You should be drinking water when in Cuba. It’s hot and you probably are walking a lot more than usual.
Cuba has a planned economy and as that term already implies the supply chains don’t cope well with things that are not in the plan. Those plans are 5 years old and don’t account for the recent surge in tourism.
What does that have to do with water???
Well, tourists are convinced that they should drink bottled water for their health. And since there are more tourists and the water plan does not account for that there is a lack of bottled water… Simple. So it’s hard to find water and people go thirsty.
Where did you buy that water?
Is a question I get a lot in the streets. And my answer ‘from the tap’ is almost shocking!
Safe drinking water.
Most water in Cuba is safe to drink. It tastes a bit like a swimming pool (and that makes it safe) but is perfectly OK to drink. So if you find yourself wandering the streets looking for water, just drink from the tap… it’s safe.
Get the taste out.
To get the bad taste out of the water, put it in the freezer for a night. To be very safe, cook it (of have it cooked) the day before, put a bottle in the freezer and the next day you have great drinking water. Your casa particular is most happy to do this for you.
A lot of Casas have a water filter. This eliminates the bad taste but as replacing the filter costs money most houses have been using the same filter since they bought the machine… This still takes the taste out but probably puts in some bacteria. So have it cooked after you have it filtered!
You might think this is a silly advice but believe me, you’ll feel different after searching for water for 3 hours on a hot afternoon!
Water from the plane.
Take a bottle of water (or two) from the plane. It will be a while before you can buy some… You have to stand in the different customs lines and change money. (For both lines we have a solution in our book by the way.)