Day 180 – Cuban tourist card
2009/03/11 § Leave a comment
When planning to include Cuba in my round the world trip I originally attempted to get a visa (the so called tourist card) in Europe. However, due to insecurity if I would really go to Cuba I decided to take care of it while I was traveling. It turns out that it was more difficult to get a tourist card than expected.
First off, travel agents are supposed to help you out with it. Nevertheless, they were totally useless. No matter if I asked agents or airlines they all had no idea and just send me to the embassy. Now the embassy seems like the logic place to look for a visa, however, they send me away when I arrived there (in Quito). Not that I left, but it took me quite a bit of arguing in order to just get in and ask a question.
I eventually filled out all forms and had them convinced to give me a tourist card. I was asked to return the next day but when I did they told me that I could not get the visa since I would take the plane from Mexico. Again I had to argue for quite a bit and eventually got my card.
Just be aware of this. You may experience more trouble than makes sense. Logically the embassy should be able to issue a tourist card or visa no matter from where you decide to take a plane into Cuba, however, it seems not to be that easy. I am also struggling to see why everyone says it would be no problem to get a tourist card at a travel agent while it seems not to be the case at all, at least in south America.
With that experience in mind you may want to take care of visa applications for Cube before leaving you home country.