Cuba is the most westerly of the Greater Antilles group of islands, located 145km (90mi) south of Florida in the northern Caribbean.
At 11 million hectares, Cuba is the largest island in the Caribbean (roughly the size of England).
The most convenient route to Cuba is by air to José Martí International Airport (HAV), sometimes known by its former name Rancho-Boyeros Airport, located 15km (9mi) southwest of Havana.
The airport receives daily non-stop fights from North America, Europe and other Caribbean nations.
Havana is the principal gateway to Cuba, connecting flights to nine other airports scattered around the country, including international airports at Camagüey, Cayo Coco, Cayo Largo, Ciego de Avila, Cienfuegos, Holguin, Manzanillo, Santiago de Cuba and the beach resort of Varadero.
By sea, mainstream lines like Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Holland America make regular calls to Havana.
The following are the most convenient and quickest routes to José Martí International Airport (HAV), Havana, Cuba.
From United States: American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines and JetBlue Airways offer the most convenient scheduled flights to Havana, Cuba.
Atlanta to Cuba is 2 hrs 15 min, direct flight
Boston to Cuba is 5 hrs 14 min, direct flight
Fort Lauderdale to Cuba is 1 hr 16 min, direct flight
Houston to Cuba is 2 hrs 39 min, direct flight
Miami to Cuba is 1 hrs 8 min, direct flight
New York to Cuba is 3 hrs 52 min, direct flight
Chicago to Cuba is 5 hrs 10 min, connecting flightˆ
Dallas-Fort Worth to Cuba is 4 hrs 45 min, connecting flightˆ
Los Angeles to Cuba is 7 hrs 30 min, connecting flightˆ
San Francisco to Cuba is 7 hrs 50 min, connecting flightˆ
Seattle to Cuba is 8 hrs 30 min, connecting flightˆ
From Canada: Air Canada, American Airlines and Delta Air Lines offer the most convenient scheduled flights to Havana, Cuba.
Toronto to Cuba is 3 hrs 30 min, direct flight
Montreal to Cuba is 4 hrs 15 min, direct flight
Vancouver to Cuba is 8 hrs 15 min, connecting flightˆ
From United Kingdom: Virgin Atlantic offers the most convenient daily scheduled flights from London Gatwick (LGW) to Havana, Cuba.
London to Cuba is 9 hrs 45 min, direct flight
Manchester to Cuba is 12 hrs 30 min, connecting flightˆ
From France: Air France offers the most convenient daily flights to Havana, Cuba.
Paris to Cuba is 9 hrs 55 min, direct flight
From Spain: Cubana de Aviación, Air Europa and Iberia offer the most convenient daily flights to Havana, Cuba.
Madrid to Cuba is 9 hrs 30 min, direct flight
From Germany: Lufthansa, Eurowings, Condor Flugdienst, Iberia, Air France and KLM offer the most convenient flights to Havana, Cuba.
Dusseldorf to Cuba is 10 hrs 50 min, direct flight
Frankfurt to Cuba is 11 hrs, direct flight
Munich to Cuba is 11 hrs 55 min, direct flight
Berlin to Cuba is 13 hrs 15 min, connecting flightˆ
Hamburg to Cuba is 13 hrs 20 min, connecting flightˆ
From Ireland: Ryanair and Virgin Atlantic offer the most convenient scheduled flights to Havana, Cuba.
Dublin to Cuba is 12 hrs 45 min, connecting flightˆ
From Australia: Qantas, American Airlines, United Airlines and Delta Air Lines offer the most convenient scheduled flights to Havana, Cuba.
Adelaide to Cuba is 23 hrs, connecting flightˆ
Brisbane to Cuba is 23 hrs 5 min, connecting flightˆ
Sydney to Cuba is 20 hrs 15 min, connecting flightˆ
Melbourne to Cuba is 22 hrs 30 min, connecting flightˆ
Perth to Cuba is 27 hrs 25 min, connecting flightˆ
From New Zealand: American Airlines offers the most convenient scheduled flights to Havana, Cuba.
Auckland to Cuba is 22 hrs 40 min, connecting flightˆ
From Singapore: Singapore Airlines and United Airlines offer the most convenient scheduled flights to Havana, Cuba.
Singapore to Cuba is 25 hrs 20 min, connecting flightˆ
(ˆincludes transfer time.)
José Martí International Airport (HAV), also known by its former name Rancho-Boyeros Airport, is located 15km (9mi) southwest of Havana, Cuba.
A shuttle bus service connects all four airport terminals.
Taxi: Metered taxis can be hailed from outside all terminals. Journey time to Havana city centre is around 20-30 minutes. Expect a fare of CUC$20-25.
Numerous taxi companies serve the airport, including Taxi Vinales Cuba (tel: +53 58343180; www.taxivinalescuba.com), which offers taxi booking in advance.
Plenty of unofficial cabbies roam the streets in Cuba, typically driving vintage American cars or beaten-up Ladas.
Note: Be wary of drivers claiming their meters are broken – a common tourist scam – and always agree on fares beforehand.
Shuttle: Hotels can arrange transport by prior arrangement.
Bus: There are limited public bus services to and from the airport. Local buses are available outside Terminal 1, but payment is required in non-convertible Cuban pesos, which are difficult for foreigners to obtain.
Car hire companies represented at Havana José Marti International Airport include Cubanacar, Rex (limousines and luxury cars), Havanautos and Via Transgaviota.
All car hire agencies are located in the arrivals halls of each terminal. Booking in advance is recommended, with prices varying from CUC$50 to CC$125 depending on the car type and time of year. Insurance is mandatory and costs around CUC$15 per day.
Money: Bureaux de change services can be found in Terminals 2 and 3, while a 24-hour bank and ATMs are also located in Terminal 3.
Food: Terminal 3 offers several bars and restaurants. Terminal 2 has a restaurant on the second floor and a selection of bars. There are no food services in Terminal 1 (the domestic terminal).
Shopping: A wide range of shops are available in Terminals 2 and 3, including bookshops, newsagents, duty-free shopping and off-licences selling rum and cigars.
Wi-Fi: There is no free Wi-Fi access in the airport, but Terminal 3 offers internet access for a small fee. There is an on-site post office and public telephones are available for both domestic and international calls within the terminals.
Other: Other facilities at Havana José Marti International Airport include a pharmacy, medical facilities and a children’s play area in Terminal 3.
There are two VIP lounges in Terminal 3 and one in Terminal 2 serving a handful of European airlines that offer standard lounge amenities and facilities.
Lifts are located at various points within the terminals. Wheelchair transportation can be provided between aircrafts and arrivals/departures. Passengers requiring wheelchairs and special assistance should inform their airline prior to travel.
Visitors must have a passport valid for at least six months after entry. All visitors must hold return/onward tickets and proof of sufficient funds.
A visa is also required (and issued on arrival in Cuba) if the visitor does not have a Tourist Card (Tarjeta del Turista), which is generally issued by tour operators, travel agents or airlines for a single-entry holiday trip of up to 30 days. This can be extended in Cuba.
All those entering Cuba must hold travel insurance to cover medical expenses for the period of stay.
Note: U.S. nationals are not allowed to travel directly to Cuba without a U.S. Treasury Department license. Travel is often made through a gateway country, instead. Once in Cuba, U.S. nationals encounter no restrictions.
Buses are the most efficient and practical way of getting around Cuba. The state-run Víazul network offers a regular daily schedule to most places of interest to overseas visitors.
The train service is extensive, but is often slow, unreliable and generally lacking in comfort. Modern train carriages are being introduced on the most popular routes.
Taxis are freely available in cities and towns, and are also an option over longer distances if you are traveling in a small group. Rates are approximately CUC$0.55 per kilometre.
Bicycle hire is also gaining a foothold in Cuba, with numerous operators offering a variety of bikes for hire in Havana.
Rental cars are expensive and driving can be a challenge for a number of reasons, not least being the lack of signposts. However, if you prefer the individual freedom that a hire car brings, hiring a car with driver may be the better option. Overall, the cost is roughly similar.
Find out more about how to get around Cuba…
Latest update: How to get to Cuba: 7 May, 2022