How to Get a Cuban Tourist Card (Visa) in Mexico

Arriving at Cancun airport without a visa for Cuba gave us some mild anxiety. But it turns out getting a Cuban Tourist Card at the airport is relatively simple. Here’s how…


Applying for a Cuban Tourist Card:

While some nationalities require a visa to visit Cuba, most visitors only need a Tourist Card. This can be picked up at the airport just before you get on the flight. (Though allow yourself extra time- the whole process took us over an hour).


When we arrived at the airport, we mistakenly queued for the check in desk, only to be told we first needed to go to the airline desk to get the Tourist Card. After a minor panic when we were told the cards had run out, more cards appeared and we were each given one to fill out. We were also warned not to make any mistakes or we’d have to pay for a new card! The Tourist Card cost us each MXN250.

After some confusion (and being passed from desk to desk), we discovered we needed to pay an additional MXN390 each as a departure tax. We were given a confusing explanation about how we had to pay this as we had entered by land but were leaving by air. (Some online research indicates that every visitor to Mexico has to pay this. Though it is sometimes included in the cost of the airline ticket, and doesn’t need to be paid for stays under seven days).


And so after a mildly confusing hour being passed from desk to desk, we were on our way to Cuba…

girl in front of Cuba wall mural

How to Get a Cuban Tourist Card in Mexico

Things To Note:

Allow extra time at the airport to arrange your Tourist Card.

Unlike visa applications, you don’t need to provide a passport photo when filling in a Cuba Tourist Card.

Do NOT make a mistake when filling in your Tourist Card, or you will have to pay for a new one.

If arriving into and leaving Mexico by air, make sure you know whether your arrival and departure tax are included in the price of your flight, or if you’ll have to pay this at the airport.


Hopefully this post has covered everything you need to know! If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments…


For more handy visa guides, check out Ailish in Wonderland’s posts on Nepal visas in India and China visas in Mongolia.  


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