Why You Should Travel to Cuba in 2019

ViaHero · Updated October 2, 2018

If you’re planning to visit Cuba in 2019, you’re in luck! It's still totally legal to travel to Cuba, and right now, it's never been easier. Here's how to do it. 

Still have questions? Message us directly!

Want to make the most out of your trip? Tap into our network of local travel planners—Heroes—who build unique, locally-curated trip plans, designed just for you. Get started.

cars and buildings in cuba

Can I legally travel to Cuba (even with the new Trump-era regulations)?

Although the new regulations sound intimidating, it's still totally legal to travel to Cuba.

Under the Support for the Cuban People travel category, American visitors to Cuba simply need to spend six hours each day doing “educational” activities—like dancing lessons, museum tours, and cooking classes. Here's why.

Pro tip: the best way to meet these requirements is to have a local plan your trip. Locals have connections to tiny organizations, private classes, and small businesses. These connections would be impossible to find otherwise, especially because internet access is scarce and Cubans do not often advertise online. Plus, the itineraries they provide prove that you traveled to Cuba legally.

clothes hanging over local cuba house

Cuba in 2019

In 2018, Raul Castro stepped down as President of Cuba and a new president, Miguel Diaz-Canel, was selected by the national assembly. Although this is the first time in decades a member of the Castro family has not be in charge of the island, very little has changed for residents or travelers.

lady in black dress in cuba

10 Tips for Cuba Travel in 2019

1. Start Planning Now

Don’t dally! Things in Cuba book up fast. As a limited number of businesses advertise online, everyone is looking at the same resources. It is best to have one of our local travel experts arrange your trip. They will use their connections to secure accommodations, restaurants, tours, transportation, and more. You won’t have to worry about the headache of everything filling up before you arrive.  

2. Find a Travel Companion

While traveling to Cuba solo is easy and fun, you will probably enjoy having a friend with you for the experience. Our travel planners will consider both of your preferences when making your plan.

3. Decide When To Go

Do you want to see a certain festival? Avoid hot temperatures? Miss the rain? Plan your timeline wisely!

cars and houses in cuba

4. Book Your Flight

Spend time researching your flights before booking anything. If you are traveling from the United States, many airlines are now fly directly into Cuba. But there are some benefits to flying in from another country, like Mexico

5. Find a Casa Particular

Forget about hotels in Cubathey are overpriced and dingy. Staying with a local family in a casa particular will provide the most comfortable and immersive trip.

6. Decide Where You're Going

Havana is intoxicating, but there are plenty of other parts of the island to see. Consider traveling to cities like Trinidad or Viñales. Our Heroes can suggest cities that are worthwhile to visit during your trip.

7. Start Practicing Spanish

If you don’t speak any Spanish, you may find it difficult to navigate during your trip. If you have time, start brushing up on some basic phrases. It will be much appreciated by locals you meet. 

cuban cigars

8. Figure Out Your Money Situation

Cash is king in Cuba. ATMs are difficult to find, and they do not take US cards. Plan on bringing enough cash to last your entire tripyes, your entire trip. Be safe about where you store it. Don’t keep it in one place, and never carry all of it on you at once.

9. Get your Tourist Card / Visa

The Cuban government requires you to buy a Cuban Tourist Card to enter Cuba (not actually a visa, though the two words are sometimes used interchangeably). The easiest way to get your Cuban Tourist Card is online in advance through sites like Easy Tourist Card, but you can also buy one from your airline (contact your air carrier to find out where an how to purchase).

10. Prepare to disconnect

The internet is basically nonexistent in Cuba…and it is better that way! Consider this your digital detox. Let your work and family know you will be mostly out of reach.

Still have questions about travel to Cuba? Our local Cuban travel planners are here to help. Message us to get started. And before your trip, make sure to check out: