What time is it in Cuba?
Officially the time in Cuba is GMT – 5. But since Cuba also applies daylight saving and is not very good in synchronising its systems nor at communicating, in March and November time is an even more fluid concept than normal.
Automatic time setting in Cuba:
I’m the proud owner of two smartphones. One with a Cuban SIM and the other SIM is international. Both synchronize with the network. And since there’s only one network that’s the same network… Just look at how well this worked this year:
Airlines and Time in Cuba
From a well-informed source (let’s call him a passenger) I got the following quote from a pilot: “Welcome to Havana. Our stop over will be 1.5 hours or 2.5 we actually don’t know. Does anybody have the right time in Havana?”
So if the airlines don’t know… why would I? Two days later the network got it right or at least agreed on the right time.
Cuba is the perfect place of letting go of the time.
Nacional Time and Convertible Time
If you don’t get this joke read Cuba and Money
Time is an artificial construct we humans created to add some stress to our lives. In Cuba, the sun goes down and then up again and they call the time between those two events ‘Noche’. The other half of the time is more detailed: Madrugada, dia, medio dia, tarde and noche and you make appointments accordingly. It’s useless to make an appointment at 10.15. Nobody gets that concept!
Let go of time
The only solution for a visitor (and that is what we are) is letting go of the way we think about time. It just does not fit Cuba and sticking to our own construct makes life very very complicated.
The big challenge for every non-Cuban is figuring out how things work in Cuba. I can tell you from personal experience that things don’t work the way we think they should. Live with that!
Take off your watch
If you take off your watch Cubans will have no pretext to ask you what time it is. This question is by definition a pretext because no Cuban really cares about time! They are at least an hour late…
Those Cubans that ask you for the time are jineteros. Here’s how to handle those street hustlers.
To help you get more insight into the weird world we call Cuba we wrote a book… do yourself a favor… We’ll give you a tip that saves you a few hours on the order page.