In the #beforetimes, Americans could absolutely travel to Cuba–even in light of the Trump Administration's travel restrictions. (Even the most recent restriction—which dictates that Americans cannot stay at government-owned hotels or import Cuban rum and cigars—does not ban travel to Cuba.)
But the coronavirus has made travel to Cuba even more complicated. Read on below for the latest updates about traveling to Cuba, as well as everything you need to know about traveling there legally, as an American. And if you have questions, feel free to reach out to one of our Cuban trip planners.
The Support for the Cuban People category is the most common category for independent travel to Cuba. Under this category, you must adhere to a full-time schedule of activities that support the Cuban people.
As of June 5th 2019, travelers can no longer travel to Cuba under the “People to People” category (which was primarily used by guided tour companies and cruise lines). This 12th category of travel focused on educational activities that put the traveler in contact with the Cuban people. Additionally, you can no longer plan cruises to Cuba under the June 2019 regulations. Prior to this restriction, travelers could take shore excursions as long as they didn't spend any Cuban currency at military-run businesses.
If you have existing plans to travel to Cuba that were arranged before June 5, 2019, you can still travel to Cuba without making any changes to your plans.
Regardless of which Category of Legal Travel you choose, you will still need to buy a Cuban Tourist Card to enter Cuba (not actually a visa, though the two words are sometimes used interchangeably). This is a Cuban government requirement, and has nothing to do with the 11 Categories of Legal Travel required by the US Government. If you're traveling from the US, this card is pink. If you are traveling from outside the US, this card is green. There are several ways to purchase a Cuban Tourist Card: