Getting to Cuba
Cobblestone streets in Trinidad | Photo by Christina Orlovsky Page
Restrictions still prohibit American travelers from booking their own flights from the United States to Cuba. Travel through Mexico and Canada is possible, but unauthorized, and the puchase of a travel visa is required to enter Cuba, as is travel medical insurance, which can be purchased at the airport upon landing. If you decide to risk traveling independently, hotels can be booked online via cubajunky.com. Or try a casa particular, family-run accommodations similar to a B&B; amenities vary greatly.
To sidestep the restriction prohibiting travel for tourist-only purposes, many major tour companies - like Friendly Planet and Gate1Travel - now offer “cultural” or “people-to-people” excusions to Cuba. most tours include a visit to Havana, the beach resort of Varadero, and other historic cities, including Trinidad, a UNESCO World Heritage Site on the Caribbean side. Up next? Cruise lines may begin offering cruises as early as 2016.