Visiting Cuba with Cuba Private Travel ensures that every detail of your journey is safe and sound. Our recommendations and tips will help you prepare for the bespoke experiences we have in store for you.

Travel advice


It is recommended that your passport be valid for at least six months prior to your planned return. Please make note of the expiration date and renew your passport accordingly if it is near expiration. As a general travel rule, it is a good idea to make a photocopy of your passport. Bring it with you and store it separately from your actual passport.

Flight Information

During peak travel season flights leaving the island can experience longer than normal delays due to the unprecedented number of travelers to Cuba. Flight delays are not uncommon.

Final Itinerary

A significant portion of your Cuba program is customized to maximize your cultural experience. Many of the places we visit are not tourist destinations and your particular itinerary will take advantage of what’s happening during your stay. Upon arrival in Cuba, you’ll meet with your Cuban concierge to review the details of your journey.

Arriving Into Cuba

Upon arrival, our VIP service will meet you at the airplane ramp holding a sign with your name. If this does not happen, please let anyone in a uniform know that you have VIP service under your name. They will escort you to customs to beat the sometimes-lengthy Immigration lines. When passing through Cuban immigration, an official will review your visa (tourist card) and take your photo. Keep your visa in a safe place as you will need it again when you depart immigration. After immigration, you'll proceed through customs and go through security. Once you have retrieved your luggage and exit customs, our airport representative will be waiting to meet you, and escort you to your vehicle where your Cuban guide or guide/driver awaits.

From time to time, Cuban Customs and Immigration officials may ask you or someone from your group additional questions as you enter Cuba. Please note this is standard operating procedure and it is nothing to be concerned about. They will typically ask to see your passport and will record your passport number. They may also inquire about your profession, who you are traveling with, what state you are from, why you are in Cuba and ask other basic questions. Simply answer all questions truthfully.

Packing Tips

Cuba has no clothing taboos! You typically find people are wearing very casual, colorful and Caribbean-style clothing. Very few venues in Cuba require formal wear. Pack light and very comfortable clothing, particularly comfortable walking shoes. You might want to bring boots if your itinerary includes hiking or a day in the mountains.

Shorts, tank tops, t-shirts, sundresses, and skirts are all acceptable. A wrap, sweater or light jacket is recommended for the evenings. Some clubs and live music venues have very low AC.

Though hotels will have toiletries and may have a hairdryer, we recommend bringing your own. The voltage in Cuba is 110, though most hotels have 220 plugs. Bring a multi-adaptor.

Staying connected

Until recently, most travelers to Cuba took it for granted that there would be no Internet access and therefore this would be their opportunity to enjoy themselves and put their phones away. This has certainly changed. Most of the best hotels have Wi-Fi access and will provide you with a login and password at check-in. WiFi is not always included in all hotels. A few of the BnBs also have Wi-Fi, access to be purchased from staff.

There are also over 80 Wi-Fi hotspots all over Cuba. Your concierge and guide can help you purchase the Wi-Fi cards with login and password (cost between 2-3 CUC per hour), and indicate how/where to use them.

On request, we will supply a Cuban Sim with Data package which you can use as a hot spot to have 24 hour internet access. We advise purchasing and downloading of a VPN (Nord is an excellent choice) so your current service providers will work without issue.

Do not expect much: Band-width is limited and navigation is slow.

Money while in Cuba

The Exchange rate on the street is now 3 times the bank rate so please bring cash to avoid having to withdrawn funds from the bank. Your guide will assist you and in most cases the estalishments recommended accept foreign currency. Remember US bank cards do not work in Cuba.

Cards that are not denominated to a USA Bank normally will work at ATM machines, most hotels, and at the Bank Counter.

In Cuba, you can exchange your money at the airport, at a CADECA exchange kiosk, in a bank, or at your hotel. CADECA is an official money exchange agency in Cuba. Do not exchange money on the street.

We recommend $100 per person per day for meals. If you like to indulge in art, souvenirs, and evening outings, you may consider bringing more: $150-$250 per person per day.

Sample Costs

Taxi to Old Havana 5 USD
Crafts 20+ USD
Night club entrance fees 5-10 USD
Cabaret (Tropicana, the Nacional, Ballet) 100 USD
Drinks 2-5 USD
Shopping for simple gifts 2-50 USD
Cigars 200 USD a box
Rum 20-100 USD


Tipping is customary in Cuba and is perceived as a gesture of acknowledgement of satisfaction with a good or excellent service. For Cubans who work directly with visitors from abroad, such as hotel staff, the gratuities they receive are an important supplement to their income. In restaurants, 10% is the general rule. Your specialized guides are well paid in general, so tipping them should be based on your personal satisfaction with the level of service received.

For your private guide and driver, we recommend 20-40 USD per day, each, if you feel their work was excellent. You may also leave a discretionary 5 to 10 USD per day for your concierge and Clients Services Manager.

Packing Checklist

Passport (original and photocopy packed separately)
Print Final itinerary (sent 1 week before departure)
Prescription medications (in original bottles)
Over-the-counter medications for common ailments
Basic first-aid items
Toiletries (we recommend bringing your own)
Hairdryer (hotels may have them but we recommend bringing your own)
Feminine hygiene products
Toilet paper or small packets of tissues
Alcohol-based hand sanitizer
Insect repellent
Sun hat
Comfortable walking shoes
Light rain jacket
Small umbrella
Cigarette lighters (packed in your checked luggage)
Snacks (granola bars, mixed nuts, crackers, pretzels)
Cuba Guidebook

Travel Protection Plan

Since April 2010, the Cuban government requires all travelers to Cuba to have medical care and evacuation coverage under an approved plan. In the case of US traveler, as a result of this requirement, your flight package includes this basic medical insurance.

If you need to seek medical treatment while you are in Cuba and it is not an emergency, it is your responsibility to pay up to USD 100 directly to the health practitioner. Once you are home, you can then file a claim under your travel protection plan.

Before You Go Checklist

Check that the expiration date on your passport is 6 months after the completion of your stay abroad.
Make a photocopy of your passport and store it separately. Leave a copy with friends or family back home.
Pack medications and other valuables in your carry-on bag.
When you receive your final itinerary and emergency contact numbers, print it out and include with the documents you bring on your journey.

Travel Advice