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Cuba is open – Americans are always welcome!



Visiting Cuba is LEGAL, safe, fun & easy!


There are many meaningful options available for Americans to visit Cuba legally. The popular categories of humanitarian projects, support for the Cuban people, religious activities, professional research, and journalism, are wonderful ways to witness Cuba and engage with its people and their culture.

School travel to Cuba is welcomed and fun! Students, teachers, school staff, and chaperones can come to Cuba as easily as visiting any other country. 

The Cuban people welcome Americans with open arms!


A brief history of Cuba travel restrictions


President Kennedy first imposed Cuba travel restrictions in 1963. Every president since has maintained, or adjusted them. President Jimmy Carter significantly eased Cuba travel in 1977. G.W. Bush tightened travel rules in 2004. During Barack Obama’s terms, easy Cuba travel became routine. No president has ever ended Cuba travel. Fortunately, the US Constitution enshrines freedom to travel. 

How legal Cuba travel works


The Office of Foreign Assets Control publishes a list of twelve categories under which Americans can visit Cuba legally, without any documentation or permission in advance. The twelve categories are called “general license” travel. In other words, if the purpose of your Cuba travel falls under any of the twelve topics, you can hop on a plane and visit Cuba. It’s that simple and easy.

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


Do you like to travel on your own? Cuba is an ideal destination for independent travelers who have traveled and have plenty of planning time. 


If you need a bit of help organizing a trip, MARIAH TRAVEL is here to assist. Working with a Cuba travel professional ensures the best cultural experiences, entertainment options, meals, accommodations, transportation, and helpful fluent guides.

Before departure, a travel package guarantees your Cuba trip conforms to US legal requirements. But more importantly, a small group tour or private custom trip to Cuba is more economical, and offers a greater number of cultural encounters in a brief period than 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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