Frequently Asked Questions
Is it legal for Americans to travel to Cuba?
Travel to Cuba requires permission under a license from the United States Dept of Treasury, Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC). We have an OFAC approved license for meaningful people to people interaction. This entails a full-time schedule of educational and cultural exchange with everyday Cubans. For more information go to http://www.ofac.gov
Where will we stay in Cuba?
Generally, we stay in nice hotels in the city of Havana or government licensed Bed and Breakfasts known as Casa Particulars. The Casa Particulars provide a unique opportunity to see and understand the culture of Cuba and the day to day life of the Cuban people. The landlords are new Cuban entrepreneurs and take good care of their customers as they make a great living by Cuba standards and want repeat business. They are very friendly and while the homes are generally older, they are spotless clean and provide great security.
What about money and credit cards?
Unfortunately, credit cards issued by American Banks will not be honored any where in Cuba. Americans are forced to carry cash. Most hotels have safes and Casa Particulars have excellent security. When you arrive in Cuba you will be required to convert your dollars to CUCs (the Cuban currency for foreigners).
Is Cuba safe for Americans?
Cubans love Americans (or North Americans as they call us). They do not like the US government embargo, but they distinguish between people and politics. Cubans have a great hunger to meet Americans and learn about the American culture. Because of the embargo, many Cubans have never met an American. Cuba has one of the lowest crime rates in the world; but petty street crime does occasionally happen, so like any where in the world situational awareness is advised.
What about cell phones, email, and the Internet?
Very few Cubans have access to the internet. Most tourist hotels contain business centers or internet cafes. Wi-Fi is very rare but growing. US cell phones generally will not work in Cuba but it is possible to call the USA from hotels.
What about water and electricity?
Generally , the water is good. But to be safe drink bottled water. The electric is the same voltage as the USA so converters in most places are are not needed.
Is Cuba expensive?
No, compared to other Caribbean nations every day necessities are very reasonable for Americans. Restaurants, beverages and Cuban shows and cabarets are are of good quality and value.
What about medicine and prescriptions?
The general rule is, if you know you are going to need it, bring it with you. Because of the trade embargo some of the consumer items we take for granted can be difficult to find.