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Cuba Gay Travel

Rum, rhumba and a culture trapped in time await gay travellers in Cuba.

From stunning vistas to a vibrant capital transforming at warp speed, the beauty and rhythm of Cuba will work their way into your soul (especially since we take a local approach to share this island-nation’s gems). We’ll introduce you to old Havana, seemingly unknown beaches, quaint tobacco villages, and plenty of friendly faces along the way. Viva, Cuba!


Quick Facts

  • Capital City: Havana
  • Currency: Cuban Peso (CUP)
  • Languages: Spanish
  • Best Time of Year to Visit: November to March

LGBT Rights in Cuba

Gay Cuba Travel

Best Places to Visit in Cuba

More Info

Cuba has traditionally been very antipathetic towards the LGBTQ+ community; however, since the 1990s, it has made strides toward acceptance. Mariela Castro, daughter of Raul Castro, has been a long-standing and outspoken LGBTQ+ ally. In September 2018, President Miguel Diaz-Canel expressed great support for same-sex marriage. Finally, although Cuba doesn’t have a Pride Festival per se, it has begun proudly celebrating The International Day Against Homophobia in May. Cuba is a country on the cusp of fully embracing its queer population.

Gay Activity: Legal
Lesbian Activity: Legal
Gay Marriage: Unrecognized
Right to Change Gender: Legal, surgery not required
Same-Sex Adoption: Single gays may adopt, but gay couples may not.
LGBT Discrimination: Gays and Lesbians are protected in most contexts. Transgender people are not protected in most contexts.

Cubans could not choose where they lived (legally) until recently, so there was never a gay “ghetto” per se. Now that those restrictions are easing, the gay scene in larger cities like Havana is blossoming.

Gay Villages in Cuba

Not applicable

Pride Festivals/Events in Cuba

Havana: Some events were held in celebration of the International Day Against Homophobia. Annually in May.

Best Gay Beaches in Cuba

Havana: Mi Cayito Beach

Best Gay Bars in Cuba

Havana: Cabaret Las Vegas
Havana: Humboldt 52
Havana: Escaleras al Cielo

Best Lesbian Bars in Cuba

There are no Lesbian-specific bars/events in Cuba. The aforementioned gay bars are considered safe spaces for Lesbians.

5. Cienfuegos

This UNESCO World Heritage city was once a place of great wealth and prosperity. While the money may be gone, the city’s well-kept colonial architecture, palaces and stunning central park make it a must-visit.

4. Varadero

Cuba’s beaches are as soft and white as icing sugar. Nowhere is this more apparent than Varadero. Order a mojito, slather on your highest SPF and hit the beach.

3. Trinidad

Cobblestone streets are lined with a plethora of brightly coloured colonial houses. Meanwhile, the small city’s central plaza comes alive at night as musicians, and salsa dancers take to the square.

2. Viñales 

In Cuba’s North-Western region sits Viñales, an otherworldly countryside once considered the main filming location for Spielberg’s Jurrasic Park. Limestone monoliths erupt from the lush, verdant ground. Meanwhile, the main agricultural town is a relaxed settlement refusing to put on airs.

1. Havana

The allure of Havana is as thick as cigar musk and as strong as a double rum on the rocks. Vintage cars rumble down the Malecón. Old Havana is layered in history so thick it’ll take years to digest it all. Meanwhile, a recently relaxed approach to communism has provided fertile ground for entrepreneurship. Havana is a city steeped in history and at the cusp of a sea change.

Support for the Cuban People: Americans interested in visiting Cuba must do so legally and can not visit Cuba on a cruise or People People’s tour. Our gay Cuba tours meet the legal requirements of the ‘Support for the Cuban People category. The tour mixes the best of Cuban Culture with an educational, LGBTQ+ component that will open your eyes to this island nation. For more information, please read this blog post.

Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) to USA for non-Americans: The U.S. Department of State designated Cuba as a State Sponsor of Terrorism (SST) on January 12, 2021. With limited exceptions, a traveler who is found to have visited Cuba on or after this date is not eligible for travel to the U.S. under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) using an Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) and must apply for a visa to travel to the United States. Additionally, a traveler who at the time of application for an ESTA holds dual nationality with both a VWP country and Cuba is not eligible for travel under the VWP using an ESTA and must apply for a visa to travel to the United States.

If an ESTA has already been approved and it is later determined that the traveler has been present in Cuba or holds dual nationality with both a VWP country and Cuba, the ESTA will be revoked. Ineligibility for an ESTA is not a bar to travel to the United States. Individuals who are not eligible to travel under the VWP may apply for a visa at any U.S. embassy or consulate.

This does not apply to Canadian citizens, who do not require an ESTA to travel to the U.S. More details can be found on the Homeland Security FAQ page.

Best Time to Visit: November to March

Covid-19 Vaccination Requirements: We’re dedicated to ensuring our tours are safe for everyone, but it is our belief that each traveler has a responsibility to protect themselves and their fellow travellers from COVID-19. As of May 1, 2023, Out Adventures no longer requires guests to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination on most of our tours. If vaccination is a requirement for entry, or on select cruises, this will be communicated at the time a trip is confirmed to depart. Before booking, we recommend that you read our COVID-19 Information Page and our COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions to understand what we’re doing to minimize risk, and what will happen if you contract COVID-19 before or during an Out Adventures tour.

Other Vaccinations: Based on the entry requirements for Cuba, there are no other vaccinations needed. To determine if you should take preventative measures to reduce the risk of illness, you should consult your doctor or a travel medical clinic, as Out Adventures cannot provide vaccination recommendations.

Electricity: A/B/C/L

Visas: A tourist card is required for all nationalities travelling to Cuba and can be obtained through the airline at check-in time. There may be exceptions, and all visas are the traveller’s responsibility.

Last updated on Sept 24, 2021. Disclaimer: The information provided was accurate at the time of publishing, but cannot be guaranteed.
LGBT Rights in Cuba

Cuba has traditionally been very antipathetic towards the LGBTQ+ community; however, since the 1990s, it has made strides toward acceptance. Mariela Castro, daughter of Raul Castro, has been a long-standing and outspoken LGBTQ+ ally. In September 2018, President Miguel Diaz-Canel expressed great support for same-sex marriage. Finally, although Cuba doesn’t have a Pride Festival per se, it has begun proudly celebrating The International Day Against Homophobia in May. Cuba is a country on the cusp of fully embracing its queer population.

Gay Activity: Legal
Lesbian Activity: Legal
Gay Marriage: Unrecognized
Right to Change Gender: Legal, surgery not required
Same-Sex Adoption: Single gays may adopt, but gay couples may not.
LGBT Discrimination: Gays and Lesbians are protected in most contexts. Transgender people are not protected in most contexts.

Gay Cuba Travel

Cubans could not choose where they lived (legally) until recently, so there was never a gay “ghetto” per se. Now that those restrictions are easing, the gay scene in larger cities like Havana is blossoming.

Gay Villages in Cuba

Not applicable

Pride Festivals/Events in Cuba

Havana: Some events were held in celebration of the International Day Against Homophobia. Annually in May.

Best Gay Beaches in Cuba

Havana: Mi Cayito Beach

Best Gay Bars in Cuba

Havana: Cabaret Las Vegas
Havana: Humboldt 52
Havana: Escaleras al Cielo

Best Lesbian Bars in Cuba

There are no Lesbian-specific bars/events in Cuba. The aforementioned gay bars are considered safe spaces for Lesbians.

Best Places to Visit in Cuba

5. Cienfuegos

This UNESCO World Heritage city was once a place of great wealth and prosperity. While the money may be gone, the city’s well-kept colonial architecture, palaces and stunning central park make it a must-visit.

4. Varadero

Cuba’s beaches are as soft and white as icing sugar. Nowhere is this more apparent than Varadero. Order a mojito, slather on your highest SPF and hit the beach.

3. Trinidad

Cobblestone streets are lined with a plethora of brightly coloured colonial houses. Meanwhile, the small city’s central plaza comes alive at night as musicians, and salsa dancers take to the square.

2. Viñales 

In Cuba’s North-Western region sits Viñales, an otherworldly countryside once considered the main filming location for Spielberg’s Jurrasic Park. Limestone monoliths erupt from the lush, verdant ground. Meanwhile, the main agricultural town is a relaxed settlement refusing to put on airs.

1. Havana

The allure of Havana is as thick as cigar musk and as strong as a double rum on the rocks. Vintage cars rumble down the Malecón. Old Havana is layered in history so thick it’ll take years to digest it all. Meanwhile, a recently relaxed approach to communism has provided fertile ground for entrepreneurship. Havana is a city steeped in history and at the cusp of a sea change.

More Info

Support for the Cuban People: Americans interested in visiting Cuba must do so legally and can not visit Cuba on a cruise or People People’s tour. Our gay Cuba tours meet the legal requirements of the ‘Support for the Cuban People category. The tour mixes the best of Cuban Culture with an educational, LGBTQ+ component that will open your eyes to this island nation. For more information, please read this blog post.

Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) to USA for non-Americans: The U.S. Department of State designated Cuba as a State Sponsor of Terrorism (SST) on January 12, 2021. With limited exceptions, a traveler who is found to have visited Cuba on or after this date is not eligible for travel to the U.S. under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) using an Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) and must apply for a visa to travel to the United States. Additionally, a traveler who at the time of application for an ESTA holds dual nationality with both a VWP country and Cuba is not eligible for travel under the VWP using an ESTA and must apply for a visa to travel to the United States.

If an ESTA has already been approved and it is later determined that the traveler has been present in Cuba or holds dual nationality with both a VWP country and Cuba, the ESTA will be revoked. Ineligibility for an ESTA is not a bar to travel to the United States. Individuals who are not eligible to travel under the VWP may apply for a visa at any U.S. embassy or consulate.

This does not apply to Canadian citizens, who do not require an ESTA to travel to the U.S. More details can be found on the Homeland Security FAQ page.

Best Time to Visit: November to March

Covid-19 Vaccination Requirements: We’re dedicated to ensuring our tours are safe for everyone, but it is our belief that each traveler has a responsibility to protect themselves and their fellow travellers from COVID-19. As of May 1, 2023, Out Adventures no longer requires guests to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination on most of our tours. If vaccination is a requirement for entry, or on select cruises, this will be communicated at the time a trip is confirmed to depart. Before booking, we recommend that you read our COVID-19 Information Page and our COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions to understand what we’re doing to minimize risk, and what will happen if you contract COVID-19 before or during an Out Adventures tour.

Other Vaccinations: Based on the entry requirements for Cuba, there are no other vaccinations needed. To determine if you should take preventative measures to reduce the risk of illness, you should consult your doctor or a travel medical clinic, as Out Adventures cannot provide vaccination recommendations.

Electricity: A/B/C/L

Visas: A tourist card is required for all nationalities travelling to Cuba and can be obtained through the airline at check-in time. There may be exceptions, and all visas are the traveller’s responsibility.

Last updated on Sept 24, 2021. Disclaimer: The information provided was accurate at the time of publishing, but cannot be guaranteed.


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Reviews

Some from our travellers

Jason G

The tour covered many things we would never have seen on our own.

Cultural Cuba
Rating:

The tour covered many things we would never have seen on our own. It was very easy. Wilmar was great.

ACCOMMODATIONS:
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MEALS:
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Jeff P

The people are kind, welcoming, and genuinely love Americans. Go! Now!

Cultural Cuba
Rating:

Go! Now! We felt so much safer in Cuba than we ever imagined. For some reason, many people are concerned with travel to Cuba. False fears! The people are kind, welcoming, and genuinely love Americans. Although it is a poor country, they have so much to offer in terms of cultural, historical, and natural beauty. The country is so much bigger than we ever imagined. It doesn’t feel like an island – it feels more like a large Spanish Colonial country in South America.

ACCOMMODATIONS:
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Tony D

Cuba trip was a good mix of staying busy and seeing/doing a lot, but not overwhelming.

Cultural Cuba
Rating:

Well organized; excellent tour guide; Cuba trip was a good mix of staying busy and seeing/doing a lot, but not overwhelming; great group of people and many were repeat Out Adventures clients, so hopefully other trips would be good groups as well.

ACCOMMODATIONS:
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Steven D

The longer I stayed in Cuba, the more I liked it.

Cultural Cuba
Rating:

The longer I stayed in Cuba, the more I liked it. Well organized tour, comfortable, great guide.

ACCOMMODATIONS:
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Jack W & Rick K

Cuba is much more than packaged resorts

Cultural Cuba
Rating:

Cuba is much more than packaged resorts. It has rich cultural and historical traditions. The people are welcoming and much more tolerant than we are led to believe. be prepared for a very pleasant surprise

ACCOMMODATIONS:
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Ken C

An amazing trip in an amazing country

Cultural Cuba
Rating:

An amazing trip in an amazing country. Our host was superb, took care of all of our logistic needs, and was as knowledgeable and upbeat as you could ever want. Our people-to-people exchanges were wonderful and made our visit very personal and more meaningful

ACCOMMODATIONS:
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Greg M

Incredible trip to another world

Cultural Cuba
Rating:

Incredible trip to another world. Fantastic scenery, warm & friendly people and lots of history to learn about.

ACCOMMODATIONS:
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Nathan L

I came back a more educated and better person thanks to the experiences on this trip.

Cuba: New Year Fiesta
Rating:

Amazing country with a rich history. Wonderful people. I came back a more educated and better person thanks to the experiences on this trip.

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John L

Be ready for the cultural experience of your lifetime!

Cuba: New Year Fiesta
Rating:

Be ready for the cultural experience of your lifetime!

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Oliver V

I really felt I was shown the best Cuba had to offer.

Cuba: New Year Fiesta
Rating:

Fantastic trip. Exceeded my expectations. Great tour leader and a wonderful driver. I really felt I was shown the best Cuba had to offer.

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Aaron B

We had an amazing time!

Cuba: New Year Fiesta
Rating:

We had an amazing time—made even better by a guide who spoke the language and went above and beyond to make sure we were happy.

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Dane D

Amazing country and amazing guide

Cuba: New Year Fiesta
Rating:

Amazing country and amazing guide. Willmar really puts a lot into making this a memorable experience. He’s very personable and accommodating and fun.

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Warren C

One of the best trips I have ever gone on

Cuba: New Year Fiesta
Rating:

One of the best trips I have ever gone on. To date, I have visited 13 Countries, and this trip was amazing. Will is an exceptional guide

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