ViaHero · Updated June 5, 2019
Update June 5, 2019: The White House and OFAC have enacted new restrictions to the way Americans can travel to Cuba. However, this does not mean Americans can't travel to Cuba. In fact, it is still 100% legal to do so. Learn more about this announcement in our Cuba travel policy article or keep reading to learn how Americans can legally travel to Cuba.
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.
Americans are not banned from traveling to Cuba. Americans just can’t go to Cuba for tourism.
Yes, even after the June 5, 2019 policy change! 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. Even with the recent restrictions, it’s both legal and safe to travel to Cuba.
And it's 100% legal
- Americans simply have to travel independently under one of eleven allowed categories of travel.
- The Support for the Cuban People category is most commonly used.
- Formerly, Americans could travel to Cuba with guided tour companies (under the People to People category, which was a 12th category) or take cruises to Cuba.
- However, due to President Trump's June 2019 Cuba travel restrictions, the People to People category has been eliminated and cruise ships are barred from going to Cuba.
- Again, it's still 100% legal to travel to Cuba—you simply have to travel independently under any of the remaining 11 categories of legal travel. For help planning your legal, independent trip to Cuba, talk to a local Cuban travel expert.
Trump’s changes to 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, 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
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:
- Connect With a Local to Plan Your Trip
- You Can Still Travel to Cuba: 2019 Update
- New Cuba Travel Policy Updates
- Independent Havana Tours
- Cuba FAQ
- Cuban Tourist Cards and Visas