How Easy Is It To Get Into Cuba?

How Easy Is It To Get Into Cuba?

The answer is—-super easy.

Less than 200 miles away from the sunny beaches of Miami Beach, is an even sunnier, prettier, and friendlier island. Cuba has always been the forbidden fruit to most Americans, but with travel restrictions being less stringent since the 1960s, travel to Cuba is no longer a complicated undertaking.

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Figure out which of the 12 categories of travel your trip falls in:
    -family visits
    -official business of the U.S. government, foreign governments, and certain intergovernmental organizations
    -journalistic activity
    -professional research and professional meetings
    -educational activities
    -religious activities
    -public performances, clinics, workshops, athletic and other competitions, and exhibitions
    -support for the Cuban people
    -humanitarian projects
    -activities of private foundations or research or educational institutes
    -exportation, importation, or transmission of information or information materials
    -certain authorized export transactions
    If you are in doubt, consult the US Treasury Department FAQs section re Cuba travel and they also have a PDF for Guidance to Travel to Cuba.

    I opted for the “journalistic activity” category. Not only was I writing about my experience in Cuba, but we were also shooting a fun marine-based TV show (more on this next time!). You can either fill out a paper form or an electronic link will be sent to you by your airline or you can directly go to the OFAC License Page.

  2. Buy your ticket!
    I opted to fly JetBlue because at $99/one way, it was the cheapest of all the options. They also included the required Cuban government health insurance into the price of the ticket and you get one FREE checked bag! Only thing was, they did not fly into Havana, so I chose to fly into Santa Clara, which is roughly in the middle of the country.There are seven other airlines that fly out of the US and these were the approved routes per the Department of Transportation:Alaska Airlines
    Los Angeles: 1 daily round-trip flightAmerican Airlines
    Miami: 4 daily round-trip flights
    Charlotte: 1 daily round-trip flight

    Delta Air Lines
    Atlanta: 1 daily round-trip flight
    New York JFK: 1 daily round-trip flight
    Miami: 1 daily round-trip flight

    Frontier Airlines
    Miami: 1 daily round-trip flight

    Fort Lauderdale: 2 daily round-trip flights (except one on Saturdays)
    New York JFK: 1 daily round-trip flight
    Orlando: 1 daily round-trip flight

    Southwest Airlines
    Fort Lauderdale: 2 daily round-trip flights
    Tampa: 1 daily round-trip flight

    Spirit Airlines
    Fort Lauderdale: 2 daily round-trip flights

    United Airlines
    Houston Bush Intercontinental: 1 weekly round-trip flight (Saturday only)
    Newark Liberty: 1 daily round-trip flight

  3. Pack your bags!!!!
  4. Get your Cuban Visa at the airport counter when you check in. The visa should only be $50!!! I heard of other people paying more with travel agencies or airlines marking them up. Make sure you fill it out with the correct information because a new one will cost you another $50.
  5. Say bye bye to the US!thumb_img_9048_1024Next up: Photos of my trip to Cuba, Fave places, and guerilla travel tips.