Updated: Dec 11, 2019
Only 90 miles from Florida but still a world away, Cuba has long been a fascinating and exotic destination for Americans. But nearly six decades of travel restrictions and some recent policy changes have left many U.S. travelers wondering if a Cuban adventure is possible.
The good news is that Americans travelers still can visit Cuba. While the Trump administration recently minimized accessibility for U.S. travelers, nothing has changed for Americans who book vacations with Global Family Travels.
As of June 2019, U.S. citizens are now permitted to visit Cuba under 11 different travel categories, with the Support for the Cuban People” travel license being the easiest way to visit the island. The new policy no longer allows cruise passengers to visit Cuba under the people-to-people travel license. On the other hand, if you are a traveler visiting Cuba with the specific purpose of engaging with local Cuban people, your itinerary meets the new policy requirements.
Each of our three Cuban itineraries fulfills the criteria for the “Support for the Cuban People” travel license. Trips must “provide support for the Cuban people, which include activities of recognized human rights organizations; independent organizations designed to promote a rapid, peaceful transition to democracy; and individuals and non-governmental organizations that promote independent activity intended to strengthen civil society in Cuba.” (page 7 of treasury.gov).
Now is the perfect time to visit Cuba because it has never been more in need of visitors. As Cuba’s state-run enterprises are currently targeted with sanctions, which has put the country’s economy in crisis. In a struggling economy, resources for community projects and initiatives become more scarce, which means that there may be fewer ways to engage in the future.
3 Ways to Visit Cuba with Your Family in 2020
Global Family Travels offers three Cuban itineraries that meet the requirements of Support the Cuban People:
Cuba: Explore & Color with Colorful Havana
There’s no better way to explore the colorful streets of Havana than with our new trip, Cuba: Explore & Color with Colorful Havana, inspired by the Colorful Cities Explore & Color coloring book series. On this trip, we use the coloring book as a guide to explore nine of Cuba’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including Habana Vieja (Old Havana) and its five large plazas and the towns of Trinidad and Cienfuegos. The coloring book is designed to help travelers of all ages turn visual images into indelible memories as they recreate iconic sights in their own coloring books. Their finished artworks will not only become souvenirs of their trip but lasting Cuban art. The trip also includes a scavenger hunt based on the books’ illustrations for those wanting more of a challenge.
Discover Cuba’s Artistic Culture
This second trips allows travelers to immerse themselves in Cuba’s artistic culture with Global Family Travels as we discover and learn from Support the Cuban People interactions at many of Cuba’s Casas de la Culutura, which are community cultural centers that foster artistic expression as well as venues for exhibitions and performing arts. Learn more here.
Support Cuba’s Entrepreneurial & Creative Spirit
Cubans are particularly passionate about music, dance, visual arts, baseball, and cars, and they’re happy to share their talents and interests with visitors. This Support the Cuban People trip gives you the chance to learn from the people who are making Cuba’s future. You’ll meet and engage with local entrepreneurs at historic tobacco factories, coffee plantations, and an eco-community and reforestation project.
We can also customize a trip to Cuba for you! Any of these trips offers a slew of age-appropriate activities at local community projects and small businesses. You’ll get the chance to meet with Cuban artists, educators, professionals, local citizens and others who are eager to exchange views on Cuban contemporary life and Cuba’s role in the future.
Highlights of Our Family Trips to Support the Cuban People
Depending on which of our family-friendly Cuban itineraries you choose, you may have the chance to experience these and other activities:
Visit inspiring community projects in historic Havana, where you’ll engage in meaningful exchanges with local artists and small business owners.
Explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Viñales Valley and take a guided walk with a local geologist to view the spectacular limestone formations. You’ll also learn from park rangers in the protected, natural environment of Las Terrazas, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.
Visit an Abakúa religious center, where you’ll learn from Afro-Cuban spiritual leaders.
Meet with local fishermen in Cienfuegos and roadside fruit vendors on the way to Trinidad, where you will visit the celebrated Valley of the Sugar Mills. Both cities are UNESCO World Heritage sites.