Since Cuba established a Ministry of Tourism in 1994, thw country has transformed itself into a welcoming and memorable destination.
This “Pearl of the Antilles” hosted 4.7 million visitors in 2017. It expects over 5 million guests in 2019.
The growth trend continues partly due to Cuba’s tropical beauty and rich culture. Visitor growth is also fueled in part by the nation’s policy toward tourists.
Cuba welcomes visitors from every nation through its Cuba tourist card, an electronic visa that permits entry to the island.
Visitors from all over the world arrive, usually by plane through the airport in Havana. In addition to neighboring US and Canada, Cuba boasts many visitors from the EU, Russia and Argentina.
How can I visit Cuba Legally?
For most of the world, tourist travel in Cuba is perfectly legal. However, visitors should consider their home country’s requirements as they prepare to visit Cuba.
For example, the US government still prohibits tourist travel to Cuba. Yet Americans can visit legally under a tourist license that declares their purpose for visiting Cuba.
Under the US “general license” for travel to Cuba, Americans must travel under one of the following purposes:
- Family visits
- Official government business
- Professional and academic research meetings
- Educational activities
- Religious activities
- Public performances such as clinics, workshops or athletic competitions
- Support for the Cuban people
- Humanitarian efforts
- Private foundations or institutes
- Export or import of informational materials
Other governments offer visa-free travel to Cuba. Citizens and permanent residents of Canada, for example, can travel to Cuba freely.
However, every visitor to Cuba, no matter their home country, must acquire a Cuba tourist card and present it upon arrival.
For entry to Cuba, you will need:
- A passport from your home country with six months until expiration.
- A Cuba tourist card.
- For Americans, a license that indicates your purpose for visiting.
As the Cuban tourist card applies only to tourism-related travel, visitors must make sure their activities involve just tourism or their stated travel purpose.
Those who wish to travel for non-tourist purposes must apply for a visa or license suited to their purpose.
When can I visit Cuba?
Although Cuba is beautiful at any time of the year, travel experts advise planning a visit between December and May. The weather is sunny and the danger of storms is slight.
The online agencies can help answer the question: How can I travel to Cuba? They are properly positioned and specialize in helping travelers secure these documents.
Travel experts say travelers should secure their Cuba Tourist Card a week ahead of time, at minimum. The simplest, most efficient way is to work with a reputable and reliable agency.
Experts at VisaCuba-Online.com say that an online purchase can require as little as 10 minutes. The site’s application process takes place on a simple 2-step form. Cuba travel experts are available 24 hours each day.