Packing Tips for Visiting Cuba

Luxury holiday in Cuba

So you’re off to visit the beautiful island known as Cuba! Now that’s wonderful news but you’ll need to know what to take with you to ensure your comfort and enjoyment. So read on…

Cuba is part of the Caribbean so enjoys an all-year-round warm climate. It’s recommended that you travel light and wash your clothes when you are there if need be.


Pack light clothing for the climate.  You may want to bring along at least one pair of socks with your underwear, sandals or flip flops, sea shoes for walks on stony beaches, shorts, swimwear and t-shirts/light tops.  Also, bring along something smart for evening wear and sundresses or light trousers for the day.


The voltage in Cuba is generally 110 volts. However, some outlets are rated 220 volts, particularly in hotels and some Homestays that serve to European clientele

Spanish Phrasebook/Dictionary

English is not widely spoken in Cuba and it will big plus if you can learn few Spanish words and phrases.

Other Items

Beach towel, mosquito repellent, condoms, medications in their original containers with a doctor’s note, tampons/sanitary towels, small first aid kit, headache tablets, toothpaste & toothbrush, suntan lotion, deodorant and shampoo and conditioner. Yes, you can buy some of these items there but you’ll discover that they are very expensive or that they are of poor quality.

It’s also recommended that you carry a bag that you can wear on your hips to carry your camera and other small items around with you. You may also want to bring your own cigarettes and a lighter.  Leave all credit cards that you don’t need and your important papers from your wallet at home.

Money in Cuba

When it comes to taking cash to Cuba, it’s recommended that you take notes from your country of origin, ie GBP , EUR and better in smaller value bank notes. You can also take your Visa card along (not Mastercard) – you’ll need to have your passport on you to be able to use it and it will only work if there is no connection to the US banks. You’ll discover that ATMs are few and far between. Mainly in Havana. You can also find few ATMs at Trinidad, Camaguey, Santiago de Cuba

Cuba has two currencies, the  CUC (Cuban Convertible Pesos) and the CUP (Cuban Peso) 1 CUC = 24 CUP. You will be able to convert your sterling into CUC and will most likely come across CUP when you receive your change from paying in CUC to restaurants/cafes etc.

Things Not To Bring to Cuba

In addition to a suggested list of things to take with you, please be aware that there is an official prohibited list on the Cuban Customs website too.  If you arrive in the country with any of the items listed they are likely to be seized on arrival without any compensation.  Avoid walkie-talkies, satellite phones, GPS equipment, televisions and fresh fruit or vegetables.

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