Home | Dominican Republic | Write a Review | Blog | Advertise

Dare to bring GPS Unit?

I know GPS units are not allowed in Cuba, but I really want to bring mine to track the flight path, record the bus route and mark some dive sites.

Do I dare try and bring my unit? Has anyone successfully brought in their GPS before, what was your strategy? (This does not include cell phone enabled GPS which I don’t believe has been an issue with customs)

Good Luck!
I little reminder…they xray your carry on and your luggage when you enter Cuba.

hawkowls

I’ve brought my GPS several times and have always been able to sneak it through buried in amongst a bunch of computer stuff.

If they happen to catch it simply pull the dumb tourist act and they’ll confiscate it until until you leave the country. Be sure to fill out the receipt paperwork very carefully, and get everyone’s name. Give yourself at least an extra two hours to retrieve it from Customs - they love to “lose” stuff like this…

Good luck.

Best to leave it home!!! Don’t forget that there will be a busload of very cranky tourists waiting to get to their destination while you are filling out paperwork to leave behind something you knew you shouldn’t have brought!!!

I agree. just leave it.

I was on one of those buses a couple of years ago when a passenger left a walkie talkie in his backpack after a recent ski trip. And because it is only 1 of the set they questioned him for over 1 hour asking where the other one was - thinking of course that someone else had it. Forunately it was nice outside, so we just sat back and relaxed and waited, and waited, and waited :sunglasses:

Agree with the comments above… if you’re sharing transport with a pile of other people then forget it. My advice was for an independent traveler.

[quote=@domeco]I know GPS units are not allowed in Cuba, but I really want to bring mine to track the flight path, record the bus route and mark some dive sites.

[/quote]

I didn’t think you were allowed to use GPS units in flight, or has this changed?

Lots of airlines - including Air Canada and Westjet - officially allow the use of GSPs during flight. I’ve never had a pilot say no to me yet on any airline - even the ones that don’t officially sanction their use.

Anyone know what the reason is for them not wanting GPS in their country?
Come to think of it we sure could have used one when we got lost coming back to Varadero from a day adventure into Havana

We had been to Cuba in Jan. the couple we had travelled with, he forgot to leave the GPS in the car at the airport, long story short it went for the ride to Cuba, there and back with no problems at all.

Gigi, it’s a security issue. They don’t want GPS waypoints being used to direct Miami fast boats taking Cubans off the island, drug smugglers, possible invasion, etc.

Same reason you can’t light a fire on a beach.

OP. It’s illegal. It’s on the list of prohibited items. Leave it at home.

Stick it in your camera bag. If I got thru customs with 2 Cameras, 10 batteries of different sizes, 2 battery chargers, a flash, filters and several video cards, all in one bag and nobody even asked about it,…

The chances of them identifying a GPS in that mix, are about the same as the Leafs winning the Stanley Cup, before my Son is old enough to play for them!
;D ;D ;D

Do you want to take a chance on losing your GPS? I think that might be the bottom line here… (yes, supposedly they will give it back to you…well, maybe) ::slight_smile:

[quote=@domeco]

Do I dare try and bring my unit? Has anyone successfully brought in their GPS before, what was your strategy? (This does not include cell phone enabled GPS which I don’t believe has been an issue with customs)[/quote]

NO, leave it at home!!!

It pains me when others “coach” people on how to try to bring or sneak something into Cuba that is illegal or regulated. IMHO, that’s irresponsible.

Many years ago, not realizing it to be a no-no, we brought a GPS unit which of course was found by the x-ray and confiscated. Lots of paperwork, but we did get it back.

For another trip, we needed a GPS unit as part of several other scientific instruments required to work on a project we had in Cuba. Knowing that GPS unit were restricted, we applied for a special permit from the Cuban government and we were denied.

The average tourist doesn’t need a GPS unit anyways so save yourself and fellow travelers the hassle by leaving it at home.

A “hiker” type GPS would be interesting if you were traveling around in the hinterland but the biggest problem with GPS in Cuba-other than getting it confiscated- is that there are NO MAPS available for the most popular units like Garmin.

I’d leave it home.

CB

Ditto!

read hawkowls report about Cuban Customs agents, then tell me if you want to do something not only questionable. Your in a foreign country, with their own laws, and if you purposely break their laws, and they find out, and you end up in a jail, who ya gonna call…
explain that one to the Canadian Embassy

Seriously, if they confiscate it, and decide they aren’t giving it back…

[quote=@yvrck][quote=@domeco]

Do I dare try and bring my unit? Has anyone successfully brought in their GPS before, what was your strategy? (This does not include cell phone enabled GPS which I don’t believe has been an issue with customs)[/quote]

It pains me when others “coach” people on how to try to bring or sneak something into Cuba that is illegal or regulated. IMHO, that’s irresponsible.
[/quote]

I guess others were wrong to tell Rosa Parks to keep her seat on the bus? The OP asked for possible solutions, and they have been offered, along with the associated risks.

Domenco: Bottom line, take it and play dumb. Yes, there is a possiblity, that it would be confiscated if found, but with the amount of consumer goods regularly imported to Cuba by tourists, the odds are in your favour.

It would be pretty hard to play dumb IMHO - we just received our tickets and printed on the bottom, very clearly it says “For security reasons Satellite, GPS and Walkie Talkies are PROHIBITED in Cuba” ::slight_smile: