The NY Times publishes its ultimate guide for Americans travelling to Cuba

Posted: 24-Jul-15 09:34

As USA and Cuba slowly bury the hatchet and work for a harmonious future, more American travellers become interested in visiting the island. The New York Times offer some helpful tips that Americans should keep in mind before making any plans.

The NY Times publishes its ultimate guide for Americans travelling to Cuba

After more than 50 years of hostility, the Cuban Embassy re-opened in Washington on 20th July 2015, as a symbol of both countries' efforts to re-establish diplomatic bonds. Since the beginning of the present year, several steps have been taken by the USA and Cuban governments towards normalization, including new regulations for American citizens traveling to Cuba, which have loosened some of the original restrictions.

As a result, more and more American citizens are now enthusiastic about visiting the Caribbean nation. What should US visitors take into account before planning a trip to Cuba? Well, see below NY Times recommendations:

12 categories of legal travel

Thanks to the new regulations, American citizens no longer need to go through the long process of requesting a license for visiting Cuba. However, the embargo still bans tourism to the island, and travelers must qualify under one of the 12 permitted categories, which include visits to close relatives, humanitarian projects, academic and educational purposes and sporting events, among others. Visitors would also need planned itineraries in most cases.

How to get to Cuba

Direct flights to Cuba are now also easier to book. Although most airplanes depart from Miami, more airports in New York and Tampa have announced they would add more frequent flights to the island. These advances represent real advantages for voyagers, who no longer have to travel through third countries. Moreover, American cruise ships are also expected to sail to Havana in May 2016 as the infrastructure improves.

Where to stay

Due to the fact that Cuba only counts with 61,000 hotel rooms, the growing demand of accommodations in the island is a rising concern. Nevertheless, there are still various alternatives for visitors. If upscale hotels are not available, guests can benefit from a more enriching cultural experience by staying at a ‘casa particular', a room or house owned by a Cuban resident that can be rented by visitors.

Money and souvenirs

Although, according to the new regulations, Americans can now use credit cards to pay for expenses in the island, this process will still take some time in Cuban banks. For the time being, US citizens are advised to bring cash for all transactions and payments. Avid shoppers should also know that they are only allowed to bring back home $400 worth of souvenirs and just $100 worth of Cuban cigars.


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