Travel to Cuba - General Information
In Touch Travel Services has been licensed by The U.S. Department of Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) authorizing us to organize and operate People to People programs to Cuba.
All programs under this license include a full-time schedule of educational exchange activities designed to promote meaningful interactions between Americans and Cubans. People to people travel is not tourist-oriented or self-directed but is a great experience to get in touch with real people, living how they live, visiting a wide scope of organizations, institutions, and community projects that provide a better understanding of the Cuban people.
A few years ago the US Government implemented people-to-people educational travel, an initiative that allows Americans to travel to Cuba, using a specific license, issued by the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s OFAC. Today it is possible to travel legally to Cuba under 12 categories of general licenses. In order to comply with OFAC rules for visiting Cuba, travelers should keep a travel journal as a record of the trip. This journal will serve as proof that you have traveled to Cuba for educational purposes and should be kept for a period of five years as proof of the educational nature of your trip.
DOCUMENTATION REQUERIMENTS: U.S. passport holders must have a visa to enter Cuba. As authorized by the U.S. Government, In Touch Travel has made arrangements with the Charter for our passengers to receive the visa along with the flight ticket. We will provide each traveler with a written statement that cites the number of our license, confirming that the named traveler will be engaged in authorized educational exchange activities under our license and notifying of the traveler´s record keeping responsibilities.
ACCOMMODATIONS: Depending on the season and the number of travelers in our group we have several options for accommodation. When lodging at hotels, we have selected first class hotels based on their location. When traveling to the countryside, we strongly recommend to stay at private homes because that is the best way to support the Cuban people in need. Although the hotels are safe, clean and comfortable, we must say that hotels standards in Cuba differ from those in the U.S. It’s important to keep in mind that visiting Cuba is not about the hotel stay; it’s about the opportunity and the unforgettable experience of exchanging and getting in touch with the Cuban people.
GENERAL INFO - SAFETY - WEATHER: Cuba is a very safe country. We will be traveling in group and there are little reasons to worry about personal safety in the streets, hotels or other places we might visit. Like many other countries, pickpockets and purse snatching exist that we should be aware of. The weather in Cuba is humid and tropical. The warmest month of the year is July where the temperature is about 85° F. The coldest month of the year is January where the temperature during the day averages about 70° F. You may drink and smoke a lot in Cuba, but keep in mind that most goods of Cuban origin (e.g. cigars, rum, some artworks) may be confiscated at U.S. ports of entry. Items purchased “duty free” at Cuban Airports are not exempt from seizure by U.S. customs. However, after January 2015, Americans are allow to bring up to $400 value in goods from Cuba, including $100 in cigars and rum. Informational materials such as books, films, posters, photographs, tapes and CDs are exempt from regulation under the embargo and may be transported freely. You will find a lot of nice oil paintings from renowned painters at affordable prices. You may bring them to U.S.
CUSTOMIZED TRIPS: If you have an special interest in visiting Cuba or you want to organize a customized tour, we are here to help. With our expertise and our contacts in Cuba we can arrange any detail for the trip of a lifetime. We can organize tours for Universities, Alumni Associations, Art Groups, Families, Travel Associations, Media Groups and Photographers... If you have a private plane, we can handle the permits to land in Cuba.
COMPLIANCE WITH THE LAWS AND REGULATIONS: All itineraries provide a full time schedule of educational activities that will result in meaningful interactions between you and individuals in Cuba. U.S. law requires that all persons who participate in this program adhere to this full time schedule, and imposes on In Touch Travel Services LLC the obligation to ensure such adherence. Infrastructure in Cuba, especially in hotels, may not be sufficient to satisfy demand in certain periods. All the visits are subject to availability. When not possible to visit, appropriate alternate visits will be included. Please be flexible and understand that we will always do whatever we can to assure the best possible experience for all our Cuba travelers.