Havana's airport - Jose Marti Internacional - is a well ordered and modern airport. There are actually 5 terminals. The vast majority of international flights arrive to Terminal 3. However the following American airlines have their flights currently arriving and departing from Terminal 2* : Southwest; Alaska; Frontier; United.
* This is the latest information we have. However, changes are frequent, and we do not guarantee that this information is correct. It is the responsibility of each traveler to check which terminal their flight arrives to and departs from in Cuba.
Arrival procedure in Cuba
Migration - Upon arrival you may have to wait a little while in line at migration for your passport, Cuban Tourist Card (pictured on right), and travel insurance to be checked. If you are asked to provide proof of travel insurance valid for Cuba and you don't have any, you will be directed to a desk where you can buy this.
Health Check - after a standard security check, you will be asked to submit your health assessment card. This is a piece of paper that the airline will give you during your flight and which you have to fill out and sign. There are some health officials at this check point that may ask you if you have a fever or symptoms of diseases that Cuba is trying to prevent entering the country.
Luggage Claim - you then pass through to the luggage claim area. Checked luggage is carefully screened in Cuba to search for illegal substances and contraband, and there can be long delays in waiting for checked luggage to appear on the carousel. Some travelers have reported up to 3 hours.
Customs Declaration - once you have collected your luggage, and before exiting to the main arrivals hall of the airport, you will be asked to submit your customs declaration form. The airline will also provide this form to you during your flight. If you are carrying any electrical equipment, computers or communications equipment in your checked luggage, the baggage handlers may have marked the luggage tag attached to your suitcase. The customs official will check your luggage tags for any such a marks.
Arrivals Hall - After having your luggage tags checked you will pass through to the big arrivals hall area. There will be crowds of people waiting to greet their friends and family members. If you are a Cuban Adventures traveler and you have an included airport arrival transfer, our representative will be waiting for you holding a Cuban Adventures sign.
If you cannot find this sign and have arrived to Terminal 3, you can go to our meeting point located in the center of the arrivals hall and marked by a large banner with our logo on it (along with the logos of some other agencies).
Changing money upon arrival
Even though the queues can be quite long, in most situations it is probably best to get some local currency (CUCs) before you leave the airport.
In Terminal 3, there is an ATM on the upper level, above the arrivals hall, in the departure hall. A CADECA currency exchange office is located on the ground floor. The exchange rates at the airport CADECA are the same as in other CADECAs around Cuba. To read about currency exchange and accessing your money in Cuba, please click here!
In Terminal 2, there are presently no ATMs nor currency exchange facilities.
You driver can help. Depending on the time of day and the day of the week, the driver of your airport arrival transfer might be able to offer to take you to an alternative CADECA somewhere on the way to your guesthouse, where there is likely to be a smaller queue.
Warning: The practice of short changing has been reported by travelers at the airport CADECA. It's advised to carefully count the CUCs you receive in front of the CADECA employee as soon as you receive them.
More Cuba Airport Information
Getting from the Airport
If you don't have a pre-arranged airport arrival transfer, the best way to get from Havana Airport to your hotel or guesthouse in Havana is in taxi. In fact, this is pretty much the only way - as yet there are no official buses running from the airport to the city. You should be able to easily spot the long line of yellow tourist taxis outside the arrivals area of the airport. The current price for a taxi from the airport to the center of Havana is 25 CUC (Cuban Pesos Convertibles). It is a 30-40 minute drive (depending on traffic) into the city.
Official taxis in Havana run on a conventional taxi-meter, and you are expected to pay the price stated on this meter at the end of your trip. Most tourists leave a small tip for the taxi driver if they are pleased with the service they received. Taxis from the airport however charge 25CUC almost as a standard fee for this journey so that they can compensate for their time spent in the queue.
Warning: It has been reported on a few occasions that taxi drivers have taken tourists to a different casa particular to the one that they have reserved and instructed the driver to take them to. We assume that this is so that the taxi driver can earn commission from the casa. We recommend that you check the street number of your Havana Casa upon arrival to make sure it is the same as the one you have reserved.
Airport Arrival Transfers in Cuba - Havana or Varadero?
If you don't have an airport arrival transfer included with your Cuban Adventures tour, you can add this as an additional service.
HAVANA: our price is $55 USD per taxi (4 people maximum).
VARADERO: If your flight arrives to Varadero airport you can catch a taxi to the Viazul bus terminal. Click here to see the timetable. We provide transfers in private taxi from Varadero airport to Havana for US$127 for up to 4 people (2 hours travel time).
Arrival Day in Cuba & Group Meeting
If you are taking one of our tours, your tour guide will organize a short meeting on the arrival day for the tour at the base guesthouse for your tour. In your guesthouse, ask about a note from your guide if one is not presented to you upon arrival. The first official group meeting is usually arranged for the morning of Day 2 of the tour by which time all group members will have arrived, as some flights can arrive late at night on Day 1. The tour guide will advise on the note what time and where you should meet the next morning if you do arrive late.
Please note: Day 1 of our tours is set aside as an arrival day and no activities are planned, so you may arrive at any time. Similarly the last day is a departure day in which no activities are planned.
Airport Departure Tips
Taxis will charge between 15CUC and 25CUC for a ride to the airport from the central parts of Havana, for your departure from Cuba depending on the type of taxi and the time of day.
Departure tax There is no airport departure tax payable (previously this was 25CUC per person).
Get rid of your CUC! - the Cuban Government has prohibited CUC leaving the country and any CUC currency found with you upon exit from Cuba will be confiscated without compensation. This can happen both from your person, your carry-on luggage, and your checked luggage. Although for the moment we have no reports of people being searched and this law being enacted. The main consequence at the moment is that CUC are not accepted in the departure lounge shops after clearing migration out of Cuba.
- In Terminal 3 (before check-in) - there are shops in the departures hall where you can buy souvenirs (rum, cigars, etc) in CUC and spend your last remaining CUCs. You can then store these goods in your checked luggage before check-in if you wish. There is a CADECA exchange booth in this area of the airport where you can change your CUC to USD, CAD, GBP, or EUR. however there is no guarantee they will have enough of any one currency, especially if you want to change a large amount of CUC.
- In Terminal 3 (after check-in) - you first pass through migration to leave the country, and then through the security check. If you have any CUC currency on your person or in your luggage, it could be confiscated at this point, if located by the security staff. At the departure gate, there is a bar and a small cafeteria that offers hot drinks and a poor selection of snacks. There are also stores that sell, Cuban rum, coffee, cigars, and a small range of snacks and sweets. At all of these stores at the departure gate (after security check), the only currencies accepted are USD, CAD, EUR, and CUP.
- In Terminal 2 - the departure process and airport facilities are similar to that of Terminal 3, however there is less variety of souvenirs and goods to buy.
Public WIFI. The departure lounge area of both Terminal 2 and Terminal 3 of Havana airport has wifi. So if you have a Cuban public wifi card with any credit remaining, you can use this here while waiting for your flight.