"Can I Get a Cuban Tourist Card at the Airport?" and Other Essential Cuba Travel Questions... Answered!

If you are in the process of planning a trip to Cuba, you probably have a list of questions you need answered.

“Can anyone travel to Cuba, regardless of their nationality?”

“What kind of documents do I need to enter Cuba?”

“Is there a difference between a Cuban Tourist Visa, a Cuban Visa, and a Cuban Tourist Card?”

And the big one…

“Once I know what documents I need, how do I go about applying for them?”

While Cuba is a beautiful country full of history and culture, it can often feel complicated to get there.

This guide is going to take away the guesswork so that you can plan your Carribean adventure with ease.


Planning any sort of trip can be overwhelming. But with the right information and resources, you can navigate the process smoothly and confidently.

Let’s look at some of the big questions surrounding a trip to Cuba and make sure you have the answers you need for a seamless, safe, and exciting trip ahead of you.

What Are the Travel Documents Needed for a Trip to Cuba?

For anyone planning a trip to Cuba, there are a few items all travelers will need before they arrive. Obtaining the correct Cuban visa forms is crucial for a smooth entry process.

Here’s a breakdown of the essential documents that will be required when you arrive:

Passport:  A valid passport is a fundamental requirement for entry into Cuba. Ensure that your passport is valid for at least six months beyond your planned departure date to avoid any issues.

Health Insurance:  All travelers to Cuba must possess valid health insurance coverage for the duration of their stay. This is a mandatory requirement imposed by the Cuban government to ensure that visitors have access to medical services in case of emergencies.

Proof of Accommodations: You should already have your lodging booked before you leave for Cuba and you’ll want to carry proof of accommodations with you. This could be a hotel reservation, a confirmation from a licensed casa particular (private homestay), or any other legitimate proof of where you’ll be staying during your visit.

Visa or Tourist Card: For most nationalities, either a visa or a Tourist Card is required to enter Cuba. Though the term “Cuba Visa” is sometimes used interchangeably, these are actually two different documents.

  • Cuba Visa: A Cuba visa (or Cuba tourist visa) is a formal document issued by the Cuban government for around 25 nationalities planning to travel to Cuba. If you are from one of these countries, you must visit a Cuban embassy to acquire the visa, as they are not obtainable online. (For a list of these countries, check out our blog here.
  • Tourist Card: A Tourist Card, also known as a Tourist Visa, is a simpler form of entry authorization specifically for tourists visiting Cuba for leisure purposes. For those who are traveling to Cuba from countries in Europe, the UK, Australia and the United States will need to obtain a Tourist Card instead of a Cuba visa.

Having the right documentation before you arrive is going to make all the difference in the experience you have when you visit Cuba.

It’s also recommended that you double-check with your local Cuban embassy to confirm the requirements for your particular situation have not changed.

Cuba Pink

Tourist Card

For US nationals or those departing from a US airport. Explore Cuba for up to 90 days within 180 days of issuance

How Do I Know What Type of Cuba Tourist Card I Need?

If you’ve confirmed that you are traveling from a country that does not need an actual visa, your next step is to determine which type of Cuban Tourist Card you need.

Let’s look at your options.

The Green Tourist Card:

The Green Cuba Tourist Card is designated for individuals who are not U.S. citizens and are starting their journey to Cuba from a location outside the United States.

Applicants who do not hold U.S. citizenship and are not traveling from the United States are eligible for this card.

Obtain the Green Cuba Tourist Card conveniently online through Easy Tourist Card, priced at $40 USD plus shipping.

The Pink Tourist Card:

The Pink Cuba Tourist Card is tailored for U.S. citizens or travelers heading directly to Cuba from any U.S. airport.

A sample Cuban Visa with watermark and pink background

It is now strongly advised for ALL Americans to apply for the Pink Cuba Tourist Card, regardless of their departure location.

Recent policy changes mean that all American travelers should opt for the Pink Tourist Card, even if their travel originates from outside the United States.

At Easy Tourist Card, we strongly suggest that all Americans apply for the Pink Tourist Card to prevent any complications or entry denials upon arrival in Cuba.

Can I Get a Cuban Tourist Card at the Airport?

For most Cuban travelers, applying for their Cuba Tourist Card is going to make the most sense to do it online. At Easy Tourist Card, this process is fast, accurate, and easy to follow.

But if there’s a reason you can’t do this and you’re wondering whether you can obtain a Cuban Tourist Card upon arrival at the airport, the answer varies depending on your departure location and airline.

Some airlines provide the option to purchase the Tourist Card at the last airport before your entry to Cuba.

Let’s look at a few examples of this with some of the larger commercial airlines that fly to Cuba:

JetBlue: Offers Tourist Cards for $50 at the last airport before entering Cuba.

American Airlines: Refers travelers to an issuing agency before travel (with a cost of $50 plus processing fees.) You can also obtain it at the Miami airport, but this will be more expensive.

Delta Airlines: Sells Tourist Cards at the airport for $50 plus processing fees.

United: Offers Tourist Cards at Houston and New York/Newark airports for $50 plus processing fees.

Southwest: Charges $50 plus processing fees and allows purchase at Tampa and Fort Lauderdale airports.

Remember that if you are traveling from a country that requires a Cuba Tourist Card, you can not enter the country without one. For anyone who wants to wait and purchase their Tourist Card at an airport, it will be vital that you give yourself plenty of time to do so and not run the risk of missing your connecting flight.

It’s also important to note that — if you plan to wait to get your Tourist Card until the airport — you need to check with your airline to make sure they still follow the above protocol.

Travel rules and regulations can often change, and travel to Cuba is no exception to that.

Your Key to


Traveling from a NON-US airport? You’re in! Explore Cuba for up to 90 days within 180 days of issuance.

How Long Will It Take to Get My Cuba Tourist Card?

As with any sort of international travel, you’ll want to make sure you know the timeframe needed to apply for any of your travel documents.

For anyone applying for a Cuba Tourist Card, here is a breakdown of processing times you can typically expect, based on how you choose to apply for it.

Embassy Visit:

For those opting to visit the embassy, the card can be acquired on the same day, subject to availability and waiting in line. However, embassy operating hours are typically limited, often spanning around 3 hours per day.

Airport Acquisition:

At the airport, Tourist Cards are issued immediately upon request, offering a convenient option for last-minute travelers.

There are numerous drawbacks to this, however. Not only does there tend to be limited information as to the hours of operation but there is limited information on queue times. These challenges can lead not being able to obtain your documentation and/or missing connecting flights.

Online Application (with Easy Tourist Card):

By applying through Easy Tourist Card's online platform, processing times are generally expedited, typically taking less than a week. For American travelers seeking the Pink Tourist Card, we now offer an expedited service that will guarantee delivery within 2 business days.

Have More Questions? Easy Tourist Card is Ready to Answer Them

At Easy Tourist Card, we are committed to being your best source for all information regarding travel to Cuba and Cuban visa application process.

And while there are other ways to acquire your Cuba Tourist Card, we are an authorized seller that provides you with the most up-to-date information for all your travel document needs.

If you’re unsure about the application process or have specific questions about your travel documents, our dedicated team at Easy Tourist Card is readily available to provide guidance and support.

With our user-friendly platform and expert assistance, you can navigate the complexities of obtaining your Cuba Tourist Card with confidence.

Whether it’s clarifying visa requirements, addressing concerns about processing times, or ensuring you have the necessary documentation for your trip, we’re committed to making your travel experience as smooth and hassle-free as possible.

Reach out to Easy Tourist Card today and embark on your Cuban adventure with peace of mind.

Cuba Green Tourist Card

For US nationals or those departing from a US airport. Explore Cuba for up to 90 days within 180 days of issuance

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