Cuba Travel FAQ

Cuba Travel FAQ

What You Need To Know

Click Here! for a complete list of certain sections of the OFAC regulations 31 C.F.R. Part 515 containing general licenses to travel to Cuba.

HOW IS IT LEGAL TO TRAVEL TO CUBA WITH ATI?

ATI has access to legally conduct people-to-people travel through affiliates authorized by the United States Treasury’s Office of Freight Assets Control (OFAC). We custom design itineraries that are fully compliant with OFAC guidelines such as music and dance performances, visits to Cuba’s entrepreneurs, artist visits and other activities that fall under the cultural travel guidelines. These tours are open to all Americans and no application process is necessary. People-to-people travel means you will have the chance to meet the local people of Cuba and experience their culture in depth.

HOW DOES CUBAN CUSTOMS & IMMIGRATION WORK?

When you arrive in Cuba please have your passport, Cuban visa and boarding pass ready for Cuban customs. The customs officer will take your visa and keep one part and then stamp the other part and give it back to you. Once you arrive at your hotel please leave the passport and visa in the safe with 25 CUC’s for your departure tax. It is a good idea to take a copy of the passport but ID is generally not needed in Cuba unless it is to change money. You will also get a blue customs form to fill out. Please fill it out and hand it to the agent right before you leave the airport.

WHAT IS PEOPLE-TO-PEOPLE TRAVEL?

An Educational People-to-People program is a licensed program sponsored by an authorizing organization that involves meaningful interaction between the traveler and the Cuban people, and often includes many cultural and educational components to the trip. It is a full-time program that helps you better understand and discover the destination.

CAN I BOOK A FLIGHT WITHOUT REGISTERING FOR A TOUR?

Unfortunately, this is not yet permitted. We are only permitted to book flights for people who are participating on our cultural tours.

What are examples of some people to people activities?

An example can be an interactive discussion with teachers and students of a music school in Havana to learn about their schooling and systems. The interaction would also help the students and teachers understand about similar systems and schools in the US. Another example could be meeting with artists in Camaguey and having a discussion about their style, their background and their possible exhibitions in Cuba and overseas. Travelers could share stories about similar events or personal examples in their cities or travels.

Is there any free time in a people to people program?

A people-to-people program, under OFAC regulations, consists of a full-time program of educational activities. You may have some down time after the full-time program has been fulfilled in the afternoons and evenings in compliance with the full time schedule of activities.

Does ATI offer custom group tours?

ATI is a full service travel agency that has solid experience with Individual and group travel. We have a special department to handle all types of group travel, including customized programs. Please contact us at cuba@americantours.com

Do I need a visa to travel to Cuba and can you assist me in getting one?

Cuba requires that all arriving travelers have a Cuban Tourist Card (visa) to enter the country. We can assist with the application process involved in obtaining this visa for you if you are purchasing your travel package with us. If you were born in Cuba, there is a different procedure in place for your travel to Cuba. Please contact our office to get more details on these requirements.

Is there an amount of money that I am limited to spending while in Cuba?

Under new regulations, there are no more restrictions or per diems on daily spending while in Cuba.

Can I use a credit card or ATM card in Cuba?

There are some merchants in Cuba that can now accept the cards. ATM transactions won’t be available until 2016, but Americans can now use their debit cards to pay for hotels rooms, meals and all kinds of products and services across the island. We still recommend to bring cash for the moment.

Can I use American dollars in Cuba?

You may bring American dollars into Cuba, but you will need to exchange them into the local Cuban Convertible Peso (CUC) in order to make purchases while there. You can exchange currency at local banks, exchange bureaus, the airport and at most hotels.sist with the application process involved in obtaining this visa for you if you are purchasing your travel package with us. If you were born in Cuba, there is a different procedure in place for your travel to Cuba. Please contact our office to get more details on these requirements.

Does my Cell phone work in Cuba?

At this time, cell phones that work on US carriers do not work in Cuba. You may be able to use certain apps on smartphones while on Wi-Fi at certain hotels.

Is there Wi-Fi in locations throughout Cuba?

Wi-Fi is available at some of the larger hotels in Cuba for a charge, and mostly available in public areas of those hotels.

CAN I TRAVEL BY MYSELF UNDER A PEOPLE-TO-PEOPLE LICENSE OR CAN I APPLY FOR A PEOPLE-TO-PEOPLE LICENSE?

No, the new laws still require that a US citizen must travel with a company that organizes people-to-people trips. It also states that the company and the travelers must fall within the requirements and rules of the license.

HAS THE US EMBARGO AGAINST CUBA BEEN LIFTED AND IF SO, CAN WE TRAVEL ON OUR OWN TO CUBA?

The US Embargo and travel restrictions are still in effect. However, The Obama Administration eased the restrictions on twelve categories of travel, this means that companies like ATI are automatically authorized to send Americans to Cuba legally under this provision.

CAN I JUST BOOK A BEACH VACATION?

No, beach vacations are not considered people-to-people travel and are therefore not permitted. Cuba is a unique and culturally rich destination that has much to offer beyond its beaches.

HOW DO WE FLY TO CUBA?

Once you book one of our tours we book your flight and secure your Cuban visa which is necessary for your trip to Cuba through a Charter company that is authorized by the United States government.

HOW LONG MUST I KEEP MY LETTER OF AUTHORIZATION?

The Office of Foreign Assets control requires that you keep your letter of authorization for 5 years after your dates of travel to Cuba. We recommend that you keep a copy in your suitcase and email yourself a scanned copy just in case an official asks for it at some point.

CAN I SIMPLY BOOK A FLIGHT TO CUBA ON MY OWN?

The flights from the United States to Cuba are heavily regulated and it is not possible to book flights directly to Cuba on your own. All flights are charter flights and we must submit our license copy and number as well as other paperwork to be able to book a flight for you. Once you sign up for our program we will submit all necessary paperwork and book your flights immediately.

THERE ARE MANY CHARTER FLIGHTS FROM THE USA
  • Los Angeles
  • Miami
  • New York
  • Tampa
  • Fort Lauderdale