As an American traveling to Cuba, you'll need to pick one of the 12 categories of authorized travel to Cuba when you purchase airline tickets and book lodging for your trip. Luckily, recent changes by the Biden administration have loosened restrictions, making legal Cuba travel easier and more convenient, and paving the way for further expansion.
Currently, the broadest category for independent travel to Cuba is called "Support for the Cuban People." To meet the requirements of this category, travelers must abide by the rules by maintaining a daily schedule of activities that directly support private Cuban businesses and individuals. Although planning a trip that meets these requirements may seem confusing, ViaHero's local Cuban trip planners can easily help you organize a legal trip to Cuba under this category.
To understand what is required by the category, take a look at the legal text: here is the full text for the Support for the Cuban People category, with examples.
Want help planning a trip that meets the latest Cuba travel requirements? Plan your trip with the help of one of our Cuba locals!
The Support for the Cuban People category is intended to do just that—facilitate the support the people of Cuba by visiting Americans—while limiting benefits to the Cuban military and government that come from international visitors. This intent 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 what you do 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 fill a full-time schedule. With ViaHero, you’ll work with one of our local Cuban travel planners who will build a completely personalized itinerary and maps based on your specific needs and interests—including the required six hours of Support for the Cuban People activities. Plus, they'll help you plan many other amazing experiences for the rest of your trip!
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 terms 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.