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Cuban Connection... Travel

Updated: Jun 12

Visa & Entry Requirements

The only requirement for Canadian citizens travelling to Cuba is an entry visa from the Cuban government.  Most individuals travelling from Canadian churches will require a Religious Visa.  These cost approximately $150 each and usually take 3 months to receive, so begin planning early.  In very rare cases, your travel may fall under aTourist Visa.  Tourist visas are much cheaper and are easier to acquire, but seriously limit the kind of activity that you are permitted to undertake while in the country.  For the integrity of our churches and of our partners, it is imperative that you get the proper visa for you and your team.  Team leaders should contact Jason Vanover well in advance of your departure date to discuss which visa your team will need and begin the process of acquiring them.

Note:  Only one visa is necessary - a tourist visa is not required if you already have a religious visa.  

Note for US citizens & residents: United States citizens & residents require additional approval from the US government before travelling to Cuba.   

Air Travel Options

International - Both major Canadian airlines travel to Cuba.  Depending on your final destination, you will probably need to fly into either Havana or Holguin.  Both airlines also fly to specific tourist destinations such as Cayo Coco and Varedaro, but these two locales will seldom be close to partner church locations.      Air Canada travels to Havana (HAV), Holguin (HOG), and Santa Clara (SNU).  You can book on-line.    WestJet Vacations has charter flights to Holguin (HOG).  You will need to call toll free number for air only. is a travel website that may assist in commercial flight planning.

Domestic - If your ministry location is significantly removed from the above airports, your team may need to consider flying into one of the airports listed and then taking a commuter flight on a domestic carrier such as Cubana de Aviacion.  Note:  Special arrangements will need to be made if choosing this option as international and domestic airport terminals are not necessarily together and may require outside ground transportation. 

Reminder:  Before booking any flight, ensure that you have contacted Jason Vanover to confirm your dates and apply for your entry visa.  At any time during your planning, feel free to contact him to discuss travel options or considerations.  


The Cuban Convertible Peso (CUC) is one of two currencies used in Cuba and is the currency that you can expect to use while in the country. The Cuban Peso (CUP) is the other currency - used by Cubans in Cuba.  Canadian banks do not typically carry CUC, so it is easiest for Canadian churches and individuals to bring Canadian Dollars and exchange as much as is reasonably needed at a time into CUC in Cuba.  Note:  Do expect a service charge of approximately 10% when converting either way.  CUC value today  

Explanation:  The Convertible Peso is the "Tourist Dollar", because it is intended as a US Dollar (USD) replacement for Tourists. The value of the CUC rises and falls based on the USD.  

Note:  When converting USD to CUC, Cuba charges an additional 10% bank fee that is not applied to other exchanges, so it is advisable to simply bring Canadian Dollars.   

Government of Canada Travel Information  Travel Report for Cuba includes important information about travelling to/in Cuba        

Check this site again immediately before departing for any urgent updates or warnings  General Information for Cuba 

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