Home Travel Tips for Cuba Arrivals and Departures in Cuba

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We are Lee-Anne & Jusnier ('Turbo' to his friends).
An English/Cuban couple who know Cuba like the back of their hands, and would like to share their first-hand knowledge with you!

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Arivals & Departures at Havana Airport

José Martí International Airport - Havana

The International Airport at Havana is 25km south-west of the city.

International flights arrive at Terminal 3.

Arrivals in Havana Airport

There are snack bars, car-rental, a tourist information desk and a ViAzul desk in the main arrivals hall, after Customs.

 

Immigration

Immigration formalities can often be very time consuming, so please be patient.

You need a valid Tourist Visa, which must be bought before you arrive. You will also be asked to show your Travel Insurance.  Please see the page on Documents & Visas for further information.

You will be asked to look at a webcam, while your photo is taken.  You may be asked to remove your glasses.

Cuban immigration does NOT stamp your passport, (they stamp your Tourist Visa instead), so if you are worried about having a Cuban stamp in your passport and not being allowed into the USA afterwards, don’t be!   Do NOT loose your Tourist Card, Immigrations will need it when you leave the country

Money

There are exchange facilities in the arrivals hall, just before the exit doors (same rates as the banks in town). You should find an ATM among all the booths and kiosks on the ground floor, and another on the second floor, where departing passengers check in.

Getting from the Airport

Taxis can be found just outside arrivals, on the ground floor exit. A taxi to Central Havana should cost between 15-25CUC (£9.8- £13.07) , although it's not uncommon for the meter or arranged fee to reach 30CUC (£19.61). Although the driver may not be wearing a seatbelt, if one is fitted I would advise that you use it!!! (It IS the law in Cuba)

There is no public bus service to or from the international airport.

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Departures at Havana Airport

Flight Reconfirmation

Please remember to reconfirm your departure flight, (especially if you are flying with Cubana).

If you are flying with Virgin, you can also check-in on-line up to 24hours before departure. This will save you queuing time at the airport, although the Cuban internet is not always very reliable, so don't count on this.  When you arrive at the airport, just go to the “Bag-drop” queue (which is a lot shorter), have your bags checked in, and get your boarding pass.

Please be warned that even if your flight has been reconfirmed, certain airlines (not mentioning any names) may still deny this when you arrive to board the flight – particularly if they have overbooked. You should try to arrive at the airport early (for Cubana flights, I STRONGLY recommend at least 3 hours before departure), and ask for a confirmation reference when reconfirming any flights - I speak from experience!!!

 

Getting to the Airport

A taxi from Havana Vieja to the airport will usually be between 20-25CUC (£13.07- £16.34)

A taxi from Viñales to Havana airport will usually be in the region of 80CUC (£52.29). Please make sure you go with a taxi that is licensed to carry foreigners! There is no public bus service to the international airport.

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At the Airport

Departures can quite often be a tad chaotic!

Get there early (I STRONGLY recommend at least 3 hours before departure - as the queue can be very long!)

If you are flying with Cubana, you will need to get your cases shrink-wrapped in plastic before you queue to check-in.

 

Money

There are currency exchange facilities both before & after immigration, where you can change your CUC back into GB£.

*Please note that you CANNOT change CUC in the UK.

 

Departure Tax

There is 25CUC departure tax which must be paid in cash CUC at the airport.

Once you have checked your luggage in, you must go to the Departure Tax window (the left-hand side is a money change, the right-hand side is to pay your departure tax).

Pay your 25CUC and have a stamp stuck to your Boarding Card. This will be checked when you go through immigration.

DO NOT queue up to go through the immigration booths without getting your departure tax stamp.

 

Immigration

Immigration formalities can often be very time consuming, so please leave enough time to get through, and be patient. Your photo will be taken again, (you may be asked to take off your glasses).

After Immigration there are also bars (más Mojitos?), currency exchange, snack bars, and a small Duty Free shop - although it’s cheaper to buy cigars in Viñales or Havana.

 

Delays

It is not uncommon for your flight to be delayed, whichever airline you are travelling with.

If you feel like passing the time with your new friend 'Havana Club', be warned...the captain is within his rights to refuse you entry to the flight if he thinks you are drunk. I've seen it happen.

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