CAN ARRANGEMENTS ABROAD BOOK MY AIR TO/FROM MIAMI OR DIRECTLY TO CUBA?
Yes! We have an Air Concierge and encourage you to use them to book either your domestic flights to Miami or your international flights to Cuba. In the event of any travel issues, our Concierge will be there to minimize disruptions by making alternate arrangements. There is a $40 booking fee per person for this service. Please note that we will be unable to help you rebook your air if you make air arrangements independently.
Air Concierge, Largay Travel: Sylvia Pelletier, firstname.lastname@example.org, (203) 757-9481 / 888-632-1512
HOW DO I OBTAIN MY CUBAN VISA? (a.k.a. Tourist Card)
When you book a commercial flight from the U.S. to Cuba, your carrier will advise on procedures for securing the documents necessary for entry to Cuba, including a visa and mandatory Cuban health insurance (see next section). Usually, the visa is a blank 2-part perforated form to fill out. Upon arrival in Havana, Cuban immigration will keep one side of the Tourist Card and hand back the other one to be kept safe. You may be asked for the other side when departing Cuba.
OPTION #1: Purchase Online or by phone in advance
- Call CTS (Cuba Travel Services) 1-877-511-2822) or pre-pay online (cubavisaservices.com) and have it shipped in 7-10 business days to a continental US address. The cost is $85-$150, depending on the airline and shipping. For our programs, select the OFAC Category: “Educational – People to People”.
- American Airlines: Use this link to purchase a visa with a record locator/confirmation number (cubavisaservices.com/product/aa-visa-card).
- Delta Airlines: as of November 2016, after you purchase your ticket, call the International Reservations line for Delta Airlines at 800-241-4141 and ask to speak to the “Cuba Desk.” The cost for this service is $50 per traveler. Delta will hold the visa and distribute it at the gate prior to boarding your flight.
- Additional carriers including United and JetBlue have also begun offering routes to Cuba. Please contact your airline to confirm their visa process.
OPTION #2: Get it same-day at the airport for by cash, credit, or debit
- Check-in early, recommended 3 hours ahead. Depending on your airline, prices range from $50-100.
WHAT IS THE MANDATORY CUBAN HEALTH INSURANCE?
Basic health insurance, currently provided only by the Cuban government, is required for all travelers under the age of 80. Typically, this will be handled by your flight service to Cuba.
HOW DO I OBTAIN THE MANDATORY CUBAN HEALTH INSURANCE?
Commercial airlines will either include this insurance in the cost of your ticket, or make it available for purchase. Please confirm with your airline that insurance is included with the purchase of your commercial ticket. Carry your health insurance voucher and/or your commercial flight boarding pass with you to show proof of coverage in case you need to visit a doctor. Please note that the Cuban government does not extend this coverage to travelers over 80 years old. In those cases, we strongly suggest purchasing third-party health and medical coverage. Many US travel insurance policies will also cover trip cancellation as well as much higher limits for medical and evacuation coverage. We recommend that all travelers consider this insurance as a supplement to the mandatory Cuban health insurance.
- For some airlines, including American Airlines, Cuba Ready Stations at the airport are used to verify insurance. At a Cuba Ready Station, you must show your boarding pass and ID, and receive a green stamp on the boarding pass. This green stamp verifies that you have paid for the medical insurance. The boarding pass with the green stamp should be kept safe and close in Cuba as proof of insurance.
- Travelers on Delta Airlines will receive boarding passes already marked with proof of insurance with their air ticket purchase and do not need to visit a Cuba Ready Station.
We strongly suggest that you book a flight that arrives into Havana before 12:00pm noon on Saturday, July 29. There will be a group transfer from the airport, and touring and lunch in Havana before the group continues to Varadero.
Here are your arrival/transportation options:
- Arrival before 12.00pm: will include lunch and touring and transfer to Varadero
- Arrival between 12:00pm and 2.00pm: will include touring and transfer to Varadero
- Arrival between 2:00pm and 4.00pm: will include transfer to Varadero
If you arrive after 4:00pm in Havana, you will need to arrange alternate transportation. Arrangements Abroad can arrange this transportation for you upon request. The fee for this is $50 for a car (2 people with luggage) or $100 for a minivan (4 people with luggage).
For return, we strongly suggest you book a flight that departs from Havana no sooner than 11:00am.
CAN I SPEND EXTRA TIME IN CUBA BY MYSELF BEFORE OR AFTER THE PROGRAM DATES?
YASC and AA are responsible for all arrangements and the OFAC People-to-People certification for the program dates July 29 to August 5, 2017, as well as the optional Havana postlude August 5 to 8, 2017.
If you would like to spend extra time in Havana, consider joining the postlude! Due to legal restrictions, Arrangements Abroad is unable to assist individuals with extra hotel nights or programming outside of the arranged program.
If you wish to spend extra time in Cuba outside of those program dates, please note that you will be responsible for all arrangements and ensuring that your stay adheres and follows the OFAC guidelines (12 categories of authorized travel)( https://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/Programs/Pages/cuba.aspx). Please contact the offices of Arrangements Abroad if you have any questions.
IS VISA TRAVEL TO CUBA LEGALLY PERMITTED?
Travel to Cuba is permitted by the U.S. Department of the Treasury only if the travel falls into one of the 12 categories of licensed activities, including people to people. Also, to enter Cuba, a Cuban visa and Cuban health insurance are required. For more information about the requirements for travel to Cuba, please see: https://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/Pages/licensing.aspx#c_trav
WHAT OTHER DOCUMENTS DO I NEED TO TRAVEL TO CUBA?
You must have a passport valid from the beginning of your trip to Cuba through to your return to the United States (Many countries require that passports be valid for 6 months after the date of intended departure from the country being visited). Passport renewal can take up to six weeks depending on which procedure you follow. You can consult general passport information at https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/passports.html. If you are a Cuban American born in Cuba after 1959, you will need to enter Cuba on a Cuban passport. Please be in touch with our office for more details.