As an American, you need to pick one of 11 categories of authorized travel to Cuba. Before new restrictions announced by the Trump Administration went into effect in June 2019, many travelers were also able to choose a twelfth category, called "People to People". However, due to the June 2019 Cuba travel restrictions, this is no longer possible.
The broadest category you may currently use to travel independently to Cuba is the Support for the Cuban People category. You will need to abide by the regulations and participate in activities that are in the spirit of the category. Although planning a trip that complies with these regulations may seem confusing, ViaHero can easily help you organize a legal trip to Cuba under this category. Find out how, or keep reading for more info.
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To understand what is required by the category, take a look at the legal text:
Full text of the Support for the Cuban People category, with examples.
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Support for the Cuban People is intended to do just that—support the people of Cuba—while limiting benefits to the Cuban military. This has been stated multiple times, both in announcements and official documentation. Senator Marco Rubio, who was the driver behind this category, explicitly outlines how Americans can travel to Cuba under the Support for the Cuban People category.
The category is fairly broad, so it really depends on your interests. In general, you’ll need to:
To fit into the category, you must engage in compliant activities over enough hours to fulfill a full-time schedule. With ViaHero, you’ll work with one of our local travel planners who will build you a completely personalized guidebook based on your specific needs and interests—including the requisite six hours of Support for the Cuban People activities during weekdays (plus other amazing recommendations for the rest of your trip).
You’ll be able to navigate your way around the country independently using custom maps that your Hero will build for you in an offline app, and you’ll even be able to contact your Hero during your trip with any last minute questions or requests!
Here’s an example of a personalized guidebook for travel to Cuba under the Support for the Cuban People category.
Even if you're traveling under Support for the Cuban People, 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
If you're traveling from the US, this card is pink. If you are traveling from outside the US, this card is green. Here's how you can purchase your Cuban Tourist Card:
*Note: Due to the June 2019 policy restrictions, American cruise ships are no longer allowed to dock in Cuba.
One of our local travel experts in Cuba can plan your fully customized trip, all while helping to ensure that your trip is compliant with the new travel requirements.