Whoops! I accidentally deleted my question!
Thank you so much for your reply, nisoXIV!
Old Orchard Beach
Hi – I actually have dual citizenship (US & Canada) so I went to Cuba as a Canadian. I flew to Halifax and then from there took a flight to Cuba. I know I’ve looked online about how to go about going back to Cuba with my husband (who’s American) and I found it all very confusing, there is a lot of information out there. I wish I could help more, perhaps there are other Americans on here who have gone that you could check with. Good luck!
Land of the Free, eh? ;)
As I understand it you just need to get out of the USA then buy a ticket to Havana. The Cubans don’t require you to obtain a visa and they don’t stamp your passport so your President will be none the wiser (there’s a thought…).
Otherwise, there are a few USA based humanitarian groups who regularly travel there and refuse to observe your government’s restrictions. You could get involved.
Flying to Cancun is your best bet. Once you are there you should fly Cubana to Havana. You are required to get a visa, but you can do this when you purchase your airline ticket. This visa will be kept by the authorities in Cuba, and again there is no stamping of passports… No paper trail, no getting caught. I recommend flying Cubana Air, as other carriers occasionally report US tourists to the government. You can reserve your flight from the US, and I strongly suggest this as there are only two flights per day from Cancun (during the summer at least) and the wait in line is extremely hot and boring. Good luck in your travels and enjoy your stay. Cuba is the most beautiful place I have ever been. I highly recommend staying with a family while you are there… Resorts definitely do not allow you to see the true Cuba, which is full of life, laughter and culture, if not material wealth.
I’d check the internet. There are groups that charter flights to Cuba from the US, and I don’t think it’s that hard to fall in with them.
If you are American and are travelling with your US passport, do not attempt this. It’s not worth it. Go to another island. It pains me to say this, but it’s really not worth the trouble.
There are no flights from the US into Cuba, so you would have to fly into Canada, as someone suggests. Suppose for a moment this worked, then you would have to get through Cuban authorities, which is mostly fine since you can request to not have your passport stamped (in Cuba, they don’t stamp your passport anyway; if you’re a tourist they usually stamp a card that you slip into your passport — this is done probably so that when Canadians travel to the US later using their Canadian passport, that they don’t get dirty looks from the US customs agents).
However, there is a bigger problem: I don’t think that Canadian officials will let you go through Canada to the US. I’m not 100% certain, but I believe they are really enforcing this, so I don’t suggest trying.
Other carribean destinations: Dominican Republic, Jamaica, etc. etc.
You don’t have to go through Canada, you can go through Mexico, which is a 30 minute flight away from Cuba anyway, and costs about 100 dollars. They don’t stamp your passport, Mexican officials don’t care, so what’s the big deal?
Don’t believe the hype. I went with absolutely no knowledge of the way everything worked and had no problems at all. It is well worth the risk. Even if you end up getting caught there is a website that has pre-printed appeal letters to appeal your fine. There is currently no funding for judges to hear the appeals, so to my knowledge everybody who has ever appealed has gone through the process with no consequences other than some slight inconveniences. Viva Cuba!
I think everyone already pretty much answered this for you. All you need to do is leave the U.S. and buy a ticket from outside. If you’re from Texas, I think it wouldn’t be oo expensive to travel to Cancun and from there to buy a ticket to Havanah.
You won’t have a problem IN Cuba with Cubans with your American passport. The only thing you have o make certain you ask is that they don’t stamp your passport upon entering the country, which they won’t do if you just ask.
Don’t go to Cuba as a U.S. citizen! Not worth the risk. My wife is dual (Canadian/ American) and made sure she used her Canadian passport when we went, but even so the sight of military dudes with guns closely examining each passport made her feel nervous while we waited at the little airport at Cayo Largo.
In a few years, my guess is that Cuba will open up to U.S. citizens. Meanwhile. . . until the American throngs arrive, as they certainly will when they discover the beauty of this place. . . the rest of us can enjoy long, deserted, white sand beaches!
Don’ wait until the embargo is lifted. When the embargo goes so does much of what makes Cuba so special. Who wants to visit yet another pimped out American tourist destination. If you’re going to wait you might as well visit Hawaii instead. The beaches are almost as beautiful.
uhhhh i wouldn’t go to cuba if i was american. but hay i’m sure there’s a way!
It’s not a horrible trouble to get into Cuba. Like everyone else has said, you need to go to either Canada or Mexico. I went to Havana via Cancun. No questions were asked on the Mexico, Cuban, or U.S. side, coming or going. When you get to Mexico (I can only assume the same if flying to Havana via Vancouver or other Canadian city) purhcase a ticket to Havana. You do not need a visa and they do not stamp your passport. I went with another friend and didn’t have a problem entering, traveling, or exiting Cuba. However, keep in mind that there is not a US Embassy in Cuba (for obvious reasons). If that makes you nervous, then I wouldn’t attempt it. Keep your papers in check, and you’re good to go. I hope you get to travel there…it really changed my life and my viewpoint.
I went to Cuba in 2002 through a tour from http://globalexchange.org/tours/byCountry.html#2 .
At the time they had an OFAC license, and I travelled under their license. Apparently they don’t have a license right now, but will help you out if you already have one. About 50% of American who travel to Cuba do so legally. I went through Cancun, but you can also find charters through Miami.
Havana is cool. It’s unlike any other city I’ve been too, and well worth a visit. Since the money dried up in about 1960, most of the city remains frozen in that time.
When America does end their embargo, Cuba will probably get modernized, and not be nearly as interesting as it is today.
New York City
If you plan to travel legally, the folks at Marazul are the experts in arranging trips from the US. The Center for Constitutional Rights provides travel advice and can help hook you up with a lawyer if it comes to that. The US Governmnet Office of Foreign Assets Control is in charge of making and enforcing the rules, so it can be useful to see what they have to say.
Of course, it may be easier to do as others suggest and go through a third country…
Meh, why not just wait a few years? Eventually Castro will grace us with his death and maybe then we’ll be able to go there freely. For now go to Jamaica instead.
Friggen communists. :p
Obviously Fipher has never been to “Communist Cuba!” If you are turned off by a country with free health care, free education, little crime and beautiful, friendly, happy people the Cuba is not for you. While I do not agree with all aspects of Cuba’s government a trip there certainly opened my eyes to the benefits of a communist government. Every system has its benefits. Fipher – Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it.
Have you ever been to Cuba? I’ve been there several times and both of your comments are wrong. Cuba is already full of tourists, it’s full of Canadians and Europeans, there are resorts everywhere-so I’m not sure what you mean by making ita “another tourist destination” – this is already their major economy.
As for the communism, first of all it isn’t safe to go off the resorts without someone, I know several people who have been robbed. And once you leave the resort, you’ll see some of the poorest places – so I don’t think their communism works.
That said, it’s not really worth to go through the trouble to go there.
As an American and recent student tourist of Cuba, it really irks me to read comments similar to those posted by rjc00.
“As for the communism, first of all it isn’t safe to go off the resorts without someone, I know several people who have been robbed.” What does this have to do with Communism? Have you been anywhere else in the Caribbean? If so, did you not hear or know of crimes in those places? I can personally assure you that more violent crime happens in Trinidad & Tobago than in Cuba. I love T&T and her people, but the country has its fair share of criminal issues and it’s as Capitalist as can be. Of course poverty exists right along side the crime just as it does in other regional neighbors such as Jamaica, the DR, and numerous other nations. It is well known that many tourists of these destinations feel inpriosoned in the resorts for fear of the “locals”.
So, to those US citizens who want to visit Cuba, specifically Havana-don’t fear for your safety. I remember commenting on the number of police on every block. Yes, there was a “victim” of crime that I knew of but it was a petty act by street kids-not one bit of violence. Cuba is not as safe and “rich” as America (although not a good comparison), Canada, or those “safe vacation resorts” but I personally find the appeal of Cuba in its ability to resist the traits of those places.
So rjc000, in short Communism is not the reason for Cuba’s issues of crime or really much else. Cuba is doing better than its neighbors and that’s with an embargo!
I’d love to debate the topic at greater length with you but you’ll have to put forth a better, and more impressive argument than “I don’t think their communism works”
It irks me as well.
It’s unfortunate that some people’s ignorance might cause other travelers to rethink their plans.
this is really a stupid, uneducated comment. i guess i shouldn’t expect much from most of the earth’s population, though.
my bad, folks.
Wow! That is quite a pile of contradictory information.
A friend of mine has been to Cuba like 3 times no problems through Cancun and has had no problems. I heard recently that the Mexican airport at Cancun is send the passenger list to the US Government, has anyone heard this?
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