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Before You Go

Recommended Vaccinations

Check you are up-to-date on routine vaccinations before you go to Cuba. Also, check travel advisories on your country's government website regarding current health warnings.

Health Insurance

Since May 2010, Cuba has made it obligatory for all foreign visitors to have medical insurance. Random checks are made at the airport, so ensure you bring a printed copy of your policy.

Should you end up in hospital, call Asistur for help with insurance and medical assistance.

Outpatient treatment at international clinics is reasonably priced, but emergency and prolonged hospitalization gets expensive (the free medical system for Cubans should only be used when there is no other option).

Should you have to purchase medical insurance on arrival, the costs are from CUC$3 per day for coverage of up to CUC$25,000 in medical expenses (for illness) and CUC$10,000 for repatriation of a sick person.

Tap Water

Tap water in Cuba is not reliably safe to drink and outbreaks of cholera have been recorded in recent years. Bottled water called Ciego Montero rarely costs more than CUC$1, but is sometimes not available in small towns. Stock up in the city if you're going on a long bus or car journey.

Medical Services

Most of Cuba's specialist hospitals offering services to visitors are based in Havana.

Havana's main hospital for foreigners is the Clínica Central Cira García in Playa.

Asistur offers emergency help for tourists. Someone on staff should speak English; the emergency center here is open 24 hours.

Hospital Nacional Hermanos Ameijeiras Special hard-currency services, general consultations and hospitalization. Enter via the lower level below the parking lot off Padre Varela (ask for CEDA in Section N).

Centro Oftalmológico Camilo Cienfuegos Head straight here if you have eye problems.


There are 10 international pharmacies in Havana selling products in convertibles (CUC$). The handiest for travelers are at Hotel Habana Libre, Hotel Sevilla, Guanabo, and in Playa at Calle 20 No 4104 and Calles 20 and 43.

Farmacia Taquechel In Habana Vieja.