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Can I Travel to Cuba? Here's What You Need to Know

Updated January 10, 2023

If you are asking yourself "Can I travel to Cuba?" the answer is yes! There are a few minor hoops to jump through, but Cuba is open to travelers and well worth the effort. 

Read on below for the latest updates about traveling to Cuba, as well as everything you need to know about traveling there legally, as an American.

And if you have questions, message one of our local trip planners in Cuba to get up-to-the-moment answers from someone who lives there. 

"Linelly helped us beyond anything we could've planned ourselves. Everything she suggested for us was spot-on, and I feel we got the best experience by following a local's guidance."
Kate, Recent Traveler
Kate, Recent Traveler

Support for the Cuban People

Most people travel under the "Support for the Cuban People" category

The Support for the Cuban People category is the most common category for independent travel to Cuba. Under this category, you must adhere to a full-time schedule of activities that directly support private Cuban businesses and individuals. 

  • Activities that count toward this category can include: eating in privately-owned restaurants, visiting local artists, taking local taxis,  spending money in locally-owned businesses, or staying at privately owned casas particulares
  • Under Support for the Cuban People, you also need to avoid staying at Cuban government-owned hotels banned by the US State Department and spending money at government-owned businesses. 
  • You should keep any records from your trip—photos, receipts, etc—for 5 years.
  • Wondering how to create a full-time schedule of Support for the Cuban People activitiesHave one of our Cuban locals plan your personalized trip. They'll include tons of insider recommendations and hidden gems, plus all the stuff you already wanted to do and see in Cuba, all while adhering to the requirements of Support for the Cuban People!
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Select your travel preferences below and let a local take it from there. Your personalized guidebook to Cuba is just a few clicks away.

Cuban Tourist Cards / Visas

Regardless of which category of legal travel you choose, you will need to buy a Cuban Tourist Card to enter Cuba (not actually a visa, though the two terms are often used interchangeably). This is a Cuban government requirement, and has nothing to do with the requirements of the US government. If you're flying from the US, you'll need the pink card. If you are traveling from outside the US, you'll need the green card. There are several ways to purchase a Cuban Tourist Card:

  1. The easiest way to get your Cuban Tourist Card is online in advance through sites like Online Tourist Card (for pink cards) or Easy Tourist Card (for green cards). Buying your Tourist Card ahead of time means you won’t be waiting until the last minute to secure your necessary documentation.
  2. You can also often purchase your Tourist Card through your airline. Check with your airline for more information regarding pricing and how to purchase. If your airline doesn't sell the tourist card, we recommend one of the services above.
  3. If you're not in a hurry, you can try visiting your country's Cuban Embassy. Prices vary depending on the embassy/consulate, and in some cases it can be difficult to get an appointment because emails and phone calls are not answered. 
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Cuba and the coronavirus pandemic

Many travelers want to know what the status of the COVID-19 pandemic is in Cuba. Has Cuba opened up to foreign visitors?

Yes, Cuba is open for travel — even for Americans. All travelers are required to fill out a health declaration form and have valid health insurance (for Americans, the insurance is included with the purchase of airline flights). Proof of vaccination and pre-travel testing are not required.

More Info

For more info on new regulations, here is the Cuba Frequently Asked Questions page of the Department of the Treasury. 

Bookmark this page to stay up to date on Cuba travel policy. Or, ask someone who knows best—our Cuban trip planners are experts on all things Cuba. Message one today

Still have questions about travel to Cuba?
Why not ask someone who lives there? ViaHero connects you with a local to help plan your trip. They’ll create a guidebook based on your personal travel style.
You’ll see a unique side of a destination and travel independently—all while saving time and money in the planning process. Find a local today.

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