cuba

Your Burning Questions on Travel to Cuba Answered

Updated November 9, 2017

Got a question about travel to Cuba? We've probably answered it below. Read through these frequently asked questions to help you plan a trip to Cuba. 

Once you give the article a read feel free to message us any questions directly or ask a Cuban travel expert for help.

By the way, Americans can still travel to Cuba despite recent changes to Cuba travel policy. A legal trip is just a matter of making sure you know what's changed and how it affects your plans. ViaHero has you covered with the latest updates on Cuba travel policies in these recent articles:

And before your trip, make sure to check out:

Can I still travel to Cuba from the US legally? If so, how?

Yes. You have two options:


Group Tours - Under the revised policies announced in June 2017 and implemented on November 9, 2017, if you want to travel under the People to People category of allowed travel, you’ll need to travel as a part of a licensed group tour. These typically cost $5000 or more.


Independent Travel - If you’d like to travel independently under the new policies, you will need to pick one of the other 11 categories of allowable travel. Support for the Cuban People is meant to allow you to interact with and support local businesses and Cuban society. While it isn’t for those seeking pure tourism, you can use this category to learn a lot about Cuba and their culture.


If you're interested, one of our locals in Cuba can plan out as much or as little of your trip as you'd like, all while ensuring that you are visiting legally under the category of your choice.

Here’s more info on our trip planning service to Cuba.


What are the categories of allowable travel? What category should I pick?

Here are the categories of approved travel that you may declare. We suggest the ‘Support for the Cuban People’ category as it’s the broadest and many travel activities qualify if you’re engaging with locals.


You may see these categories referred to as a “General License,” but there’s no physical license at all.  It is simply a declaration of why you’re traveling to Cuba. You just need to pick a category and state it when booking a flight, booking lodging, and returning to the United States through immigration.


Which documents do I need to travel to Cuba from the US?

To enter Cuba from the US:

As required by the Cuban government, you need:

  • Passport
  • Pink tourist card
  • Cuban health insurance (which is often provided as a part of your airline ticket if you're traveling from the US)

To return to the US from Cuba:

As required by the US government, you need:

  • Passport
  • To verbally declare which category of travel you chose
  • An itinerary outlining your activities
  • Receipts for all major transactions and activities that you paid for

Want help planning your trip? Here’s more info on our trip planning service to Cuba.


Can I use a ViaHero guidebook and itinerary to fulfill the new travel restrictions from the US?

Yes, if you’d like to travel independently. ViaHero’s local Heroes will plan your trip to meet all of the requirements for travel to Cuba under the category of your choice.


Each Hero personally caters to your interests and needs, and the service includes:

  • Trip consulting
  • Travel arrangements
  • Personalized guidebook
  • Offline map navigation


Want to learn more? Here’s more info about how it works and a list of our prices.


What kind of activities are typically included in a ViaHero guidebook and itinerary?

ViaHero itineraries for Americans can be tailored to your interests, while fitting in the required activities during your stay. Not every activity has to fit into the category of travel you choose, but it’s expected that 4-8 hours of your weekdays in Cuba are spent participating in activities that do. This could mean meeting and conversing with local artists and entrepreneurs during the morning, and visiting museums and parks during the late afternoon/evening. Your Hero will personalize your trip based on your interests, while meeting the new travel policy requirements.


Here’s an example of what a ViaHero personalized guidebook looks like.

 

I booked my tickets before the US travel policies changed. Can I still go to Cuba?

Yes, you can still go! Your trip will be grandfathered in if you chose the People to People category when you booked flights or lodging, because you booked before the changes went into effect on June 16, 2017. You can still travel to Cuba without making any changes to your plans!


If you booked a flight or lodging on or after June 16th, chose the People to People category of travel and would still like to travel independently, you’ll need to change your travel category to another category, like Support for the Cuban People.

Our local Cuban travel planners are here to help. Message us to get started.

 Have more questions?

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