Afro Cuban religion dance 

How to Get a Cuban Visa

By globedrifters Uncategorized

How to Get a Cuban Visa

Getting a Cuban visa (tourist card) is required for many travelers to Cuba, including US travelers. Most of you don’t need to fill out an application form or hand in your passport to a consulate or embassy. Where you’ll get a Cuban visa and how much it’ll cost depends on where you’re traveling from. In this blog, you’ll read all about how to get a Cuban visa as an US traveler.


What is a Cuban Visa (Tourist Card)?

A Cuban tourist card, also referred to as a visa, is a document needed by most travelers to enter Cuba. In addition to your passport, you’ll need to present this to Cuban Immigration officials when you arrive in Cuba. It is a slip of paper on which you’ll need to fill out your name, date of birth, passport number and citizenship. The slip has 2 identical sides with a perforation in the middle. Upon arrival, a Cuban immigration official will take one side and when you leave, an official will take the other side.

Cuban visa, tourist card

Example of a Cuban visa (or Cuban tourist card).

Do I Need a Cuban Visa?

Most travelers to Cuba will need a tourist card to enter and travel within the island. These are the countries that do not require visas to enter Cuba. If you do not see your country on this list, then you will need a tourist card to visit Cuba. Travelers from the US, Canada, UK and Australia all need tourist cards to travel to Cuba. Otherwise, we suggest contacting your nearest Cuban embassy or consulate to ask if you need a visa for Cuba.

Where can I Get a Cuban Visa?

Most US travelers to Cuba can get the Cuban tourist card with the airline they’re flying to Cuba with. If flying from the US, below are links with more information about obtaining tourist cards with a few US airlines that fly to Cuba:

You can usually purchase your Cuban tourist card either at check-in or at the departure gate of your flight to Cuba by credit/debit card only. If you have questions, it’s best to call your airline.

Alternatively, you can pre-purchase your Cuban tourist card online with Cuba Visa Services.

PRO TIP: Everyone on our 9-day trips will be traveling under the OFAC category “Support for the Cuban People”. This is probably the most common category for many travelers to Cuba.

How Much is a Cuban Visa?

The price of a Cuban tourist card will vary depending on where you’re flying from and the airline you’re flying with. The cost for most US travelers flying with US airlines will be anywhere from $50 – $85 USD payable by card with your airline.

How does the Cuban Visa Work?

Once you receive your Cuban tourist card, you will need to fill it out with a black pen neatly and completely. Some airlines might also fill it out for you. You will need to print your last name, first name, date of birth, passport number and nationality on both sides of your Cuban tourist card. Keep it in a safe place during your travels. When you arrive in Cuba, an immigration official will take one side. Be sure to keep the other side safe during your visit to Cuba because you will usually need to present it to immigration upon departure from Cuba.

PRO TIP: Make sure you fill out each side legibly and correctly. If you make a mistake, you will need to purchase a new tourist card.

Cuban visa in hand and you’re ready to visit Cuba!


There you have it… The ins and outs of the Cuban visa (or Cuban tourist card). Check out our other blogs about Cuba for more information on accommodation, tipping, currency, donations, food, etc. Happy travels!

Havana, Cuba streets 

Food in Cuba

By globedrifters Amazing trips around the world | Cuba

Food in Cuba

Updated March 14, 2022

Food in Cuba is delicious, but tends to be very simple. Many travelers to Cuba are pleasantly surprised at the quality of the food. There typically isn’t as much variety as most you might be used to, but it is generally fresh, in season and organic as Cuba doesn’t rely as heavily on pesticides and GMOs as other countries. When it comes to food in Cuba, it’s best to have the correct expectations as food may not be as plentiful or great in variety as where you’re from.


Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner in Cuba

A standard Cuban meal is basic and is composed of what is in season. Seasonings and condiments are also basic and dishes are typically not heavy on the sauce. It’s important to keep in mind that there are food shortages on the island so the quantity and what’s available will vary depending on this as well as what’s in season. Please be mindful of the amount of food you waste.

Breakfast in Cuba is plentiful and fresh! It is included every morning at the casa particular on our trips and usually is made up of eggs and bread, seasonal fruit, fresh fruit juice (i.e. guava, papaya, mango, etc.), coffee and tea. (What is a casa particular? Read our blog about accommodation in Cuba!)

Fresh fruit in Cuba

Fresh and in-season fruit is commonly served at breakfast in Cuba.

A typical lunch and dinner in Cuba consist of white rice or beans and rice, a salad made up of vegetables that are in season (i.e. cucumber, tomato, cabbage, avocados, etc.), some type of grilled, fried or stewed meat and sometimes fish and a root vegetable or banana in some form (i.e. cassava, taro, potatoes, plantains, etc.) You may also see the occasional seafood dish (i.e. shrimp or lobster).

PRO TIP: If you like your meals to be seasoned or with lots of spice, then we recommend that you bring your own spices and condiments such as hot sauce or whatever you prefer.

Vinales organic farm and restaurant

Locally sourced produce is a large part of Cuban food…Truly farm-to-table!

Traditional Cuban dishes

Below are a few of our favorite typical Cuban dishes to try while you’re traveling in Cuba:

  • Ropa vieja: This is one of Cuba’s most famous dishes and literally translated, means “old clothes”. It’s shredded beef slow-cooked in its own juices and stock along with tomato sauce, onions and bell peppers.
  • Pollo fricasse: Chicken simmered in a tomato-based sauce with onions and sometimes other in-season vegetables.
  • Moros y cristianos: Most will know it as “rice and beans” and you’ll find it at almost every Cuban restaurant. Literally translated, it means “Moors and Christians”. Black beans and rice are boiled in the same water and other ingredients are sometimes added for more flavor (i.e. garlic, pepper, oregano, etc.).
  • Platanos: They’re known around the world as plantains or cooking bananas and are less sweet than bananas. In their unripened state, you’ll see them sliced thin and fried (chicharritas/mariquitas), flattened and double fried (tostones/chatinos). Or when they’re ripe, they’re sliced up and fried as a sweet, gooey treat.

Vegetarian & Vegan Food in Cuba

Vegetarian and vegan food in Cuba is available and Cubans are gradually becoming more aware of vegetarianism and veganism though neither are all that common there. More and more, you’ll find vegetarian and vegan options on menus and restaurants specializing in cuisines catering to the needs of these diets, especially in Havana.

Understand that while it may not be difficult to get a vegetarian or vegan meal in Cuba, you generally won’t find much variety and you may very well get tired of being offered the same thing at every meal (i.e. rice, beans, salad, fruit, etc.) If you’re a strict vegetarian or vegan, we suggest bringing some of your own snacks on the trip to supplement your diet.

Those who travel with us to Cuba will be able to provide us with your dietary restrictions when you sign up for the trip. Our guide will make sure all the restaurants during your stay in Cuba have adequate offerings to match your dietary needs.

Organic vegetables in Cuba

Vegetarians and vegans will delight in the organic, non-GMO produce of Cuba.


Drinks in Cuba

Drinks in Cuba are iconic worldwide. The mojito and daiquiri immediately come to mind, but Cuba is full of wonderfully refreshing drinks.

Traditional Cuban drinks

Below is a list of a few of our favorite non-alcoholic drinks and cocktails that you may not have heard of:

  • Canchanchara: Some consider it a forerunner of the mojito and daiquiri. This drink is made up of a mix aguardiente (very strong liquor distilled from sugar cane), honey and lime juice.
  • Habana especial: A lovely, fruity cocktail with 3-year-old Havana Club rum, fresh orange or pineapple juice and a splash of grenadine.
  • Limonada frapeada/frappée: It’s a frozen daiquiri minus the rum and is equally refreshing under the scorching Cuban sun!
  • Guarapo: The juice of sugarcane poured over a cup of ice to satisfy your thirst and your sweet tooth.
Daiquiri at el Floridita

The daiquiri: An icon of Cuba and made famous by Hemingway.


Food in Cuba still manages to be delicious despite the lack of access to food and appliances to cook it with. Dishes are always made by hand and with lots of love. Although it might not be as great in variety as you are used to, there’s something for everyone! Happy travels!