I will be travelling to the USA from Australia (flights booked) in February 2017 and am planning to visit Cuba (flights not yet booked). I would like to know what the easiest and cheapest method of getting into Cuba with a tourist visa is.

I have so far received conflicting information suggesting the following:

Suggested method 1. Once in the USA, travel to Mexico or Canada where I can purchase a Cuban tourist visa, then fly to Cuba (as the USA will apparently not issue a tourist visa)

Suggested method 2. Contact the local Cuban consulate (in Canberra here in Australia) who will issue a tourist visa (we have contacted the consulate and were told they do not do this, but I know others who have obtained Cuban visas this way)

Has anyone had any recent experience travelling to Cuba and obtaining a tourist visa? If so, what method was successful for you?

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    Why not the USA? You can generally obtain the Cuba tourist card right inside the airport when you check in. – Michael Hampton Dec 21 '16 at 7:13
  • @MichaelHampton when I went at least, people recommended against it as the airlines outside of Cuba were sometimes dubious about sending you on the flight sans-visa. – Mark Mayo Dec 21 '16 at 10:12
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    @MarkMayo This is all new for 2016. You would not have seen it last year. As an example, you can buy the tourist visa directly from JetBlue. "Cuban tourist visa, which is sufficient for only certain categories of OFAC-permitted travel, can be purchased from JetBlue at a "gateway airport" (the final airport before departing the U.S.) for $50 per person. Customer will need their passport, boarding pass and a major credit card to buy the Cuban tourist visa." They also include the mandatory travel insurance. – Michael Hampton Dec 21 '16 at 10:24
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    @MichaelHampton wow things are changing fast! – Mark Mayo Dec 21 '16 at 10:47

I went to Cuba last year (Kiwi living in Sydney).

It was easy. Flew to Mexico City from the US. In the airport, found the Cuban counter (There's literally a counter for visas).

At this point, pay the 25 CUCs or whatever the amount was for a visa. You need this to be allowed to board the plane to Havana/wherever your entry point into Cuba is.

Upon landing in Havana, they questioned my travel insurance (I didn't have it printed out) and made me buy 'Cuban travel insurance' for another 25 or so CUCs, but even that took about 5 minutes to process.

This would be far simpler a process than any procedure I could imagine in Canberra.

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    After much research, I've booked flights to Cuba via Mexico City with plans to buy the visa in the airport. This seems the least troublesome, and most tried and tested method. I will report back here after I fly in a fortnight, either voting your answer or supplying an alternate method based on my experience. Thanks to all for the help! – kaifus87 Jan 29 '17 at 23:18
  • I have been successful in purchasing a Cuban tourist visa over the Mexico City Interjet airlines counter while checking in for 250 Mexican pesos. – kaifus87 Feb 11 '17 at 17:19

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