Entering the country
Every tourist must have a valid passport and a tourist card (the tourist card is available from the airline at the airport).
If you are planning to work, do business or study in Cuba, you will need a visa. Please contact Consulate General of Cuba.
Number of Airports:
15 in total, including 10 International airports servicing over 85 airlines from 73 countries; and 5 local airports offering domestic charters and air taxis
Ports accepting international travelers in their own vessel:
• Hemingway Marina, Havana
• Dársena, Chapelin and Gaviota Marinas, Varadero
• Cayo Coco-Cayo Guillermo Marina, Jardines del Rey Archipelago
• Gaviota Bahía de Naranjo Marina, Holguín Province
• María La Gorda International Scuba-Diving Center, Pinar del Río Province
• Cayo Largo del Sur Marina and Punta Gorda Marina, Santiago de Cuba Province
Procedure for arriving by sea:
crew must communicate with Cuban port authorities before entering Cuba’s jurisdictional waters – which begin
12 nautical miles from the insular shelf – over one of these channels
HF channel (SSB) 2760 National Coastal Network
HF channel (SSB) 2790 Tourist Network
VHF channel 68 National Coastal Network
VHF channel 16 Tourist Network
Port authorities will ask you for the following information:
• name of yacht
• port of registry
• last port of call
• port of arrival
• estimated time of arrival (ETA)
• type of craft
• colour of craft
• number of persons on board.
You must follow the instructions given by the port authorities and remain on board until all legal formalities are concluded.
If you plan to fly to Cuba on a private plane, you must send an operational request for approval of your flight plan in a telex addressed to the:
• Régimen de Vuelos de Aeronáutica Civil de Cuba, La Habana
Telex: 51727 ACVCU
In the request, you must specify:
• whether the plane is private
• the type of aircraft
• registration number and class
• starting point
• pilot’s name
• expected date, place and time of arrival
• objective of the trip.
Visitors who are well prepared and adhere to a few simple rules should have smooth trips through customs, both when entering and leaving Cuba.
Key information to remember:
Cuban customs laws prohibits any imports of pornographic material, narcotics drugs, live animals and firearms, although these last ones can be authorized by the organization in charge of this tourist modality when these are for the sport of hunting. Any possession, consumption and traffic of narcotic drugs and other substances are penalized, except for those of personal use accompanied by the corresponding doctor prescription letter.
In addition to personal jewelry, cameras and other valuables, visitors are allowed to bring into Cuba, duty free, two bottles of liquor, one carton of cigarettes and up to 10 kilograms of medicine. Gifts up to a value of $250 US can also be brought in. Of that, $50 is duty-free; the rest is 100 per cent taxable.
Narcotics and firearms, except for authorized hunting weapons, are not allowed into the country. No restrictions exist on the amount of money a visitor can bring into the country, but amounts over $5,000 US should be declared.
VCR and DVD players are allowed into Cuba:
Cuban customs has lifted the restrictions on the importation of VCR and DVD players into Cuba. Starting May 1st, 2007, travelers can bring them into the country regardless the type, brand or model, including built-in equipment.
Tourists are allowed to bring personal effects which include articles (new or used) reasonably needed for their holidays (according the length and purpose of the trip), plus: sports equipment, jewels, photographic camera, camcorder, cellular phones, smart phones, laptops, MP3 players, video games, hair dryers, electric shavers, binoculars, one portable radio receiver, tape recorder, one portable music instrument and a sound recording device.
Walkie-talkies are allowed into Cuba
Effective December 20th 2007, tourists are allowed to bring walkie-talkies. They must be registered at customs when entering and you must bring them back with you.
Not allowed to bring into the country:
Narcotics, explosives, pornography, any item (including literature) intended to be used against the national security, animals and plants regulated under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, GPS, cordless phones (for the household) that operate in bands different than 40-49 MHz and 2,4 and 5 GHz and household appliances: freezers, air conditioners, electric kitchens and furnaces, electric ovens, electric showers, electric fryers, electric water heaters, irons (travel irons are allowed), toasters and any spare electrical parts for the above.
For further information and complete list of the prohibited articles, please visit the website: www.aduana.co.cu
Be sure to save $25 CUC (Cuban Convertible pesos) in cash for your departure tax at the airport. Visitors leaving Cuba may take out 23 cigars, and 1.14 litres of liquor (two regular-sized bottles of 750ml). To export other items, such as art and antiques, obtain a permit from the National Registry of Cultural Objects. Most legitimate vendors have such permits, and can officially stamp your receipt.
Strict rules apply to taking plants and animals out of Cuba. The Convention on International Trading in Endangered Species (CITES) prohibits taking the following out of the country: indigenous flora and fauna; live or preserved specimens and articles made from parts of endangered species. However, articles made from species approved by the CITES Administrative Authority in Cuba may be taken out