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?

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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