Travel Requirements to Cuba, Health and Safety

Travel Insurance for Cuba & Tourist Visa Card

Cuba Travel RestrictionsDocuments Required for all travelers visiting Cuba: 1) Passport valid for six months after the date of your arrival in Cuba 2) Cuba tourist visa issued by the Cuban consulate in accordance with planned activities and the length of your stay on the island 3) Proof of travel medical insurance (valid insurance policy covering your medical expenses during the time of your stay in Cuba) 4) Return ticket from Cuba

Cuba Visa Requirements

Cuba visaYou need to get a tourist visa before travelling to Cuba, generally available from your airline, travel agents or direct from Cuban consulates located in many countries. A Tourist Visa for Cuba can also be issued on the spot once you've cleared customs. Do not lose this document, you’ll need it for departure. The tourist visa is valid for a single entry and allows tourists to stay in Cuba for 30 days or 90 days for Canadian citizens. For travelers, obtaining a visa extension once in Cuba is easy through your hotel reception or at the immigration office in most Cuban towns by presenting your documents + CUC$25 in stamps sold in various Cuban banks. 

When you enter Cuba you must provide proof of your departure (return ticket) and you cannot leave Cuba without presenting your tourist card. If you lose it, you can expect to spend a day to have it replaced. Children, regardless of their age, also require a tourist card.

cuba casa particularFilling an accoommodation address on your tourist visa is not compulsory, but officials may ask for your destination at the airport on arrival. Do not create fictional lodging names or list addresses if you don't plan to stay there, as it is punishable by law since Cuban authorities need to be informed of where you're staying in the case of an emergency. For that and hassle free reason it is highly recommended to have at least your first night booked before arriving in Cuba. It’s not a good idea to land on the island with no plan of where you will be staying and is strongly suggested to book at least your first night ahead of arrival. You can check out B&B's to stay in Cuba here

Staying in unregistered homes can cause difficulties when leaving the country because visitors in Cuba are required to be registered where you stay overnight and expected to prove payment for accommodation. In Cuba private homes and apartments register their guests just like hotels.

Cuba Travel Insurance

cuba travel insuranceAll visitors to Cuba must carry proof of travel insurance covering medical expenses during your period of stay. This is required in order to enter the country. At immigration on arrival at the airport, you may be asked for proof as part of a random check. If you don't have any approved insurance, they could deny enty or make you purchase insurance from Cuban vendors before continuing your travel. Better safe than sorry. Bear in mind that Cuban authorities do not currently accept U.S. Travel insurance policies and forbid you to leave the country while there are any pending debt in regards to health care issues.

Travel in Cuba should not pose any health risk and vaccinations are not required to enter the Island. Best advise for traveling to Cuba is to bring along your own supply of common medecines such as painkillers, antibiotics, personal sanitary and stomach remedies. If you do experience any problems, illness or accident emerge in Cuba, call the free phone number, give your name and policy number and they'll do their best to help.

cuban medical tourismAll major tourist destinations in Cuba are equipped with an international clinic for foreigners. The main centers are in Havana, Pinar del Rio, Cienfuegos, Trinidad, Varadero, Cayo Coco, Santa Lucia, Guardalavaca and Santiago de Cuba. If problems of illness or accident emerge in Cuba, call the free phone number, give your name and policy number and they'll tell you what to do. Clinica Central Cira Garcia: Calle 20 No. 4101 esq. Av. 41, Miramar, Playa – Phone Number: (53) (7) 204 2811 Email:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The emergency phone number for the police, fire and medical attention in Cuba is 106. In case of other urgent needs, it is advisable to to call the emergency number for your country's consulate in Havana, which should be available 24 hours a day. For flight information, contact Jose Marti International Airport direct: (53-7) 2664644 / 649-5777

Money in Cuba

cuba moneyTo ensure your cards work while you're in Cuba be sure to tell your bank you're visiting the island. Money should be exchanged at banks, hotels, international airports or state-run Cadeca's. Don't change money on the street, you’ll probably get ripped off. Preferably, bring Euros, British Pounds, Swiss Francs or Canadian dollars in cash to exchange on arrival at the airport, it saves lots of time queuing! You cannot buy Cuban currencies before you arrive and must exchange any remaining cash before leaving the country. Some places in Cuba are starting to accept card payment (Visa and MasterCard) but there is often an additional charge of up to15%. ATMs do allow withdrawals with non-American cards and visitors will be charged 10% commission on exchanging US dollars. 

Cuba International Airport

cuba international airportAlong with personal jewelry, your personal luggage is allowed to include cameras, sports equipment, two electronic devices per person and other valuables. Visitors are also allowed to bring into Cuba: 2.5L alcoholic beverages, 400 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 500g of tobacco and up to 10 kg of medicine. Gifts up to a value of USD $50 may also be taken as duty free.

Once you have checked in your luggage remember to save $25 CUC in cash for your exit tax at the airport and be sure to have your boarding card stamped as it will be checked when you go through immigration. Visitors leaving Cuba may take out 100 cigars and a few litres of liquor.To export other items, such as art and antiques, you should obtain a permit from the National Registry of Cultural Objects. Most legitimate vendors have such permits and can get them officially stamped.
jose marti international airportTaxis at Havana international airport can be found just outside at arrivals on the ground floor exit. Taxis cost around CUC$25 and take 30 to 40 minutes to reach the city center. There are no regular bus service or trains running direct from José Martí airport into downtown. Would you like to book a taxi? Cuba boasts nine other international airports, but none of them has reliable public transport links; your best bet is always a taxi. We suggest to always agree fares beforehand.

Luggage loss by airlines and at airports is an issue that happens everywhere in the world. On arrival in Cuba if your bags do not appear, you should make a complaint at the airport claims office and immediately contact your insurance company. Failure to do so may cause confusion and could delay payment. Thefts of luggage have been reported at the airport in Havana, so carry all valuables in your hand luggage and wrap or padlock suitcases if possible.

Things to do in Varadero - Cuba