Recently, the US announced new restrictions on travel to Cuba. These included a ban on cruise ships and the removal of the ‘people to people’ visa category. Understandably, this has caused a lot of sadness for cruisers who were looking forward to their day in Havana, and for groups who had planned to travel from the US under the ‘people to people’ category. It is worth remembering that these restrictions come from the US, not Cuba – we love American visitors here!
August 2019 update
You might be aware if you follow the travel news, that it is possible that ALL restrictions for US travellers to Cuba could be completely removed. This would be great news, as it removes any doubt that Cuba is open to all tourists and that Americans can travel here without thinking twice. However, even under current laws, it is still possible to travel to Cuba from the US!
Those travelling from the US are still able to travel to Cuba by selecting the ‘Support for Cuban People’ category when they buy their airplane tickets, and by being able to show (through a confirmed itinerary) that they will spend their time in Cuba undertaking activities which benefit local Cuban people.
The ‘Support for Cuban People’ Category – what to include in your itinerary
The easiest way to ensure you have an appropriate itinerary is to let us take care of it for you! Book a private, guided tour of Cuba with us and we provide the itinerary to show that your trip to Cuba is supporting local people from the moment you arrive. Here are five key ways that we ensure that your tailor-made itinerary meets the requirements.
1. Our tours are all privately guided Cuba tours, organised locally.
Our tours are not group tours, nor are they organised by outside agencies. The ‘Support for Cuban People’ category requires a full, daily itinerary (i.e. six hours at least), with activities exactly like the ones we offer! Our direct contact with you throughout the planning stages ensures that those activities suit your holiday requirements perfectly.
2. Our Cuban tour guides are all local experts.
Learn all about life in Cuba from the people who are living it every single day! Our local guides have encyclopedic knowledge of their country. Furthermore, our drivers have been getting visitors safely around Cuba in private vehicles for years.
3. We use Casa particulares: traditional Cuban accommodation
All our tailor-made tours include accommodation in private Cuban homes with a licence to rent out rooms. They offer a wonderful opportunity to interact with local people – not just with the owners but the people who clean, cook and do the laundry too! Casas are big employers here and they sustain many people, which makes them a great choice for responsible travel.
4. We make dinner reservations so that you can enjoy the best of Cuban food
Cuban has a mixed reputation for food, but our list of trusted Cuban paladars in each city will make sure that you are eating the best each area has to offer. Why paladares? A paladar is simply the Cuban nickname for privately run restaurants, most of which are serving wonderful Cuban food with local ingredients.
5. We introduce you to the local people in Cuba
Meet the people who make Cuban so unique. Visit a family farm in Viñales and watch the farmer roll cigars from the tobacco he grows himself; visit an artisan bakery in Centro Havana run by a local chef determined to bring interesting food to local people at affordable prices; have lunch with an up and coming artist and chat about his latest projects. We can organise lessons in all things Cuban – cookery, cocktails, salsa dancing, diving and more! New boutique shops such as Dador and Clandestina99 are popping up in Havana all the time. Usually, the owners are right there and more than willing to chat about how they are making their businesses work in the most creative ways.