Cuba has been in the news a lot more than the previous handful of years and there’s a lot of confusion about how Americans can go to Cuba. Following my outstanding 48 hours in Havana, Cuba’s magical capital, I have been obtaining a lot of queries about the logistics.
Even though there is some new red tape, it is nonetheless incredibly probable for Americans to go to this special Caribbean island and it is so worth it! It surely requires some organizing but Cuba is a 1 of sort spot that deserves a spot on every single traveler’s bucket list.
Prepared for a tropical escape you will never ever neglect? Right here is every thing you want to know about how Americans can go to Cuba.
New Laws for Americans Traveling to Cuba
Cuba – American relations are an ever-evolving scenario. In truth, just this April 2019, new sanctions have been place into spot.
The new regulations avoid “non-household travel” along with restricting the quantity of dollars the persons in the US can send to Cuba. The tightening of the restrictions is not-so-fantastic news for cruise firms and some airlines, who have been providing direct day-to-day trips to Cuba.
The very good news is that it is nonetheless incredibly probable to get there.
Understanding the Travel Categories
There are 11 travel categories that enable Americans to go to Cuba. It is significant to be conscious that you will be picking your personal category.
It is a bit like filing your personal taxes exactly where you pick what is proper then just hold your documentation in case of a probable audit.
Right here are the categories of travel to Cuba authorized by OFAC:
- Family members visits
- Official business enterprise of the U.S. government or foreign governments
- Specialist study and business enterprise meetings
- Educational activities
- Religious activities
- Public performances, clinics, workshops, athletic and other competitions, and exhibitions
- Assistance for the Cuban persons
- Humanitarian projects
- Activities of private foundations or study or educational institutes
- Exportation, importation, or transmission of details or informational components
How to Travel Independently to Cuba
For independent travel, “Support for the Cuban People” is usually the ideal alternative. In order to use this category, you will want to have “contact with the Cuban persons, help civil society in Cuba, or market the Cuban people’s independence from Cuban authorities that Outcome in meaningful interaction with folks in Cuba” (study the fine print right here).
To travel as an independent traveler, here’s how you can adhere to the new policies:
- State that you are traveling below any of the 11 categories, like the Assistance for the Cuban Persons category. You can declare that category when booking your flights, cruise, and accommodation, as nicely as throughout re-entry into the US.
- Make confident that your itinerary reflects your category or purpose for traveling to Cuba. Keep at locally-run accommodation, “Casa Particulars” (and Airbnbs), consume at neighborhood restaurants, and help neighborhood corporations.
- Steer clear of staying at hotels banned by the US State Division and spending dollars at military-owned corporations (study a lot more right here).
The complete method of picking your goal appears a bit difficult but just saying you are supporting the locals is quite simple and it is the ideal way to knowledge life in Cuba! Americans can go to Cuba below this travel category by supporting neighborhood entrepreneurs.
Go to locally run museums, independent markets, art shows, and usually just engage completely with the persons of Cuba. Just discussing the culture with locals is sufficient to qualify for this goal.
The important issue to hold in thoughts is that you have to make a complete-time itinerary displaying that you will be undertaking the above.
Study Additional: How to Commit 48 Hours in Havana
How to Travel to Cuba in a Group Tour
The “People to Persons Educational” category that enables you to travel about Cuba with a guided tour group. To claim this sort of travel, you want to be with a US tour operator for the duration of your trip — as component of the new sanctions it is needed that the tour operator be a US organization, that “focuses on educational activities that place the traveler in make contact with with the Cuban persons, not the Cuban government”.
Like the “Support for the Cuban People” group, you are needed to have a complete-time travel itinerary packed with cultural exchange and mastering. Once more, this is not definitely also difficult to essentially do.
Consuming Cuban meals at neighborhood restaurants, chatting to persons at the beach, going to galleries, and comparable items are adequate.
If you are arriving in Cuba on a cruise, you can nonetheless pick to discover independently or do shore excursions, but you want to stick to the exact same basic guidelines — keep away from spending dollars at military-run corporations. Stick to neighborhood establishments and firms! You will also want to get your Cuban “tourist card”, which can be bought by means of your cruise operator.
Study Additional: Top 15 Issues to Do in Havana
How to Get Your Cuban Tourist Card
Whichever alternative you go for, you will want to get a Cuban “tourist card”. It is critical to note that this is not the exact same as a “tourist visa”, even though each names may be made use of.
Only persons from the following nations want an actual “tourist visa” to go to Cuba: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cameroon, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, India, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sri Lanka.
Most other nations only want a tourist card. This card suggests that Americans can go to Cuba for up to 30 days (or up to 90 days for Canadians and a handful of other pick nationalities).
You will also want a valid passport and proof of travel insurance coverage that covers healthcare emergencies and evacuation by air. I purchased my insurance coverage policy by means of Planet Nomads, and I’ve never ever had any difficulties claiming with them!
If you fly from the USA to Cuba, you will want a a lot more pricey tourist card (a pink card) that expenses $99. If you can, have a layover outdoors of the US, and you can purchase a green tourist card for $39 even if you have a U.S. passport.
Cuba Visa Solutions is the official companion of American Airlines and Southwest Airlines. They are recognized for providing the ideal prices on the pink tourist card for Cuba and are usually a trustworthy organization, so it is a very good spot to get began.
You can purchase your Cuba Tourist Card on the internet with Cuba Visa Solutions, or by means of your airline, ahead of your flight or at the gate.
Don’t forget to keep organized! I had an amazing time on my cruise to Cuba, but it was largely organized for me, so it was definitely simple and quick to hold records (but super restricted on free of charge-time!). No matter whether you go the tour route or travel independently, you have got to hold receipts.
In truth, the US government needs that you hold them for up to 5 years to prove your expenditures there!