Frequently Asked Questions for Travel to Cuba
Is Travel to Cuba Legal Right Now?
Yes, travel to Cuba remains legal but is highly restricted by the US government. Travel with a licensed People-to-People tour operator, such as Access Trips, is allowed on both private and group tours. Access Trips operates small group tours under People-to-People license 515.565(b). Upcoming restrictions will prohibit individuals from traveling on their own under this license number unless they booked at least their trip prior to June 16, 2017. Tourism is not currently legal for Americans traveling to Cuba, but People-to-People travel is not considered tourism.
Should I be Concerned About the Cuba Travel Advisory?
Access Trips is carefully monitoring the situation in Cuba, as the health and safety of our guests is always our highest priority. The issues raised by the State Department in their September 29 travel warning have not affected or been directed at any US travelers in Cuba. As such, we believe it remains a safe destination and will continue to operate tours as scheduled.
What is People-to-People Travel?
People-to-People travel must include a full-time schedule of educational exchange activities designed to encourage meaningful interaction between American travelers and the Cuban people. As a People-to People tour operator, Access Trips creates fun, fascinating itineraries that include cooking classes with local Cuban chefs, a visit to a sustainable farm and a farm-to-table meal prepared by the farmer’s lovely wife, a salsa class with members of a local dance troupe, a festive happy hour in a local home, daiquiri and mojito classes with renowned mixologists, a meeting with a third generation tobacco farmer to learn about how cigars are made, and so much more. Our guests return from Cuba with new insights, lifelong memories and enduring friendships.
What Accommodations Do You Use in Cuba?
Access Trips has always rented private homes, or casas particulares, for our tours. We prefer private homes because we can better control the quality of your experience and because our money (and yours) goes directly to support private citizens. The upcoming restrictions imposed on the use of Cuban hotels will have no impact on our tours whatsoever. Read here for more information on the Cuban accommodations we use.
How Do I Get a Visa to Go to Cuba?
A travel visa (sometimes referred to as an entry card or tourist card) is required for all US citizens traveling to Cuba. Our trip operates under the category of People-to-People travel, general license #515.565 (b). You will need this number and the address of the accommodations in Havana (provided by Access Trips) to complete the visa paperwork. Each airline has its own process and recommendations regarding visas. Please contact your airline for more information. To learn more about visa and entry requirements for Cuba, please check out the Cuba page of the US Department of State website at: https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/cuba.html.
Can I Book My Own Flight to Cuba?
Yes! Booking a flight to Cuba is the same as booking a flight anywhere else, with one exception. Since tourism is not legal to Cuba, your airline will ask you to confirm that you are traveling on one of the 12 legal categories of travel to Cuba. If you have booked your tour with Access Trips, then your category is People-to-People educational travel, and you can proceed with booking your tickets.
Do I Need Any Documentation Regarding My Tour?
Access Trips requires a signed travel affidavit, which is obligatory for travel to Cuba and is included in your welcome email, a passport copy for each guest, a flight itinerary containing arrival and departure details, and a trip cancellation insurance policy. It is required that you purchase a trip cancellation and interruption insurance policy that covers the entire cost of the trip, so that you will be covered in the event that you are unable to attend our trip due to injury, illness or other unforeseen circumstances
We will send you a Trip Itinerary & Dossier approximately 3 weeks prior to your departure. You will need to read, print and carry this document with you throughout your trip until you clear US immigration upon return home.
As required by U.S. law, Access Trips maintains all Cuba documentation, including affidavits, for 5 years. In the event of an audit by the Department of the Treasury we will supply this information so that you don’t need to worry about it.