Written by Kieran

Drinking Tap Water In Cuba

Don’t drink the tap water in Cuba. Here’s what you should do for drinking water in Cuba and everything you ...

Don’t drink the tap water in Cuba. Here’s what you should do for drinking water in Cuba and everything you should know about using the tap water in Cuba.

Can You drink The Tap Water In Cuba?

The tap water in Cuba has a very high mineral content and can be contaminated with heavy metals due to old and dilapidated plumbing. Lead plumbing still exists and is common in Cuba. And you can get lead poisoning from older pipes.

The high mineral content in Cuba’s tap water can lead to the development of kidney stones and other painful conditions. If you let the tap water dry out you will see the white crusty powder that forms as the water evaporates.

Generally, the tap water in Cuba is treated for bacteria and microorganisms by the state owned water corporation. So bacteria and microorganisms are less of a concern than the minerals and heavy metal contaminates.

What Can I Use The Tap Water For?

It’s safe to shower, brush your teeth, do laundry or clean dishes with the tap water in Cuba. For consumption (swallowing) you should choose to either filter your tap water or buy bottled water.

The tap water in Argentina or other LATAM countries often tastes atrocious but is generally safe to drink if you’re desperate. Yet unlike these countries Cuban water should never be consumed straight from the tap. You should never drink it, cook with it or swallow it.

If you use Cuban water in your coffee maker, you may even find that you need to purchase your Cuban airbnb hosts a new coffee maker when the minerals and heavy metals block the machine and cause it to break down.

Where To Get Drinking Water In Cuba?

Bottled water can be found everywhere. Bottled water is easily accessible in Cuba and you should stick to drinking bottled water.

A bottle (600ml) of water costs 110 CUP as I write this. 110CUP is approximately $0.66US cents. So you should budget approximately $2USD per day for drinking water in Cuba.

In Cuban ‘casa particulares’ (Airbnb’s) there will often be water filters. These are large glass jugs like the one in my casa pictured below.

To use these water filters you place the tap water in the top. And the filter element scrubs out all the minerals and heavy metals as the water makes its way to the lower compartment. The water from these water filters is generally safe to drink.

Water filter in Havana Cuba

Do I Need A Filter Straw Or Filtered Water Bottle In Cuba?

Most travel blogs recommend taking a water purification straw or filtered water bottle. And they will drop affiliate links so you can go and buy a filtered water bottle or straw from places like Amazon. You should not buy these items or take them with you to Cuba.

Bottled water is plentiful and cheap. And anyone wearing a $20 filter straw around their necks or carrying a self-purifying water bottle is going to be a target for scams while in Cuba. It’s an obvious mark of someone who knows nothing about Cuba and is ‘fresh’ to the island.

The scammers and street hustlers (jineteros) will pick-up on your naiveté if you’re carrying a filter bottle or life straw and they will become much more annoying. You’ll be marked out as a sucker and they will try harder to scam you.

Where Can I Get More Information About Cuba?

I’ve made my Complete Guide To Traveling Cuba available on this website. And I recommend you read it before traveling to Cuba. It will help you navigate Cuba and Cuban society.

My Complete Guide To Cuba will save you a lot of time and a significant amount of money on your trip to Cuba. Cuba is not the sort of destination in which you can just arrive unprepared. 

Read the most Complete Guide To Traveling Cuba here.

Kieran Proctor author at and tattoo

About The Author

I’m Kieran and I write & manage ‘In Lovely Blue’. I was born and raised in Brisbane, Australia. I moved to the beautiful and sunny Gold Coast for my undergraduate university studies. Before finally moving to Canberra (the Capital of Australia) to finish my studies and work in the Australian Public Service.