Cuba: What to Pack

Think Warm & Sunny!

The Island of Cuba, located in the middle of the Caribbean sea, enjoys year-round a warm sub-tropical climate.

The winter season (Nov-June) is characterized by sunny and dry days with a cooler but still agreeable average of 23°C. The Summer season instead (July-Oct), presents a slightly higher chance of rain showers (still only 1 day out of 3 in October on average, which is the peak) and an extremely small chance of Hurricanes (don’t panic, very small! 😉 ).

In general, the temperature in Cuba stays year-round between warm and hot, with few rare days and winter-nights where the temperature could reach the maximum bottom of 12-13°C.

As for the kind of clothing, know that in Cuba nobody will judge you on how you dress. In my opinion, the best way to mix in with the locals is to go for comfy clothes and not trying too obviously to “show-off” that you’re a tourist with high fashion or expensive jewelry.

Bright colors are widely used so, pick your favorite, and no matter what, you won’t feel out of place.

Given that general information, hereafter is a list of the Clothing, Accessories, and Documents (very important!) that you should definitely bring for your upcoming trip to Cuba.

On a note, as the roads are quite bumpy and broken, I would suggest you choose a backpack rather than a suitcase. Still, in Cuba you can reach most places with local taxis so, if a backpack is not your thing, know that you always find a way to bring your luggage too (maybe it’ll be slightly more expensive) 🙂

As a rule of Thumb: Informal & Light

  • Cap or Hat
  • Flip-Flops
  • Swimsuit
  • Light T-shirts or Shirts / Tops
  • Sleeveless Shirts
  • Shorts / Skirts
  • Light dresses
  • 1 Pair of Long Trousers (just in casey, for eventual chilly nights)
  • 1 Hoodie (just in case)
  • 1 Pair of Trainers (for excursions or treks, the rest of time you’ll likely use flip-flops)
  • Socks
  • Underwear

Better to Avoid

  • Heavy Jackets
  • Formal Attire
  • Expensive Jewelry
  • Suncream Protection (bring as much as you need, buying it in Cuba is very pricey ex. 25Euro one bottle)
  • Universal Electricity Adaptor
  • Small bag for daily excursions 
  • Re-usable Water Bottle
  • Sunglasses
  • Beach Towel
  • Chargers
  • Photocamera / Phone / GoPro / Laptop
  • Toiletries
  • Medicines and Prescription Drugs (bring everything you may need, pharmacy products in Cuba vary greatly from time to time and pharmacy, if you have special health needs don’t rely on them, come prepared)
  • Mosquito Repellent
  • Plastic Bag for dirty cloths
  • Passport
  • Cuban Visa (must be done in advance for most countries and given upon immigration, check with the Cuban embassy in your country)
  • Copy of Health Insurance (by law you’re required to have an health insurance, at the airport they ask you for a proof but, as personal experience, they barely watch the confirmation – I could have shown them a shopping list with written “insurance” on top and they would have let me in. Still, better have one as the public health system may not be cover you for unexpected accidents)
  • CASH! Cash is king in Cuba. As card payment is scarcely spread, you almost always will pay in cash! (Refer to Cuba: Local Currencies and The Budget to more info about the two currencies of Cuba, where to change, withdraw and how much cash you’ll need)
  • Copy of your return flight ticket
  • Copy of important documents (suggested)


In Conclusion

Like a gem in the middle of the Caribbean, Cuba is a place for which you don’t need to pack too much, and travel light is surely possible.

The most important advice I can give is related to the documents you should bring with you: be sure to have a health-insurance, get your visa way in advance (it may take several days to release) and no matter what, don’t run out of cash while on the island as your credit cards may not save you!

Last but not least, remember to leave some space in your backpack for souvenirs! Being them old-aged bottles of Cuban rum, authentic Cigars from Vinales, paintings, handicrafts, clothes or decorations for home, for sure in Cuba you’ll find something unique you’ve never seen before that you’ll want to bring with you.

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