People that are planning to travel to Cuba need to obtain a Cuban tourist card or Cuban visa. The Cuban tourist card is valid for 30 days (90 days for Canadian citizens) and can be extended once for the same period. A Cuban tourist card can either be red or green based on the country that you are flying from. It is pink if you are flying from the United States and green if you are flying from other country.
- Cuba Tourist Card or Cuban Visa
- Cuba Tourist Card / Cuban Visa Requirements By Country
- Tips For Getting A Cuban Visa or Cuban Tourist Card
- Cruising To Cuba
- Other Ways To Purchase A Cuba Tourist Card or Cuban Visa
- Traveling To Cuba As An American Citizen
- My Experience With Getting A Cuba Tourist Card
Cuba Tourist Card or Cuban Visa
First things first, in order to get a Cuba Tourist Card or Cuban Visa, you need to have a valid passport that is valid for another 6 months from the date you arrive in Cuba.
Cuba Tourist Card / Cuban Visa Requirements By Country
- Countries That Do Not Need A Cuban Tourist Card or A Cuban Visa To Enter Cuba
Benin, Bosnia, China, Dominica, Grenada, Macedonia, Malaysia, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belarus, Montenegro, Mongolia, Namibia, Saint Kitts, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent, Serbia, Singapore, and Vietnam.
- Countries That Need A Cuban Visa To Enter Cuba
Cameroon, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, India, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Kenya, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sri Lanka
- Countries That Need A Cuban Tourist Card To Enter Cuba
Every other country not listed above including Canada and the United States
Tips For Getting A Cuban Visa or Cuban Tourist Card
To get a Cuban visa or tourist card, you are going to need proof of entry and departure dates from Cuba. The standard requirement is to send a copy of your plane tickets and dates of arrival and departure from Cuba. You can also obtain a tourist card if you are planning to go on a cruise.
After booking a cruise or flight you can purchase a Cuba Tourist Card or Cuban Visa online. You can buy the card online from a website like Easy Tourist Card or iVisa and the card will be shipped to you via DHL. Purchasing your tourist card online will give you the chance to skip the lines at the airport or the hassle of having to purchase one at the airport if you are flying.
The cost will depend on which Cuban visa type you select as well as the processing fee. iVisa and Easy Tourist Card offers a few options for processing depending on how soon you need your Cuban Visa. If you are American, you will purchase the UA Tourist Card, and if you are from another country then you will purchase the International Tourist Card. Do note that the International tourist card is generally cheaper.
At The Airport
If you are flying to Cuba, then you can get a Cuba tourist card / Cuban visa by purchasing it at the airport on the last leg of your trip to Cuba. If you have a direct flight then it can be purchased at the airport prior to boarding your flight. Most airlines offer this service, if you are unsure about the airline you are flying, then make sure to call and ask them prior to purchasing a ticket on that airline. As you can see below, airline visa costs vary widely, so keep that in mind when purchasing a ticket.
- JetBlue – $50 – purchase at the gate
- Southwest – $50 – you can purchase this online and it will be delivered at the gate.
- United – $75 ($50 visa fee + $25 processing fee) – purchase at the gate
- Delta – $50 – purchase at the gate
- American – $85 ($50 visa fee + $35 processing fee) – purchase online and it will be sent in the mail.
- Frontier – $110 ($50 visa fee + $35 processing fee + $25 mailing fee) – purchase online and it will be sent through mail.
- Copa – $25 – purchase at the gate
Flying From Canada: If you are flying from Canada directly to Cuba then the price of the Cuba tourist card is included in the total of your flight and it will be provided to you before you land.
Flying From Mexico: If you are flying from Canada directly to Cuba, the Cuba tourist card will cost $20 US Dollars and you can purchase it at the airport check-in counter. Direct flights to Cuba from Mexico usually depart from Mexico City and Cancun.
Cruising To Cuba
Cruising to Cuba is another great way to enjoy the beauty of Cuba. It is important to note that you do not need a Cuban Visa or Cuban Tourist Card if you do not plan to leave or get off the cruise ship.
When You Board The Cruise Ship: When you cruise with a cruise ship, your Cuban Visa or Cuba Tourist card will be given to you when you board the cruise ship and will cost between $75 and $100 US Dollars. Make sure to hold on to this so you don’t lose it.
- Royal Caribbean – $75 – the cost will be added to your onboard account on the first day after you board the cruise
- Carnival – $75 – this will be offered through the “people-to-people” option when you purchase a shore excursion in Cuba
- Norwegian -$75 – you will not be allowed to board the cruise ship without a Cuban visa or Cuba tourist card.
- Other cruise lines that offer cruises to Cuba are: MSC and Oceania.
Online: Another option is to purchase your Cuban Visa online. If you scroll back up to the online option, a few websites are noted to make this process easier for you.
Other Ways To Purchase A Cuba Tourist Card or Cuban Visa
Prices will vary between $20 and go cost up to $75 US Dollars for a Cuba Tourist Card or Cuban Visa.
Travel agents working with a travel agency can also get a Cuba Tourist Card or Cuban Visa for you when you book with them. Prices will vary as they may charge an extra fee for this service.
Traveling To Cuba As An American Citizen
When traveling to Cuba as an American Citizen, you have to choose one of these options below in order to be able to visit Cuba.
- Visiting family in Cuba
- Official business of the U.S. government, foreign governments, and certain intergovernmental organizations
- Journalistic activity
- Professional research and professional meetings
- Educational activities, including People-to-People exchange programs
- Religious activities
- Public performances, clinics, workshops, athletic and other competitions, and exhibitions
- Support for the Cuban people
- Humanitarian projects
- Activities of private foundations or research or educational institutes
- Exportation, importation, or transmission of information or information materials
- Certain authorized export transactions
Support for the Cuban people is generally the best and easiest option to go with. Just make sure that you do support the Cuban people by staying at a local casa (home owned by Cubans), eat at local restaurants and purchase items from locally owned shops.
My Experience With Getting A Cuba Tourist Card
- We traveled to Cuba on United Airlines.
- Our flight had a layover in Houston, and we purchased our Cuba Tourist Card at the United counter with cash prior to boarding our flight to Cuba.
- Our Cuba Tourist Card cost us $75 each – $50 for the visa and $25 for the processing fee – Total for Cuba Tourist Card = $300
- We purchased our tickets to Cuba the day before we traveled and had no issue getting a Cuban Tourist Card and flying into Cuba.
If you have any other questions about getting a Cuban Visa, please do not hesitate to ask me below.
Booking Your Trip – Tips & Tricks
How To Book Cheap Flights When You Travel
If you are looking to book the cheapest flights you can possibly find on the internet, then make sure to use Skyscanner when searching for flights. Don’t forget to download the Free Skyscanner App also which is very handy. This is how I was able to get $12.40 airfare from Los Angeles to London, as well as $9.40 airfare from London to Italy.
How To Book Affordable Accommodation When You Travel
When booking accommodation, TripAdvisor is the way to go because you can read reviews and see photos from other travelers to get a feel of where you will be staying. Other great sites to book hotels are HotelsCombined, Booking.com and Hotels.com. Don’t forget to check HomeAway and VRBO for house and villa rentals too. Perfect for when you travel with a large family, and also to save money when hotels are expensive. Another favorite of mine is BookVIP – they offer huge resort savings.
How To Book Activities When You Travel
My favorite website to search for activities, tours and especially skip the line tickets is Viator and Get Your Guide. This makes trip planning so much easier because you don’t have to search several sites as both websites have several options to choose from. Same also goes with TripAdvisor Attractions – you can search and book activities as well as read reviews.
How To Book Rental Cars When You Travel
Instead of checking every single website, I use RentalCars.com, Car Rental 8 and Skyscanner Car Rentals to find car rentals all over the world with just one click. If you plan to park at the airport, visit Airport Parking and make a reservation.
Why Travel Insurance Is a Must When You Travel
People book trips and forget the most important part, purchasing travel insurance. Because we travel often, I purchase our travel insurance through Allianz for a year at a time which means that we are covered for all trips within that year. Travel insurance will protect you and your family against theft, injury illness, flight cancellations and so much more. It is a MUST!
Looking to save even more money when you travel?
Visit my Travel Resources page to see all the reliable and trustworthy brands that I use to book my travel with. I only recommend brands that I’ve used and can vouch for, so you’re in good hands! ? Also check out these posts below:
- How To Save Money On Flights
- Best Websites To Find Cheap Flights & Error Fares
- Tips On How To Make Travel Affordable For Families
Top Travel With Kids Tips
Traveling with kids and have a few questions you need answers too, these posts below will help your trip run smooth.