For years, Cuba has been a top destination for Canadian travelers. Despite the pandemic, travel to Cuba from Canada is still super popular, and Canadians flock to this island!
It’s easy to understand why – from mesmerizing beaches and natural attractions to its intriguing history and culture, there are so many adventures waiting here.
Not only that, but Cuba also offers more affordable all-inclusive vacations than some other Caribbean destinations; making it an ideal choice for budget-conscious globetrotters!
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Is Cuba Open For Travel From Canada?
Yes, Cuba is open for travel from Canada! If you are worried, Canadians are not subject to the restrictions for travel to Cuba that American travelers need to navigate.
But all travelers to Cuba, including Canadians, need to follow a few steps before entry in addition to booking the flight and finding a wonderful place to stay!
Here are all the rules and regulations you need to know about, and if you already know all about that, you can skip to the bottom part and research a variety of different tours in and around Cuba!
Entry Requirements to Cuba
You need to get a Cuban tourist card before you travel.
You can buy one online or buy one at selected airports in Canada.
Note that Air Canada provides you with a Cuban tourist card along with your ticket, so that is convenient!
You will get the tourist card for Cuba as an empty document, and you need to fill it out by hand.
Keep it with you through your holiday in Cuba, as you need to show it at the airport when you leave as well!
Remember that if you travel via an American airport, you need a pink tourist card for entry (not a green one).
Entry Form At D’Viajeros
Before departure, you also need to fill out an entry form, you can find that online here. If you attempt check-in without it, most airlines will not let you board.
You will also be asked to show your completed entry form upon arrival in Cuba.
It is enough to show the electronic version on your phone (take a screenshot, remember, you will be offline when you arrive).
In order to enter Cuba, you need to have travel insurance that covers health issues. You might be asked to provide documentation for travel insurance through passport control, so be prepared for that.
If you do not have valid travel insurance and they check you, you probably will be asked to buy Cuban travel insurance at the airport before you are allowed to enter the country.
If you are going to extend your stay in Cuba, you will always be asked to provide documentation of travel insurance at the office of immigration.
Yes, You Need A Passport!
You need a passport to enter Cuba, and you need to check that your passport is valid for at least six months after your entry date!
Transport In Cuba 2023
There are a variety of transport options in Cuba, for short distances, very short distances, and long-haul journeys.
You find taxis in all destinations in Cuba, in all shapes and forms. What you always need to remember is that Cuban taxis don’t have meters or online booking (normally).
So always agree on a price before you get in; use your phone calculator if language is a problem!
The Viazul bus service has routes between the most popular destinations in Cuba, including all the way to Santiago de Cuba!
You can book your ticket online on Viazul or at the station at your destination.
There are also taxi colectivos, shared taxis where you buy a seat in a taxi, great if you are a solo traveler or a couple – and you share the taxi with other travelers.
This is fast and convenient, and your casa host or hotel will help you book a seat in a taxi colectivo.
If you prefer to have things organized before you arrive, and you want to pay securely online, you can book transport with reputed services online.
The Best Time to Go to Cuba
The best time to go to Cuba is the dry season, which runs from November through May (early June) every year.
This is also the high season, with the most tourists and the highest prices!
A quick overview of the weather, dry season in Cuba is November through May, and the wet season is June through October.
Within the wet season, the hurricane season is around September and October.
Also, July and August are two excruciatingly hot months, and December and January can get a bit chilly.
Of the two shoulder seasons, spring and fall, I would say the best time to travel to Cuba is March through May and even June.
It is not too hot, not too crowded, and not yet the rainy season. And travel costs probably are also a bit lower in this period.
September through to November is also cheap, but expect a bit of weather as this is hurricane season in the Caribbean!
Pro Tip: Get a cute travel duffle bag that has room for your laptop, a pair of shoes, a change of clothes, and the necessities for your flight! I love this one from Bagsmart!
The Cheapest Time To Visit Cuba From Canada!
The cheapest time to visit Cuba is when most people think it is a bad idea to visit as well, generally in the autumn months, including the hurricane season.
Also the spring season outside the biggest holiday periods, you might see a dip in prices as well, and apart from that, keep an eye out for really great deals!
Where Should I Stay In Cuba?
You really should not visit Cuba without staying at a casa particular and getting to know the Cuban culture via the host and family that will make your stay unforgettable!
Check my overview here for top-rated options in various destinations!
What are the best things to do in Cuba?
Each destination in Cuba is quite unique and has its attractions, history, and important characteristics!
In Varadero, one of the most popular destinations in Cuba, you cannot miss the stunning award-winning Varadero beach.
But even outside the hotels, there are a lot of fun things to do that you probably don’t want to miss.
In Varadero, there is also a myriad of organized tours where you will be picked up from your hotel or casa, and taken for amazing adventures on land or sea!
In Trinidad, strolling the uneven cobblestoned streets and checking out the local artist studios, stores, and restaurants are almost mandatory.
But! There is a long list of other attractions in Trinidad outside the historic center as well!
Many travelers do not spend a lot of time in Havana, but if you are a city sleek and like the hustle and bustle, you can stay busy in Havana almost indefinitely – check out this list of things to do!
And even in the countryside in Pinar del Rio, there is a myriad of things to do in Vinales Valley.
And last but not least, if you have the time to make the trip to the eastern capital of the carnival; Santiago de Cuba, you will find a lot of interesting things to explore.
So good luck prioritizing!
Is Cuba Safe for Canadians?
Cuba is generally a very safe destination for all travelers, as the laws and punishments for crimes against tourists in Cuba are quite strict.
Petty crime can result in prison sentences in Cuba, which has a deterring effect on offenses. But as always, be smart about things, and don’t flash your stuff around!
Violent crimes very rarely take place against tourists in Cuba. It is not impossible, but very low probability, so this is not something you should spend energy worrying about.
Can Americans Travel To Cuba From Canada?
Yes, Americans can travel to Cuba from Canada – but American citizens still need to travel within the regulations set by the US Government for Cuba travel.
This means choosing one of the pre-approved reasons for Cuba travel, buying the pink tourist card, and not staying in any of the places on the Cuba restricted list.
Read all about travel to Cuba as an American here.
Is There Wifi In Cuba In 2023?
Yes, there is wifi in Cuba in 2023, although not everywhere and not all the time!
My best tips for staying online in Cuba:
- Download and activate a good VPN before you go to make sure your gadgets are safe and that you are not blocked from important services online.
- Set your phone to flight mode when you arrive.
- Consider buying a sim card from Etecsa for your holiday to be able to use the Cuban 4G net. You can do this in stores in Cuba. Or buy a sim card online from Onesimcard or Cellomobile before your holiday.
- To connect to wifi, buy scratch cards from Etecsa that have unique usernames and passwords. Price 25CUP/1 hour, or 125CUP/5 hours.
- Go to a wifi hotspot (park or hotel), open wifi on your phone, connect to Etecsa, insert the username and the password on your scratch card – and connect. You are now online.
- Some hotels have their own system with wifi. Most large hotels and resorts have complimentary wifi in 2023, but often you still need to get an access code from the reception.
If you want all the details, you will find everything about the internet and wifi in Cuba here.
3 Great Small Group Tours Cuba 2023
If you are looking for a Cuba holiday in 2023, but don’t really want to take on the challenge all alone, there are various tour companies that can provide tried and tested “done for you” tours of Cuba!
These are the top-rated G Adventures tours of Cuba for 2023!
8 days, Havana to Havana, age requirement 18-35.
With the Cuban Rhythms tour, you will immerse yourself in the vibrant culture of Trinidad and Havana, where you can explore the local bars and clubs with music that flows through open windows.
Or take a journey to visit one of many beaches, followed by connecting with locals via homestays in casa particulares, or joining other young people on their excursions around town.
Here you will make unforgettable memories as well as friends for life!
9 days, Havana to Havana, age requirement 12+ (under 18 w/adult)
Discover the rarely-seen side of Cuba on this nine-day Cuba Explorer journey!
You will cruise in a classic car through Havana’s historical streets and saunter down Trinidad’s cobblestoned lanes to the sounds of music from nearby windows.
Visit a tobacco plantation for an authentic Cuban experience, and marvel at the lush green rolling western hills of Vinales, with views that will take your breath away.
Traveling by private air-conditioned vehicle means you’ll always be well rested, ready to soak up all that vibrant culture and warm tropical breezes have to offer!
9 days, Havana to Havana, age requirement 12+ (under 18 w/adult)
On the Treasures Of Cuba tour, as the sound of horns fills your ears, bask in the ambiance of classic cars parked on colonial squares and revolutionary statues.
Step off resort grounds to experience true Cuban culture – travel east towards Santiago de Cuba and Baracoa, where Cuban rhythms began, as well as its passionate revolution.
Explore churches, forts, and cobblestoned streets that hold Spanish heritage while you sightsee. For an even more immersive adventure, stay overnight at a local homestay at a casa particular – making this opportunity exclusive to a few travelers!
Don’t just take a walk down this less-traveled path – shake it up with some lively dancing! Viva la Revolución!
Short Tours & Day Trips In Cuba!
I have done a variety of shorter excursions in Cuba, day trips, and two-day trips, and so far have only had great experiences with that!
Read more about the shorter tours you can do in Cuba for half a day or a day or two on this page where all the information is gathered!
FAQs Travel To Cuba From Canada
Can I Travel To Cuba Right Now From Canada?
In 2023, both Canadians and other citizens can travel to Cuba from Canada.
For American citizens traveling to Cuba from Canada, the same rules apply as if they were traveling from the US to Canada.
US citizens still need to have the pink Cuban travel card and choose one of the 11 pre-approved reasons for travel to Cuba.
Can US citizens travel to Cuba via Canada?
Yes, US citizens can travel to Cuba via Canada, but it is not necessary.
Americans can travel directly from the US to Canada while following the regulations set by the US government.
You can read more about how Americans can travel to Cuba here.
Is Travel Ban To Cuba Still In Effect?
Canadian citizens have never been subject to the travel ban to Cuba; that has only been for US citizens.
Currently, in 2023, US citizens can also travel to Cuba as long as they abide by the rules and regulations set by the US government.
What Documents Do I Need To Travel To Cuba?
All visitors to Cuba must have a valid passport to be able to enter, a return ticket to leave the country, travel insurance, including medical coverage, and a Cuban tourist visa, also called a tourist card.
What Can I Bring To Cuba From Canada?
Tourists to Cuba can bring in, without customs duties, two bottles of alcohol and one carton of cigarettes for personal use.
Additionally, up to 10 kilograms of medication, as well as gifts worth at most $250 US, are permitted duty-free.
Don’t miss out on the opportunity to carry all your necessities while still saving money!
How Long Does It Take To Get A Visa For Cuba?
You do not need to apply for a tourist visa or a tourist card to go to Cuba.
You need to buy one, it is all a formality.
You can get a tourist visa for Cuba at the Cuban embassy, which might take a few days.
Or you can get one through selected airlines that provide that service.
Lastly you an buy one online, and have it sent home to your address within three days.
How Much Cash Can I Bring To Cuba?
You can bring the equivalent of $5000 in cash to Cuba in 2023.
Can You Buy A Cuban Visa At The Airport?
Some airports sell tourist visas for Cuba, but not very many. You need to check with your airline whether you can buy a Cuban tourist card at your airport of origin.
If you fly American Airlines from Miami, you can buy the Cuban tourist card next to the check-in counter.
Wrap-Up Travel To Cuba From Canada?
Traveling to Cuba from Canada in 2023 is legal, easy, and does not have to be very expensive!
Whether you want to come for a pampering Caribbean resort holiday or you want to travel around and explore everything about Cuba, you can choose either with or without a guide!
The most important thing is that you discover the beauty of Cuba and want to come to visit!
Happy Travel Planning,
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