Are Americans Allowed to Travel to Cuba?

Are Americans Allowed to Travel to Cuba?

ViaHero · Updated May 7, 2019

Yes, Americans are allowed to travel to Cuba.

And it's not much more complicated than traveling to France or the Bahamas or Colombia. Once you give the article a read feel free to message us any questions directly.

Note: In April 2019, President Trump announced a shift in Cuba travel policy. However, this announcement has not led to any actual changes in travel regulations. Learn more about this announcement in this Cuba travel policy article or keep reading to learn how Americans can legally travel to Cuba.

Want to make the most out of your trip? Tap into our network of local travel planners—Heroes—who build unique, locally-curated trip plans, designed just for you. Get started.

americans in cuba

Americans are not banned from traveling to Cuba. Americans just can’t go to Cuba for tourism.

There’s a big difference between not being able to travel to Cuba at all and not being able to visit Cuba as a regular tourist. There’s a vast middle ground that allows for travel that’s beneficial to the Cuban people and enjoyable for visitors, too.

Also, the recent State Department travel warning is not binding. It’s meant to be considered when making your travel plans, but does not ban Americans from traveling to Cuba. The warning is in response to attacks against diplomats and no American travelers have been affected to date. It’s both legal and safe to travel to Cuba.

Americans may travel to Cuba:

President Trump’s changes to former President Obama’s Cuba travel policy are minor, but confusing. The key thing to remember is that Americans are allowed to travel to Cuba independently, despite what some media outlets are saying.

There are, however, restrictions on where Americans can spend money while traveling in Cuba.

If you’re sticking to the rules of your travel category mentioned above or traveling on a group tour, it shouldn’t be too hard to avoid the businesses on the Department of State’s Restricted List. The list bans Americans from spending money at any organization affiliated with the Cuban military.

Many of the places on the list are hotels or travel companies, so you can plan ahead to make sure you avoid them. Staying in casas particulares is a great way to make sure you don’t stay in a hotel on the list and have an enriching cultural experience staying with a local family. You can book casas particulares on websites like or Airbnb.

The main place to be careful in Cuba is in Old Havana. A number of the shops there appear on the Restricted List.

Also, the State Department has made it clear that this list will change over time, so make sure to double check the list before you go.

Want help navigating this issue? Contact one of our Heroes.

You must keep all of your receipts and records for five years.

Many of us don’t even take receipts at the cash register anymore. We just don’t want the tiny slips of paper cluttering up our pockets and purses. But when you travel to Cuba, you need to take each receipt and keep it. Tuck them all away carefully in an envelope and don’t lose them. Most likely, you won’t be asked for them, but if you ever are, you need to have them.

But that’s it. Americans are allowed to travel to Cuba and it’s easy to plan a trip.

Our Cuban travel experts can help you figure out the logistics and give you insider recommendations on activities you’ll love. Just input a few of your travel preferences to find the expert in your travel style.

Before your trip, make sure to check out:


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