Havana’s warm, tropical climate has two distinct seasons. The best time to visit is during the dry season, December – May, when you can expect plenty of blue skies. Even during midwinter, temperatures remain comfortable at 79 – 81 degrees Fahrenheit and it can get very busy in Havana with tourists escaping chilly weather at home. The wet season begins in June and, with the onset of hurricane season in August – October, many tourists avoid Havana. If you choose to visit at this time, you’ll miss the crowds and can find good deals, but make sure that you book refundable flights and accommodation.
You can now fly non-stop to Havana, Cuba! US airlines offering direct flights include Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta, Frontier Airlines, jetBlue, Southwest Airlines, Spirit Airlines, and United. Flights with one or more stops are available from Copa, aeromexico, Interjet, TACA, Avianca, LATAM Airlines Group, Cayman Airways, Caribbean Airlines, and Air China.
Havana Jose Marti International Airport (HAV)
The airport is located in the town of Boyeros, 9 miles southwest of Havana. Here are a few options for travel to Downtown Havana.
Many tourists have transfers pre-arranged by their tour operator and included in their vacation package. When you exit the terminal, look for your tour operator, who should be clearly identified and will have your party listed for transfer.
You can engage a taxi outside the airport, or pre-arrange for a cab ride. The drive to Havana will take about 20 – 30 minutes, and should cost you around $20 – $25 CUC. Always negotiate the fare beforehand, meters are rarely used.
There are local buses available at Terminal 1, but payment is required in Cuban National Pesos (CUP), and tourist use of these buses is not recommended; they are overcrowded and safety could be an issue.
Havana is a great place to see on foot. Get up early for a stroll, or head out in the late afternoon and evening, because midday temperatures, combined with the humidity, can be oppressive. Otherwise, stick to the taxis to get around; Havana’s public buses are crowded and unreliable.
You’ll find taxis on every corner in Havana and they’re a great choice for transport in the city. There are yellow old-style Panataxis, newer models (with air conditioning), and a host of official and private taxis, ranging from battered old Ladas, to luxurious Mercedes Benz. Rates are variable, but most of the meters start at $1.00 CUC for the first kilometer, and then charge between $.50 CUC and $.85 CUC for each additional kilometer.
Havana is not an easy place to drive around in; the streets are poorly marked and rental cars relatively expensive. With excellent taxi service readily available and affordable, why rent a car?
Tourist travel to Cuba remains prohibited. You must obtain a license from the Department of Treasury or your travel must fall into one of 12 categories of authorized travel. See the entry, exit and visa requirements on this page.
Visiting Havana is like entering a time warp. Classic cars and Colonial architecture abound. The city’s fascinating history and vibrant energy create an atmosphere that you won’t find anywhere else in the world. Here are some good ideas for planning your itinerary.
Cuba has dual currencies, which can be a bit confusing. They began using the dual currency system in 1994 in response to the breakup of the Soviet Union, to help them re-enter the global economy. Tourists generally need Cuban Convertible Pesos (CUC) to pay for accommodation, items from shops, food in tourist restaurants and transportation.
In 2017, new restrictions on travel by US citizens to Cuba were brought in, which limit individual “people-to-people” trips and direct financial transactions with a long list of restaurants, shops and hotels. To travel legally to Cuba, visitors must travel as part of an organized group, or travel must fall within 12 categories, including humanitarian and religious travel, family visits, journalistic activity, professional research and participation in public performances, clinics, workshops, athletic and other competitions.