Are you an American wondering how or if you can legally visit
Cuba? Join the hundreds of thousands of Americans who have
experienced the thrills of visiting this exciting and exotic
Americans can travel to Cuba legally if they are a Cuban
American, politician, journalist or if you have a research
project that is about Cuba. Others including students,
religious groups and humanitarians can apply for a license from
the U.S. Treasury Department Office of Foreign Assets Control
However, having said this, did you know that…
Between 100 000 and 200 000 Americans visit Cuba every year
while only some 6000 licenses are being issued in a 1-2 year
period! That means there are a lot of Americans who are going
without the government’s permission.
If you are someone who wants to exercise their right to travel
freely, and have been dying to see why the Canadians call this
destination their #1 hot vacation spot; here is a guide that I’ve put
together to help you get that Cuba vacation!
There are no travel restrictions for Americans to travel in
Cuba and know that as an American, you are completely safe
there. In fact, Cuba has one of the lowest crime rates around
and is the safest country in the Caribbean. You will however,
have to travel to Cuba from Canada or Mexico.
You will need a valid passport and a Cuban tourist card to enter
Cuba. The price of a Cuban tourist card is approximately $20
CAD and your passport needs to have been valid for at least a
full 6 months prior to your travel.
It is recommended that you also take a copy of your birth
certificate and a valid photo ID. You should also be aware
that with an American passport, it can not be stamped in Cuba;
therefore having these additional identifications can come in
handy in case it is accidentally stamped. I would also
recommend having 2 photocopies of your passport as there are no
American embassies in Cuba, so should you lose your passport,
you may use these copies to exit the country.
During the flight to Canada or Mexico, you will be asked to fill
out a declaration form. This will be collected by the customs
officials in that country and from there, you will proceed to
your carrier’s ticket booth where you can pick up your
travel package that contains your Cuban tourist card. You are
now ready to check in for your flight.
Arriving in Cuba will be much like any other airport, Cuban
customs will x-ray your carry on baggage, as well as frisking
you. This is really informal and low key. There are female
security officers to check the females and male security
officers who check the male traveller’s.
You may now collect your luggage but make sure to keep your
passport and tourist card handy, as you will have to show them
to another agent before you leave the baggage claim area. They
will check to make sure that you have your tourist card, look at
your passport and ask you if this is your first time visiting
Cuba, how many days you’ll be there for and the name or address
of your hotel (keep that info handy just in case!)
Transportation from the airport will have been included with
your travel package, follow everyone else outside and look for
your tour staff who will guide you to your proper bus or taxi
When you return, you’ve got the same steps only in reverse, also
you need to keep $25 American (this is very important!) as you
have to pay a departure tax of this amount when leaving Cuba
Organizing your US travel to Cuba will be easier than you ever
imagined! Your travel agent should be able to help you
arrange everything you need for your trip. There are also many
companies online that can help you with this as well.
For more information on Cuba US travel, I recommend
that you visit this site.