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Australia to Cuba – Simple, Easy and Quick!

Why make it complicated to get into Cuba from Australia when there is no need to! Here’s our easy guide for getting to Cuba from Australia in the easiest and shortest possible time.

A safe and friendly country, tourism is Cuba’s main industry with more and more Australians (and other tourists) making up a large number of the visitors to this beautiful Caribbean island.

Many Australians are drawn to Cuba by the possibility of adventure and the rich and varied history that Cuba has to offer. The minute you arrive in Cuba you’ll immediately feel like you’ve stepped back into the 1950’s, old cars, architecture, Cuban music and much, much more.

So, how do you get to Cuba without the hassle from Australia?

Australia to Cuba – Simple, Easy and Quick!

Storitella Travelling Across Cuba in an Old 50's Car known as a Colectivo

  1. Book a return flight to Los Angeles from your capital city (in our case Sydney) – a 14 hour flight.
  2. Before you go ensure you organise and get your passbook stamped with a USA ESTA visa (90 days) – this allows you to enter and stay in the USA, if you wish. We chose to stop over for a few days and check out the LA scene. (NOTE: If you don’t have an ESTA you will NOT be allowed to enter the USA and sent back home however if you’re just transiting you won’t need an ESTA.)
  3. Book a return flight to Cuba (Havana) flying from Los Angeles (LA) to Panama City (6.35 hour flight) then onto Cuba (you can also go via Mexico). We chose to go via Panama (2.40 hour flight to Havana) because flight times suited us better.
  4. You will change planes in Panama Airport (Aeropuerto Internacional de Tocumen) and when you hop out at the airport the Cuba flight gate is right next door as you walk into the airport. There is a booth at the Cuba flight gate where you just buy your $20 AUD Cuban visa (30 days) for your passport.
  5. Done, you’re on your way to Cuba… how easy is that!

A Summary of Simple, Quick and Easy to Cuba from Australia

Storitella in Cuba Local Train Day Trip and Local Musicians Entertain

So, in summary here it is:

  • 23.15 hours to Havana, Cuba…
    • Sydney to Los Angeles (LA) 14 hours
    • LA to Panama City 6.35 hours
    • Panama City to Havana, Cuba 2.40 hours
  • If you plan to stop over in LA you will need an ESTA
  • Don’t forget to get your visa at Panama Airport before boarding your Cuba flight – $20 AUD

What else do I need to know on arriving in Cuba?

Storitella in Cuba Trinidad Local Transport

  • Organise your money before you leave. We suggest Canadian dollars or Euro whatever the best rate is at the time of booking NOT $US dollars. There are 2 currencies in Cuba:
    • Cuban Peso Nacional (CUP) for locals
    • Cuban Convertible Peso (CUC) for foreigners
    • Cash is king, carry small dollars and coins
  • Exchange a small amount of dollars into Cuban money at the airport on arrival (it’s more expensive to change at the airport but you will need some CUC to get your taxi to your accommodation)
  • We booked our first nights’ accommodation before we left
  • We booked a driver through our accommodation to pick us up from the airport before we left

Also, check out our ‘Quick 20 Tips When Visiting Cuba’ and ‘A Fun Way to Travel Across Cuba’ blogs here.

Enjoy Cuba!

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