Private day tour in Havana

Easy Guide: How To Get A Tourist Card For Cuba! (2024)

Wondering how to get a tourist card for Cuba (also called a Cuban tourist visa) for your once-in-a-lifetime Cuba holiday?

There are a variety of ways to go about getting a Cuba tourist visa, but rest assured, it is not at all difficult!

I have tried them all, as I have lived in Havana for two years and entered Cuba at least two dozen times, including from the United States, in the last four years.

Here is how!

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What Is A Cuban Tourist Card?

A Cuba tourist card, also called a tourist visa (and “tarjeta del turista” in Spanish), is the physical document you need in order to be able to enter Cuban territory as a tourist or a visitor.

Getting a tourist card for Cuba is a formality and not something you need to apply for and get approved to obtain.

You simply buy it from one of the services that provide the document when you decide to visit Cuba, as having a tourist card is one of the entry requirements set by the Cuban government!

Your Cuban tourist card is valid for one single entry, and you can stay in Cuba for up to 90 days on one visa (it used to be for a 30-day stay, but that has changed).

Here are the easiest ways to get a Cuban tourist card.

5 Best Ways To Get A Tourist Card For Cuba!

Here is the top list:

📍 Buy from the Cuban Embassy or Cuban Consulate in your country
📍
Buy the tourist card from your airline when booking your flight
📍
Buy from selected travel agencies and tour operators
📍
Buy from selected airports upon check in
📍
Buy your Cuban tourist card from a secure online provider.

Then:

  1. Fill in the required information on the tourist card.
  2. Show your tourist card when you check in to your flight.
  3. Show your tourist card when requested upon arrival in Cuba. Your Cuban tourist card is valid for one single entry.
  4. Keep your tourist card with you in Cuba!
  5. Passport control will collect your tourist card when you are leaving Cuba – SO DON’T LOSE IT!

Do I Need A Tourist Card For Cuba?

Yes, you probably do.

There are some nationalities that are exempt from having a visa to visit Cuba, among other travel documents.

Most foreign nationals, including US nationals and every Canadian citizen, need a Cuba tourist card to enter the island.

Americans need the pink tourist card, while the rest of the world needs the green card for entering Cuba.

How Do I Get A Tourist Card For Cuba?

With a Cuban tourist card, you can stay in the country for up to 90 days, and then you are also able to extend for another 90 days.

Online providers:

There are several trustworthy online providers that will send the Cuban visa to your mailbox in as little as 2-3 days.

I normally use Easy Tourist Card, which is super easy and fast payment, and delivers the visa to my address normally within three days.

You will probably also be able to get a tourist card from the nearest Cuban embassy in your country, but that might be a bit more bureaucratic.

Contact the embassy or check out their home page and ask for an application form that you will need to fill out and return to them.

Then, you need to have the payment for the tourist card registered before you can pick it up (if it is in your city), or they send it to your address for a charge.

Also read: Create Awesome Solo Holidays To Cuba In!

You need a Cuban tourist card to enter Cuba and enjoy the beautiful and weird capital Havana! Find out how to get a Cuban tourist card in this article"

Selected Airlines.

Some airlines also provide you with a tourist card; check with yours to find out if that is an option for you.

You will receive the tourist card in a blank form and need to fill out the required information by hand.

While you are in Cuba, you need to keep your filled-out tourist card, as you will be required to show it again when you are leaving the country!

Cuban Embassy or Consulate.

The Cuban Embassy or Consulate in your country probably provides Cuban tourist cards as one of their services. Find their home page and order one if possible, or send an email or call them for information.

Traveling with a travel agency or tour operator.

Travel Agencies and tour operators that offer tours to Cuba normally will have the Cuban tourist card as part of their tour package. If they do not for some reason, they most likely sell the tourist card separately.

Also read: 18 Of The Unquestionably Best Beaches In Cuba!

Tourist Card For Cuba Application Form

If you contact the Cuban embassy in your country, they will probably send you a Cuba tourist card application form to complete and return to the embassy for approval.

Even though it might say application form, it is not an application that can be denied. Getting a tourist card for Cuba is a formality.

This form may be available on the embassy home page.

A private online provider like Easy Tourist Card will have a digital form on the home page, along with immediate payment. This is not an application per se, just an order form.

Just fill in the required fields and provide a photo of the required documentation, and the tourist card will be sent to your home address.

Making cigars the old fashioned way, by hand, in Cuba!
When in Cuba, you need to visit Vinales and find out how they make famous cigars!

Green vs Pink Tourist Card Cuba

Most visitors to Cuba need the standard GREEN tourist card, but US citizens AND visitors traveling via US territory as the last airport before entering Cuba can NOT use the green cards.

US citizens and US transit travelers need the PINK tourist card for entry. The pink card is also, unfortunately, pricier than the green one.

When you order your tourist card, make sure you know your flight itinerary and get the correct one!

Americans are technically not allowed to visit Cuba for tourism purposes but can choose from a list of 12 pre-approved reasons to travel to Cuba without any further application or paperwork.

Most travelers choose “helping the Cuban people” as their reason for travel.

Pre-Approved Reasons For Cuba Travel

You will probably be asked to state your reason for visiting when you book your flight online as part of the booking process and upon check-in at the airport.

Apart from that, you just state your reason for visiting Cuba if anyone asks – it is not more difficult than that!

The restrictions also regulate what accommodations US travelers can use while in Cuba and what services they are not at liberty to use, as defined in the Cuba restricted list.

The short explanation is that Americans are not allowed to visit hotels, restaurants, or shops that are owned by (51% or over) or associated with the Cuban state.

Pro Tip: Get a cute travel duffle bag for the flight that has room for your laptop, a pair of shoes, a pillow, a change of clothes, some toiletries, and the necessities!

I love this one from Bagsmart!

How Long Does A Tourist Card For Cuba Last?

Laz Terrazas just an hour outside Havana! Find out how to get a tourist card for Cuba here and get going with your travel planning - soon you can be here!

After November 1st, 2022, the Cuban regulations changed, and one tourist card for Cuba is now valid for a 90-day entry to the island.

If you want to stay longer than 90 days, you are able to extend the tourist card for another 90 days while in Cuba.

Bring the required documents and go to an immigration office close to where you are staying.

You do not need an appointment to extend your Cuban tourist card; you just show up at the Cuban immigration office, stand in line, and present your mission.

To extend your Cuban tourist card, you need to bring your passport and documentation of valid travel insurance, including health insurance.

Also, bring the booking form and address of the hotel or casa particular you are staying, and documentation of your plane ticket out of the country.

You may extend your tourist card only once, for another 90 days, so you can stay for up to 180 days in Cuba without leaving the island.

Also read: Easy Guide: How To Extend Tourist Card For Cuba 2024!

How Much Does A Tourist Card To Cuba Cost?

Beatles Bar In Trinidad Cuba, the colonial city where the historc center has remained  thesame for centuries!
Beatles Bar In Trinidad, Cuba

From online providers, a green tourist card for Cuba will start around $35, plus shipment. This is the tourist card version most travelers to Cuba need.

The pink tourist card for US citizens card starts at around $85 (pricier due to the situation between the US and Cuba).

If you buy your tourist card at an American airport upon check-in, the pink tourist card will be 100 dollars.

The most hassle-free option is to buy your tourist card from an online provider, like Easy Tourist Card, and have it sent to your home address.

US citizens of Cuban origin will still be considered Cuban nationals upon entry to Cuba within local laws, even if they have a different passport and citizenship. For information about this and regulations for family visits, contact your nearest Cuban embassy.

What Airlines Sell Cuban Tourist Cards?

The old classic cars are still roaming the streets of Havana, running on spare parts made of whatever is available!

Some airlines with international flights to Cuba also offer passengers to buy a Cuban tourist card online before the flight or at certain airports.

The price normally is lower if you buy online in advance before your trip.

American Airlines Cuba Tourist Card

American Airlines has daily flights from Miami (where 70% of the population is Cuban!) to Cuban airports.

At Miami International Airport, you can buy a tourist card for Cuba when you check in with American Airlines or Delta.

Both airlines have direct flights to Cuba.

The price at the American Airlines counter in Miami is $100, a bit pricier than online providers or most embassies, but also super convenient.

If you fly American Airlines from any other destination in the US, do not expect they are familiar with the Cuban tourist card everywhere.

Some people, even staff in airports, are not always familiar with the tourist card layout, rules, online registration, or the 11 pre-approved reasons for travel.

So when you fly to Cuba from an American airport, the best way is to ensure you arrive early and have some extra time to allow any unenlightened staff to catch up with the current rules!

There are still regulations in place for Americans traveling to Cuba, including that US citizens can not use US their credit cards in Cuba.

Air Canada Tourist Card For Cuba

With Air Canada, the Cuban tourist card is included in your flight ticket when you book your trip to Cuba.

The tourist card will be distributed to the passengers during the flight before arrival at your Cuban airport.


Delta Airlines Tourist Card For Cuba

Delta Airlines offers passengers the Cuban tourist card at the final airport you’ll stop at prior to departure for Cuba, including Miami, where you only get the pink Cuba tourist card.

Cuban Tourist Card from JetBlue

You can buy the Cuban Tourist Card from JetBlue at the airport for $50 when you check in.

You’ll need the following in order to buy the tourist card at the airport:

  • Your boarding pass
  • Valid passport at least six months ahead
  • You need to pay with a credit or debit card

Other Visas For Cuba

Street artists in Havana! How to get a tourist card for Cuba in 2023!

If you have other plans than visiting Cuba as a tourist or traveler within one of the 12 US pre-approved reasons for travel to Cuba, you need to apply for an appropriate visa that suits your intentions.

There are a variety of special visas to apply for in order to visit Cuba.

The other types of visa you can apply for to travel to Cuba are:

  • Family visa (A2)
  • Journalist visa (D6)
  • Business visa
  • Work visa (D1)
  • Student visa (D2)
  • Medical treatment visa (D10)

Visa For Long Term Stays In Cuba

Different countries have different requirements for applying for a long-term visa to stay in Cuba in connection with studies, work, or other.

If you are planning a long-term stay in Cuba, you need to contact the nearest embassy or consulate and ask for information on how to go about this.

In order to apply for a long-term stay in Cuba, you normally will have to provide the following:

  • A certificate of police clearance from your country, issued within the past three months and legalized
  • Medical screening, including blood tests, AIDS tests, and radiographic examinations of the thorax. The results cannot be older than six months and must be legalized.
  • A letter that states the reason for the application
  • Any relevant documents connected to your application, such as marriage certificates, birth certificates, etc.
  • A passport-size photo
  • A photocopy of your passport

Also read: How To Easily Travel To Cuba From The US in!

Calle (street) Habana in Havana city. The name is pelled with a B in Spanish! Get yourself a tourist card for Cuba online, start planning and soon you can be walking the streets of Old Havana!

Do I Need A Passport To Go To Cuba?

Yes, you need a passport to enter Cuba.

Your U.S. passport is valid in Cuba. You must also make sure your passport is valid for at least another six months from the date of entry!

Pre-Arrival Online Registration

You also need to register your entry to the country electronically online prior to arrival.

You will find the registration form here on the D’viajeros page; complete the registration before you go to the airport!

Some airlines will ask to see documentation on this registration in order to complete your check-in, so make sure you don’t forget!

Cuba Travel Insurance Requirement

El Pepe Cafe in Trinidad Cuba is super popular, and serves great Cuban coffee!
El Pepe Cafe in Trinidad Cuba is super popular!

First of all, yes, you need travel insurance to travel to Cuba.

If you are asked to show documentation of travel insurance at the passport control (random checking) and don’t have it, you will be required to buy Cuban travel insurance before you enter the country.

What travel insurance company you choose is up to you, but you need to choose one with COVID-19 coverage and health insurance, as that is mandatory for travel to Cuba.

Travelers to Cuba must provide proof of both medical health coverage and COVID-19 coverage if someone asks.

I use Medical Travel Insurance (IMG), but I have not yet needed their help.

IMG does have excellent reviews throughout from people who have been unlucky and needed their travel insurance provider to step up!

No Covid Restrictions For Travel In Cuba

The hazy hills of Vinales at sunrise are a magig sight!
Vinales Valley at sunrise!

After September 2022, there are no longer any requirements for a PCR test or fully vaccinated status in order to enter Cuba.

You might be required to wear a face mask on your flight, depending on your airline, and you might also be required to wear a face mask in some places in Cuba, like on the Viazul bus.

So remember to bring a packet to be sure!

Do I Need Vaccinations For Cuba?

You are not required to have specific vaccinations to enter Cuba – however.

The general recommendation is that there are some vaccines you should take before your holiday in Cuba.

The CDC and WHO recommend the following vaccines for Cuba:

Hepatitis A, hepatitis B, typhoid, cholera, rabies, meningitis, polio, measles, mumps and rubella (MMR), Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis), chickenpox, shingles, pneumonia, and influenza.

Check with the health authorities in your country whether these recommendations apply to you.


FAQs Cuba Travel

The impossibly stunning beaches in Cuba are among the best ones in the world! Find out how to book your trip, get yourself a tourist card for Cuba, and come visit!

Why are US citizens not allowed to travel to Cuba?

This is NOT correct.

US citizens ARE ALLOWED to travel to Cuba.

Americans can choose a reason for Cuba travel among 12 pre-approved reasons for traveling to Cuba, determined by the US Government.

Can US citizens travel to Cuba as a tourist?

Technically, US citizens are NOT allowed to travel to Cuba as a tourist.

Americans choose between 12 pre-approved reasons for Cuba travel, among which the most common one is “to help the Cuban people”.

U.S. citizens still need to buy a tourist card, also called a tourist visa, to enter Cuba.

What are the 12 requirements to travel to Cuba?

You can read about the 12 pre-approved reasons to travel to Cuba for US citizens here.

The easiest and most common reason for Cuba travel is “to help the Cuban people”. There is no paperwork or application process connected to this, you just choose your reason and state that reason if anyone asks.

What happens if a U.S. citizen travels to Cuba?

Nothing happens if a U.S. citizen travels to Cuba, hopefully, the U.S. citizen will have a fabulous holiday and encounter with Cuban culture.

U.S. citizens need to choose one of the pre-approved reasons to travel to Cuba and need to buy the PINK Cuban tourist card, also called a tourist visa.

Selected airlines sell this visa/tourist card, or you can buy one online.

What documents do I need to travel to Cuba?

You need the following documents to travel to Cuba:

Do Americans need to be vaccinated to enter Cuba?

No, there is no requirement for specific vaccines prior to entering Cuba. Your country’s health department probably has recommendations for what vaccines you should consider before entering Cuba.

How Do I get a tourist card for Cuba?

You can buy a tourist card online from Easy Tourist Card, or from the Cuban embassy in your country.

You might also be able to buy a Cuban tourist card from your airline or at the airport prior to departure.

It is possible to buy a Cuban tourist card at Miami International Airport at the check-in counter with American Airlines and Delta Airlines.

How Do I Get A Tourist Visa For Cuba?

A tourist visa is the same as a tourist card for Cuba. You can buy it from the following places:

  • Buy one online from Easy Tourist Card
  • Buy one from your airline if they offer this
  • Buy one at the airport of departure if they offer this
  • Buy one from the Cuban Embassy in your country

Is Travel To Cuba Allowed Right Now?

Yes, Cuba travel is allowed right now. There are no COVID or health restraints from entering Cuba right now.

There are no political constraints from entering Cuba right now for most international travelers.

American citizens need to, in addition, choose one of the 12 pre-approved reasons for traveling to Cuba (Americans can not travel as “tourists”) and follow some simple guidelines for traveling in Cuba.

Not Booked Yet? Research Flight Prices Here!

Wrap-Up How To Get A Tourist Card For Cuba!

Now you should have all the information you need about how to get a Cuban tourist card to confidently get a hold of both the tourist card for Cuba and all the other documentation you need before your amazing Cuba holiday!

If there is any information missing here or something that is unclear, don’t hesitate to contact me, and I will do my best to answer any questions you might have about your upcoming Cuba travels!

Related blog posts:

Sensational 7 Days In Cuba Itinerary!

10 Perfect Day Trips From Havana Cuba!

10 Reasons To Spend Your Honeymoon In Cuba 2024!

My Resource Go-To List For Best Travel Booking Deals!

Best Airfare bookings: Skyscanner, Wayaway

Best tour companies: Civitatis (for Cuba), Viator

Best Hotel Bookings: Booking, Expedia

Travel Insurance: IMG Medical Travel Insurance

VPN Secure Internet: ExpressVPN

Cuba Visa Online: Easy Tourist Card

Car Rentals Online: Discover Cars

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9 Comments

  1. I had no idea about this requirement. It’s so helpful to know these things ahead of time. Thank you so much for providing all the details! I want to visit Cuba and now I know how to go about doing it!

  2. I had no idea about the process of traveling to Cuba! This is beneficial information to be aware of. Thank you for putting it together!

    1. Another benefit of a Canadian passport. I never had to do any of this. What a lot of work! Good for you for putting this guide together as I am sure it will help a lot of people.

  3. I have read that USA citizens need a general license and the Visa to enter Cuba. It is not clear if the general license is part of the Visa obtained through my airline (United). Do you happen to know if the general license is part of the Visa obtained, or do I need to obtain a general license prior to arriving at the airport?

    1. Hi Melissa!

      I do not think I have heard the term “general license” before, but I believe it has to do with the 11 pre-approved reasons under which Americans can travel to Cuba. These are listed in the link below, and that is something you need to state or write when asked – nothing you need to apply for in advance. You do NOT need to do any paperwork to get that. In addition, you need the Cuban tourist card that some airlines provide, according to their website, you can get that with United upon check-in in Houston and Newark. Also, you can buy it online and have it sent home.
      General license: https://ofac.treasury.gov/faqs/topic/1541.
      Additional information: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages/Cuba.html#ExternalPopup

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