Travel to Cuba Tips

Diplomatic Services

If at any time you’re in need of consular services (such as losing your passport), you may contact the US Embassy in Havana at https://cu.usembassy.gov/embassy/havana/. The US Citizens Services Unit can be reached by dialing (+53)(7) 839-4100 or by walking in during business hours, Monday – Thursday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Fridays from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., except Cuban and US federal holidays. For general inquiries regarding US passports and citizenship, or other US citizen issues you can call the number or email: ACSHavana@state.gov.

Shopping & Expenditure limits

There is no specific dollar limit on purchases made in Cuba related to your travel or for personal use, and no limit on bringing merchandise (for personal use only) back to the United States.

Spirits and Cigars

A trip to Cuba may not be complete without a taste of rum and a good cigar. You may purchase alcohol and tobacco products from reputable state‐run shops to enjoy while traveling in Cuba. Beware of Street vendors selling cheap rum or cigars. Their goods are often counterfeit and not of the highest quality. Alcohol and tobacco products no longer have restrictions specific to Cuba, and now follow the same rules the US enforces for all countries, which dictate your purchases must be for personal use only.

Local Art

Cuban Customs does not require any documentation from you should you purchase “tourist art” from a street vendor. However, if you purchase art from a gallery or dealer, proof of purchase to authenticate your purchase from an authorized vendor is mandatory. Be sure to ask for and retain your receipt at the time of purchase. Keep this with the piece of art so it is available for Customs to review upon departure.

If a receipt or certificate of authentication cannot be provided from the vendor, contact the National Registry of Cultural Goods (Registro Nacional de Bienes Culturales) in Havana to receive the necessary documentation. Allow at least two days to process the paperwork.

Cell Service & Internet Access

The telecommunications market in Cuba is changing rapidly and some US cell phone carriers now offer coverage in Cuba. Before you travel, be sure to check with your wireless provider for the latest developments and coverage information, including the potential for incurring exorbitant roaming charges and fees for voice calls and text messages.

While cell phone data service recently became available in Cuba, service is unreliable and expensive. To get service, you could purchase a three-day tourist SIM card at a government telecommunications center (where you might have to wait in line).

Be aware that internet access in Cuba is unreliable and notoriously slow. It is not unusual for service to be unavailable for days at a time, so don’t count on having regular internet access while you are in Cuba.

Electric Current

You will find a variety of voltage and plugs in Cuba. Cuba’s electricity runs on either 110‐ or 220‐volt, 60‐ cycle current (the same as in North America and Europe, respectively). Plugs generally have either two flat prongs (same as North America) or two circular prongs, so you will most likely need a plug adapter. You may find the occasional three prong outlet, so your best bet is to bring along a 110/220 voltage converter that includes plug adapters for two and three prongs.

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