Do I need to carry a passport while in Cuba? You will definitely need this at the airport! Once in Cuba, there are mixed views on when you need it. I think it depends on where you are and how far away from the resort are you travelling. Are you walking down the beach or visiting the market outside your hotel? You won’t need it. Are you going on a tour with a guide? A copy is probably good enough. Are taking a taxi to a nearby city without a guide? Yes, you should take your passport. Remember that if there was some sort of accident, that ID is crucial for people to figure out who you are. It’s just like being home, you take your ID with you when there is a chance you might need it.
You are required to have proof of medical insurance when you enter Cuba. They can ask for this at the airport. We have never been asked, but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t happen. Some forums say your Canadian Health Card is sufficient and will be accepted. We are fortunate to get a good deal on travel insurance from our employer/union and we trust in that. Your travel agent/airline will also offer insurance options. If they do ask, and you can’t prove you have insurance, you will have to purchase it in Cuba. Rates are reported to be in the $30 USD range.
With COVID-19 continuing to be an obstacle, you will likely need proof of that specific insurance coverage. Most airlines are offering that at no charge.
Print Your Documents
Often people take pictures of their documents and store them on their phones. That is a great idea and we always do that. Remember though that it won’t help if you are unable to use your phone! Print copies of your Passport, Driver’s License, Health Card and Insurance Policies and take them with you.
Take those copies if you are travelling away from the resort. On the resort itself, you won’t need to carry anything- that handy bracelet they put on you is sufficient ID.
Do not carry the Tourist Card around with you! Leave that in the safe in your room. You only need that when you exit Cuba. If you lose the Tourist Card, you may encounter a fuss when you depart. It will likely cost you some money to get a new one. There are mixed reviews about what happens if you lose that Tourist Card, so just play it safe. If you do lose it while on the resort, contact your travel rep and they will advise you on what to do.