Over the past few years, Cuba has been a hot destination.
Once the embargo was loosened in 2016 and it became legal for Americans to travel to Cuba, the destination experienced quite a renaissance. Several new luxury hotels opened, and the locals also moved quickly. Local families opened their homes to travelers by offering affordable, safe rooms to rent, and several local-owned restaurants opened dishing up be far the best food in the country.
So when our current administration’s decision to once again tighten the embargo took effect earlier this year, many people thought that Cuba was no longer a viable option.
However, I’m thrilled to tell you that this is not the case! Americans can still legally travel to Cuba. Here’s what you need to keep in mind.
The “people to people” visa now pertains to groups of 8 or more, so grab a few friends and start planning!
You may have heard about the “people to people” visa. This is the visa American travelers use when visiting Cuba. The purpose of this is to foster cross cultural understanding. In order to legally travel on this visa, you must book travel with an authorized operator to get this people to people visa.
The individual people to people visa has been halted by the current administration. However, the group people to people visa remains available to American travelers. You simply need to travel in a group of 8 or more people. So if you’re interested in Cuba, coordinate with another family, some other couples or simply get a group of friends together!
Your itinerary must include daily activities that promote meaningful interaction between travelers and the Cuban people.
Now, when traveling to Cuba, the itinerary makes all the difference. Companies who have gone through the rigorous process of authorization to conduct these people to people tours understand specifically what is required to maintain legal travel status. The quality of activities and guides is extremely important.
Sign up below for a sample “quick trip to Cuba” itinerary for an example of the kind of tours included on a typical itinerary. You’ll notice morning tours and plenty of time in the afternoon, and one full day, to explore Havana on your own.
Some of the most common activities include a walking tour through the historical old town, established in the 16th century, local music performances and a visit the Hemingway museum (the writer lived in Cuba on and off for over 20 years).
Finally, these tours may not in any way support the Cuban government (and this means sadly we can no longer book the new Kempinski hotel in Havana as it’s owned in part by the government!)
Travel Insurance is Mandatory
While travel insurance is always a good idea, given the fluid nature of legal travel to Cuba, the purchase of travel insurance is mandatory when booking travel to Cuba.
Just looking for itinerary ideas? Sign up below for instant access to a sample 4 day itinerary, priced from $1,930 per person when sharing a room.