IS USA-CUBA TOURS AUTHORIZED TO PROVIDE TOURS TO CUBA FOR U.S. CITIZEN?

Yes, USA-CUBA Tours is a fully licensed and insured company (organization) in the United States that focuses on People-to-People educational activities in Cuba. USA-CUBA Tours is fully compliant with the revised general license requirements. The new general license authorizes persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction, including travel agents and tour group operators, to provide travel services in connection with authorized travel without the need for specific licenses from OFAC. For a complete description of what this general license authorizes and the restrictions that apply, please see 31 CFR § 515.572(a)(1).

OFAC has issued a general license that incorporates prior specific licensing policy and authorizes, subject to appropriate conditions, travel-related transactions and other transactions that are directly incident to people-to-people educational activities in Cuba. Among other things, this general license authorizes, subject to appropriate conditions, persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction to engage in certain educational exchanges in Cuba under the auspices of an organization that is a person subject to U.S. jurisdiction and sponsors such exchanges to promote people-to-people contact. Additionally, an employee, paid consultant, or agent of the sponsoring organization must accompany each group traveling to Cuba to ensure the full-time schedule of educational exchange activities, and the predominant portion of the activities must not be with individuals or entities acting for or on behalf of a prohibited official of the Government of Cuba, as defined in 31 CFR § 515.337, or a prohibited member of the Cuban Communist Party, as defined in 31 CFR § 515.338. For a complete description of what this general license authorizes and the restrictions that apply, please see 31 CFR § 515.565(b).

In the people-to-people context, an organization is an entity subject to U.S. jurisdiction that sponsors educational exchanges that do not involve academic study pursuant to a degree program and that promote people-to-people contact. For a complete description of what this general license authorizes and the restrictions that apply, please see 31 CFR § 515.565(b).

WHAT IS PEOPLE-TO-PEOPLE TRAVEL?

Americans can now legally travel to the largest Caribbean island of Cuba. The federal government Office of Foreign Asset Controls (OFAC) has issued a revised general license that authorizes, subject to appropriate conditions, travel-related transactions and other transactions that are directly related to people-to-people educational activities in Cuba. Among other things, this general license authorizes, subject to appropriate conditions, persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction to engage in certain educational exchanges in Cuba under the auspices of an organization that is a person subject to U.S. jurisdiction and sponsors such exchanges to promote people-to-people contact.

People-to-People travel is an initiative allowing U.S. citizens to travel to Cuba on a limited basis to participate in cultural experiences and have direct contact with the Cuban people to learn more about them and their culture, while they learn about the American way of life. This is a highly rewarding educational experience, where you enjoy direct engagement with the Cuban people you will meet.

Travelers consistently tell us that their favorite in-country experiences are the intimate and special connections they make with local people, the opportunity to share a smile, make a friend, and gain real understanding into the real Cuba.

DO WE TRAVEL AS A GROUP ON USA-CUBA TOURS?

Yes, when you travel with USA-CUBA Tours you will be with a group. Our maximum group size is 16. Even if you’re experiencing Cuba by yourself, being part of a guided tour allows you the opportunity to travel with like-minded people while sharing once in a lifetime experiences with our friends in Cuba.

Our travelers are from all walks of life and come from all over the United States. USA-CUBA tour leaders and Cuban guides are experts on Cuba and giving each guest an authentic experience and a lifetime of memories.

When you book a tour with USA-CUBA Tours, we do all the heavy lifting and paperwork for you to ensure you are exploring all of what Cuba has to offer through a qualified People-to-People educational exchange program. All you have to do is pick a tour that is right for you and we do the rest. To view our different Cuba Tour packages, you can visit our Cuba Tours page to learn more about our current tours and offerings.

WHAT ARE SOME EXAMPLES OF PEOPLE-TO-PEOPLE ACTIVITIES?

USA-CUBA Tours people-to-people educational activities provide tour members with unique experiences to access people and places the average tourist has rarely seen. Our tour members discover Cuba through the eyes of its people, first-hand experience.

Here is a small list of the some of the type of people-to-people activities our tour members will enjoy.  We also invite you to browse the itineraries for any of our Cuba tours.

  • Experience live music demonstrations and discussions with some of Cuba’s musicians and artists.
  • Meet with Cuban business owners who are adjusting to Cuba’s new economic model and find out how they’re doing.
  • Visit and experience Cuban dance with local Cuban dance groups
  • Meet popular Cuban painters in their studio and art museums
  • Meet with expert historians that tell a beautiful story about local Cuban history
  • Meet with expert in Cuban architecture and explore Cuba’s vibrant architectural structures and history.
  • Tour fine art museums with local experts
  • Meet Cuban locals and learn how Cuban rum and cigars are made and hear the history of how these products came to life.
  • Have dinner at private, family owned Cuban restaurants and experience local Cuban life.

If you have any questions about the above people-to-people activities or which USA-CUBA tours might be right for you, please contact one of our travel specialists at 888-221-CUBA (2822).

WHAT IS THE MINIMUM GROUP SIZE?

The minimum group size is 3. However, USA-CUBA tours will try to combine tour dates to provide a fun full tour group to ensure a better experience for all people. Our maximum group size is 16. Even if you’re experiencing Cuba by yourself, being part of a guided tour allows you the opportunity to travel with like-minded people while sharing once in a lifetime experiences with our friends in Cuba.

WHO ARE USA-CUBA TOURS LEADERS AND CUBAN GUIDES?

Our tour leaders and Cuban guides are specialized in the Cuban society, history, culture, and a great source of knowledge about the way of life in Cuba. Our Cuban guides work hard to ensure each tour member has a rewarding experience during every tour. Our guides will also want you to experience the real Cuba by making sure you visit authentic Cuban places most tourists never discover.

WHAT IS THE TYPICAL AGE GROUP IN MOST TOURS?

The average age of our tour members varies based on the time of year and the type of Cuba tour. The majority of our individuals who travel with USA-CUBA Tours are between 45 – 70 years of age. However, younger families have also been traveling to Cuba with us, providing a diversified mix of individuals in their 30’s and 40’s. But if you’re in your 20’s don’t let that scare you, Cuba has plenty to offer people of all ages.

ARE THERE ANY AGE RESTRICTIONS FOR USA-CUBA TOURS?

12 years of age, however, individuals and families wanting to participate in a people-to-people Cuban tour who are concerned about the minimum age requirement for certain tours should speak to one our travel specialist at 888-221-CUBA (2822). We will be able to answer your questions based on the specific tour you are interested in.

WHAT IF I’M NOT INTERESTED IN THE TOURS BUT JUST WANT A FLIGHT AND HOTEL THROUGH YOUR COMPANY?

Unfortunately, due to the US Embargo and the travel restrictions, American citizens can’t just vacation at their leisure while visiting Cuba. Travel to Cuba for Americans is regulated by the U.S. Department of the Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). For Americans, only licensed travelers are legally allowed to visit Cuba.  General licensed travel is available for people-to-people educational activities tours through USA-CUBA Tours.

USA-CUBA Tours is not authorized to make travel arrangements including flights to Cuba or hotels in Cuba for individuals not registered on one of our Cuba people-to-people tours.

While Americans can travel to Cuba through an authorized travel provider to Cuba using a commercial airline, however each traveler must meet the requirements of CFR 515.565(b) or face possible fines. The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) does not authorize individual travel for Americans to Cuba for tourist purposes. For more information on the restricted travel of Americans to Cuba, please visit OFAC’s website.

HOW FAST DO YOUR CUBA TOURS SELL OUT?

Our Cuba tours sell out pretty fast due to the demand, they typically fill up 4-8 weeks in advance depending on the time of the year.

HOW MUCH TIME IN ADVANCE DO I NEED WHEN BOOKING MY TOUR?

We recommend booking your Cuba tour as soon as you’ve made the decision to travel to Cuba. It only takes a small deposit of $425 to secure your spot on the tour and your seat on the charter flight to Havana, Cuba from Miami and then you’re all set.

HOW CAN I BOOK MY TOUR THROUGH USA-CUBA TOURS?

To book your trip on USA-CUBA Tours, visit our Book Now page. You will be able to view all of our upcoming tours and their tour dates. From there, select the tour you are interested in and click on the button for “Select Your Date” for the specific tour you’re interested in.

From there, you will be taken to USA-CUBA Tours secure registration page hosted by ZOZI Merchants Services. This is a secure page where you can input all of your traveler information and book your tour online. Upon booking your tour you will receive a confirmation email from us.

If you would prefer to book your Cuba tour over the phone instead of online, please give us a call at 1-888-221-CUBA (2822) and one of our Travel Specialists will be happy to assist you with booking your Cuba tour.

WILL THE TRANSPORTATION PROVIDED BE AIR CONDITIONED?

Yes, all of the touring transportation is fully air conditioned.

WHAT HOTELS ARE USED BY USA-CUBA TOURS?

At USA-CUBA Tours we make sure the best hotels in Cuba are used for our travelers and hotels that are centrally located and provide the best rooms and hospitality available.

Here are a few examples of hotels:

Miami
Regency Hotel Miami – The Regency Hotel Miami is a contemporary luxury hotel with 177 rooms and 72 deluxe rooms located minutes away from the Miami International airport. This beautiful hotel provides the perfect meeting place to have a meet and greet as we start our group tour to Cuba.
Havana
Melia Cohiba – The Meliá Cohiba is a five-star hotel and is located on the famous Malecón in Havana. The Meliá Cohiba hotel is the leading hotel chain through-out the Caribbean.

For more information on the Cuba hotels we stay at during our tours or have any questions about the Cuba hotels or accommodations please call us at 1-888-221-CUBA (2822) and one of our Travel Specialists will be happy to answer all your questions.

IS THERE ANY FREE TIME AVAILABLE DURING THE TOURS?

The US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) requires that individuals traveling under a people-to-people license participate in a fulltime schedule of educational exchange activities that result in meaningful interaction between the travelers and individuals in Cuba. Because of this, full participation by guests on our Cuba tours is required. However, guests on one of our people-to-people Cuba tours will have free time in the early morning, evening, or at night.

A typical day on an USA-CUBA Tour guided group tour is full of exciting and memorable places and activities that you don’t want to miss.

WHAT THE AVERAGE COST OF A TOUR?

USA-CUBA Tours offers several tours throughout Cuba. Our tours range anywhere from 4-8 days depending on the type of tour you choose. To view prices and departure dates for all of our Cuba tours just visit Tour section where everything can be found at the bottom of each Cuba tour page.

Please note that prices are subject to change and it is always best to view the Tour Page for the most up-to-date information. Prices also reflect double occupancy and an additional rate is added for single occupancy.

Each tour also has its own separate flight package and is not always included in the price above. Please view the individual tour page for this information.

If you have any questions or would like more information on our pricing, please contact USA-CUBA Tours at 1-888-221-2822.

WHAT’S THE AVERAGE SIZE OF THE GROUPS?

Our average group size is 16 for people-to-people exchange tours, but you’ll never find more than 20 guests. The average group size for our conferences groups can range anywhere from 100 – 300 guest. The medical conference groups are run separately from the people-to-people exchange tours, therefore, allowing you the opportunity to travel with like-minded people while sharing special experiences with our friends in Cuba.

BOOKING MY TRIP TO CUBA – HOW?

You can book your tour to Cuba several different ways;

  1. Book online by following the link (Book Now)
  2. You can simple call us at 1-888-221-CUBA (2822).
    It only takes a small deposit of $425 to secure each guest a seat on the tour and flight to Cuba (various locations). Once USA-CUBA Tours has received your security deposit, you can always change your tour date or tour provided you do so more than 60 days in advance of your trip.
DEPOSIT AMOUNT TO SECURE A SPOT ON A TOUR?

USA-CUBA Tours requires a small deposit of $425 to secure each guest a seat on the tour and flight to Cuba.

WHY TAKE A GUIDED TOUR TO CUBA?

The beautiful island of Cuba has remained off limits to the American general public. But now with the new government changes in place since Obama has been in office, the island is now open for U.S. travelers to visit legally, with a licensed tour operator such as USA-CUBA Tours. Here are some reasons why taking a guided tour with USA-CUBA Tours has its benefits.

Most importantly, it’s legal when you travel with USA-CUBA Tours through a legal, licensed excursion tour operators such as USA-CUBA Tours. USA-CUBA Tours is required to adhere to a rigorous government licensing program and we handle all of the necessary legal requirements.

USA-CUBA Tours also handles all the travel logistics for you. We handle all reservations to organizing the daily tours to booking hotels rooms. This is a big help, since all activities and business in Cuba are handled at a slower/erratic pace than in the United States and having good relationships and business contracts in place have a huge advantage.

USA-CUBA Tours works closely with local Cuban guides who provide personal knowledge about what it’s really like to live in Cuba and the changes that have been made over the years. There’s no more authentic way to experience the island.

Traveling with USA-CUBA Tours you will meet other like-minded travelers while experiencing the beauty of Cuba.

FLIGHTS TO CUBA?

USA-CUBA Tours takes care of booking your international flight from various locations to Havana, Cuba. Flights are booked through a licensed charter companies or commercial airlines authorized to provide direct flights to Cuba.

USA-CUBA Tours reserves your seat on a charter flight to Cuba for each of our guest. This is done on a first come first serve basis. So, once you book your Cuba tour and make your initial deposit we will secure your seat on an authorized flight to Havana, Cuba.

Flight package will include the following:

  • Round-trip charter airfare from Miami to Havana ,Cuba
  • Priority check-in at Miami International Airport
  • Cuban Visa/(Tourist Card)

It is up to each guest to secure his or her own transportation to Miami International Airport.

Due to the US Embargo against Cuba and the related restrictions on American traveling to Cuba, USA-CUBA Tours is only allowed to book seats on flights to Cuba for those guests signed up on one of our tours.

If you have any questions regarding flights to Cuba, please feel free to contact us and we’ll be happy to discuss any travel arrangements. 1-888-221-CUBA (2822)

WHAT TIME DO THE CHARTER FLIGHTS DEPART FROM MIAMI TO HAVANA?

The flights typically depart for Havana around 8:00 am EST and arrives in Cuba around 9:00 am. The airlines require that each guest be at the airport 3 hours prior to departure to ensure everyone can check-in and get through security in time for the flight. USA-CUBA Tours will have a representative at the airport to assist the group through the process.

Do Not make any connecting flights until USA-CUBA Tours has sent you an email confirmation that your tour has been booked and authorized for travel.

WHAT TIME DOES THE GROUP DEPART FROM HAVANA TO MIAMI?

The flight departs Havana, Cuba at 1:00 pm EST and arrives in Miami around 2:00 pm. We suggest if you’re making any connecting flights please give yourself at least a 4 hours buffer to account for any delays.

Do Not make any connecting flights until USA-CUBA Tours has sent you an email confirmation that your tour has been booked and authorized for travel

WHERE DO THE FLIGHTS DEPART FROM?

USA-CUBA Tours flights depart from various locations (Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Orlando, JFK, etc.) and arrive in Havana, Cuba. Once a guest has registered and the deposit is made, then we automatically book your seat on an authorized flight directly to Havana, Cuba.

CAN I BOOK MY FLIGHTS ONLINE OR DIRECT TO CUBA?

All flights to Cuba from the United States are regulated by the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the U.S. Department of Transportation. Only licensed travelers authorized by the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control are able to book seats on authorized flights directly from the United States to Cuba. USA-CUBA Tours is a licensed seller of travel and is authorized to provide travel for registered guest to Cuba.

HOW MUCH DO FLIGHTS COST TO HAVANA, CUBA?

Flight package costs vary based on your departure date and location. Typical flight package pricing information is available on each tour page, but typically range from $289 – $789. This includes round trip ticket from the US to Havana, Cuba and Tourist Visa. If you have any question please feel free to call us at 1-888-221-CUBA (2822). When you book your tour with us, we will begin working on your flight package.

Note: Flight packages are required for all authorized travelers going to Cuba.

REWARD POINTS FOR MY FLIGHT OR TRIP TO CUBA?

Not all authorized flights going to Cuba recognize or honor U.S. commercial airlines or credit card reward program. Typically, the charter flights to Cuba do not honor reward programs, where the commercial airline flights will.

BAGGAGE / LUGGAGE COST RESTRICTIONS ON FLIGHTS TO CUBA?

All authorized flights going to Cuba charge for the first checked baggage/luggage, typically $20.00 – $40.00 (depends on airlines). In addition, the weight restriction for all baggage/luggage and carry on can’t exceed 44lbs. Any combined baggage exceeding 44lbs will be subject to $2.00lb over 44lbs. The baggage fee and over-weight baggage charges are not included in the airfare package and must be paid when checking baggage/luggage on the day of travel. In addition, a Cuban exit tax of $25 CUC (~$30USD) may also be collected at the time of travel from the airlines (not included in airfare package).

DO I NEED A PASSPORT TO TRAVEL TO CUBA?

Yes.

All Americans traveling to Cuba will need a valid passport. Passports should be valid for at least six months from the return date of your trip to Cuba. Please check the expiration date on your passport to make sure it is not expired, and if it is, renew your passport prior to reserving your tour, since this will delay the process of securing you a seat on any airlines.

DO I NEED A VISA TO TRAVEL TO CUBA?

A Cuban visa, which is also known as a Tourist Card, is required for all visitors traveling to Cuba.

Your Cuban visa is included in your flight package and will be included with your other flight documents at the airport upon check-in. We will make sure all the paperwork is completed correctly for you. The Cuban visa is a two-part visa document, see Cuban visa page on website for further details on how to fill this out and what is expected of each traveler.

WHAT TRAVEL DOCUMENTS DO I NEED TO HAVE?

Traveling to Cuba requires the following documents;

  • Passport that is valid for at least six-months after your trip to Cuba.
  • Plane Tickets for your round-trip from US-Cuba
  • Cuban Visa (Tourist Card)
  • Copy of USA-CUBA Letter of Authorization allowing you to travel to Cuba with us as an authorized seller of travel of tours under United States Federal Register section 515.565(b).
PASSPORT STAMPED BY CUBAN IMMIGRATIONS?

Typically Cuban immigration would not stamp a U.S. passports when entering/exiting Cuba. However, authorized U.S. citizens travelers traveling with USA-CUBA Tours will receive a Cuban immigration stamp in their passport. Travelers on one of our tours should not be concerned about entering back into United States and having a Cuban immigration stamp in their passport since this is a legal authorized tour to Cuba from the United States.

FILLING OUT MY IMMIGRATION FORM WHEN ENTERING BACK INTO USA?

When filling out the US immigration form (paper or electronic) answer all question truthfully and the same way as you would if returning from any other international destination. If this is your first international trip, then the form is a very simple and straight forward question answer format. This is one of the items we will discuss during our pre-tour brief in Miami prior to our tour to Cuba.

DO I NEED ANY TO APPLY FOR A SPECIAL LICENSE TO TRAVEL TO CUBA?

No. All travelers on any USA-CUBA Tours to Cuba are travelling under the General License requirements, which are being met by USA-CUBA Tours to provide authorized People-to-People tours for American Citizens. All trips are 100% authorized, which provide guests special access to Cuba’s people and places that the average tourist will rarely see. All travelers will receive a certification of travel to Cuba authorized by the U.S. Department of the Treasury general license.

CAN I LEGALLY GIVE PERSONNEL ITEMS TO CUBANS?

Kind gestures are always welcomed by Cuban residents and are very grateful. Most Cubans are not expecting gifts from Americans but when it happens it is a special moment. So YES gifts are truly welcomed. However, packing your suitcase full of shoes to hand out to Cubans will raise a flag when processing through Customs and Immigrations. This is due to the fact that Cuban custom agents will question your transportation of the goods, cause you and your group delays at the airport. In addition a tariff tax may be levied on all the items. So carry them in small quantities.

If you have items you’d like to give as gifts, please let your tour leader know during your pre-tour brief in Miami, so additional advice can be giving.

PACKING FOR MY CUBA TRIP, WHAT SHOULD I BRING?

See drop down menu “What to bring on my Cuba trip” for detailed information. However, in a general sense Cuba has a season similar to South Florida, so it will be hot and humid in May through September and chilly at during the winter months. Therefore, during the Summer pack light clothes, hat, sunglasses, tennis shoes, sun screen, water misting bottle as it will be hot and humid. During the Winter bring long-sleeved shirts, jeans, and light sweater or jacket for the evenings.

IS THERE LAUNDRY SERVICE IN CUBA?

Yes, there is reasonably priced and reliable laundry service and dry cleaning in Cuba. Most major hotels in the larger cities have laundry and dry cleaning service available.

HOW IS TIPPING DIFFERENT IN CUBA THEN THE USA?

Tipping in Cuba is not different from the United States. Tipping is very important in supplementing the average Cuban’s income, so feel good about leaving gratuities for the Cuban people who work to make your experience so memorable. However, please keep in mind that excessive tipping can and will lead to unrealistic expectations regarding future visitors from United States and how much they will be expected to tip, so ask your tour leader for guidance on tipping in every situation while in Cuba.

Gratuities for luggage handling and programmed activities throughout the tour are handled by USA-CUBA Tours. Gratuities for the Cuban guide, driver, and tour leader are left to the guest’s discretion and should be based on the guest’s satisfaction with the level of service received.

HOW MUCH ARE INTERNATIONAL CALLS TO USA FROM CUBA?

On average, calling from a tourist hotel costs range from $2.00 – $2.50 per minute. Always check rates before making an international call, as rates can vary depending on where you are calling from and where you are calling to. Inquire about obtaining a cell phone while in Cuba to keep connected to family members or calling back to the United States at any time of the day. Call us at 1-888-221-CUBA (2822).

HOW MUCH MONEY SHOULD I BRING TO CUBA?

Due to President Obama’s announcement to normalize relations with Cuba, Americans are now allowed to bring back Cuban goods of any kind for personal use only (cigars, alcohol, artwork, music, or informational materials).

So with this in mind and the fact that 99% of US issued debit and credit cards from the U.S. do not work in Cuba due to the U.S. embargo against Cuba. Therefore, any spending money you may want or need for incidentals has to be brought with you in cash. Individual spending during traveling varies a lot from traveler to traveler, it’s depends on personal preference.

We recommend bringing a minimum of $150 per day. If you think you might want to purchase artwork, music, cigars, rum, enjoy evening entertainment, or buy gifts for friends and relatives, you may want to plan on bringing more than $150 per day.  It’s always easier to bring your excess money home with you rather than to run out of money while in Cuba.

EXCHANGING CURRENCY IN CUBA?

You can safely and legally exchange your U.S. dollars, Canadian Dollars, Euros, and many other currencies at a CADECA (kiosk), your hotel lobby, or at a Cuban bank. We recommend exchanging currency at the CADECA at the airport after going through customs. If you don’t have time to exchange your currency at the CADECA at the airport, you may do so at your hotel.

There is a 10% penalty + 3% exchange fee (13%) on the exchange of U.S. dollars, which is not levied on Canadian dollars, Euros, or other currencies. Currently, the exchange rate for U.S. dollars and CUCs (Cuban Convertible Pesos) is 1:1.

WHAT IS THE CURRENCY USED IN CUBA?

Cuba has a dual currency platform. Its hard currency is the Cuban Convertible Peso (CUC), which all tourist will exchange and use in Cuba. Cuban residents use and are paid in Cuban Pesos (CUP). Important fact to remember is that 1 CUC is equivalent to 27-32 Cuban pesos and both currencies comes in both a coin and paper money configuration. So don’t get tricked when buying items and receiving your change in CUP when you should have received CUC.

Always ask your tour leader for guidance. In addition, we will go over actually photos of the two different types of currency during our Pre-Tour Brief.

CAN I EXCHANGE US DOLLARS IN CUBA?

You can safely and legally exchange your U.S. dollars, Canadian Dollars, Euros, and many other currencies at a CADECA (kiosk), your hotel lobby, or at a Cuban bank. We recommend exchanging currency at the CADECA at the airport after going through customs. If you don’t have time to exchange your currency at the CADECA at the airport, you may do so at your hotel.

There is a 13% tariff on the exchange of U.S. dollars, which is not levied on Canadian dollars, Euros, or other currencies. Currently, the exchange rate for U.S. dollars and CUCs (Cuban Convertible Pesos) is 1:1.

WHAT IS THE EXCHANGE RATE FROM US DOLLARS TO CUBAN PESOS?

There is a tariff of approximately 10-13 percent when converting U.S. dollars to Cuban convertible pesos (CUCs) while in Cuba. This fee can vary from place to place and is subtracted from the exchange at the time of conversion. When exchanging other currencies, such as euros, or Canadian dollars, expect an exchange fee, but it is less than the fee placed on U.S. dollars.

Example:
Exchange $1,000.00 USD to Cuban Convertible Pesos (CUC)
($1000x.87 = $870 CUC)

Please note that CUCs are not available for exchange outside of Cuba. You must exchange your currency to CUCs upon arrival in Cuba. Likewise, if you have excess CUCs upon departure, you should convert them back to US dollars before you leave Cuba. Unless you want a souvenir or plan on returning in the near future.

CAN I USE MY US DEBIT OR CREDIT CARD WHILE IN CUBA?

No, 99% of debit and credit cards issued by U.S. banks cannot be used in Cuba. This is due to the U.S. embargo. Therefore, US issued debit/credit cards are not recognized by Cuban banks. It’s necessary to bring a sufficient amount of cash (not traveler checks) with you to cover the entire duration of time that you’ll be in Cuba.

CAN I USE US DOLLARS TO BUY THINGS IN CUBA?

No, since at the present time, foreign currency, may not be used to make purchases in Cuba.  Travelers can bring US dollars into the country and exchange them into Cuban Convertible Peso (CUC).

WHAT HAPPENS IF I LOSE OR RUN OUT OF MONEY WHILE IN CUBA?

Don’t let this happen to you, since this will put a strain on you and your tour leader. However, if this does happen we will work with you on a case by case basis to help you get some cash back into your pocket through a personal loan. Even thou Obama’s announcement to normalize diplomatic relations and ease certain trade restrictions with Cuba, there still is currently no way to wire money to Cuba to tourist. It is important for each guest to bring sufficient cash throughout their stay in Cuba.

CAN I BUY OR SELL CUBAN CONVERTIBLE PESOS IN UNITED STATES?

No, Cuban convertible pesos (CUC) currency is not part of the international currency exchange. Therefore, you will be unable to buy it or sell it in the United States. The only place that will sell it and buy it is Cuba.

CAN I USE TRAVELERS CHECKS IN CUBA?

At this time, we do not advise our travelers to use Travelers Checks as the main source of monetary resource while in Cuba.

DO I HAVE TO DECLARE HOW MUCH CASH I BRING INTO CUBA?

All travelers must declare moneys in excess of US $5000 to customs when entering into Cuba.

WHAT TYPE OF MUSIC IS CUBA KNOWN FOR?

Music is the heartbeat of Cuba. The following represent some of the island’s music genres;

Salsa: This famous genre is descended from Cuban son. Salsa dancing has been influenced by Afro-Cuban forms, especially rumba.
Rumba: A word used for various forms of Afro-Cuban song and dance.
Bolero: This is a romantic and heart felt genre, usually performed by soloists or a harmony duo in the form of a ballad.
Jazz: Jazz is extremely popular on the island, and Cuban jazz musicians are famous throughout the world. The annual International Jazz Festival in Havana and venues like the Jazz Café and Buena Vista Social Club are great clubs to experience Cuban Jazz.
Timba: A modern day salsa that has become a staple sound in Cuba’s music today. It’s a mixture of African folk like rumba, but also includes rap and reggae.

HOW ARE AMERICANS RECEIVED IN CUBA?

Americans are welcomed with open arms and are well received. Cubans typically have relatives in the US and are always up for any conversation whether it’s about politics, sports, music, or anything for that matter. They feel honored to meet Americans and are thrilled to have the opportunity to make a new friendship with you.

HOW MANY CUBANS LIVE ON THE ISLAND?

Cuba has a diverse population of approximately 11.4 million residents.

CAN I USE MY CELL PHONE TO CALL THE HOME BACK IN UNITED STATES?

That depends on many factors, but in the general sense No, since US cell phone providers have not setup business relationships with Cuba yet. However, if you have an unlocked quad band cell phone you can rent a line while in Cuba. Inquire about obtaining a cell phone while in Cuba to keep connected to family members or calling back to the United States at any time of the day. Call us at 1-888-221-CUBA (2822).

You can always call from your hotel, where costs range from $2.00 – $2.50 per minute. Always check rates before making an international call, as rates can vary depending on where you are calling from and where you are calling to.

ARE THERE TAXIS IN CUBA I CAN USE WHILE ON MY TOUR?

The most reliable taxis service for our guest will be the official Cuban taxis, which are used for tourists and include a meter. These are the easiest and safest taxis to take. Always ask how much it will cost before accepting a ride from any taxi. A common fare between Old Havana, Vedado, and Centro Havana neighborhoods is $3-5 CUCs.

It is not uncommon to encounter tourist taxis without meters. If this is the case, get a quoted rate before taking a taxi to your destination. Rates for metered taxis and unmetered taxis tend to be comparable. In the case of unmetered taxis, negotiating a fare is acceptable.

IS THERE AN EMERGENCY NUMBER TO CALL FOR USA-CUBA TOURS WHILE I’M IN CUBA?

In case of an emergency, please use the contact number that is in your pre-tour brief. Shortly before your departure, USA-CUBA Tours will provide you with an updated emergency contact list with the numbers to your hotel and various in-country contacts. Carry this list with you when traveling in Cuba.

WHAT ARE USA-CUBA TOURS OPERATING HOURS?

Our normal business hours are from 9am to 6pm EST, Monday through Friday.

WHAT ABOUT MEDICAL INSURANCE DURING MY TOUR TO CUBA

The Cuban government requires medical insurance for all travelers entering Cuba. USA-CUBA Tours provides this insurance through the Charter flight packages meets the requirements of the Cuban law. This insurance only covers minimum doctor incidents for minor injuries and may require additional payments while in Cuba.

WHAT ABOUT TRIP CANCELLATION INSURANCE DURING MY TOUR TO CUBA?

When you travel with USA-CUBA Tours we do recommend that you consider purchasing trip cancellation insurance to cover the costs of your tour program. Trip cancellation insurance is a peace of mind and protects you against circumstances that may require you to cancel your trip.

CAN I DRINK THE WATER WHILE IN CUBA?

We are advising all our travelers to drink only bottled water. Bottled water can be purchased throughout Cuba. We like to play it safe and we want you having a great experience while in Cuba.

ARE ANY SPECIAL VACCINATIONS REQUIRED TO TRAVEL TO CUBA?

Visitors to Cuba typically do not require special vaccinations. However, we recommend that you contact the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: www.cdc.gov or phone 800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636).

IS THERE A UNITED STATES EMBASSY IN CUBA?

Yes, just recently the United States and Cuba agreed to re-establish relationships and the US Embassy was redesigned and reopened in 2016. The Embassy is located in Havana.

ARE AMERICANS SAFE WHILE VISITING CUBA?

Yes. Cuba in general is one of the safest countries in the world. The Cuban Government enforces strict laws and sentences on crimes committed against tourists, therefore, the crime rate is extremely low.

However, this doesn’t mean you can leave valuables lying around or flaunting expensive jewelry or flashing large amounts of money, since petty crimes, such as pick-pocketing and purse-snatching, do sometimes occur. If all travelers apply common sense and take standard precautions to safeguard your possessions as you do here in the United States, you will feel safe in Cuba.

DO I NEED TO SPEAK AND UNDERSTAND SPANISH FOR MY TRIP TO CUBA?

There is no Spanish language pre-requisite to travel to Cuba. Many of our travelers don’t speak any Spanish.  All tour groups are led by US English speaking tour manager and by a professional Cuban guides, who are bilingual and will serve as your translator while you are in Cuba.

DO CUBANS SPEAK AND UNDERSTAND ENGLISH?

Spanish is the native language in Cuba, so many of the local residents only speak Spanish, but all the major hotels are staffed with English speaking persons. The general Cuban populaces welcomes the English language and many know the basics or common meet and greet words, while some are more versed in the English language then we might be. Enjoy your experience and don’t be afraid to engage in conversation, Cubans love speaking with Americans.

WHAT IS THE WEATHER LIKE IN CUBA

Cuba enjoys a tropical climate, with year round temperatures similar to Florida.

Cuba’s high tourist season is typically during the winter/spring periods (December through April). During the high tourist season prices will be higher and crowds will be larger. Keep in mind that during this period the weather in Cuba can be cool at night during December, January and February so be prepared and pack a sweater or light jacket.

Cuba’s low tourist season is during the summer period (May through mid-September). The temperatures can range in the high 90’s and the humidity can be above 90%. The summer period offers visitors a reduced travel expense (flights) and far less people.

ARE AMERICANS ALLOWED TO TRAVEL TO CUBA?

Yes, Americans can now legally travel to the largest Caribbean island of Cuba. The federal government Office of Foreign Asset Controls (OFAC) has issued a revised general license that authorizes, subject to appropriate conditions, travel-related transactions and other transactions that are directly related to people-to-people educational activities in Cuba. Each traveler will receive a certificate of travel to Cuba, which provides legal travel for Americans to Cuba.

Among other things, this general license authorizes, subject to appropriate conditions, persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction to engage in certain educational exchanges in Cuba under the auspices of an organization that is a person subject to U.S. jurisdiction and sponsors such exchanges to promote people-to-people contact. Additionally, an employee, paid consultant, or agent of the sponsoring organization must accompany each group traveling to Cuba to ensure the full-time schedule of educational exchange activities. USA-CUBA Tours is an authorized seller of travel tour business that conducts business under this general license and provides the itinerary, the US tour manager and manages all the tours for our guest. We do all the heavy lifting for you so you can enjoy your trip to Cuba.

ARE THERE ANY SPECIAL TRAVEL REQUIREMENT TO GO TO CUBA?

No, Americans can travel to Cuba as they are traveling with an authorized tour company that provide people-to-people tours under the general license provided by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).  USA-CUBA Tours provides authorization for all of our participants under the People-to-People general license under the Office of Foreign Assets Control Federal Register. All travelers will need a valid passport in order to enter Cuba.

WHEN CAN I TRAVEL TO CUBA?

Americans can travel to Cuba anytime now, as long as CFR 515.565(b) is being followed and the requirements are documented and record keeping is followed. USA-CUBA Tours is an authorized company to travel from the USA to Cuba. USA-CUBA Tours is an authorized company to provide travel for Americans to Cuba. We have tours to Cuba and have tours departing weekly. Book your trip today and see Cuba before it changes forever, this is the time to see Cuba. Call us now at 1-888-221-CUBA (2822).

CAN I BRING A LAPTOP INTO CUBA?

Yes, you can bring your laptop into Cuba for your own personal use.

CAN I USE MY OWN CELLPHONE WHILE IN CUBA?

Currently, American cellphone providers do not provide coverage in Cuba, this is due to the U.S. embargo against Cuba.

WIFI access by the hour or day at certain hotels is available for purchase. Access to WIFI is generally available only in the hotel and can be slow.  This same WIFI access code will work for your laptop or IPad. This will allow you to access your emails and some internet functions, but not your mobile phone.

ARE ELECTRICAL ADAPTERS REQUIRED IN CUBA?

Cuba operates on a standard 120vac electrical plan (the same as in the USA). Some hotels and Casa Particulars will also have both 120vac and 240vac, but these should be clearly marked. We recommend you bring a multi-adapter which will ensure that you can plug into any receptacle.

IS INTERNET AVAILABLE IN CUBA?

Yes, most major hotels in Havana have either a computer or small business center where you can purchase an internet card, which allows access. The internet card will have a user Id and password that will allow you to connect to the internet for a specified period of time.

Please understand that the connection speed in Cuba may be quite slower than what you’re use to in the United States.

IS WIFI AVAILABLE IN CUBA?

The major hotels in Havana offer WIFI and have a business center with Internet access. WIFI can be purchased either by the hour or by the day. Please note that Internet and WIFI access in Cuba is much slower than in the United States.

CAN I BRING VIDEO EQUIPMENT TO CUBA?

Guests may bring personal digital cameras, small video cameras, and smart phones into Cuba. No professional photography equipment without special permission from the Cuban government. If you have any questions regarding this requirement please call us at 1-888-221-CUBA (2822).

HOW MUCH DOES INTERNET COST IN CUBA?

On average, the major hotels charge approximately $6-10 CUC per hour.

CAN I RENT OR BUY A CELL PHONE IN CUBA?

There are ways to rent and buy cellphones with service in Cuba. These services can be made available to you on a case by case basis. Please understand that this service can take up some time and would not be fair to the other guest. Therefore, we will have to schedule some time privately to acquire you this service. If interested, please bring an unlocked quad band cellphone that requires a removable Sim card for service, since you will be renting a Cuban line while in Cuba. Contact us at 1-888-221-CUBA (2822).

CAN I PURCHASE ART WORK IN CUBA?

Due to the US embargo on Cuba, there are very specific guidelines as to what you can and can’t bring into the U.S. With President Obama’s December 17, 2014 announcement to normalize relations with Cuba, Americans are now allowed to bring back Cuban goods of any kind for personal use only.

Artwork is defined as Art in the streets of Havana – (screen prints, tourist art). These pieces don’t require exportation procedures. However, if you purchase Cuban art from a local gallery, contact our office or tour manager for more information. At a minimum you should have the following prior to departing Cuba or delays will occur.

  • Gallery authenticate the painting or sculpture.
  • Receipt/export permit to show Cuban customs, which shows the artwork was purchased at an official Cuban art gallery.
  • Proper storage and packing

If the gallery can’t provide an export permit or you didn’t receive an official receipt, you can obtain documentation for the art from the National Registry of Cultural Goods or Center of Cultural Heritage in Havana. It generally takes up to two days to process art licenses, so let your tour manager know and he/she will help to ensure you have no issues when leaving the country.

IS IT SAFE TO EAT FOOD FROM OTHER VENDORS OTHER THAN THE HOTELS?

We don’t recommend eating street vendor food, however, if you want to, please use discretion as you would when traveling to any other international destination. If you are choosing a food item that needs to be cooked, make sure it’s thoroughly cooked at a high temperature

WHAT IF I’M A VEGETARIAN OR HAVE SPECIAL FOOD REQUIREMENTS?

Just let us know if you have special food requirements needs and we’ll be happy to discuss with you all the types of foods Cuba has to offer. We talk with waiters and chefs in advance and announce each meal’s menu. At a minimum, white rice, beans and vegetables will be available.

WHAT KIND OF SHOPPING CAN I DO IN CUBA?

A shopping spree isn’t one of the top things to do while in Cuba, therefore, Cuba is not considered a shopping destination. There are small stores in the hotels, along with some flea-market type feel to them shops.

AM I LIMITED IN WHAT GOODS I CAN BRING BACK INTO THE USA FROM CUBA?

Due to the US embargo on Cuba, there are guidelines as to what you can and can’t bring into the U.S. With President Obama’s December 17, 2014 announcement to normalize relations with Cuba, Americans are now allowed to bring back Cuban goods of any kind for personal use only.

ARE THE LAWS IN CUBA SIMILAR TO THAT OF THE UNITED STATES?

The laws in Cuba are very similar to the United States and in some cases much stricter. Just be smart and obey the laws as if you were in The United States and there should be no problems. (drugs, pornographic materials, prostitution, firearms are illegal in Cuba)

CAN I BRING BACK CUBAN CIGARS?

Due to the US embargo on Cuba, there are guidelines as to what you can and can’t bring into the U.S. With President Obama’s December 17, 2014 announcement to normalize relations with Cuba, Americans are now allowed to bring back Cuban goods of any kind for personal use only.