The days when Americans couldn’t travel to Cuba legally are now officially over.
Although, with some limitations, all Americans are now allowed to go to Cuba and interact with people. Some time ago only religious, educational and cultural groups were allowed to travel there, and only with special permission from the U.S. State Department.
However, even though it is now legal for you to go to Cuba, it is still not allowed to just take the first flight that takes you there, but you have to go with a travel organization that received a license from the U.S. State Department. Central Holidays and Insight Cuba are some of those agencies you can choose when planning your trip.
Americans are allowed to go to Cuba, but tour itineraries involve only activities meant for bringing Cubans and Americans closer, while recreational activities, such as going to the beach, are prohibited.
These limitations somewhat ruin the experience, but something is better than nothing, especially in the case of beautiful Cuba. Basically, if you have some free time after going through the planned activities, you can go by yourself to the beach or a café and enjoy a cocktail, but it isn’t so likely that you will have enough time.
Unfortunately, these kinds of trips to Cuba will be the only ones possible until the U.S. government lifts the limitations. These limitations apply only to Americans, so if you have citizenship of any other country, you can avoid it.
Many Americans still travel to Cuba illegally and are welcomed if they have a passport. Their passports are stamped when they enter the country and they can get a tourist visa which allows them to stay there for up to a month.
However, travelling there in such a way is highly unadvisable as you could be forced to pay huge fines once you return to the U.S.
If you decide to take what you can get, and go to Cuba legally, then make sure you bring cash because U.S. bank credit and debit cards won’t serve you any good. Then, when you arrive, exchange your dollars for Cuban pesos, and keep your wallet safe and close to you. Also, try not to get into any kind of trouble, as there is no U.S. embassy to get you out of it.
Now, after all the technicalities have been discussed and all the possible problems presented, there is not much to say, than to be thankful for the opportunity to legally travel to such a beautiful country, experience its culture, connect with its people, feel the soul of Cuba and have the best time ever.