protected]
Internet: http://www.cubamarviajes.cu


9 thoughts on “Can you just pitch a tent and camp in Cuba?

  • May 6, 2016 at 3:42 pm
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    the only thing legal in Cuba is spending as much foreign currency as you have. you can pitch a tent inside your hotel room and maybe get away with it. Camping is like everything else in Cuba ILLEGAL. Complaining is illegal and your big mouth will get your deported very efficiently. Enjoy your cigar.

  • March 30, 2013 at 6:39 am
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    Not true at all. There are definitely yoga and meditation classes in Havana. Eduardo Pimentel is the most well known yoga master in Cuba. But there are also members of the Ananda Marga lineage practicing in Havana. In addition, there are yoga/pilates classes at various gyms and studios around town. You just have to ask around for them. The National Theater is one place were Pimentel gave classes. Maybe he still offers them there. Perhaps one of the zillions of Tai Chi instructors you can catch giving lessons in many of the open park spaces, like the one by the Plaza Revolucion, early in the morning. They are likely to be able to direct you to a class.

  • March 30, 2013 at 6:34 am
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    Just to clarify, in the U.S. it is only legal to camp in areas designated for it. Land is either privately owned… and not open to the public, or it is part of the parks system or wild lands protection scheme, both of which have rules and certain areas where camping is allowed. Yes, some of these areas are vast, so it may seem like you are just “getting lost” but you are not. It’s all monitored by various government and private agencies. I know, I used to work for one. You’d be surprised how difficult it is to find a place to just pitch a tent in Idaho, for example. Unless your up in the panhandle were the terrain itself is probably the strongest deterrent.

  • July 15, 2012 at 3:40 pm
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    I very much doubt that there are any yoga classes nearly everyone is too busy working or too poor to take up such a hobby . Enjoy other things indigenous such as fine rum , beer , cigars beaches, music dancing and a laissez faire approach to life . Food is ample but very plain . Safe everywhere in daylight , pick up a local friend and treat them to a few drinks and they will take you about safely a night . Enjoy Cuba leave the yoga on the home front.

  • June 22, 2012 at 4:18 pm
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    I read an article awhile back concerning rock climbing in Cuba. Last I heard, they had shut down good portions of the Valle de Viñales set aside for climbers. Do you know anything about this as I would like to eventually look into some climbing excursions. Thanks!

  • May 30, 2012 at 12:20 am
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    cuba is not too expansive if you use moneda national for a lot of things like food. i would get a take away fish dinner for MN30 which is $1.20. ice creams cost MN5 which is $0.20. casas and hotels cost a lot in habana but certain beach resorts and towns are cheap and so are the campismo cabanas but foreign tourists are not supposed to stay at most campimos. tourists can buy in the state stores but there is not a lot to buy unless you want to cook or drink bad brands of rum. there are restaurants and bars that accept MN. you have to pay CUCs for most imported things. small business people/vendors and shops that sell shoes etcetera charge high prices. so bring all those little things that you would normally buy in your destination. lonely planet cuba has good advice on the cheaper resorts like in playas del estes east of havana. the food is rather plain but the best thing about cuba is that it is safe, unlike many other places i could mention but won´t. some of the jinenteros trying to sell you stuff can be a nuisance but they are not dangerous. a spanish phrase book and dictionary will come in handy. CUC prices are not too high for a lot of things. $1 for a beer in the small supermarkets is an international price. the thing to do in cuba is buy food whenever you see it. if you are passing a bakery buy bread. if you are in a supermarket and you like cheese buy it because it won´t be available everywhere.

    they say that the hurricane season is not the best time to go to cuba. i have not been in cuba during the hurricane season. i have been in the philippines during the typhoon season. it´s mostly rainy and you are unlucky if you get a direct hit. if you are in a good concrete building not in an area prone to flooding you should have no problem except what to do with yourself until the storm has passed especially if the electricity lines are down.

  • August 24, 2011 at 3:32 pm
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    That’s a shame. Still Cuba is a wonderful part of the world. I certainly intend to travel there one day.

  • August 23, 2011 at 1:44 pm
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    I’m coming to Cuba in September 2011 and would like to know if there are any meditation/ yoga centres in Havana or anywhere in Cuba, please.

    Many thanks
    Debbie

  • August 23, 2011 at 8:56 am
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    Is it expensive in Cuba? Also what is the best time of the year to go.

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