Americans are finally allowed to travel to Cuba! Well, not quite. Cuba has always been a Caribbean island that I am fascinated with. It is rich in culture, color, and history. In 2014, after over a five decade ban on travel to Cuba (long story), former President, Barack Obama, largely lifted the ban to travel to Cuba. Americans were able to travel to Cuba legally if their travel purpose fell within any of the 12 categories:
- Family travel
- Official government business
- Journalistic activity
- Professional research and meetings
- Educational activities
- Religious activities
- Public performances, clinics, workshops, exhibitions and athletic competitions
- Support for the Cuban people
- Humanitarian projects
- Activities of private foundations or research for educational institutes
- Exportation, importation, or transmission of information or informational materials
However, in 2017, the Trump Administration announced that it would be reversing those rules and almost completely restricting much of the travel to Cuba. More recently, restricting the travel even further.
However, don’t count your dream vacation to Cuba out, yet. It is difficult, but not impossible. The primary way to travel to Cuba is through the People-to-People travel rule. Basically, under this category, travel must occur based on educational purposes. Any American can legally travel to Cuba, but they must have a detailed schedule and provide proof of engagements within the country. This does not need to be formal education, rather it can be general educational purposes, but it must be with a group, such as cruise lines, sponsoring organizations, or a university.
Below is a list of agencies and programs that can get you on your way.