How to Travel to Cuba

How to Travel to Cuba
Travel to Cuba is easy for Canadians and Europeans, but more complicated for Americans. The U.S. embargo on Cuba does not specifically prohibit travel there, but it does bar Americans from spending money in Cuba. That makes it trickier for Americans to go there and enjoy the great beaches and superb scuba diving, but not impossible.

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Passport with six months validity Two passport photos Either 15 British pounds or 25 euros Entire travel budget in cash and traveler's checks (Americans only) Emergency cash reserve (non-Americans)
  • Passport with six months validity
  • Two passport photos
  • Either 15 British pounds or 25 euros
  • Entire travel budget in cash and traveler's checks (Americans only)
  • Emergency cash reserve (non-Americans)
Step 1
Fly to Cuba from an airport either in Canada, Mexico or Europe. This will be easy for Canadians and Europeans. Americans will need to connect through a third country due to the embargo.
Step 2
Bring the entire budgeted amount for accommodations, food and other non-airfare costs in a mixture of cash and travelers checks if you are a U.S. citizen. The U.S. embargo does not prohibit travel to Cuba per se, but it does prohibit spending money there without a Treasury license, and those are never granted for tourism. An American visiting Cuba would do well to avoid using an ATM and leaving a record. Even citizens of other countries would be advised to bring a larger cash reserve than usual, however, since Cuban ATMs are few, far between and have a reputation for unreliability.
Step 3
Convert enough money into pounds, Canadian dollars or euros to pay the fee for getting a tourist card if you are not British, Canadian or European (15 pounds, 30 Canadian dollars, or 25 euros).
Step 4
Fill out the provided form, and hand over your passport and two passport photos to immigration at the airport to get a tourist card. Your passport will be returned to you, but your passport will not be stamped and the card will serve as your visa and identification while in Cuba. Don't lose it.

Tips & Warnings

 
The U.S. government takes travel by American citizens to Cuba very seriously, and whoever they catch faces stiff fines. It is probably better to wait until the embargo is lifted rather than risk making the trip and getting caught.

Article Written By Edwin Thomas

Edwin Thomas has been writing since 1997. His work has appeared in various online publications, including The Black Table, Proboxing-Fans and others. A travel blogger, editor and writer, Thomas has traveled from Argentina to Vietnam in pursuit of stories. He holds a Master of Arts in international affairs from American University.

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