When is the best time to go to Cuba? Do I need a Cuba Tourist Card?
  • Hellooo, please could someone tell me the best time to go to Cuba - we are thinking about going in January, February or March. If not perhaps some time later next year in September or October. We want to tour around the Cuba and spend one or two nights in Havana, but we are really there for the beaches so want the weather to be good, with not much rain or cloud! Looks forward to hearing from someone. Great. Thanks. J.
  • Hello Jasond!

    Cuba climate and weather is good year around -generally speaking. You should avoid late September and October as the most crazy hurricanes tend to come down on the island on this period.

    Even though tour guides will tell you that the hurricane season starts in July through November, as a Cuban who has endure plenty of hurricanes, I can tell you that even when we have had hurricanes in all those months, but they are rare. Yet October is the month that register most and strongest hurricanes. So it will ruin your beach vacation. But they will not pose a risk for your life we are pretty organize when it comes to hurricane preparation.

    If you want to enjoy the beach and Cuba culture, nature and meet real Cuban people along the way, perhaps you can join one of the tours my company (Authentic Cuba Travel) offers. We do not do sun and beach cheap packages (which are not so cheap once you start adding taxes, levies, visas, and all these fees tour operators seem to leave out the published price), but we pride ourselves in doing the best cultural educational and nature tours to Cuba.

    See all our Cuba tours for 2011 at http://www.authenticubatours.com/all-cuba-tours.htm

    You can directly e-mail me at director@authenticubatours.com if you want

    If you are a natural born leader, you could put together small group of friends and family and travel free yourself!
  • authenticubatours.co,

    Interesting website.

    You should correct your Tourist Card info though. Only Canadians have a 90 day Tourist Card - everyone else must suffer with 30 days only. Everyone is of course allowed one extension equaling the original validity so Canadians are the only nationality who can stay for 6 months - everyone else has to leave after 60 days.

    All the best to you.

    Cheers,
    Terry
  • Hi Terry,

    Thank you for visiting our website and your insightful comments.

    Yes, a tourist visa valid for 90 days is extended to Canadians. The period of tourist visa validity for other foreign nationals vary and in general is 30 days. The best is to check with the Cuban Embassy in your country before departure to make sure you have updated information.

    Where are you from? How many times have you been to Cuba?

    All the best to you!!

    Luis
  • Dear Luis,

    As far as I'm aware Canadians are the only exception to the 30 day rule.

    I've travelled and worked in Cuba a fair amount over the last 15 years.

    Good luck with your business.

    Cheers,
    Terry
  • Hi Terry,

    Yes, I agree. I'm not aware of any other country either.

    But other countries may have some other different set of regulations (beyond the 90/30 day policy).

    It is always a good idea check with Cuban Embassy, Cuban Consular Representation, or Interest Section (in the case of USA) before departure.

    I was born in Cuba and worked inside Cuba travel industry for over 15 years myself too.

    Good luck to you too and thank you for your comments!

    Luis
  • With all due respect you have to REALLY take everything the Cuban Embassies/Consulates tell you with a grain of salt, especially with a cash purchase like the Tourist Card.

    One of many examples: The Cuban Embassy in Australian is notorious for telling travellers from Australia, New Zealand, etc. that they MUST purchase a Tourist Card from the Embassy in Sydney before they depart for Cuba. This is of course nothing more than a cash-grab scam because the Tourist Card is readily available for MUCH less money and hassle from any departure point in the Western Hemisphere.

    Even the Cuban Embassy in Canada - which is perhaps the easiest country in the world to get a Tourist Card - used to try and pull this scam. The Embassy would happily sell you a Tourist Card then you'd show up at the airport and discover that your airline, tour operator or travel agent MUST supply the card to you.

    It's fine to check and see what the Embassy says, but it's a good move to check-in on a peer reviewed travel forum to confirm what the score really is...

    Cheers,
    Terry
  • Hey Terry, Thanks for your comments on most of the posts, they are very insightful. I am travelling as a New Zealander to cuba in March. Likely flying via Paris. As you noted above, they suggest a tourist card from the embassy in sydney. I am not going to go to sydney just to do that. Do you know if airlines from France/Spain to Cuba also issue the tourist cards, just as the canadian ones do? Just wondering the best way to sort it out before arriving.
  • I have a Canadian citizenship card, but I have a British passport. Does anyone know whether the 90-day tourist card apply to Canadian citizens with a non-Canadian passport?

    Please don't anyone suggest that I should get a Canadian passport because that is something that most definitely is not going to happen!

    Annie
  • EM: The policies in Paris change all the time regarding Tourist Cards - sometimes you can buy them, sometimes not. If you're in Paris for a bit it's easy to pick up at the Cuban Embassy.

    Annie: Cuban authorities wont care about any ID or documentation except your Passport so your Tourist Card will only be good for 30 days.

    Cheers,
    Terry
  • I am an American, married to a Cuban and we have a child. We want to travel to Cuba to see family. What all do we need to do to travel to Cuba? My Cuban family is very casual about everything but I am concerned, being an American, that there are other things we need to do. We already have passports. I understand that you get a visa once you arrive in Cuba. You also have to purchase mandatory health insurance (required by Cuba) from the airline before departing the US. I just don't want any unwanted/troublesome surprises.
  • Since you're married to a Cuban you can travel to Cuba legally, so no worries there. You fly in on your US Airport, your wife uses her Cuban Passport.

    You can purchase Travel Health Insurance from many of the Travel Agent who sell tickets on the charter airlines that fly direct from the US, or from Divermex Agency if you're flying from Mexico, or from Asistur Insurance right in Cuba.

    If you're staying with family in Cuba (not something that I would personally recommend - much better to get a nearby casa particular so your in-laws don't drive you insane) then you'll need to apply for an A-1 Family Visa after you arrive. Your in-laws should know how to go about this, it's no big deal.

    Have fun.

    Cheers,
    Terry
  • I'm a Canadian immigrant with permanent resident card. I'm planning to visit Veradero, Cuba in few months. Do i need a tourist visa to enter Cuba? Or do I need a tourist card only?

    Thanks, Winnie
  • The Tourist Card is the same thing as a Tourist Visa.

    This is a no-brainer departing from Canada - unlike coming from the UK or Europe your Canadian Airline, Tour Operator, Travel Agent, etc. MUST supply you with the Tourist Card. No worries.

    Cheers,
    Terry
  • please can you tell me what the weather is likely to be in februart/march?
  • Hi there, i am travelling to cuba at the end of October, do I need to get my Tourist Card in advance from the embassy/online or can I get it from my airline on departure?

    Thanks

    Ashley
  • Ashley, no one can answer your question when you give no clue where you are flying from, or whether you're on a package tour or travelling independently.

    Cheers,
    Terry
  • Im flying from Gatwick with Thomson airways as part of a package holiday... booked through Thomson Holidays.

    Thanks

    Ashley
  • Thomson will mail the Tourist Cards to your home address 10 days to 3 weeks before you depart, no worries.

    Cheers,
    Terry
  • How is it looking for Hurricans this month? I am flying into Cuba on 10th October for 2 weeks (Varadero) Thanks Alan
  • Hi there (Terry), I am a New Zealander travelling to Cuba via the Cayman Islands on Cayman Airways. Do you think I will be able to get a tourist card for Cuba in the Caymans? I will also be in NYC and Miami. Getting one here in NZ is going to cost $187 (have to do it via a Vias company)!!
    Thanks CB
  • CB, you can purchase the Tourist Card right at the Cayman Airport, no worries.

    Cheers,
    Terry
  • hi i would like to ask u if i need a visa going there?i'm here at canada right now i'm not residency yet here i just got my open permit here in canada.
  • Cherry, there is no "visa" for Cuba, only a Tourist Card. Departing from Canada it's a non-issue. Your nationality is not important.

    Cheers,
    Terry
  • Thank you for this information. Is this really for real that it is not needed to have a visa upon going there?
  • For tourist travel all you require is the Cuban Tourist Card.

    Cheers,
    Terry
  • Hi I have Czech passport but right now I' m living in Canada and my husband and I we are planning to visit Cuba with Canadien travel agency (Sunwing). Should I arrange tourist card on Cuban ambassy before our flight or travel agency will arrange it on board of plane? We want to use last minute packages.
    Thanks Kate?ina
  • It's a no brainer departing from Canada. Your Tour Operator or Airline MUST supply you with the Tourist Card. No need to deal with the Cuban Embassy.

    Sunwing will hand it to you.

    Relax, have fun, have a great trip...

    Cheers,
    Terry

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