Cuba power adapters - what plugs are used in Cuba?

Cuban power outlet

What adapter do I need for Cuba?

You will need to bring a Type C plug adapter [3] to Cuba if the plug you intend on using doesn't fit into a Cuban power outlet.

The type of plug adapter, converter or charger that you'll need when visiting Cuba will all depend on the voltage and type of device that you're trying to charge in a Cuban power outlet. If you're unclear about what voltage your device uses then please read the section below on how can you tell if you have a dual voltage or single voltage device before going any further.

  • If you are visiting Cuba from America then we recommend using a power adapter for Cuba because US Type A or B outlets might not readily be used.
  • If your device can run on 110 volts or is dual voltage and the plug fits in a Cuban power outlet then it can work in Cuba without needing a plug adapter.
  • If your device can run on 110 volts or is dual voltage but your plug won't fit in a Cuban power outlet you will need to bring a suitable plug adapter for Cuba such a Type C plug adapter [3]. Please Note that a plug adapter for Cuba (or power adapter) is designed to change the actual shape of the plug on your device to fit into a plug outlet found in Cuba, but won't change the voltage from 110 volts to a different voltage.
  • If your device doesn't run on 110 volts and isn't dual voltage you'll also need a power converter for Cuba to convert the voltage from 110 volts to the correct voltage for your device. You will still need to use a suitable plug adapter for Cuba if your power converter doesn't include the correct Type C plug adapter.
  • If you want to charge USB devices such as a mobile phone or a tablet then a USB travel power adapter will be ideal and it should be dual voltage, however make sure that you choose to bring a USB travel adapter which includes a Type C plug adapter otherwise you'll still need to use a suitable plug adapter for Cuba.
  • Excessive use of a phone during a vacation to Cuba could create an additional drain on the battery therefore you should pack a portable charger [4] if you need to keep your phone battery charged throughout the day whilst travelling to an unfamiliar location.

Warning: If your device won't handle 110 volts you run the potential risk of damage to your device, an electrical fire hazard or a blown fuse. Before attempting to use your device in Cuba check the instruction manual to ensure safe operation.

Cuba power adapters

Power adapters for Cuba

If you are packing for a holiday to Cuba it can be useful to know if you can use your devices when you get there. Without knowing which power supply is being used in Cuba you are more likely to bring the wrong charger, leaving you having to buy or borrow a suitable adaptor when you need to recharge. Varying complicated standards and voltages can all be confusing when planning on staying in a foreign country, especially to the first time traveller. With only a handful of different types of plug sockets used in the world this article shows exactly what you'll need in advance to charge your device in Cuba. This page contains links to simple instructions which shows exactly which power adapters you'll need to charge your devices when travelling to Cuba using the standard C, A or B type Cuban 110 volt 60Hz plug outlets, most Cubans will use the Type C sockets in their wall outlets. Most power adapters will vary regionally therefore we recommend reading our Wiki Connections world power adapters list for a complete list showing charging devices in different regions and countries.

What is the best power adapter for Cuba?

The best power adapter for Cuba will be a Type C power adapter [3] which allows you to use any 110 volt appliance or device.

What is the best power adapter for Cuba?

What is a power adapter for a Cuban power outlet?

Power adapters are compact and lightweight plastic adapters which permit a different shaped power plug from a different region to easily fit into a Cuban power outlet.

Also known as: an electrical adapter, plug adapter, travel adapter, electrical adaptor, mains travel adapter or power adaptor [5].

What does a power adapter for a Cuban power outlet do?

A power adapter enables a visitor from another country to use their own electronic devices in Cuba simply by adapting the shape of the plug from one shape to another.

Will a power adapter change the voltage in Cuba?

No, a power adapter only adapts the shape of a plug to fit into a 110 volt Cuban power outlet and can't convert to a higher voltage. Should you wish to safely use any 220, 230 or 240 volt appliance then you also need to bring a step up power converter for Cuba along with the right type of adapter.

Do I need a power adapter in Cuba?

This will depend on the type of plug you want to use and the location you are travelling from.

Do I need a plug adapter if I'm visiting Cuba from the US?

An American Type A or Type B outlet might not commonly be available in Cuba so it is recommended to use a suitable power adapter for Cuba.

Where can I buy a power adapter for Cuba?

Power adapters for sale in an airport

Where can I buy a power adapter for Cuba?

Power adapters are typically available in most major airports prior to departure, however the range of adapters might be limited to popular destinations. It is recommended to research the exact type of adapter required prior to shopping at the airport. Look in the travel accessories section of airport newsagents, electronic stores and pharmacists but expect to pay 50% more than regular prices. Airports will be your last chance to buy a power adapter before departure, always check the returns policy to ensure you can easily exchange or refund a faulty or unsuitable product in an airside shop.

On arrival power adapters can be found in local electrical high street shops and drug stores, but always check the build quality first as safety standards might be different in a foreign country as this is important when dealing with electrical goods. Keep in mind that a shopping trip searching for power adapters in an unknown location might be impractical, especially as this needs to happen quickly before batteries run out.

Hotel receptions could have a power adapter for sale, hire or as a complimentary extra for guests; however, availability is normally limited and a hotel might not have the exact type required for your country. If in doubt, call ahead to the hotel first and request a reservation as it is unlikely that an adapter will be found in your room on arrival.

It will more convenient and cheaper to buy the correct power adapter in advance of your trip. High street stores normally sell popular types of travel adapters to popular locations and for widest choice it is recommended to buy a power adapter online.

Cuba power outlets and plug sockets

What plug sockets are used in Cuba?

Type A, B and C power outlets

What plug sockets are used in Cuba?

There are three types of power supply used in Cuba, types C, A and B with the primary power outlets being type C socket:

  • Plug Type A - You can identify the power outlet by the 2 thin adjacent slots next to each other where the twin plug socket blades slide into.
  • Plug Type B - The power outlet (also known as a type B power outlet) is recognised by two slots for live and neutral blades with a semicircle hole below for the slightly long ground pin.
  • Plug Type C - This ungrounded power socket is recognised by two adjacent holes next to each other for live and neutral.

Do US plugs work in Cuba?

Maybe with certain power outlets that are available in Cuba; but we suggest using all types of power adapters for Cuba as an American Type A or Type B power outlet might not commonly be found.

What frequency is used in a Cuban power outlet?

The frequency of the alternating current in a Cuban power outlet is 60 Hz.

Is a power outlet for the Caribbean the same as a Cuban power outlet?

The Caribbean

Is a power outlet for the Caribbean the same as a Cuban power outlet?

Various islands in The Caribbean use different standards of voltages and power outlet types, a plug that can be used in Cuba might not operate or fit in another island. If you are visiting more than one island in The Caribbean it is advised to either bring a multiple power adapter travel set [7] containing every type of power adapter, or a smaller single international travel plug adapter [8] as both these options should ensure you're covered for most different power outlet types which you might find.

As different islands in The Caribbean use different standards of voltages and power outlet types, a plug that works with a Cuban power outlet might not operate with an electrical outlet on another island. If you need further details on what to expect we've put together a similar guide to this page for every Caribbean island: Anguilla, Antigua, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Barbuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Cuba, Curacao, Dominican Republic, Dominica, Grenada, Grenadines, Guadeloupe, Haiti, Jamaica, Martinique, Montserrat, Nevis, Puerto Rico, Saint Kitts, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent, Tobago, Trinidad and US Virgin Islands.

Is the voltage in Cuba the same as the US?

Americans use 120 volts however the voltage used in Cuba is 110 volts. Although these are very similar please check the voltage on your US charger or appliance supports a voltage range between 100 to 127 volts or that it is dual voltage.

How do I use a 220 volt appliance in Cuba?

To use a 220V, 230V or 240V appliance in Cuba you need to use a step up power converter.

Is a Cuban power outlet the same as in the US?

Although US Type A or B power outlets might possibly be available in Cuba it is advisable to bring a suitable plug adapter for Cuba, however both the voltage range and frequency are the identical to America.

What is access to electricity in Cuba like?

100% of population in Cuba has access to electricity.

How reliable is the electricity in Cuba?

While stable power can't be guaranteed, electricity in Cuba is reliable with no pattern of recurrent power blackouts in comparison to other countries.

Should I pack a portable charger for Cuba?

A power bank

Should I pack a portable charger for Cuba?

While power cuts aren't regular with electricity being available to the entire population, visitors should still bring a power bank to recharge cell phones and other devices.

  • During a trip increased use of cell phones for taking photographs, storing calendars, sat nav, social network sharing and staying entertained could syphon off power more excessively than normal. A flat cell phone battery could possibly leave you without adequate power to make an emergency call or being able to use a satellite navigation app to find your way back to accommodation or hotel. Bringing along a power bank [4] alleviates those concerns as it allows you to power up your cell phone on the go.
  • A 10,000mAh portable charger [4] can supply enough energy to power over 3 full charges and a 20,000mAh portable charger [11] should keep a typical smart phone charged for almost seven days.
  • Providing that your laptop has a USB-C charging port then a portable charger for a laptop [12] marked with PD (power delivery) that supplies 20Wh or more can be used to extend the battery life of that laptop in Cuba. Before travelling please note that some airlines don't allow you take power banks on an aircraft with more than 100Wh of power and must be kept in carry-on luggage only.
  • Consumer portable chargers won't work with high powered items, but a rechargeable hair dryer [9] or gas hair straighteners [10] are ideal for travelling.
Do solar battery chargers work in Cuba?

Solar backpacks are ideal in hot conditions

Do solar battery chargers work in Cuba?

The climate in Cuba will be adequate enough to charge solar power bank [14] dependably, but needs to be exposed to strong sunshine in order to provide enough energy for a single charge. This may prove inconvenient to continually unpack a solar power bank then wait whilst it recharges in sunny spells.

  • Instead, the larger solar panels found on a solar backpack [13] will give the bag the ability to create more electricity within a faster period of time, meaning they should perform well in Cuba.
  • Phones that are directly plugged into the USB port of a solar backpack will gradually top up the battery during sunny periods in Cuba, but this could be inconvenient to have it continuously tethered to the bag during the day should it be used constantly. Unlike a handheld solar power bank which requires unpacking facing the sunlight, a solar bag is more often exposed to light so can be recharging a regular power bank [4] during the day.
  • Even though the sunlight in Cuba is strong, a bag should have a solar cell efficiency of at least 22%, can generate at least 6 watts of power and be used with a 10,000mAH power bank or greater. Unlike normal firm solar cells, the flexible and durable cells used in solar powered bags have been designed to endure scratching and bending. Solar bags are found in rucksack, backpack and messenger styles which makes them ideal for travel, work and domestic use.

Sources

  • International Electrotechnical Commission - World plugs by location (cited August 2014)
  • Wikipedia - Mains electricity by country (cited July 2014)
  • Index Mundi - Power outages in a typical month (cited May 2018, data collected between 2006 to 2017)
  • Index Mundi - Access to electricity (cited May 2018, latest data collected 2010)
  • WikiPedia - List of countries by average yearly temperature (cited May 2018, data averaged between 1961 to 1990)

Cuba chargers

What is a USB travel power charger?

A USB travel charger is a dual voltage charger with interchangeable plugs and multiple USB ports, suitable for charging multiple USB powered devices when travelling abroad.

What USB charger do I need for Cuba?

When travelling with more than just one device and visiting more than one country the best international travel charger for Cuba to buy is a multiple USB adapter which includes compatible plugs like a 4 port USB travel charger [15]. There are three different types of plug sockets in Cuba (C, A and B) and using a power adapter like this will ensure that you are covered for both types A and C. Because these types of chargers are supplied with interchangeable plugs and can handle 100 volts - 240 volts will mean you can travel to multiple countries in Europe, Asia, North America and Africa simply by changing the included plugs over. If your device can support Fast Charge (note that not all USB devices can) then you will benefit from quicker recharging times with one of these types of USB power adapters, plus additional support for certain power hungry devices.

Unlike other travel chargers having a 4 port charger will allow you to charge multiple devices at the same time without needing to pack individual travel chargers on your Cuban trip. Only needing a single lightweight travel charger will also keep the size down, making it ideal to fold up and store in hand luggage while travelling as well as being convenient for recharging your devices at an airport or on the flight. Due to their versatility these types of chargers can be used at home not just abroad so when you're not travelling they can sit overnight charging multiple phones and tablets without needing an additional power outlet.

We recommend buying a flexible travel charger of this nature online; the multipurpose power adapter illustrated here is the 4 Port USB Wall Charger [15] which has been successfully tested with multiple USB devices in numerous foreign countries with good reliably.

What USB charger do I need for Cuba?

Why use a travel USB charger for Cuba?

  • Typically travel USB chargers include multiple USB charger ports, this means that you now only need to bring one charger to charge all your devices. It helps reduce the size and weight of your baggage by only packing one USB wall charger rather than needing to bring numerous individual USB chargers along.
  • Most travel USB power chargers include swappable plug heads for various regions thereby making them ideal when travelling to other countries across North America which are likely to use different standards to Cuba.
  • A good USB charger is lightweight, compact and rugged - perfect for rigors of travel rather than risking bringing along a domestic charger which could be impossible to repair in Cuba.
  • USB travel chargers will accept the 110 volts used in Cuba power outlets plus other voltage standards in other countries.
  • There is a possibility that hotel bedrooms or accommodation in Cuba only have a single wall outlet, by bringing a travel charger with multiple USB ports means you can share the single wall outlet with family or other traveler instead of having to wait to recharge each device one by one.
  • Due to their flexible nature a travel USB charger takes the uncertainty out of travelling to any unknown destination as they are guaranteed to work practically anywhere around the world.
  • Power outlets found in airports are often scarce and the demand for charging multiple devices from other passengers during departure can be high, so a USB travel charger with multiple ports and the ability to charge quickly is perect.
  • Some countries power grids are unstable, a good quality travel charger allows for unexpected surges and prevents damage to any devices attached to it. Trying to repair an overloaded mobile phone or tablet in Cuba might prove to be inconvenient and expensive.
  • Premium USB chargers should also include power outlet strips to allow you to plug in low wattage devices such as laptops, but note these are unsuitable for high powered appliances such as hair dryers or clothes irons. Read our section on using travel appliances with a Cuban power outlet for advice on the most suitable power adapter to use with a Cuban power outlet for high powered appliances.
  • Certain tablets and cell phones could pull more than the normal 500 mA (milliamps) supplied by a normal 5 volt USB power adapter to charge or provide fast charge. Ensure that the USB power adapter can support fast charging should some of your devices need additional power.
  • Travel USB chargers can still be useful when returning home by charging multiple cell phones every night using a single power outlet.

What is the best USB charger for Cuba?

The is the most compact option for travellers from around the world wanting to recharge devices via USB, however for visitors also wishing to use their domestic plugs the following power strips provide larger but more versatile solutions. All 3 power converters offer surge protection which is necessary for travellers to counties with unreliable or unstable power grids. These power converters are supplied with interchangeable type C, I and G plugs covering both Cuba and over 150 destinations:

  • BESTEK Portable International Travel Voltage Converter - The BESTEK travel adaptor has 4 USB charging ports with 3 AC power outlets and is the most popular portable option for travellers originating from America going to Cuba.
  • ORICO Traveling Outlet Surge Protector Power Strip - Likewise having 4 USB ports but only 2 AC power outlets the travel adapter from Orico is also aimed at travellers originating from the US using type B plugs. This gives practically the same set of features as the BESTEK with 1 less AC outlet for almost half price.
  • BESTEK International USB Travel Power Strip - This power strip has 2 AC outlets but offers a flexible 5 USB charging ports. This versatile power strip is compatible with both American plugs and popular plug types A, D,E/F, G, H, I, L and N making it perfect for a wide range of travellers from around the world visiting Cuba.

Power converters for Cuba

What is a power converter?

A power converter allows you to use a 220-240 volt electric appliance with a 110 volt Cuban power outlet.

Also known as: electrical converter, electrical transformer, voltage converter, power transformer or voltage transformer.

What is the difference between a plug adapter and a power converter for Cuba?

A small, cheap and lightweight power adapter (or plug adapter) changes the shape of the plug on your device to fit into a power outlet in Cuba, however a heavier and more expensive power converter [16] converts a 110 volt Cuban power outlet to work with a non-110 volt appliance.

Do I need a power converter for Cuba?

If visiting Cuba from a different country please check that your device will accept a 110 volt power supply.

  • You will need a step up power converter [17] if you are visiting Cuba from a country that uses 220-240 volts and your device or appliance isn't compatible with 110 volts. See our world power outlets page to discover the voltage is used in your country.
  • You won't need a power converter if you are already using either a single voltage appliance that works with 110 volts or one that supports dual voltage.
  • Typically, electrical devices which come from a country which use a higher voltage (for example 220 volts) and then used in a 110 volt power outlet may take longer to charge or simply won't turn on. If your device charges slowly or does not power up when you are visiting Cuba from a different region then check that it can be used with a 110 volt power outlet or you will need to use a step up power converter [17].
  • You don't need a converter if you are attempting to power a smaller electrical device such as a laptop as these are normally designed for international use and dual voltage, however you should always check the device for dual voltage support first.
  • For supplying power to high wattage appliances or generate heat (for example hair straighteners and curling irons) then you will need to use a bulkier higher wattage heavy duty power converter [18].
  • It might be more cost effective to purchase a robust lightweight dual voltage travel appliance than carrying a much heavier power converter to Cuba just to use your existing domestic appliance.
  • Read our comprehensive guides on how to use clothes irons, curling irons, hair straighteners and hair dryers in Cuban power outlets , along with recommendations on some affordable dual voltage alternatives.

Will I need a power converter if I'm travelling to Cuba from America?

A US plug won't require a power converter because the voltage in Cuba is in the same 100-120V range as America.

What converter do I need for Cuba?

In order to use any 220, 230 or 240 volt appliance in Cuba you need to use a step up power converter [17].

What voltage does Cuba use?

Cuba uses 110 volts in their normal power outlets.

How to convert 110 volts to 220 volts

  1. Use a step up power converter [17] to allow you to use 220, 230 and 240 volt appliances with a 110 volt Cuban power outlet.
  2. If the power converter doesn't include the correct shaped plug then it will also be necessary to plug in the power cord from the power converter into a power adapter for Cuba before plugging that into a Cuban power outlet.
  3. Some power converters include the ability to perform both step up and step down voltage conversions, therefore it may be necessary to manually switch the converter to output the voltage from 220-240v.
  4. Plug your appliance into the converter and turn the power on, your 220-240 volt appliance can now be used with a 110 volt Cuban power outlet.
What is the difference between a power converter and a power transformer?

Voltage converter

What is the difference between a power converter and a power transformer?

Converters and transformers are both used to change one voltage to another, but this ambiguity can cause confusion as their purposes are different:

  • Power converters are designed for simple electrical appliances which typically generate heat or use motors such as clothes irons, shavers or hair dryers. Transformers are designed for more complex electronic items such as televisions or games consoles.
  • Buying a power converter is cheaper than buying a power transformer.
  • Power transformers are larger and heavier making them more suited for permanent residential use; for example an expat wishing to use an imported television would need to use a transformer for this purpose.
  • Power converters are more suitable for travellers wishing to bring domestic appliances abroad such as hair dryers or flat irons. However, it is more practical and cost effective to purchase a dual voltage appliance designed for travel rather than a heavier power converter.
  • Power converters are suitable for 2 pin ungrounded appliances, it could be harder to find a converter if you want to use a grounded 3 pin appliance.
  • Transformers can be used constantly however it is recommended that converters are used for no longer than a couple of hours at a time.
  • Shops may sell transformers under the name of converters, for the purposes this guide we will be referring to both converters and transformers as converters.
How to tell the voltage of your device

Dual voltage hair straighteners

How to tell the voltage of your device

One method to tell if your appliance is dual voltage is to check for a sticker on the power adapter or on the appliance itself, typically near to where the power cord goes. This location will depend on the make or model of your appliance, it could also be written on the box or in the instruction manual.

  • Single voltage devices could have a specific number - such as 110V.
  • Single voltage devices could also say a small voltage range (around 20 volts) with a dash to accomodate small voltage fluctuations - such as 220-240V.
  • Dual voltage devices will say a large range separated with a slash - such as 110/240V.

What can I connect to a Cuban power outlet?

Travel appliances that can connect to a Cuban power outlet

Beats Pill speakers which can connect to a Cuban power outlet

Jabra Bluetooth speakers which are compatible with a Cuban power outlet

Mobile phones which can be connected to the Cuban power outlet

Apple iPhones which can be connected to the Cuban power outlet

Samsung Galaxy phones that can connect to a Cuban power outlet

A list of Amazon Kindle tablets which can connect to a Cuban power outlet

A list of Apple iPads which are compatible with a Cuban power outlet

Corrections

We endeavor to ensure all details on this page are correct and relevant to travelers visiting Cuba, if you wish to contribute any useful information or feedback please email travel@wikiconnections.org. For more comprehensive technical details visit the Wikipedia page on AC power plugs and sockets [20].

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuba - Cuban Wikipedia page.
  2. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/ - International Electrotechnical Commission World Plugs
  3. Type C plug adapter - Allows appliances to connect to Type C power outlets without converting voltage.
  4. Portable charger - A power bank is a portable charger which can recharge USB powered devices such as mobile phones and tablets on the go.
  5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adapter - power adaptor
  6. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mains_electricity_by_country - WikiPedia - Mains electricity by country
  7. Multiple power adapter travel set - international travel plug adapter set .
  8. Portable international travel plug adapter - AC Wall Charger with 2 USB sockets and outlets for US, UK, Australia and European power plugs which works in over 150 countries.
  9. Rechargeable hair dryer - Rechargeable battery powered blow dryer suitable for travelling.
  10. Gas hair straighteners - Cordless ceramic hair straighteners powered by gas cartridges.
  11. 20,000mAh portable charger - High capacity 20000mAh high-speed portable USB charger suitable for charging mobile phones and some tablets for several days.
  12. USB-C PD power bank - Power Delivery charger suitable for charging laptops with USB-C support.
  13. Solar backpack - A solar backpack will charge USB devices or an internal power bank when left in sunlight.
  14. Solar power bank - Portable power bank with solar cells which can recharge when placed in sunlight and power any USB powered device.
  15. 4 Port USB Wall Charger - A universal USB charger capable of charging up to 4 USB devices with swappable international adapters.
  16. Power converter - A step up step down power converter converts 110-120 volts up to 220-240 volts and 220-240 volts down to 110-120 Volts.
  17. Step up power converter - A step up power converter allows a 220-240 volt appliance to be used in a 100-120 volt power outlet.
  18. Heavy duty power converter - A 5000 watt heavy duty step up and step down power converter used to convert voltages for domestic appliances, power tools, televisions, heating appliances and motors.
  19. Step down power converter - A step down power converter allows a 100-120 volt appliance to be used in a 220-240 volt power outlet.
  20. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AC_power_plugs_and_sockets - AC power plugs and sockets