What to Pack for Cuba – Essentials You Have To Bring

What to Pack for Cuba - Essentials You Have To Bring

Cuba is known for sky-high palm trees, luscious tropical fruit, warm hospitable smiles and dream-like beaches.

So, it’s no wonder it is so famous and often visited. It’s a destination many of us have on our bucket list! And if you’ve decided to make it true and aren’t sure what to pack, I’m here to help!

Passport and Cuban Tourist Card (Visa)

Yes, yes, I know what you’re thinking now: of course I’ll take my passport! But, trust me, you can easily forget to pack it in all that excitement or forget to take it with you if you’re in a hurry to catch your plane. Just look at my sister! She was traveling to another country to celebrate New Year’s Eve with her boyfriend, and forgot to take it. She was lucky my mom checked, because she was already out the door.

So, be sure to take it with you, because you won’t even be able to enter Cuba. Also, be sure to keep it by you at all times, and check often if it’s where you left it. I carry mine in an inner pocket of a jacket, or a bag.

Additionally, visitors from most countries will be required to obtain either a Cuban Tourist Card or visa, so do that earlier.


So the second most important thing after a passport is money. You have to take euros in cash and exchange it for Cuban Pesos, so your credit cards won’t be useful. But keep in mind there will be a 10% fee added onto your totals if you do.

One more thing you should know is that it is prohibited to export Cuban Pesos. So make sure to exchange your cash for euros or USD again before leaving Cuba.

Health Insurance

 This is another of the most important things to bring to Cuba. Cuban law requires that all visitors have valid insurance while visiting their country.

So if you have insurance, make sure you have proof. You can also purchase travel insurance in Cuba with Asistur  (local provider). But it’s quite expensive, so better have it before leaving Cuba.

It wouldn’t be a bad idea to copy all of your documents just in case!

Medical Kit

You never know what might happen, so pack some medicine. Something like Immodium or a similar medicine containing Loperamide just in case you accidentally drink the water — which you should NEVER do in Cuba! A

nd something for your stomach, the food might not sit well with you.

Also, a motion sickness product, if you intend to take a boat or cruise. I always use it for traveling.

It’s important that you keep in mind that in Cuba, it’s not unheard of that a person got sick by a disease such as Zika and Dengue. They are carried by mosquitoes, so a good mosquito repellent is crucial.

Sunscreen is a must of course! As with all tropical, sun-soaked countries, bringing and wearing an appropriate amount of sunscreen is incredibly important.

You definitely don’t want to spend your vacation sunburnt and miserable.


The weather in Cuba is mostly sunny and humid, so be sure to pack light, casual clothing. Something that doesn’t stick too much to your skin and keeps you cool like skirts, shorts or sundresses. Sunhats offer protection from the sun, as do sunglasses.

Another good idea is to pack a jacket or a sweater, sometimes nights can get chilly, and it can rain sometimes so just in case.

For footwear I recommend taking sneakers and flip-flops, maybe some sandals. You’ll need sneakers because you’re likely to do a lot of walking, and flip-flops are for the beach of course!

Swimsuits are a given, Cuba has one of the prettiest beaches there is. Maybe a light scarf, you know those that girls wear on beaches? Yes, it can be good protection from the sun, or to cover yourself if you’re in your swimwear.

They aren’t clothes but are important: towels. Mostly for the beach, but I carry a bath towel too.

I wouldn’t recommend wearing too many accessories, especially if it’s something important or expensive.


Wherever I go, I carry wet wipes or a hand sanitizer with me. You never know when you’ll need them or when you’ll encounter a bathroom that’s less than desirable.

Also, bring toilet paper with you. Most bathrooms in Cuba don’t have toilet paper. But don’t flush it! Trash cans are used instead of throwing it in the toilet.  

Spanish-English Phrasebook

A Spanish-English dictionary can be pretty useful if you don’t know Spanish, so maybe buy one there or pack it.

We have come to an end! The things I wrote about are the most important in my opinion, but feel free to make your own list, change this one or add something.

I couldn’t be more than happy for you to travel to Cuba! Enjoy your stay, have fun and relax as much as you can!