Americans traveling to Cuba today need a few simple things: a passport, a self-reporting general license, a health declaration form for COVID-19, and a Cuban Tourist Card. Read on for up-to-date information on how to get a Cuban Tourist Card in 2022.
Want to explore Cuba differently? Have a local plan your legal trip.
First, a Cuban Tourist Card and a Cuban Visa are actually different documents. Travelers from every country, including the United States, need a Cuban Tourist Card to enter. Only a few African and Middle Eastern countries actually need a Cuban Visa instead of just a Tourist Card. Unfortunately, both words are used interchangeably on the web. If you're coming from North America, South America, or Europe you don't need a Cuban Visa, but you will need a Cuban Tourist Card. (But just to make things confusing, the Tourist Card is often referred to as a visa.)
The process for acquiring a Cuban Tourist Card is different depending on where you're entering Cuba from, namely the last airport before Cuba. Below is the process for traveling through Canada, Mexico, Panama, or the United States. It’s an easy formality to take care of, but it is essential. During your trip, be sure to treat your Cuban Tourist Card as you would your passport.
Direct flights run from Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa, Houston, and New York to Cuba.
If you're traveling from the US to Cuba, your card will be pink. If you're flying to Cuba from anywhere except the US, your card will be green. It doesn't matter what country your passport is from or what country you're originally traveling from. Your card color depends on the last place you depart from before arriving in Cuba. You will not be able to board a flight from the US to Cuba with a green Tourist Card.
Confused? Ask a local for help.
The easiest way to obtain your Cuba Tourist card is to buy online in advance from sites like Online Tourist Card (the best option for pink cards) or Easy Tourist Card (best for green cards). They'll also walk you through the process if you have any questions.
Buying your Tourist Card online allows you to skip the lines for Tourist Cards at the airport (especially important if you have a connecting flight to Cuba).
The cost varies depending on the airline you're traveling with. Here's a breakdown of known costs and where to acquire the tourist card for each airline. Double-check with your carrier just to make sure. You won't be allowed to enter Cuba without a Tourist Card.
If you are taking a charter flight from the US or you’re traveling on an organized tour, the Cuban Tourist Card should be included in your package. Double-check to be sure that this is the case and if it isn’t, make sure to get one.
If you’re traveling from Canada, your airline may provide the green Tourist Card with your ticket. But make sure to double-check beforehand. You can also purchase the tourist card in advance from Easy Tourist Card.
If you’re flying from Mexico to Cuba then you can buy the green Cuban Tourist Card in Cancun or Mexico City. You can do this near check-in or at the boarding gate for $20 USD.
The Cuba Tourist Card is available on-site at the Panama City Airport. Copa Airlines, which runs flights from Panama City to Cuba, does not sell Cuba Tourist Cards online. However, it’s easy to purchase online and have it shipped to you in advance using a service like Easy Tourist Card.
Due to the June 2019 Cuba travel restrictions, American cruise ships are no longer allowed to sail to Cuba.
You can also purchase Cuban Tourist Cards through Cuban Embassies. Prices vary by country and embassy, and it’s also more of a hassle than using an online service, purchasing through your airline, or picking up a card at the airport.
Finally, planning a trip to Cuba can be super tough. There's not a lot of information out there! That's why ViaHero employs local Cuban experts to help guide you through every step of the process. Seriously, check them out—we guarantee that having a local plan your trip will make it absolutely unforgettable and way easier to navigate.