Almost all tourists visiting Cuba, need to obtain a tourist 'visa' which is called the Cuban Tourist Card.
The tourist card is valid for 30 days (90 days for Canadians). Make sure you do not misplace this while in Cuba - you cannot leave the country without it.
Information and suggestions on how to obtain your Cuban Tourist Card
- Apply for Cuban Tourist Card through the Cuban Embassy or Consulate closest to you. See below for more information.
- We recommend that you enquire when you purchase your air-tickets or check directly with the airline to see if they provide the service of arranging visas for you. NOTE: For example - most airlines flying direct from Canada include the tourist card in the ticket.
- Tourist cards for Cuba have been available for purchase for many years at airports throughout Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean and can be purchased in a matter of minutes at the time of check-in. NOTE: Please ensure you check the status of this service before heading off to Cuba, these regulations are subject to change - we cannot guarantee this service!
- For direct flights from the U.S. The airlines will sell the visa at check in, and some have the option to purchase in advance. Check your airline’s website. Visit our US page for more information
- Some airlines (Virgin Atlantic, Air France) will not permit you to board the flight without a Cuban tourist card. NOTE: check the regulations with the airline in advance.
Visa requirements for foreigners traveling to Cuba, are liable to change and can be dependent upon your nationality.
The following are official government websites with information specific to the visitor's nationality
- Cuban Embassy in the UK (London)
- All Cuban Embassies Worldwide - Click to access your local Cuban Embassy and Consular services, including tourist card applications.
A general description of weather and climate in Cuba can be found in our Information Section. Below are some other sites that describe in more detail the weather and climate in Cuba.
It will be most beneficial for you to you to learn some Spanish before you come on your Cuban Adventure. Essentially you don’t need to know any Spanish, as all the travel arrangements are taken care of for you, and your tour guide is there if you need an instant translation. However, any Spanish you learn will greatly enhance your enjoyment of the trip. Because this tour of Cuba is focused on contact with the Cubans and their culture, there will be ample opportunity to use, and benefit from, whatever Spanish you have. Our experience is that every traveler that comes to Cuba wishes they new more Spanish. You can start now.
To start with, you can download our list of basic Spanish phrases that are most common in Cuba (as Spanish, particularly the spoken form does vary significantly from country to country).
If you would like to study further and you can’t find Spanish classes in your local area, here are some websites that offer some on-line classes.
Online Spanish lessons with audio for pronunciation
We also offer accommodation & Spanish class packages in Havana. We recommend to take one of these before you do a tour.
This is a picture of the type of wall plugs you can encounter in Cuba. Most places have only 110V (60Hz), and some have both 110V and 220V (60Hz)
Cuba Guide Books Guidebooks for Cuba such as these below, provide some good summaries about the country’s history and culture which can enhance your travel experience in Cuba.
For further reading on Cuba, we can recommend the following books.
- The Cuba Reader - History, Culture, Politics by Chomsky, Carr and Smorkaloff
- Cuba - A new History by Richard Gott gives a balanced view of Cuba’s history
- Conversations with Cuba by C. Peter Ripley and Bob Shacochis is a good read for anyone interested in the views and opinions of the people of Cuba.
- Castro’s Daughter - An exile’s memoir of Cuba by Alina Fernandez is the story of the other side of Cuba’s enigmatic President.
- Cuba: from Columbus to Castro and Beyond by Jaime Suchticki offers a good overview of and insight into the history of the nation.
- Blessed by Thunder - Memoir of a Cuban Girlhood. This story revolves around a young girl growing up in Cuba during the Communist Revolution.
- Cuba Libre by Elmore Besnard, the author of Get Shorty and Jackie Brown. This is a novel about a cowboy who robs banks and find himself in hot water while in Cuba.
- Living Inside the Revolution by Karen McCartney is a fascinating portrayal of life as an expat resident from 99 to 2005.
- Cuba Confidentialby by Ann Bardach details the political issues and personalities behind America`s dealings with Cuba over the past 50 years.
- Havana Red by Leonardo Padura
- Vital Signs by Pedro de Jesús
- The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
- History of Havana by Dick Cluster and Rafael Hernandez
- Havana Nocturne - How the Mob Owned Cuba and Then Lost It to the Revolution
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