Traveller Resources for the Cuba Tour
- Latest Cuba News relevant to travellers
- Visas for Cuba
- Travel Health Issues
- Travel Reports on Cuba
- US citizens wishing to visit Cuba
- Currency in Cuba
- Climate and Weather in Cuba
- Global roaming with your phone in Cuba
- Cuban Language
- Electricity, Adaptors, and Plugs in Cuba
- Books and Literature on Cuba
- Maps of Cuba
- Homosexuality in Cuba
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).
Cuban Immigration will retain one half on entry (pictured) and the second half on your departure. 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!
- 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 travelling 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:
- GENEVA - Permanent mission of Cuba in Geneva
- Cuban Embassy in the UK (London)
- Cuban Consulates in Canada (Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto)
- Canadian Embassy in Cuba (Havana)
- US Bureau of Consular Affairs
- USA Customs and Border control (to apply for your online visa waiver)
- Cuban Consulate in Australia (Canberra)
- Department of Foriegn Affairs - Smart Traveller
- NEW ZEALAND
- Safe Travel for New Zealanders
- Cuban Consulate in NZ (Wellington)
- OTHER COUNTRIES - All Cuban Embassies Worldwide - Click to access your local Cuban Embassy and Consular services, including tourist card applications.
COVID-19 - Currently no tourists or visitors are permitted to enter Cuba. This will continue until at least 30 June 2020. All of our tours have been suspended until then, as well as most tours for July through to early October.
Before travelling to Cuba, it is important that you receive the most accurate and up-to-date travel health information. The only one qualified to provide you with this advice is your family physician or a specialist from a Travel Health clinic.
The World Health Organisation website contains excellent background information related to travel health issues specific to Cuba. Nevertheless this is no substitute for a personal consultation with a qualified medical professional.
- Check with your airline and travel insurance provider regarding any potential changes in services.
- Follow the advice provided by WHO on how to stay healthy.
- Read the advice provided for your destination before you go from official government advisories (see country specific lists above and below).
Cholera - Outbreaks of Cholera do occur occasionally in Cuba. Risks to travellers are relatively low, however it is important to drink only bottled water, and to follow the tour guide's recommendations about the consumption of any street food.
Dengue Fever and Chikungunya - can be carried by mosquitos throughout the Caribbean, Central America, & South America, and Cuba is no exception. There are no vaccines for these diseases so make sure you carry, and use insect repellant, and take other precautions.
Zika - is another mosquito borne disease with no vaccine and no medication to treat infection. It can also be sexually trasmitted and has limited transmission in Cuba. Infection in a pregnant woman can pose significant risks to the unborn baby. Pregnant women and women planning a pregnancy should visit a health care professional at least 6 weeks before travelling to discuss the potential risks of Zika virus.
Most Governments maintain websites dedicated to providing their citizens with the most up-to-date travel information. The websites below publish online travel reports containing the most recent news as well as background information on every country including Cuba.
- UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office (Travel Advice)
- Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
- Canadian Consular Affairs Bureau
- The U.S. Bureau of Consular Affairs
- Click here for a very useful online currency converter that even includes the Cuban Peso Convertible (CUC) and Peso Cubano (CUP)
- Click here to read more about currency in Cuba
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 traveller 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.
Electricity, Adaptors, and Plugs in Cuba
Below 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