Traveling to Cuba is not as simple as it sounds, but it is certainly an extremely fascinating experience. Whether you want to visit with family, friends or enjoy a romantic trip, there is a great deal to do and see while in Cuba. Many tourists have returned from Cuba year after year and tell stories of their unique experiences and unforgettable vacations.
To enter Cuba, visitors must first obtain a tourist visa. These can be obtained through your nearest airline (ask prior to travel). If unable to obtain a visa yourself, you can obtain one through a Cuban travel agent. Costs range from US $75 to US $100 for each tourist who wishes to travel to Cuba. All arriving tourists must also fill out and present an immunization certification and prove of travel insurance which includes CO VID-19.
Once you have obtained your visa, set up an accommodation and make any other arrangements necessary to prepare for your trip. The cost of airfare alone can be quite expensive, but if you are travelling with family or friends, airfare may not be an issue. For those travelling by plane, connecting flights into Cuba cost nothing, but a connecting flight to the island of Cuba from the United States may cost several thousand dollars. It is important to contact your travel agency or hotel before leaving for Cuba and enquire about prices and package discounts.
Your itinerary will include a visit to the U.S.embassy, which is located in the embassy complex itself; the Children’s National Zoo, which is home to numerous species of animals; the Bay Islands and the Cayo District, where tourists can walk along the beautiful beaches and discover the rich cultural heritage. If you are travelling as a family, ensure that your children have their own passport and related immunization certification before travelling. This applies to all travellers, whether travelling alone or with friends, as the requirements for obtaining both vary according to nationality. Also, if you plan to visit the Cayo District, which is a resort region, it is strongly recommended checking with the Cayo District office for your family’s requirements before departing Cuba.
It is important to know the current weather conditions when travelling to Cuba, especially during the months of April and May. April and May are the dry months in Cuba, and visitors are advised to pack a pair of jeans and a rain poncho, since the hotels rarely allow guests to arrive until the end of these months. In addition, Cuba does not run regular national holidays, so tourists are not guaranteed of a free holiday either. Therefore, Cuba’s best time to visit is between December and April, when the beaches are not as crowded and the weather is not as cold.
When visiting Cuba, you must go over the travel laws of the country before stepping foot on American soil. The Cuban Adjustment Act prohibits Americans from owning property in Cuba without first consulting the Cuban Adjustment Office in Washington D.C. The tourism office has different requirements for tourists based on whether they are entering the island as tourists or as citizens. If you wish to purchase property in Cuba, you must visit the office and present your passport and green card. For an American to buy property in Cuba, he/she must apply for a visa from the state department. In addition, Americans must not take any property out of Cuba without first consulting the State Department.
The Cubana Travel Denied
The negative emotional impact on family members when planning a trip to Cuba are immeasurable. An economic analyst who now resides in Brazil, for instance, hasn’t been able to visit his six-year-old daughter. His wife and son have been in Cuba, since he broke the travel ban imposed by the Castro government, but since he repeatedly violated Cuban travel rules by failing to go back to Cuba from an unauthorized trip abroad in 2021, the Cuban Government has effectively banned him from returning. This leaves his wife, a college-educated doctor, and their young son, going back to live in England.
While there may not be a legal way for a family member of a Cuban expatriate to visit his family while residing outside of the United States, it’s certainly possible to do so using other methods. In the case of my husband, he was able to take advantage of a “rendezvous” with another ex-pilot who happened to be visiting Cuba on business. After obtaining his permission to travel, he traveled to Brazil to visit his daughter. Although he was refused permission to fly into Cuba using his plane there, he was able to obtain a visitor’s visa through the Canadian government by using a friend as a courier.
Even if one’s only purpose of visiting Cuba is to visit relatives and not partake in any illegal activities, being denied access to travel by the Castro government can leave you feeling significantly depressed, especially if you are someone who values human life above all else. Even if you’ve broken no rules of conduct and haven’t committed any crimes, you can still suffer punishment by missing your plane and not being able to see loved ones. As far as what the future holds for those who have been refused access to travel, it’s completely up to them whether they choose to rest on their laurels or try and improve their situation by traveling abroad. It would be unfortunate if they were to decide not to use whatever means they have at their disposal to see loved ones. Cuba has the potential to change in the future as more ties are broken between the U.S. and Cuba, but for the time being, it would seem more prudent to travel elsewhere.