Requirements to Travel to Cuba

Requirements to Travel to Cuba
Cuba's reputation as a communist holdout and United States animosity toward the Caribbean nation have certainly not bolstered the island's tourist trade, but the traveler who does set out for its shores will be rewarded with hospitality, a wealth of history and culture, and stunning natural beauty.

Tourist Card

All tourists in Cuba must purchase a tourist card, which is valid for four weeks. Tourist cards are usually purchased along with your plane tickets, but they can also be purchased at airports.

Renewal of Tourist Cards

If you plan on staying longer than four weeks, you can extend your tourist card for another four weeks by visiting a local immigration office.


Your passport must be valid for at least six months from your planned departure date for Cuba. If you plan to stay in Cuba for two months, your passport will need at least eight months of validity.

U.S. Citizens

The U.S. government requires its citizens to be licensed to travel to Cuba and does not offer licenses for tourist travel. This is a requirement of the United States, not of Cuba. Unlicensed U.S. travelers can enter Cuba as any other foreign traveler with a tourist card. Flight booking and purchasing of tourist cards must be done outside of the United States.

Departure Tax

When you leave Cuba, you will need to pay a departure tax. At the time of writing, this tax was CUC 25 ($26) and had to paid in local currency.

Article Written By Heather Carreiro

Heather Carreiro is a certified English teacher who has been writing since 2008. The editor of Matador Abroad, her work has appeared online at BootsnAll, Matador Network, GoNOMAD, Journey Beyond Travel and Expat Women. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in linguistics and Middle Eastern studies from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and is pursuing a Master of Arts in English at Bridgewater State University.

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