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Are Americans Allowed to Travel to Cuba?

Updated September 6, 2023

Yes, Americans are allowed to travel to Cuba. And it's not much more complicated than traveling to France or Colombia.

Here's how!

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Cuba Horses Americans Allowed to Travel to 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. Even with the changes to restrictions in recent years, it’s both legal and safe to travel to Cuba.

And it's 100% legal

There are some 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   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 particulares on websites like booking.com 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 locals in Cuba for help planning your trip. 

It's important to keep records of your trip: photos and receipts should be saved for 5 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 should 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. Likewise, if you save all of your photos, you'll have a record of your activities during your trip. US travel regulations state that you should keep all of this as evidence for 5 years, just in case you're asked to show proof of your activities. 

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. 


For more on traveling to Cuba, be sure to check out: 


Still have questions about travel to Cuba?
Why not ask someone who lives there? ViaHero connects you with a local to help plan your trip. They’ll create a guidebook based on your personal travel style.
You’ll see a unique side of a destination and travel independently—all while saving time and money in the planning process. Find a local today.

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