Planning a trip to Cuba? We’re here to help you get started with information on how to take a taxi at the Havana Airport. Don’t worry, it’s easy!
Airport pick-up is not included in our 9-day trip. Many travelers to Cuba will arrive at Havana Jose Marti International Airport (HAV). A great number of you will spend at least 1 night in the city of Havana before exploring the rest of the country.
Taxi from Havana airport to the city of Havana summary:
Before anything, you should know that there are 5 terminals at Havana airport. Most international flights arrive at and depart from Terminal 3. United and Southwest airlines currently use Terminal 2. Please note that changes occur often and without notice. It’s very important that you check your flight details to make sure you know the correct terminal.
To get started, deplane and just follow everyone off the airplane and the signs toward immigration. The immigration officers will check your passport, visa, and sometimes travel insurance. They may ask you basic questions such as “What’s your purpose of travel?” Lastly, they will stamp your passport. The lines may be long and slow so patience is key. Your adventure in Cuba will begin soon!
If you’re on one of our trips, we’ve already instructed you on how to get the tourist card (Cuban visa). Thus, you will already have it in hand. See our article about how to get a Cuban visa for more information.
Next, there is a brief security check. You’ll need to pass all of your belongings and bags through the X-ray scanners. A security agent will also usually wave a wand around your body. Next is a health checkpoint where you will show your advance. The attendants on your flight will usually give this to you during your flight. You’ll just need to fill it out and sign it. You may be randomly subject to a temperature check and/or PCR test if you have symptoms.
Finally, you’ll head to the baggage claim. Follow the signs and all the people again to find it. Check the monitors to find out which belt your luggage will come out on. Very long wait times for luggage are the norm in Cuba so again, please be patient. If you didn’t check any luggage, you can just head toward customs.
Once you’ve collected your luggage, you’ll need to pass through customs. You will need to have your customs declaration form ready to give to customs officials. The attendants on your flight will also provide this to you. The customs officials will check your declaration form and if your bag has been marked for inspection. Most of you will not have anything to declare so your baggage will not be checked.
If you’d like to exchange money at the Havana airport, there are CADECA exchange offices on the ground floor of the arrivals area. Check out our article about exchanging money in Cuba for more information.
For those arriving for our 9-day trip, we suggest waiting to exchange money. You can usually pay for the taxi to Havana in USD or EUR. There will be a meeting with your guide on Day 1 of the trip. At the meeting, your guide will advise you on exchanging money.
Once you’ve done everything mentioned above, it’s time to take a taxi from the Havana airport into the city! A lot of people are intimidated by this, but it’s very easy! As soon as you exit the arrivals terminal, you’ll be outdoors in the general public waiting area. You’ll see a line of taxis in this area.
Go toward the line of taxis. A driver will more than likely approach you before you can decide who to ask for a ride. Show the driver the address of your accommodation.
If you’re on our 9-day trip, we will send you the name and address of your Havana accommodation about 10 days before your trip. Be sure to have this printed out to show to the driver.
Before departing from the airport, be sure to agree on the fare and currency with your driver. The cost is usually around $30 – $35 USD. Many drivers will accept USD or EUR. Note that Cuban taxis do not have meters.
A taxi ride from the Havana airport to the city (Old or Centro Havana) will take about 30 – 45 minutes depending on traffic and weather. Note that Google Maps is not very accurate and doesn’t work well in Cuba. During the ride, your driver may stop and ask someone for directions. Please don’t be alarmed if he does this, it is quite normal in Cuba!
In summary, taking a taxi at the Havana airport is really easy. With the tips in this article, you usually won’t have any problems. We hope that you’re excited and ready for an amazing adventure in Cuba! Happy travels!
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