l. SINCE THE MOMENT YOUR FLIGHT IS LANDED
Already your flight is landed
Welcome, your plane landed, You are already in Cuba, in this Caribbean
Paradise. You’ll enjoy wonderful days.
Most tourists from around the entire world
enter in Cuba through
Terminal # 3 of “José Martí” airport in Havana.
So we will describe your arrival as it happens in this our Havana airport.
When your plane is landed and already parked,
you must pick up your hand luggage and start moving toward the exit door of the
plane and going into the airport through the right side of a big hall of the
building walking down by a short stair until the place where your documents
will be checked by immigration officers.
Once you get in front
of the immigration officer you’ll be asked for your documents. He will check that you have as
necessary your passport with more
than six months of validity, Visa (or tourist card), and the round trip ticket.
Then he (or she) will ask you where you are going to be lodged.
To that question you must tell him the name
and the address of the owner of the
place where you are going to stay (is not necessary to show a voucher). They
are well informed by automate systems, so they can check that you are going to
a legal casa particular and later on they may check that you are lodged in the
place you said. Giving false data or fictitious name of some hotel can cause
Maybe he (or she) will ask you something else as usual
in all migratory services. Finally your documents will be given back to you wishing you a nice
time in Cuba and the customs officer
will allow you to continue to the luggage area, the entrance door
will be opened. First of all take care and keep your papers safe!
Now you are going to another big hall: the luggage collection point. First thing to
do is to pass yourself and your hand luggage by the scanner and the security
arc. If you have the usual things it
will be fast. Then you go forward to take your bags.
If necessary, get a luggage cart. Generally
carts are free. Sometimes 1 Euro is asked. While you are waiting for your
baggage maybe some one comes to you asking how you feel and offering you a taxi
or lodging. Maybe he is looking for a tip and other one could be looking for a
commission. Go ahead, be kind but giving to them a firm response.
See by which
one of the two belts your baggage would come out. Some times there are persons who take bags from the belt
putting them on the floor. Some other persons use to move bags away. All these
cause worry that someone can make a mistake taking a wrong baggage. That’s why
we recommend that before dispatching baggage better clearly identify it, fixing
on it appropriated emblems that may help you on identifying easy your baggage.
Already you have your baggage in your hands: go now to
CADECA (money changing) which is inside that room. There change some money to CUC.
Ask for 20 CUC banknotes and
some banknotes of 1, 5 and 10 CUC for paying the taxi (cab driver some times
say that have no change)
Now you must go to custom control. It is useful to know previously Custom Regulations before coming to Cuba.
- Tourists don’t have to fill out any
- To the entrance, are exempt of taxes the personal use objects, own jewels, photographic or videotape cameras,
personal computer, sport effects and fishing gears, 2 bottles of liquor, one
cardboard of cigarettes, and up to 10 kilograms of medications, whenever they are
in their original containers. In total it can be 30 kilograms of baggage
plus the 10 kilograms
of medications. It is not allowed to introduce firearms, except those properly
authorized for hunting, neither narcotic. The entrance of money cash is
limitless. You must declare it when more than 5000 US dollars. See here Important
- If the customs officer consider your luggage
exceeds 30 kilos (that’s the allowed weight)
You can be asked to weight
your luggage and to pay the overweight (10 CUC. per extra kilo) but you
don’t have to pay overweight if you don’t have more than 30 kg in your baggage. If
someone tells you otherwise you must claim for your right. Also remember that:
- You don’t have to pay nothing in the airport because you
are going to be lodged in a legal casa particular (particular house). You just
will have to pay to the owner of the casa particular the sum agreed for your
stay but only when you have arrived to
the reserved house not before.
In what place you are going to be lodged only can be
interest of the immigration officer at the entrance the one that you left in
the control point. It is not a matter you have to inform to any other person in
the luggage collection point. That request presupposes that something will be
asked from you or to take you to another house etc. Be firm don’t let to trick
If you forgot or could not change in CADECA inside the
luggage collection point you can do it in another CADECA facility which is in
the big hall inside the airport where is the people waiting for the travelers.
ll. Transpor from Havana
Airport to Casa
Transporting to the private house.
When arriving to
the airport maybe some person can be waiting for you there. In case you want to
be picked up at the airport, you should get the necessary arrangements with the
owner of the house you have booked.
The cab’s price
is 10 to 20 CUC or more depending on the neighborhood where the house is
In case there
won’t be a person waiting for you, you can ask for a taxi for carrying you to
the address you will ask for. In that
case you better bring with yourself as clear as possible the address of the
house you have reserved, as well as the name of the owner and his (or her)
telephone number. If possible ask the owner for a small map with the location
of the house. Don’t accept that taxi driver carries you to a different
address, to another house.
The taxi to the casa
- The proprietors
of the house generally don't go to the airport to pick up you. In such a case,
you must use a state taxi.
- Before arriving
to the exit door of the airport (you still are inside the building), don't
accept proposals about taxis (they are usually illegal and more expensive).
Some one can try to take you to another place or to drive turning and turning
by different streets.
- Come to the
exit door of the airport (TO THE STREET) and take an OFFICIAL TAXI.
There is a person with uniform and a Walkie -Talkie in the door always
organizing this matter, and a long line of taxis.
- You are
entitled to ask for activating the taximeter. If the taxi driver says of not
activating it, you are not allowed to be deceived: the trip to the house (Central Havana, Old Havana and Vedado) costs 20 CUC with
taximeter. Ask to the taxi driver before ascending to the taxi.
Don't allow the taxi
driver to change the destination, although he tries to be very nice and offers
you the sky, don't let him trick you.
Some taxi driver
1. - That he
knows a legal and more economic house, where you can take girls or boys;
2. - That some
streets are closed to the traffic, but he knows about a better lodging;
3. - That he
knows the owner of the casa particular you have reserved and that person died
that night. So, the house is closed ; and so on…
AND he will make you
all type of promises, but don't let him to trick you. He just tries to look for a commission
taking you to some probably illegal house. Then he disappears and you can be
entered in a mess with the authorities. Never go to a not legal house (to lodge
in an illegal houses is a serious crime and considered fiscal and migratory
So, to be safe:
Check that the taxi driver takes you to the suitable place, the
owners will be waiting for you and they know your name. Speak personally with
paying the taxi.
drivers even may go down from the taxi to the arrival house; they speak with
the owner of the house about any other thing and then return and tell to you
that the house is busy.
with the owners, probably the owner has said another thing
to the taxi driver or owner has said that the house is busy because in fact
they are waiting for you, but the driver noticed them another name.
watch that legal
lodgings for tourists have a blue logo to the entrance (those of red color are
only for Cubans), and an official book of registration. The lodgings of our Web Site have all the conditions
of security and legality.
See the logo:
Once IN THE HOUSE or
When arriving to the
house you have rented, you will feel really welcome and in a truly hospital
atmosphere. The owner will
request your passport, to register the data in a form that you will sign, in
the same way as the registration in a Hotel or resort. This government
information is registered in the Office of local Cuban Immigration within 24
hours. The only other form you will have to sign
is a receipt in the amount your lodging costs. Confirm the owner then and there
how many nights you wish to stay and if you wish to eat dinner and breakfast.
Casas particulares almost never serve lunches. But you can always ask, ahead
Once signed by you, the owner of the rent takes immediately (or the
following morning if you arrived late) the book and the documents to the
Immigration offices, where is taken note of your arrival.
In Cuba, it is
illegal for the tourists to spend the night at not authorized homes. Even to
stay in a friend's or the girl friend’s house, is necessary to go to
Immigration office with the owner of the house who will have to take the
documents of property and to explain the level of friendship. Only if really
the person is a friend and the house gathers conditions, it will be authorized
previous payment of some other rates.
Change only some money to CUC before leaving the
airport. (In the CADECA - of the street the change is better than in those of
the airport and hotels). In the airport change something in small notes to pay
to the taxi driver. The payment of the lodging is made in the house, in cash
and in CUC.
Take only Euro to Cuba. It will be more economic to
change to Euro in your country. Dollars and payment with card have a high
Always change in CADECA. You will find them
everywhere. When leaving Cuba
you can change your spare money in CADECA at the airport.
Good trip and happy stay in Cuba