Are you an American wondering how or if you can legally visitCuba? Join the hundreds of thousands of Americans who have
experienced the thrills of visiting this exciting and exotic destination legally.
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 (OFAC).
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!
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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!)
7. 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 driver.
8. 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 airports.
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.