Havana Airport - Arrivals
On arrival at Cubaâ€™s Jose Marti International Airport in Havana, after disembarking you proceed first to Migracion. All tourists need to get a tourist visa / tourist card before arrival in the country. In most cases you can purchase this through your airline for a cost of $20, although this can also be purchased on arrival, in the unlikely case that you donâ€™t already have one. Migracion will examine your passport and take your photograph while you wait. They will normally stamp your tourist visa so that you donâ€™t have to worry about having a Cuban stamp in your passport. Do not lose your tourist visa, which is a small slip of paper that slips into your passport and can just as easily slip out somewhere. You will need it all across Cuba for checking into your accommodation but also on your exit from the country.
There are a few occupations that need to arrange for a different type of visa before entering the country. These include journalists. You need to arrange to get these visas at least one month in advance of your visit. See the Visa section for more details, or contact your embassy / consulate.
On clearing Migracion, you get buzzed out and onto the next stage. Get your hand luggage scanned, collect your main baggage and head for the exit. Here you will be required to hand over the customs forms that you handed in on the airplane. For those traveling with laptops, the Cuban government donâ€™t currently need you to declare this.
Outside in the arrivals hall you will find a number of money change places. Beware that these charge high commissions and exchange rates are not good. There are branches of Cuban tourist information services such as Infotur. Taxis are also available in this area. There are no shuttle buses to and from the city to the airport, so your only real choice is a taxi. To save costs try and get in a lada taxi, which will charge less and if you are lucky will be metered. The cost is around CUC15. More likely you will end up in a red Cubataxi. The price for this is a standard CUC25 into town.
Havana Airport - Departures
Heading out from Havana for your international flight, you will need to take a taxi to the Jose Marti International Airport. The cost for Cubataxi from Havana Vieja is CUC25. You may be able to bargain for less in a lada taxi.
On arrival for the airport, first check in. Then, before heading for Migracion you need to pay your Airport Tax. This is located close to the entrance of Migracion, in Check In Area B. The tax is CUC25 and must be paid in cash. A stamp is then placed on your boarding card, indicating that you have paid.
At Migracion, you will have a photograph taken and your tourist card will be stamped to denote your exit. Migracion keep your tourist card. You are then buzzed out into the duty free area, where depending on the time of day, there is money change. CUC are still accepted in the stores.