by Female Abroad

Since our Cuba trip will be here before I know it I felt that it was time to brush up on documentation needed as things change so much without warning when traveling. As we are Canadian I'm not too worried about our reason for travel being legit like the American's need it. Turns out for us Canadians, nothing has changed. Note: Since our Aug/Sept trip I have updated this information.

  1. Tourist Card
    This card is usually provided to you by your tour operator or by the airline (when I travelled to the Bahamas you received it on the plane). You can obtain if from a Cuban government office in Canada if you are flying on a private plane and it can be purchased at certain airports in Canada and in the airport in Havana for CUC 20. When we were flying through Mexico City with AeroMexico we had to purchase ours at the AeroMexico desk by our departures gate for C$ 9/person. You can pay with cash or a credit card. They would not allow us to board the plane without it so buying it in Havana was not an option. You have to keep it with you for the entire trip as they collect it when you leave the country. When you purchase it, you will get a receipt. Keep this just in case you lose your tourist card. Below this paragraph is a photo of the back my tourist card. When using a tourist card you are not allowed to work this includes journalistic/press/media activities​

  2. A valid passport
    You need to have your passport valid at least one month after your expected departure from Cuba

  3. Customs Card
    These will be handed out on your flight but you will need to fill it out as they won't let you leave the airport without it. Below are photos of my customs card. You only need to fill out one per household (multiple people sharing the same address).

When it came to our trip, the custom's officials didn't care about any of the following but it is better to be safe than sorry as you are supposed to have the following items due to Cuba's requirements.

  1. A flight out of the country
    You need to have a ticket that takes you out of the country as well as proof of sufficient funds during your stay. If you are like us and haven't book an all-inclusive stay then you need to show you have at least CUC 50/day per person for the duration of your stay.
    Canadians can stay up to 6 months in Cuba but your first only allowed to stay 3 months. From there you have to apply for an extension to 6 months before your 90th day in the country at the immigration authority or a tourism office.

  2. Valid Health Insurance
    You will need to have an insurance policy, insurance certificate, or medical assistance card (photocopies are accepted). The biggest key here is that you are not travelling on a US insurance company as they do not provide coverage in Cuba. If you don't have proof of insurance you will be forced to buy it upon arrival or you might be refused entry all together.
    You may be subjected to a medical examination when you enter or exit Cuba, or when reporting for domestic flights. In some cases, you may be quarantined for up to seven days for medical observation if you are believed to have symptoms of a serious illness, such as from the Dengue, Ebola, H1N1 and Zika viruses, if you have come in contact with a suspected carrier of one of these viruses or if you’re arriving from a country with known epidemic.
    If you are unsure if you need any vaccinations visit a travel clinic at least 6 weeks prior to your departure.

  3. CUC 25/person - Depends on carrier
    Since March 2015 this fee has been bundled up into prepaid airline ticket prices but double check before you depart to make sure to prevent having to exchange more funds at the airport.

  4. Yellow Fever - Depends on trip
    Proof of vaccination is required if you are coming from or have transited through an airport of a country where yellow fever occurs. As we are going straight from Canada to Cuba we don't have to worry about this.
    For more information / update information check out the Canadian Governments website here.

If you have any questions and are looking at the Cuban side of things Visit Cuba has a helpful website for Canadians and you can also contact the Canadian embassy / consulates:

HAVANA, Embassy of Canada

Address: Calle 30, No. 518 esquina a 7ma, Miramar, Havana, Cuba

Tel.: (53-7) 204-2516

Fax: (53-7) 204-2044


GUARDALAVACA, Consulate of Canada

Address: Hotel Atlantico, Suite 1, Guardalavaca, Holguín, Cuba

Tel.: (53-24) 430-320

Fax: (53-24) 430-321


VARADERO, Consulate of Canada

Address: Calle 13 e/Avenida Primera y Camino del Mar, Varadero, Matanzas, Cuba

Tel.: 53 (45) 61-2078

Fax: 53 (45) 66-7395