Americans are impatient for the day once travel to Cuba is possible. The wait is finally over, sort of….
Traveling to Cuba has been getting easier. we tend to come from a 10-day trip to Cuba and are flooded with Cuba travel questions from all the Americans traveling to Cuba or who need to travel to Cuba in the future.
Here’s the topic:
How to Get A Cuba VISA
Americans traveling to Cuba in 2018 will need to acquire a Cuban tourist card, that is similar to a travel visa. sadly, Americans cannot travel to Cuba for simply tourism. All American travel to Cuba must fall within the 12 authorized travel categories per the state department.
Categories: Authorized Travel For Americans To Cuba
- Family visits
- Official business of the U.S. government, foreign governments, and sure intergovernmental organizations
- Journalistic activity
- Professional research and professional meetings
- Educational activities
- Religious activities
- Public performances, clinics, workshops, athletic and other competitions, and exhibitions
- Support for the Cuban people
- Humanitarian projects
- Certain export transactions that will be considered for authorization under existing rules and guidelines.
During our trip to Cuba, nobody asked us what authorized category we were traveling under. If it might have come up, we might have cited, journalistic activity and presented a business card. we personally know at least 5 people who have traveled to Cuba from the Mexico (specifically city airport) who were never asked any questions regarding authorized travel when getting their Cuban tourist card/Cuban visa.
We got our Cuba Tourist Card at the airport in the city when we were checking into our flight for $20. If you’re flying to Cuba from the USA your airline will help you get the Cuban Tourist Card. every airline has totally different fees and method for getting a Cuban tourist card.
You’ll have to show your Cuban tourist Card when checking into the flight in order to board the plane.
Currently here is how much a Cuban tourist Card prices based on airlines:
- Delta: $50, purchase at the gate
- JetBlue: $50, purchase at the gate
- Southwest: $50, purchased online and delivered at the gate
- United: $75 ($50 visa fee + $25 admin fee), purchase them at the gate
- American: $85 ($50 visa + $35 admin fee), purchase online and sent via mail or at a Cuba Ready”
- Kiosks at CLT or MIA airports for $100 ($50 visa fee + $50 admin fee)
In reality, it’s the U.S. that has a problem with Americans traveling to Cuba. The Cuban government has no issue with it and they need American tourists in Cuba.
Is It Legal To Travel to Cuba? Yes!
In January of 2015, President Obama expanded the categories of approved travel to Cuba. it absolutely was great news for Americans traveling to Cuba, or all Americans who always wanted to travel to Cuba (like us!).
This growth allowed US citizens to legally trip to Cuba if they fell in one among the 12 categories. In previous years, most travelers to Cuba required applying for a license and jumping through a bunch of hoops, which was often confusing and quite frustrating. Currently, Americans will “self-license” if they believe they fall within one among the authorized categories.
How to Travel To Cuba From U.S.
We traveled in May 2016 and purchased our flight from Cancun to Havana solely 2 weeks in advance for $250, including checked luggage. For Americans traveling to Cuba, going from Mexico was super simple and also the most affordable option.
The simplest way to get the flights sorted out it to get a round-trip flight to Cancun or the cheapest Mexico destination you’d be willing to travel to, then book a round-trip flight to Havana, Cuba from that town on a separate price tag. When looking for flights please note Havana is listed as La Habana.
Flights to Cuba from Canada are another great possibility for Americans traveling to Cuba. a fast flight search for a round-trip ticket from Toronto to Havana for four weeks and it had been $308. Vancouver to Cuba was a little more at $695, round-trip.
Hotels In Cuba
Booking a hotel in Cuba is extremely limited, as there are only some hotels listed on hotel booking websites. we tend to found Booking.com had the most choices here are the available Havana hotels.
We never stayed in a hotel in Cuba we tend to mainly stay in Casa Particulares with native Cuban families. Most Casa Particulares you can’t book on-line, we booked our Casa on arrival in Trinidad Cuba, Vinales, Varadero Cuba, and Havana.
There are plenty of government-approved Casa Particulares simply look for the symbol on top of their door, knock and the owner will walk you thru the house. Most Casas in Cuba was $20-30 a night for a private room with air-con and private bathtub.