This page was updated November 27, 2017

New Trump travel rules issued

On June 16, 2017, President Trump ordered a reversal of some of the Obama-era changes to Cuba policy affecting travel. On November 9, 2017, the new regulations went into effect and the U.S. Treasury Department has issued FAQs on the changes. Long-time Cuba travel provider Marazul has provided further clarification in a November 16 letter which links to an attached Notice to Travelers and a list of prohibited facilities.

Travel to Cuba has principally been affected in two ways. The first is that individual nonacademic people-to-people travel is no longer allowed although individual travel in other categories has not been restricted and the support for the Cuban people category has been broadened. The second is that travelers will not be allowed to spend money at facilities that are deemed to be controlled by the Cuban military. A list of those facilities can be found here.

Prior to the issuance of the travel regulations, the Trump administration also issued a completely unsubstantiated warning against travel to Cuba based on the alleged "sonic attacks" on certain embassy personnel. Cuba travel providers in the U.S. agree that there there is no danger and are ignoring the warning. In any case, this travel warning is only advisory, not mandatory. View a video here from Razones de Cuba on the alleged attacks.

Previously scheduled and future group trips will not be affected by the changes. As for scheduling future individual travel, a spot check on November 12 showed that travel consolidator CheapAir and Delta Airlines were still accepting individual reservations for Cuba using the same checklist as before November 9, in which the traveler checks off one of the 12 authorized categories of travel. 

Travelers should be aware that the new regulations are still being analyzed and it is not yet clear (as of November 27) exactly how new groups might be able to organize travel under the nonacademic people-to-people category or how the support for the Cuban people category might now support more individual travel. See, however, this article from Politico which asserts that individual people to people travel has been replaced by individual travel under the expanded support for the Cuban people category and Cuba Travel 101 from the Center for Democracy in the Americas which makes a similar statement. Also see the information from Marazul referred to at the top of this page.

There is some good news, though: apparently no request for appropriations to enforce the new regulations has been made and, secondly, the National Lawyers Guild has reiterated its pledge to provide legal assistance to support the rights of US travelers to Cuba. 

Also see our updates page for news about the changes.

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General

Individual travel
See comments in the previous section.   

Group travel
Traveling with a group is usually the best way for individuals who are unfamiliar with Cuba to learn more about the country, since groups have access to Cuban sites, organizations and events that are often not available to individuals. Some of the groups organizing solidarity delegations and less expensive group travel are listed below this section.

Insurance
Be aware that you must purchase health insurance to travel to Cuba, since the U.S. embargo prevents your U.S. policy from covering you there, and you must also buy a Cuban visa. Typically, your travel provider will make these items available or provide information on how to obtain them.

Ethical travel
A group of travel organizations and other entities have recently formed an organization called RESPECT, "Responsible and Ethical Cuba Travel," which has adopted guidelines whose "aim is to make US travel to Cuba part of the global movement for ethical travel . . . particularly important in supporting Cuba’s goal to become a sustainable destination for mutual learning and benefit.” We encourage Cuba travelers to use providers that adhere to these principles. 



   
Upcoming solidarity, specialized and locally organized trips
These remain unaffected by the new November 2017 regulations
  
December
January
February

Minnesota-based travel

Click here for a report on a January 2017 trip organized by the University of Minnesota College of Education and Human Development in collaboration with MN Senator Patricia Torres Ray

   

   
Travel agencies and travel groups
 
Organizations providing group travel

Companies providing individual travel as well as servicing groups


Information about travel (may not include November updates)
  

   
Travel Challenges
 
Pastors for Peace and the Venceremos Brigade take unlicensed delegations to Cuba each year as a way of challenging the embargo. In recent years, the US government has not interfered with these trips, including the July 2017 delegations.