Cuba Tourist Card + Visa
What do you need to travel to Cuba as an American? It might feel complicated, but it's not too bad. You need a passport plus medical insurance, a general license, and a tourist card if you're traveling from the US. Here's our guide to navigating the Cuban Tourist Card and Visa requirements. (For more information on the other things you'll need, go here.)
Once you give the article a read, feel free to message me any questions directly or ask a Cuban travel expert for help. These kind of logistics can feel pretty confusing and I'm happy to help clear it up.
Before your trip, make sure to check out:
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):
Visa required for entry:
Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cameroon, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, India, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sri Lanka
No Tourist Card or Visa required for entry:
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.
Tourist Card required for entry:
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.
Tourist Cards grant the holder a maximum stay of 30 days (90 days in case of Canadian citizens), however, these can be extended one time for additional days. All Tourist Cards are the same unless you are flying direct to Cuba from the US. The ones you'll receive when coming from the US are more expensive and pink in color. If you are a US citizen flying through another country, the normal Cuban Tourist Card (the green one) is sufficient.
How to get a Cuban Tourist Card
There are three main ways to acquire a Cuban Tourist Card:
1. The easiest way is to get your Cuban Tourist Card (whether pink or green) from the airline on your last leg of your trip to Cuba. Here are the details on the different airline procedures:
- If you're flying from Canada direct to Cuba your airline will provide the Tourist Card in-flight and the price is included in your flight.
- If flying from Mexico direct to Cuba you can pay $20 USD (or the equivalent in MXN) at your airline's check-in counter. You will need it to board your final leg to Cuba, usually from Mexico City or Cancun.
- If flying from the US direct to Cuba, then your airline will help arrange your Cuban Tourist Card. This card is pink, instead of the typical green Tourist Card. JetBlue sells it at the last airport before your entry to Cuba and it costs $50. Visit the JetBlue desk before boarding to get the Tourist Card. American Airlines refers you to Cuba Travel Services (CTS) to purchase the Tourist Card before you travel. It costs $85 plus shipping. Delta Airlines sells it to you at the airport, prior to boarding your flight to Cuba and it costs $50. United also sells the tourist card at the gate and charges $75. The prices vary because each airline charges a different processing fee - the base price of the tourist card is $50.
2. Visit your country's Cuban Embassy. Tourist card costs range from $20 to $75 depending on the embassy/consulate.
3. Order from a travel agency or website that sells Tourist Cards. Most travel agencies that arrange trip packages or tours to Cuba can sell you a Tourist Card. The following websites also provide Tourist Cards for all countries: visacuba.com, cubavisas.com, cubavisa.uk, cubacenter.com.
Pink or Green 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 quite simple to know which one you need. If you travel directly to Cuba from the US, you'll get a pink tourist card. If you travel to Cuba via any other country, you'll get a green tourist card. If you purchase from the airline, you'll automatically get the correct color. 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.
Still need to book your flights? You can fly directly from New York, Miami, LA, Atlanta, and Orlando, as well as a few other airports in the US. Use Flighthub to browse your different options and book a flight.