New US restrictions have many people asking "can I travel to Cuba in 2019?" It's definitely confusing—keep reading to find out everything you need to know about traveling to Cuba and exactly what the legal situation is. Once you do, feel free to message us with any questions whatsoever!
Note: On June 5th, 2019, new laws regarding US travel to Cuba went into effect. However, it is still 100% legal for Americans to travel to Cuba. (However, as of October 2019, Americans can only fly into Havana.) For more information, check out these Cuba travel policy updates or keep reading for more information.
Yes! Travel to Cuba in 2019 is still possible for Americans who wish to travel independently. You just need to pay attention to the rules.
Americans are allowed to travel to Cuba under 11 different travel categories of authorized travel that reflect the activities travelers will do while in Cuba. There’s no “tourism” category, but there are categories that will allow you to have an incredible solo trip and enjoy the activities you love, such as the Support for the Cuban People category.
Yes! The June 2019 restrictions only affect the People to People category (which was primarily used by guided tour companies and cruise lines). Additionally, as of June 2019, American cruise ships can no longer dock in Cuba, so the future of cruises to Cuba is in doubt.
As an American traveler, all you must do to travel to Cuba in 2020 is choose one of the 11 Categories of Authorized Travel, plan your trip so that it fits within your chosen category, and keep all your receipts and records for five years. If you go in 2020, you’ve got to keep your records through 2025. It’s that simple.
You can book accommodations ahead of time online with sites like Airbnb. You can get help from Cuban travel experts who will do the heavy lifting of planning. And you can book flights on major airlines from your hometown airport to Cuba.
Yes, flights will still run between the US and Cuba in 2020. But some airlines are cutting routes due to uncertainty in the Cuba travel market. Alaska Airlines has ended its daily flights from LA to Havana, but other airlines are maintaining their current service to Cuba. As of 2019, you’ll be able to travel to Cuba from the US on JetBlue, American, United, Delta, and Southwest.
The State Department may or may not lift its travel advisory for Cuba in 2020, but civilian travelers to Cuba should not be concerned either way. No private citizens have been affected by the illnesses diplomats are experiencing that prompted the travel warning in 2017. Investigations into the cause of illnesses among diplomats are still ongoing.
The only known impact on travelers is that the US Embassy Havana is running with limited staff as all non-essential personnel
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.