In Cuba there is a very low level of crime, which is mostly opportunist theft. Thefts of bags, suitcases and pickpockets are increasing, especially in the area of Old Havana, in nightclubs, public transport and in the main tourist areas.
In Cuba, laptops, mobile phones and similar electronic devices are highly valued and sought after. Therefore, they are very attractive for this type of thief, although it’s true that organised thefts don’t occur often. Take precautions especially in the area of central Havana when it’s nighttime. It will always be better to take a taxi than to walk, even if the distance you have to travel is very short.
In tourist accommodation it’s almost impossible for them to rob you, but close your bags if you have a trip. If they rob you, they could take away your house, which is their main way of earning income and also allows them to live comfortably, so your belongings will be safe. With regard to jewellery, be careful about flaunting it; it’s unnecessary and annoying for Cubans in poor areas.
Travelling to Cuba when it’s not hurricane season, which occurs from July to November, is a priority. Not only will you have a better time and be more comfortable, you will also avoid possible accidents that frequently occur because of these natural disasters. Other circumstances you may find yourself in—although less frequent—are floods, fires, droughts, earthquakes and tornadoes.
As we have specified, on public transport you have to be very cautious of pickpockets and thefts in general, which are on the rise. Always keep your suitcase in front of you, bags and pockets closed and don’t get distracted with your mobile phone in your hand, because snatches are very common.
Likewise, there are certain precautions that you should keep in mind regarding private taxis. If you’re going to take a taxi, try to find out if it’s a dial-a-taxi service. This means that it’s a registered taxi, therefore it’s very safe. At first glance, the taxis mentioned can be difficult to distinguish from fake or unregistered taxis. However, look at the visible logo of the taxi companies to identify them, which are always visible on the rear passenger door.
In general, transportation in Cuba is poorly maintained and there is usually very poor signage on the roads, which are also poorly lit. So, when getting off transport, be careful of the cars that pass by, cyclists and, in general, potholes. They may not see you when you get off and an accident may occur. In addition, at night it’s more dangerous and you should be careful of cars that take advantage of bad lighting to stop suddenly to pick up excursionists.