Cuba for Americans

Mar 11th, 2016, 01:48 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 20
Cuba for Americans

Hello,
I am interested in planning a trip to Cuba. I am American and I am aware that there are restrictions, are there ways to visit Cuba without going through the person to person companies? I am a teacher and I would even be interested in doing some sort of cultural exchange, working, volunteering etc. Any ideas or suggestions? I do not mind traveling with a group but I would like some time independently if possible!
jdambrosio is offline  
Mar 11th, 2016, 02:45 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 3,703
I've wanted to go to Cuba for years-- I even volunteered to write Fodors guidebook on it (I've actually written others)

You might be able to go as a volunteer with a charity

BUT nothing allows (legally) any independence for now. Even with charity you're suppose to stay with the charity

If you find something please post it here!
blamona is offline  
Mar 15th, 2016, 09:13 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 711
As of today, March 15, 2016, you can legally travel to Cuba individually. It was announced by President Obama.

You only have to create your own "people to people" itinerary (museums, music venues, meeting with locals--anything but going to the beach) and keep that itinerary for five years. However, even government officials told the NYTimes that no one is going to look at anyone's agenda. For all intents and purposes, you can just go and have fun.

If you stay at Casa particulars (via Airbnb) you can travel pretty cheaply. You can fly out of the US or Mexico or anywhere else now--it's all the same.

My first trip to Cuba was in 2002--a lifetime ago in Cuba years. I'm glad and sad that it is wide open now.
BostonHarbor is offline  
Mar 15th, 2016, 09:15 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 711
I meant to include this link to today's article in the NYTimes:

White House Eases More Restrictions on Travel to Cuba

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/16/us...trictions.html
BostonHarbor is offline  
Mar 16th, 2016, 01:30 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 52,380
If you stay at Casa particulars (via Airbnb) you can travel pretty cheaply. You can fly out of the US or Mexico or anywhere else now--it's all the same. >>

a word of caution about casas - they are vey variable in standard. I would suggest acting with due diligence and booking ones with good reviews in advance rather than trusting to chance when you get there; there are a number of websites which give details, not just airbnb.

There are also some very nice boutique hotels in Havana and other places which can make a very nice base for a few days.

When you are planning your itinerary, there are a number of ways of getting around - the Viator buses [which you can now book on line in advance] Transtur buses which you can book while you are there, [though it's not always easy to find out where they run to and from], and taxis. We used a combination of both transtur and taxis, which worked reasonably well.

Even if you can't officially stay in beach resorts, there's nothing to stop you doing a day trip to the beach, particularly if you stay in Trinidad or Remedios, both of which have reasonably easy access to lovely beaches.
annhig is offline  
Mar 16th, 2016, 02:45 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 3
Global Volunteers has 2-week volunteer trips to Cuba that are legal. They have run volunteer trips all over the world for many years. I've traveled with them to China (5X), Greece and Poland. Some trips focus on teaching, others on building, child care and other projects. They have been running trips to Cuba for at least two years. globalvolunteers.org
erenees is offline  
Mar 19th, 2016, 09:32 AM
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 20
Thank you, so if I create my own itinerary such as visiting local communities, or museums, historic sites etc. I can travel independently and not go with a tour group? So if I plan in this way when I arrive to Cuba I could just show my personal itinerary to the officials? I believed that I had to go with an official group and that I cannot go individually. If I create my own itinerary who is to say I am not lying and actually plan to go to the beach all day? Just curious!
jdambrosio is offline  
Mar 19th, 2016, 09:36 AM
  #8  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 20
I just read the article and it answered some of the questions I just posted. Looks like great news for those who want to travel to Cuba as long as we are responsible of what we are suppose to do. Looks good to me! Thanks for the article! I am happy that Obama has done this and hope that nothing changes under the upcoming president!
jdambrosio is offline  
Mar 19th, 2016, 09:49 AM
  #9  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 20
annhig
a word of caution about casas - they are vey variable in standard. I would suggest acting with due diligence and booking ones with good reviews in advance rather than trusting to chance when you get there; there are a number of websites which give details, not just airbnb.

Can you provide me with those websites?
jdambrosio is offline  
Mar 19th, 2016, 09:51 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 52,380
So if I plan in this way when I arrive to Cuba I could just show my personal itinerary to the officials? >>

Cuban officials don't care. you have to show your passport and tourist card at immigration and your passport to hotel managers and casa owners [and one wanted to see the tourist card too] but otherwise, you're on your own. To get the tourist card, which we did by post from the Cuban embassy before we went, we just had to give the name of the first place that we were staying which we booked on the internet before we applied.

Not sure how US citizens would go about getting the tourist card but perhaps the article tells you that.
annhig is offline  
Mar 19th, 2016, 10:59 AM
  #11  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 20
Can someone else respond to about the tourist card with regards to Americans! Cuba for Americans is the post!
jdambrosio is offline  
Mar 19th, 2016, 11:13 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 3,864
We now have a Cuban embassy in Washington, so that's an option. Also, airlines that fly to Cuba will issue you the card.
Jeff_Costa_Rica is offline  
Mar 19th, 2016, 12:08 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 52,380
http://www.cuba-junky.com/cuba/cuba-...rticulares.htm

http://www.casaparticular.com

http://mycasaincuba.com

I found these in 30 seconds by googling - we didn't use any of them so I can't vouch for them.

Cuba-junky has an app which might be useful.

as for visas, I found the following [which took me 5 mins as opposed to 30 seconds]

this is what the US Embassy in Havana is saying about Visas for US citizens:

http://havana.usembassy.gov/travelling_cuba.html

and although this is a UK site, there is information about half way down the page that might be of use:

https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Travel...Card.Visa.html

Aussie friends that we made in Cuba simply bought their tourist cards at the airport in Mexico before they boarded their flight.

I am sure that it's possible, but you will need to do your research to find the method which is best for you.
annhig is offline  
Mar 30th, 2016, 04:43 PM
  #14  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 20
Thanks!!
jdambrosio is offline  
May 12th, 2016, 12:45 PM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 52,380
Although you can face some problems such as lack of public transportation infrastructure across the country, creating a people to people program sometimes can be hard. Besides, if your Spanish is not fluent, you will have a lot of trouble outside of Habana. Travelling alone, you would have spent a lot of time researching and dealing with logistics if you really want to visit different cities and get to know the Cuban people.>>

yes, but it's well worth it. and we managed with less than perfect spanish.

You do know that advertising isn't allowed here, don't you?

[obviously not]
annhig is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2018, 09:20 AM
  #16  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 20
Advertising what? I was just asking for tips and resources or of any names of places. If that constitutes as advertising, i appologize.
jdambrosio is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 04:30 PM.