Cuba has been in the news a lot lately. In January 2015, President Obama discussed easing the draconian sanctions against this island nation. While not much under the surface has changed, the how of getting to Cuba has become much better. No longer must you have to travel outside of the US for onward travel to Cuba and broad new travel policies are in effect
Our government has release 12 broad categories to define travel to Cuba such as family visits, journalistic activity, educational purposes and research among others. The exact language around these categories is very broad, so travel blogging could be considered journalistic. What the language does state, Americans are not allowed to visit Cuba for the purposes of tourism. So, if you imagined sitting on the beach for 5 days sipping margarita’s think again. That is not to say you couldn’t do it under an educational reason.
Now visitors must have a tourist card (supplied by your airline or travel agent) and a passport. No more flying through Canada or Caribbean islands or other round about ways to get to Cuba.
One of the Last Closed Societies
Since Cuba has been closed off to western development for so long, it is the closed thing to a closed society in our hemisphere. While there is a McDonald’s in Cuba, on Guantanamo Bay and only open to US personnel, the country is yet untouched by the blighty neon of fast food shacks and mass produced super stores. Get there before the eventual onslaught of progress arrives.
Havana is exactly 222 miles from Miami, which makes Cuba an ideal spot for an off the beaten path adventure in under 4 hours of flying from the East coast.
You Can Book Flights Online
I am very excited that American carriers are opening up the skies to Cuba. Currently, JetBlue has 1 weekly flight to Havana from JFK. It departs every Friday. Cheapair.com also opened up it’s online portal for flights to Cuba from NYC, Miami & Tampa. At last check, a Miami departure would run around or little below $500 round-trip.
You Can Finally Buy those Cuban Cigars Legally
Under the new regulations, U.S. visitors to Cuba can legally bring $100 of Cuba’s coveted cigars home with them.
The problem is most boxes of Cuban cigars in state-run stores sell for much more than $100, with a box of premium Cohiba cigars usually going for over $400. Black market cigars exist but are usually fakes.
Frequent travelers to Cuba say that they have brought back a box or two to the United States without experiencing any issues.