There is so much conflicting stories about traveling to Cuba as an American that many people are wondering, "Can I even travel to Cuba in 2019?" and the answer is YES. You can still travel to Cuba. In this article, I will outline, what travel documents you need and getting a Cuban General License.
Travel Documents Needed
In order to enter Cuba with either a cruise or by plane, you are required to have a valid passport. A valid passport is a passport that will not expire within 6 months of your travel dates.
You have 2 options to obtain your visa: getting your visa at the airport or ordering your visa before departing. No option is better than the other. If you want to order your visa beforehand, you will need to go HERE and apply by providing a few details. The visa is $50 + $25 (per person) processing fee. It will take you visa 5-7 business days. I recommend that apply at least 3-4 weeks in advance to ensure that you get it in time. If you don’t mind picking up at the airport, you will pay $50 per person at the CTS counter located at check in or at your departure gate during your layover.
It is required for all US citizens to have local Cuban health insurance. All airlines automatically included the cost of medical insurance in the cost of your trip. So, there is no need to buy additional insurance.
Getting a Cuban General License
Don't freak out. It's not a physical license. Having a Cuba General License simply means that:
1) You've chosen to travel under any of the US government's 12 permitted categories of legal travel to Cuba (Support for the Cuban People is usually the easiest).
2). You're meeting the criteria to travel under that category.
Honestly, it is SUPER easy to travel to Cuba. Here's how:
There are twelve categories of legal travel under the Cuba General License.
Official business for the US government, foreign government and certain intergovernmental organizations
Support for the Cuban people
Activities of private foundations or research or educational institutes
Exportation, importation or transmission of information or informational materials
Certain export transactions
Educational activities and people to people travel
Using the Support for Cuban People is the easiest way to enter Cuba because it is vague which is a good for you. According to this license, you are required to participate in activities that will strengthen Cuban society. Such activities could include:
Visiting museums and historical sites
Volunteering with local organizations
Eating in locally owned restaurants
Learning to cook Cuban food
Taking dance lessons
Touring a tobacco farm and learning how to roll cigars
Your activities could be (but by no means have to be) associated with a human rights organization that supports the Cuban people
So as long as you support the economy of Cuba and it's people. You can travel and experience this beautiful Island.