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Cuba is open – Americans are always welcome!



Visiting Cuba is LEGAL, safe, fun & easy!


Visiting Cuba is not only legal but also safe, enjoyable, and surprisingly easy! There are numerous meaningful options available for Americans to explore Cuba legally, opening doors to enriching experiences and cultural exchanges.


Popular categories such as humanitarian projects, supporting the Cuban people, engaging in religious activities, conducting professional research, and pursuing journalism offer fantastic avenues to immerse oneself in Cuban culture and connect with its people.


School travel to Cuba is particularly welcomed and incredibly rewarding! Students, teachers, school staff, and chaperones can journey to Cuba just as easily as they would to any other country. It's an opportunity to broaden horizons, foster understanding, and create lifelong memories in a setting rich with history, art, and warm hospitality.

The Cuban people welcome Americans with open arms!


A brief history of Cuba travel restrictions


President Kennedy first imposed Cuba travel restrictions in 1963, which were maintained or adjusted by every subsequent president. Significant easing occurred during President Jimmy Carter's administration in 1977, while President George W. Bush tightened travel rules in 2004. However, during Barack Obama’s terms, easy travel to Cuba became routine, marking a notable shift. Despite these changes, no president has ever completely ended Cuba travel, as the U.S. Constitution guarantees the freedom to travel. 

How legal Cuba travel works

The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) publishes a list of twelve categories, known as "general license," travel, under which Americans can visit Cuba legally without requiring documentation or permission in advance. In essence, if your purpose for traveling to Cuba aligns with any of these twelve categories, you can simply hop on a plane and visit Cuba. It's as straightforward as that.

12 categories of legal Cuba travel

  • Educational activities (schools, students, teachers)

  • Support for the Cuban people

  • Humanitarian projects

  • Professional research and professional meetings

  • Religious activities

  • Public performances, clinics, workshops, athletic and other competitions, and exhibitions

  • Journalistic activity

  • Family visits

  • Activities of private foundations or research or educational institutes

  • Exportation, importation, or transmission of information or information materials

  • Certain authorized export transactions

  • Official business of the U.S. government, foreign governments, and certain intergovernmental organizations


Ways to visit Cuba legally


Are you an independent traveler who enjoys planning your own adventures? Cuba is an ideal destination for those who have experience traveling independently and plenty of time for planning.


If you prefer some assistance in organizing your trip, Mariah Travel is here to help. Working with a Cuba travel professional ensures access to the best cultural experiences, entertainment options, meals, accommodations, transportation, and knowledgeable guides.


Before departing, booking a travel package guarantees that your trip to Cuba conforms to U.S. legal requirements. Moreover, opting for a small group tour or a private custom trip to Cuba is often more economical and offers a greater number of cultural encounters in a shorter period than even the most experienced independent traveler could assemble.


How to choose a legitimate Cuba agent or tour operator

  • Ensure the tour operator is based in the United States and licensed to provide travel services to Americans.

  • The US tour operator should always issue a Certificate of Legal Cuba Travel.

  • Ask how long the company has been in business offering Cuba to Americans.

  • Learn from the experiences of fellow travelers. Ask for previous traveler's reviews. 

  • Ask your friends who’ve traveled to Cuba for their suggestions and recommendations.


Legal Cuba travel essentials

  • Cuba visitors require a valid passport from any country.

  • Cuba visitors require an entry visa. 

  • US credit and debit cards don’t work in Cuba. Plan trip expenses carefully. 

  • US regulations require Americans to retain records of island activities and related expenses for five years.


Still have questions about Cuba?  We love to talk about Cuba!? 

Call us at 1-406-222-5660

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