What do you need to travel to Cuba as an American? It's really quite simple. You need a passport plus medical insurance and a Pink Cuban Tourist Card (if you're traveling from the US). And you must declare a travel category. It sounds like a lot, but it really and truly isn't.
Here's our guide to navigating the Cuban Tourist Card/visa requirements. For more information on the other things you'll need, go to Cuba info for Americans. And for the latest updates on Cuba travel policies, check our 2021 Cuba travel update. The new policy announced by President Trump (in June 2019) does not affect the Tourist Card requirement.
These kinds of logistics can feel pretty confusing, but our Cuban travel experts are here to clear them up for you. Feel free to send them a message!
Here's what you'll need to enter Cuba for a short trip or vacation, broken down by country of citizenship (requirements are more complicated if you are visiting for an extended period or for business):
Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cameroon, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, India, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sri Lanka.
Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belarus, Benin, Bosnia, China, Dominica, Grenada, Macedonia, Malaysia, Montenegro, Mongolia, Namibia, Saint Kitts, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent, Serbia, Singapore, and Vietnam.
Everyone not on the above two lists.
If you're from the USA, you need a Tourist Card but you do not need a visa. However, the Tourist Card is often referred to as a visa. Confusing, we know
Tourist Cards grant the holder a maximum stay of 30 days in Cuba (90 days in the case of Canadian citizens). However, these can be extended (one time) for additional days. All tourist cards are the same, but if you're flying direct to Cuba from the US, your card will be pink instead of green. Even if you're a non-US citizen, if your last stop before Cuba is in the US, you'll need the pink tourist card.
If you've done some reading on Tourist Cards before, you may be worried about whether you need a pink or green Tourist Card. But it's easy to know which one you need. If you travel directly to Cuba from the US, you'll need a pink Tourist Card. If you travel to Cuba via any other country, you'll get a green Tourist Card.
If you purchase from a third-party website, make note of the last airport you depart from—if it's in the US then you need a pink Tourist Card, otherwise, get a green Tourist Card. It doesn't matter what country your passport is from. Your card color depends on the last place you depart from before arriving in Cuba.
Pro tip: green cards are always cheaper than pink cards, because of Cuba's difficult relationship with the US.
There are four simple ways to acquire a Cuban Tourist Card:
1. The simplest way to get your Cuban Tourist Card is to purchase it online, ahead of time.
2. You can also purchase your Tourist Card from your airline. Here are the details on the different airline procedures:
The prices vary because each airline charges a different processing fee. These prices may change but are up to date as of this writing.
3. Visit your country's Cuban Embassy. Prices vary depending on the embassy/consulate.
All of our Cuban travel experts can help you figure out the best way to get a tourist card.
Have more questions about tourist cards and visas for travel to Cuba? Here is a list of our Cuban travel experts who can help you. Feel free to send them a message!