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Frequently Asked Questions

  • I want to know more about what the packages starting at $999 include?
    We offer several different packages - our starter package for $999 per person includes Hotel Vedado for 8 days / 7 nights (other packages are for different Havana hotels - for either 4 or 7 nights and are priced accordingly) - or chose YOUR package: with any hotel / any type of room / any duration / any occupancy / any meal plan - and we'll give YOU the best price including all the benefits of the package below!

    Of course we sell a la carte anywhere in Cuba: flights / hotels / car rentals / cruises / excursions / transfers and MORE!

    All packages include the following:

    * Round Trip air fare from Miami to Havana - including over $200 in taxes / fees which can be pre-paid
    * Visa to enter Cuba
    * Transfers to and from airport / hotel
    * Hotel room
    * Daily Breakfast
    * Cuba Tour book by Chris Baker, published by Moon in 2015
    * SafeWrap voucher for ONE bag per package (ONLY with MIA flights)
    * Priority Mail shipping
    * Traveler assistance insurance in Cuba by Asistur
    * Certification for a U.S. Treasury General License to travel in Cuba * Prices for travel through November 30, 2016 (surcharge Christmas / New Years / Easter periods).

    Last updated: Nov 14, 2016

  • How do I qualify for a General license to travel to Cuba under one of the 12 Categories?
    You simply self certify to CubaToDo.com either by signing our downloadable Certification, or in a recorded phone call (either way it takes less than 3 minutes) that you are authorized to travel to Cuba (there is NO PAPER LICENSE that you ever receive) - and once you do this we can get you on the next flight. For example, if you're an individual and your activities in Cuba are to "promote independent activity intended to strengthen civil society in Cuba", look at Category 8, as this may authorize you to go to Cuba. Tourism is NOT allowed, often travel needs to be for cultural enrichment, and a full time schedule consistent with the selected Category is required. Click on any of the 12 Categories below to see more information on what authorizes you in each category:

    Last updated: May 12, 2015

    • Category 1 - Family Visits - Section § 515.561
      This Category is if you are American (more specifically: a person subject to the jurisdiction of the United States) visiting "a person ordinarily resident in Cuba". This category is also for families to visit in Cuba anyone on "official government business", or for "educational activities" lasting more than 60 days.

      Additionally if you qualify for the "family visit" General License category, the General License is valid for persons traveling with you, as long as you share as a family a common dwelling (home).

      Most of the key words used above come directly from the Federal Regulations, but here is a link for § 515.561 so you can read the exact text, and for additional questions you can contact OFAC’s DC hotline (1-800-540-6322 ext- 1 for English & then ext - 4 for clarification of sanctions and regulations / compliance division or OFAC_Feedback@treasury.gov). Generally OFAC will not tell you if you qualify, but they will help explain to you the meanings of the words in the Regulation.

      Last updated: Apr 06, 2015

      • CATEGORY 1 REQUIREMENTS
        Each person relying on the general authorization in this paragraph must retain specific records related to the authorized travel transactions. See §§ 501.601 and 501.602 of this chapter for applicable recordkeeping and reporting requirements.

        An entire group does not qualify for the general license of this section merely because some members of the group qualify individually.

        Last updated: Jan 22, 2015

    • Category 2 - Official business of the U.S. government, foreign governments, and certain intergovernmental organizations - Section § 515.562
      This Category is if you are an "employee, contractor, or grantee" of ANY Government or Intergovernmental Organization (A/K/A IGO) of which the U.S. is a member or "holds observer status", and traveling to Cuba on official business of that government or IGO in your capacity of "employee, contractor, or grantee".

      Most of the key words used above come directly from the Federal Regulations, but here is a link for § 515.562 so you can read the exact text, and for additional questions you can contact OFAC’s DC hotline (1-800-540-6322 ext- 1 for English & then ext - 4 for clarification of sanctions and regulations / compliance division or OFAC_Feedback@treasury.gov). Generally OFAC will not tell you if you qualify, but they will help explain to you the meanings of the words in the Regulation.

      Last updated: Apr 07, 2015

      • CATEGORY 2 REQUIREMENTS
        All transactions otherwise prohibited by this part that are for the conduct of the official business of the United States Government or of any intergovernmental organization of which the United States is a member, or holds observer status, by employees, grantees, or contractors thereof, are authorized.

        Each person relying on the general authorization in this paragraph must retain specific records related to the authorized travel transactions. See §§ 501.601 and 501.602 of this chapter for applicable recordkeeping and reporting requirements.

        An entire group does not qualify for the general license of this section merely because some members of the group qualify individually.

        Last updated: Jan 22, 2015

    • Category 3 - Journalistic activity - Section § 515.563
      This Category is if you are traveling to Cuba to engage in "journalistic activities", and are either:

      "A freelance journalist with a record of previous journalistic experience working on a freelance journalistic project", including "broadcast or technical personnel" supporting a freelance working on a "freelance journalistic project"

      OR

      "regularly employed" as either a "Journalist by a news reporting organization", or support for "broadcast or technical personnel"

      Most of the key words used above come directly from the Federal Regulations, but here is a link for § 515.563 so you can read the exact text, and for additional questions you can contact OFAC’s DC hotline (1-800-540-6322 ext- 1 for English & then ext - 4 for clarification of sanctions and regulations / compliance division or OFAC_Feedback@treasury.gov). Generally OFAC will not tell you if you qualify, but they will help explain to you the meanings of the words in the Regulation.

      Last updated: Apr 07, 2015

      • CATEGORY 3 REQUIREMENTS
        Traveler’s schedule of activities cannot include free time or recreation in excess of that consistent with a full-time schedule.

        Each person relying on the general authorization in this paragraph must retain specific records related to the authorized travel transactions. See §§ 501.601 and 501.602 of this chapter for applicable recordkeeping and reporting requirements.

        An entire group does not qualify for the general license of this section merely because some members of the group qualify individually.

        Last updated: Jan 22, 2015

    • Category 4 - Professional research and professional meetings - Section § 515.564
      This Category is if you are in Cuba doing "research" OR attending "professional meetings or conferences", as long as the purpose of the research or conference "directly relates to your profession, professional background, or area of expertise" or area of full-time graduate study. If you are attending something, you need to be a full–time professional attending a professional meeting or conference in Cuba which is organized by an international professional organization, institution, or association (hereafter Organization) that regularly sponsors meetings or conferences in other countries.

      Most of the key words used above come directly from the Federal Regulations, but here is a link for § 515.564 so you can read the exact text, and for additional questions you can contact OFAC’s DC hotline (1-800-540-6322 ext- 1 for English & then ext - 4 for clarification of sanctions and regulations / compliance division or OFAC_Feedback@treasury.gov). Generally OFAC will not tell you if you qualify, but they will help explain to you the meanings of the words in the Regulation.

      Last updated: Apr 07, 2015

      • Category 4 Examples:
        Example 1: The making of a documentary film in Cuba would qualify for the general license in this section if it is a vehicle for presentation of the research conducted pursuant to this section.

        Example 2: A musicologist travels to Cuba to research Cuban music pursuant to the general license for professional research would qualify.

        Others who are simply interested in music may not engage in travel-related transactions with the musicologist in reliance on this general license. For example, an art historian who plays in the same band with the musicologist would not qualify for the general license.

        Last updated: Apr 07, 2015

      • CATEGORY 4 REQUIREMENTS
        The traveler cannot engage in recreational travel, tourist travel, travel in pursuit of a hobby, or research for personal satisfaction only.

        A person does not qualify as engaging in professional research merely because that person is a professional who plans to travel to Cuba.

        The purpose of the meeting or conference is not the promotion of tourism in Cuba.

        Traveler’s schedule of activities cannot include free time or recreation in excess of that consistent with a full-time schedule.

        Each person relying on the general authorization in this paragraph must retain specific records related to the authorized travel transactions. See §§ 501.601 and 501.602 of this chapter for applicable recordkeeping and reporting requirements.

        An entire group does not qualify for the general license of this section merely because some members of the group qualify individually.

        Last updated: Jan 22, 2015

    • Category 5 - Educational activities - Section § 515.565
      This Category is if you are "faculty, staff, or a student" at a U.S. academic institution, and ONE of the following 9 are true:

      (1) You are participating in a structured educational program in Cuba as part of a course offered for credit by a U.S. graduate or undergraduate degree-granting academic institution that is sponsoring the program;
      (2) You are conducting noncommercial academic research in Cuba specifically related to Cuba and for the purpose of obtaining an undergraduate or graduate degree;
      (3) You are participating in a formal course of study at a Cuban academic institution, provided the formal course of study in Cuba will be accepted for credit toward your graduate or undergraduate degree;
      (4) You are teaching at a Cuban academic institution related to an academic program at the Cuban institution, provided that you are regularly employed by a U.S. or other non- Cuban academic institution;
      (5) This is a sponsorship, including the payment of a stipend or salary, of a Cuban scholar to teach or engage in other scholarly activity at the sponsoring U.S. academic institution (in addition to those transactions authorized by the general license contained in § 515.571). Such earnings may be remitted to Cuba as provided in § 515.570 or carried on the person of the Cuban scholar returning to Cuba as provided in § 515.560(d)(3);
      (6) This is an educational exchange sponsored by Cuban or U.S. secondary schools involving secondary school students’ participation in a formal course of study or in a structured educational program offered by a secondary school or other academic institution and led by a teacher or other secondary school official. This includes participation by a reasonable number of adult chaperones to accompany the secondary school students to Cuba.
      (7) This is a sponsorship or co-sponsorship of noncommercial academic seminars, conferences, and workshops related to Cuba or global issues involving Cuba and attendance at such events by faculty, staff, and students of a participating U.S. academic institution;
      (8) This is for the organization of, and preparation for, activities described in paragraphs (a)(1) through (a)(7) of this section by members of the faculty and staff of the sponsoring U.S. academic institution or secondary school; or
      (9) This is the facilitation by an organization that is a person subject to U.S. jurisdiction, or a member of the staff of such an organization, of licensed educational activities in Cuba on behalf of U.S. academic institutions or secondary schools, provided that:
      (i) The organization is directly affiliated with one or more U.S. academic institutions or secondary schools;
      (ii) The organization facilitates educational activities that meet the requirements of one or more of the general licenses set forth in § 515.565(a)(1), (a)(2), (a)(3), and (a)(6); and
      (iii) The educational activities the organization facilitates in Cuba must, by prior agreement, be accepted for credit by the affiliated U.S. academic institution or approved by the affiliated secondary school.

      OR

      for "educational exchanges not involving academic study pursuant to a degree program" ("people-to-people travel") and ALL of the following 5 are true:

      (1) The exchanges take place under the auspices of an organization that is a person subject to U.S. jurisdiction and that sponsors such exchanges to promote people-to-people contact;
      (2) Travel-related transactions pursuant to this authorization must be for the purpose of engaging, while in Cuba, in a full-time schedule of activities intended to enhance contact with the Cuban people, support civil society in Cuba, or promote the Cuban people’s independence from Cuban authorities;
      (3) Each traveler has a full-time schedule of educational exchange activities that will result in meaningful interaction between the traveler and individuals in Cuba;
      (4) An employee, paid consultant, or agent of the sponsoring organization accompanies each group traveling to Cuba to ensure that each traveler has a full-time schedule of educational exchange activities; and
      (5) The predominant portion of the activities engaged in by individual travelers is not with individuals or entities acting for or on behalf of a prohibited official of the Government of Cuba, as defined in 31 CFR § 515.337 of this part, or a prohibited member of the Cuban Communist Party, as defined in 31 CFR § 515.338 of this part.

      Most of the key words used above come directly from the Federal Regulations, but here is a link for § 515.565 so you can read the exact text, and for additional questions you can contact OFAC’s DC hotline (1-800-540-6322 ext- 1 for English & then ext - 4 for clarification of sanctions and regulations / compliance division or OFAC_Feedback@treasury.gov). Generally OFAC will not tell you if you qualify, but they will help explain to you the meanings of the words in the Regulation.

      Last updated: Apr 07, 2015

      • Category 5 Example
        An organization wishes to sponsor and organize educational exchanges not involving academic study pursuant to a degree program for individuals to learn side-by-side with Cuban individuals in areas such as environmental protection or the arts. The travelers will have a full-time schedule of educational exchange activities that will result in meaningful interaction between the travelers and individuals in Cuba. The organization’s activities qualify for the general license.

        Last updated: Jan 22, 2015

      • CATEGORY 5 REQUIREMENTS
        An organization that sponsors and organizes trips to Cuba in which travelers engage in individually selected and/or self-directed activities would not qualify for the general license. Authorized trips are expected to be led by the organization and to have a full-time schedule of activities in which the travelers will participate.

        Transactions related to activities that are primarily tourist-oriented, including self-directed educational activities that are intended only for personal enrichment, are not authorized pursuant to this section.

        U.S. academic institutions or secondary schools engaging in activities authorized pursuant to this section are permitted to open and maintain accounts at Cuban financial institutions for the purpose of accessing funds in Cuba for transactions authorized pursuant to this section.

        All members of the faculty and staff are authorized (including adjunct faculty and part-time staff) of the sponsoring U.S. academic institution to participate in the activities described in this paragraph. A student currently enrolled in a U.S. academic institution is authorized pursuant to this paragraph to participate in the academic activities in Cuba described above through any sponsoring U.S. academic institution.

        Each person relying on the general authorization in this paragraph must retain specific records related to the authorized travel transactions. See §§ 501.601 and 501.602 of this chapter for applicable recordkeeping and reporting requirements.

        Last updated: Jan 22, 2015

    • Category 6 - Religious activities - Section § 515.566
      This Category is if you are a "member or staff of a U.S. religious organization", and that you will be "engaging in a full-time program of religious activities" while in Cuba.

      Activities that are consistent with U.S. foreign policy include, but are not limited to attendance at religious services or activities that contribute to the development of a Cuban counterpart's religious or institutional development, such as:

      * distribution and production of religious materials
      * youth outreach
      * ministerial training, education, or licensing
      * religious school development
      * training in or the conducting of marriage seminars
      * construction of places of worship or other facilities for full-time use by a Cuban counterpart
      * assistance in holding religious services
      * religious preaching or teaching
      * training or assistance in church administration

      Most of the key words used above come directly from the Federal Regulations, but here is a link for § 515.566 so you can read the exact text, and for additional questions you can contact OFAC’s DC hotline (1-800-540-6322 ext- 1 for English & then ext - 4 for clarification of sanctions and regulations / compliance division or OFAC_Feedback@treasury.gov). Generally OFAC will not tell you if you qualify, but they will help explain to you the meanings of the words in the Regulation.

      Last updated: Apr 07, 2015

      • CATEGORY 6 REQUIREMENTS
        See § 515.570 regarding authorized remittances to religious organizations in Cuba and for other purposes.

        See § 515.533 regarding the exportation of items from the United States to Cuba.

        Religious organizations engaging in activities authorized pursuant to this section are permitted to open and maintain accounts at Cuban financial institutions for the purpose of accessing funds in Cuba for transactions authorized pursuant to this section.

        Each person relying on the general authorization in this paragraph must retain specific records related to the authorized travel transactions. See §§ 501.601 and 501.602 of this chapter for applicable recordkeeping and reporting requirements.

        Last updated: Jan 22, 2015

    • Category 7 - Public performances, clinics, workshops, athletic and other competitions, and exhibitions Section - § 515.567
      This Category is if you are a participant in one of the following activities: "public performances, clinics, workshops, other athletic or non-athletic competitions, and exhibitions" provided that:

      (1) "The event is open for attendance, and in relevant situations participation, by the Cuban public";
      (2) "All U.S. profits from the event after costs are donated to an independent nongovernmental organization in Cuba or a U.S.-based charity, with the objective, to the extent possible, of promoting people-to-people contacts or otherwise benefiting the Cuban people"; and
      (3) "Any clinics or workshops in Cuba must be organized and run, at least in part, by the authorized traveler".

      OR

      For "athletes or athletic teams" participating in athletic competitions of "amateur and semi-professional international sports federations" provided that:

      (1) "The athletic competition in Cuba is held under the auspices of the international sports federation for the relevant sport";
      (2) "The U.S. participants in the athletic competition are selected by the U.S. federation for the relevant sport"; and
      (3) "The competition is open for attendance, and in relevant situations, participation, by the Cuban public."

      Most of the key words used above come directly from the Federal Regulations, but here is a link for § 515.567 so you can read the exact text, and for additional questions you can contact OFAC’s DC hotline (1-800-540-6322 ext- 1 for English & then ext - 4 for clarification of sanctions and regulations / compliance division or OFAC_Feedback@treasury.gov). Generally OFAC will not tell you if you qualify, but they will help explain to you the meanings of the words in the Regulation.

      Last updated: Jan 22, 2015

      • Category 7 Example
        Example: An amateur baseball team wishes to travel to Cuba to compete against a Cuban team in a baseball game in Cuba. The game will not be held under the auspices of the international sports federation for baseball. The baseball team’s activities therefore would not qualify for the general license, BUT if the game will be open to the Cuban public and any profits after costs from the game will be donated to an independent non-governmental organization in Cuba, then the baseball team’s activities would qualify for a general license.

        Last updated: Jan 22, 2015

      • CATEGORY 7 REQUIREMENTS
        Each person relying on the general authorization in this paragraph must retain specific records related to the authorized travel transactions. See §§ 501.601 and 501.602 of this chapter for applicable recordkeeping and reporting requirements.

        An entire group does not qualify for the general license of this section merely because some members of the group qualify individually.

        Last updated: Jan 22, 2015

    • Category 8 - Support for the Cuban people - Section § 515.574
      This Category is if you are going to "provide support for the Cuban people, provided that the activities are by":

      you as an individual (or non-governmental organization) and they "promote independent activity intended to strengthen civil society in Cuba"

      OR

      you are a "recognized human rights organization"

      Most of the key words used above come directly from the Federal Regulations, but here is a link for § 515.574 so you can read the exact text, and for additional questions you can contact OFAC’s DC hotline (1-800-540-6322 ext- 1 for English & then ext - 4 for clarification of sanctions and regulations / compliance division or OFAC_Feedback@treasury.gov). Generally OFAC will not tell you if you qualify, but they will help explain to you the meanings of the words in the Regulation.

      Last updated: Jan 22, 2015

      • CATEGORY 8 REQUIREMENTS
        Traveler’s schedule of activities cannot include free time or recreation in excess of that consistent with a full-time schedule.

        Each person relying on the general authorization in this paragraph must retain specific records related to the authorized travel transactions. See §§ 501.601 and 501.602 of this chapter for applicable recordkeeping and reporting requirements.

        An entire group does not qualify for the general license of this section merely because some members of the group qualify individually.

        Last updated: Jan 22, 2015

    • Category 9 - Humanitarian projects - Section § 515.575
      This Category is if you are a doing a "humanitarian project that is designed to directly benefit the Cuban people" such as:

      o "medical, health-related, construction and environmental projects"
      o "community-based grassroots projects"
      o "projects suitable to the development of small-scale private enterprise"
      o "agricultural and rural development projects"
      o "microfinancing projects"
      o "projects to meet basic human needs"

      AND

      o "formal or non-formal educational training on the following topics:"
      *"entrepreneurship and business"
      *"civil education"
      *"journalism"
      *"advocacy and organizing"
      *"adult literacy"
      *"vocational skills"

      Most of the key words used above come directly from the Federal Regulations, but here is a link for § 515.575 so you can read the exact text, and for additional questions you can contact OFAC’s DC hotline (1-800-540-6322 ext- 1 for English & then ext - 4 for clarification of sanctions and regulations / compliance division or OFAC_Feedback@treasury.gov). Generally OFAC will not tell you if you qualify, but they will help explain to you the meanings of the words in the Regulation.

      Last updated: Apr 07, 2015

      • Category 9 Example
        A U.S. group of medical professionals that specializes in disease treatment wishes to support a community in Cuba by providing the latest techniques and literature in disease education and prevention directly to the Cuban people. Provided that the medical professionals in the group maintain a full-time schedule related to disease education and prevention, these activities qualify for the general license.

        Last updated: Jan 22, 2015

      • CATEGORY 9 REQUIREMENTS
        Traveler’s schedule of activities cannot include free time or recreation in excess of that consistent with a full-time schedule.

        Each person relying on the general authorization in this paragraph must retain specific records related to the authorized travel transactions. See §§ 501.601 and 501.602 of this chapter for applicable recordkeeping and reporting requirements.

        An entire group does not qualify for the general license of this section merely because some members of the group qualify individually.

        Last updated: Jan 22, 2015

    • Category 10 - Activities of private foundations or research or educational institutes - Section § 515.576
      This Category is for activities by private foundations or research or educational institutes with an established interest in international relations to collect information related to Cuba.

      Most of the key words used above come directly from the Federal Regulations, but here is a link for § 515.576 so you can read the exact text, and for additional questions you can contact OFAC’s DC hotline (1-800-540-6322 ext- 1 for English & then ext - 4 for clarification of sanctions and regulations / compliance division or OFAC_Feedback@treasury.gov). Generally OFAC will not tell you if you qualify, but they will help explain to you the meanings of the words in the Regulation.

      Last updated: Jan 22, 2015

      • Category 10 Example
        Example: A private research foundation that produces essays on international relations issues wishes to send a team made up of its employees and consultants to Cuba to collect information for a current study of the relationship that countries in the Western Hemisphere have with European countries. Provided that all of the employees and consultants on the team maintain a full-time schedule of activities relating to the collection of information for the study, these activities qualify for the general license.

        Last updated: Jan 22, 2015

      • CATEGORY 10 REQUIREMENTS
        Each person relying on the general authorization in this paragraph must retain specific records related to the authorized travel transactions. See §§ 501.601 and 501.602 of this chapter for applicable recordkeeping and reporting requirements.

        An entire group does not qualify for the general license of this section merely because some members of the group qualify individually.

        Last updated: Jan 22, 2015

    • Category 11 - Exportation, importation, or transmission of information or informational materials - Section § 515.545
      This Category is if you are either importing from Cuba, or exporting to Cuba "informational materials" as defined in § 515.332 - this definition includes:

      o "Publications, films, posters, phonograph records, photographs, microfilms, microfiche, tapes, compact disks, CD ROMs and artworks."

      Artwork is further defined as: "paintings, drawings, pastels, all executed entirely by hand, original engravings, prints and lithographs (all framed or not framed), original sculptures and statuary, in any material". If you want precise "artwork" definitions go to the top of the last page of the PDF for 9701, 9702, or 9703 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States.

      Most of the key words used above come directly from the Federal Regulations, but here is a link for § 515.545 so you can read the exact text, and for additional questions you can contact OFAC’s DC hotline (1-800-540-6322 ext- 1 for English & then ext - 4 for clarification of sanctions and regulations / compliance division or OFAC_Feedback@treasury.gov). Generally OFAC will not tell you if you qualify, but they will help explain to you the meanings of the words in the Regulation.

      Last updated: Jan 22, 2015

      • CATEGORY 11 REQUIREMENTS
        Traveler’s schedule of activities cannot include free time or recreation in excess of that consistent with a full-time schedule.

        Last updated: Jan 22, 2015

    • Category 12 - Certain export transactions that may be considered for authorization under existing Department of Commerce regulations and guidelines for Cuba or engaged in by U.S. - owned or - controlled foreign firms - Sections §§ 515.533 and 515.559
      This Category is if you are conducting "market research, commercial marketing, sales negotiation, accompanied delivery, or servicing in Cuba of items consistent with the export or re-export licensing policy of the Department of Commerce", or consistent with OFAC's Cuba regulations.

      Most of the key words used above come directly from the Federal Regulations, but here is a link for § 515.533 and § 515.559 so you can read the exact text, and for additional questions you can contact OFAC’s DC hotline (1-800-540-6322 ext- 1 for English & then ext - 4 for clarification of sanctions and regulations / compliance division or OFAC_Feedback@treasury.gov). Generally OFAC will not tell you if you qualify, but they will help explain to you the meanings of the words in the Regulation.

      Last updated: Jan 22, 2015

      • CATEGORY 12 REQUIREMENTS
        Traveler’s schedule of activities cannot include free time or recreation in excess of that consistent with a full-time schedule.

        Only the following payment and financing terms may be used:
        * Payment of cash in advance. For the purposes of this section, the term “payment of cash in advance” shall mean payment before the transfer of title to, and control of, the exported items to the Cuban purchaser; or
        * Financing by a banking institution located in a third country provided the banking institution is not a designated national, a U.S. citizen, a U.S. permanent resident alien, or an entity organized under the laws of the United States or any jurisdiction within the United States (including any foreign branch of such an entity). Such financing may be confirmed or advised by a U.S. banking institution.

        Transactions by U.S-owned or controlled foreign firms directly incident to the exportation of information or informational materials or the donation of food to nongovernmental entities or individuals in Cuba are exempt from the prohibitions of this part. See § 515.206. For the waiver of the prohibitions contained in § 515.207 with respect to vessels transporting shipments of items pursuant to this section, see § 515.550.

        Last updated: Apr 07, 2015

  • How does travel to Cuba from the U.S. work?
    Certify to us that you are authorized under one of the 12 categories for Cuba travel, and we will sell you direct flights from the U.S. to any of six airports in Cuba, as well as arrange Cuba car and hotel reservations.

    Last updated: Jan 22, 2015

    • How do I certify to CubaToDo.com that I am authorized?
      Either sign a Certification (click on Download in blue bar at bottom of screen) or certify during a recorded phone conversation with a team member - either way we retain your certification for at least 5 years.

      Last updated: Jan 18, 2015

    • Do I need a Visa to enter Cuba?
      Yes you do, we provide the visa for $100 in the package we mail you.

      Last updated: Apr 06, 2015

      • The most common visa (unless you were born in Cuba) is a Tourist Visa:
        If you are entering Cuba with either a U.S. passport or U.S. permanent resident card (green card) you need what is called a 'tourist visa' (we recognize that we are not selling you travel related services if you're traveling for tourism purposes - but this is how the Consulate refers to the visa).

        The exceptions to this are if you need a business or religious visa - for which you will have to work directly with the Cuban Consulate in DC.

        If you need a tourist visa, we can help you with the application process as long as you are not departing for at least a week, and will mail you the visa for the same $50 price that the Cuban Consulate in Washington D.C. charges. All you need to do is let us know to include in your invoice the cost of a visa, and enter the optional information in your profile (required for all Visas whether you do it directly or through us) and we will take care of everything for you.

        Last updated: Jan 15, 2015

      • Born in Cuba but immigrated AFTER January 1, 1971:
        Cubans who immigrated to the U.S. 1/1/1971 or after can ONLY enter Cuba with a Cuban passport.

        NOTE: Check your Cuban passport for a "???" stamp, usually found ???, if you have this stamp you will not be allowed to enter Cuba, most likely will be denied boarding and forfeit your ticket, but if you do slip by you will be sent back by Cuban Immigration.

        Last updated: Apr 09, 2011

      • Born in Cuba, but immigrated BEFORE January 1, 1971:
        If you are Cuban American and immigrated to the U.S. before, January 1, 1971, you need to work directly with the Cuban Consulate in DC to get your PE-11 Visa, or if you plan on traveling more than ???3 times in the next 5 years & can find all the paperwork for a Cuban passport it more economical to buy a passport. The requirements for a PE-11 visa are: 1) Certified Birth Certificate 2) Proof of residency in the U.S. from before January 1, 1971 3) Visa application (see Downloads tab in banner at bottom of page) 4) $170 (as of April 2011). NOTE: PE-11 Visa is only valid for one (1) visit, usually has a 30-day expiration ??? does this mean it must be used w/in 30 days of issue???.

        Last updated: Apr 09, 2011

      • How to obtain a Cuban Passport:
        Requirements to obtain a Cuban passport, if you do NOT have an expired Cuban passport:

        1) Certified Birth Certificate - the Consulate has a paid procedure where they help you get your birth certificate (not sure how responsive they are), or this Boston company has a 90% success rate and will send you a copy of your certificate for $25, and charges additionally up to $495 for services including a legalized copy of your certificate.

        2) Visa application (see Downloads tab in banner at bottom of this page)

        3) Two passport photos - full face / 2 inches X 2 inches / taken from the front / dressed appropriately / nothing in your hair / no glasses

        4) $375 (as of April 2011).

        Last updated: Apr 09, 2011

      • Info on the Cuban Consulate in Washington DC:
        the following is the contact information for the Cuban Consulate (please note they are overloaded with work and short on staff - so it may be difficult to reach someone on the phone), but they are excellent about responding to requests for documents when all the correct paperwork and fees are included:

        Cuban Special Interest Section 2630 16th Street NW Washington, DC 20009 (202) 797-8615

        ADDITIONAL EXPLANATION: The Consulate is located in a small building across the street from a beautiful building that has for over 100 years served as the Cuban Embassy (generally an embassy deals with diplomatic matters and a consulate takes care of administrative tasks - as in this scenario it is a point of contact for Cuban nationals where they can get replacement passports and some other documents, the Consulate also answers questions and issuing visas for people who want to visit Cuba). Since technically the U.S. and Cuba do not have diplomatic relations their embassies and consulates in the other's country are technically property of Switzerland, and called Special Interest Sections for the respective countries.

        PDF's of some of the Consulate's forms are available by clicking on the downloads link at the bottom of this page, including a PDF of the form the Consulate uses for processing Tourist Visas.

        Last updated: Apr 09, 2011

    • Does Cuba permit everything authorized under the 12 OFAC Categories?
      Before answering this question it is important that you know Cuba for decades has made tourism their number one priority, and they welcome Americans equally just as they would a tourist from any other country.

      That said, the U.S. permits travel for example under Category 8 for "Non-governmental organizations (NGO) to promote independent activity intended to strengthen civil society in Cuba" - depending on what the NGO is promoting, this could be illegal in Cuba.

      Therefore, one should never think that the U.S. and Cuba sat down together and wrote these Categories, quite the opposite actually. So NEVER interpret authorization under a Category as permission to do something in Cuba. For example, to do a humanitarian project you will most likely need permission from the Cuban government, and potentially to do business or religious activities outlined in these FAQ's you need specific visas for these activities, as they may not be allowed when entering on a tourist visa. We have no knowledge for the procedures for obtaining permission nor visas for anything outlined in this paragraph, we simply include this information because to the "for-warned" is to be "for-armed".

      Last updated: Jan 18, 2015

    • How does the Cuban embassy / consulate in D.C. work?
      The Cuban consulate handles ALL visa requests, officialization of documents, services for Cubans living in the United States, etc.

      Their address is:

      2639 16th Street NW
      Washington, DC 20009
      (Do not be confused by the large stately building located across the street at #2630 which is the Cuban Embassy - technically "Special Interests Section" until diplomatic ties are re-established - all paperwork is handled at the small, squat building at #2639 - as this is the Consulate)

      Their hours are from 9 a.m. to noon, and they are open Monday thru Friday with the exception of Federally recognized holidays AND Cuban holidays.

      In our Downloadable documents we have copies of ALL forms that we believe the Consulate uses. We do this because our goal is CubaToDo.com is a central repository for all critical information related to Cuba. At this time, we do NOT handle getting ANY documents processed by the Cuban Consulate.

      There are travel agents that handle these transactions, see the list of agencies by clicking on the options below, which are named according to the geographical location of the agency.

      If you have a contract with the Cuban Consulate to process documents, and would like to be listed below, send us an email asking you to add your agency to the list.

      One last hint - you need to keep buzzing the "doorbell" with the little camera above it at the gate by the sidewalk, so you can get to the service window inside - when you go to leave stick your hand through the gate and ring this same "doorbell" so they know to release the magnetic lock on the gate so you can get out.

      Last updated: Jan 26, 2015

  • General Cuba travel info
    Look below for answers to frequently answered questions related to travel in Cuba, as well as returning to the U.S. with Cuban goods.

    Last updated: Jul 11, 2015

    • Cuba's seasons (weather & tourist):
      Although there are always exceptions to the following rules - this is a good starting point:

      Cuba's WEATHER seasons:
      *DRY season is December thru April
      *WET season is May thru November (obviously also the hottest months of the year - although October and November's temperature are more moderate).

      Cuba's TOURIST seasons (although EVERY hotel seems to have slight variations on the following):
      *SUPER HIGH season: Christmas / New Year's week (rates can be double low season's rates)
      *HIGH season: November thru April
      *MEDIUM season: May thru August
      *LOW season is September thru November (this is also prime hurricane season - although all summer months are hurricane season as well, the most intense storms tend to occur in August or after) -- and some hotels treat May and June as low season

      Lastly, please note that the city of Havana is becoming "high season" year round as the limited inventory of only several thousand hotel rooms fill quickly.

      Although CubaToDo may be able to get you a hotel room for tomorrow night, we prefer several weeks notice, and if you want a specific hotel, several months (or more) may be required to book.

      Last updated: Jul 22, 2015

    • Cuba safety?
      This is always a difficult question as it's so subjective - although there are no reliable government statistics, Cuba is generally considered the safest Caribbean island by experts - with Havana probably safer than most U.S. cities of comparable size.

      In the most frequented tourist areas it is common to see police officers continuously keeping watch, and to help travelers should they need it.

      Panhandling is rare, but as with anyone selling goods, generally a firm "No" and walking away terminates the conversation - it is extremely rare to see the aggressive insistence found by street vendors seen in other countries.

      TripAdvisor's July 2015 user's write up on Cuba safety is informative, and has sections about Bicycle / Scooter / Water / Sun safety.

      Last updated: Jul 28, 2015

    • Money in Cuba?
      Travelers use CUC ($100 U.S. dollars is exchanged at a fixed rate for 87 CUC) and there are change booths (called "Cedex") at the airports, larger hotels and in most tourist neighborhoods. In a pinch U.S. dollars are often accepted at the discounted rate. U.S. dollars with tears or ink on them often will not be accepted - see these examples .

      Prices in CUC for most goods tend to be similar to dollar prices seen in the U.S.

      Although there is talk in the news about U.S. credit cards being accepted, the reality is U.S. credit cards are NOT accepted in Cuba (no cash advances using them / nor ATM use).

      Plan on having $100 to $200 per day - per traveler, depending on how much you anticipate spending.

      Last updated: Jul 28, 2015

    • What can I bring back from Cuba?
      Total value cannot exceed $400 per person, and no more than $100 of alcohol or tobacco products (all merchandise must be for personal use only). Although the dollar amount rules, it appears U.S. customs accepts no more than 50 cigars and a liter or two of alcohol as the actual limit.

      There is no dollar limit on the amount of "informational materials" you bring back with you. "Informational materials" as defined in § 515.332 - includes:

      o "Publications, films, posters, phonograph records, photographs, microfilms, microfiche, tapes, compact disks, CD ROMs and artworks."

      Artwork is further defined as: "paintings, drawings, pastels, all executed entirely by hand, original engravings, prints and lithographs (all framed or not framed), original sculptures and statuary, in any material". If you want precise "artwork" definitions go to the top of the last page of the PDF for 9701, 9702, or 9703 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States.

      NOTE: each piece of artwork requires a 3 CUC "stamp" (about $4) which can be purchased at a desk to the right, just after clearing the X-Ray machine in terminal 2 at HAV. IF you have "artwork" as checked baggage, your bag with artwork will be pulled from the flight and held in a small "aduana" room until you claim it, and buy 3 CUC "stamps" - IF you do not follow this step your bag will never be sent to the U.S.

      The exception to the 3 CUC "stamp" is artwork produced by "famous" artists (on the rare occasion you would buy such a piece the artist should tell you) - this needs a 15 CUC stamp which can only be purchased in Vedado during business hours (but each stamp allows the export of 3 pieces of artwork by this artist).

      Last updated: Jul 11, 2015

  • Cruise FAQ
    Next cruise season is December 2015 through April 2016. There are currently five companies (Haimark, Celestyal, Fathom (A/K/A Carnival), IST and Pearl) offering Cuba cruises. All companies use one ship (except IST has two), and depending on the company departures are from Miami, Havana, or Montego Bay (Jamaica).

    The biggest ship is Crystal, has 480 cabins and circles the southern coast of Cuba weekly - you can board Mondays in Havana or Fridays at Montego Bay/Jamaica (either way you get two days in Havana). Prices for a 7 night cruise start at $1,500 per person with all port charges / drink packages / gratuities / daily excursion included in that price (all prices based on double occupancy - but does not include airfare or visa).

    The most intimate ships are, M/S Panorama and mega-yacht Callisto, their cruise covers Havana, Northwestern and South shores - encompassing about a third of the island on a combination sail/motor vessel. With either 25 or 17 cabins, prices start at $4,999 per person. Click below to find out detailed information on both of these cruises.

    A cruise is an excellent way to experience Cuba. We look at this as a floating resort. Almost every day you will wake up at a new destination, and will have the chance to visit everything from historic cities to nature reserves to remote beaches - impossible to do by driving - giving a diverse view of Cuba.

    Last updated: Oct 17, 2015

    • Celestyal Crystal - 480 Cabins
      Departure & return every Monday starting December 18, 2015 with last departure April 11, 2016, from Havana (or Fridays start your cruise with departure from Montego Bay if you choose that option). The 8 day / 7 night cruise goes from Havana to Santiago de Cuba around the western tip of Cuba. Like all full size cruise vessels, all meals, snacks, shows and entertainment are provided on board at no extra cost, additionally included in the price is a daily shore excursion, drinks and gratuities package.

      There are 17 cabin categories, all have bathrooms with a shower, the Categories begin with IA as an inside cabin, on a lower deck, 2 beds with the possibility of 2 more fold down "bunks", all the way up to SI which is a 2 bed Suite, additional sofa bed, and a large outdoor balcony with private whirlpool. Additionally we can sell you R/T airfare from MIA, including visas, transfers, guide book and much more.

      Prices listed are all-inclusive fares for TWO PEOPLE and include: cruise fare, port charges, gratuities, shore excursions, alcoholic drink package (you can chose non-alcoholic package for slight price reduction). FYI: if you want a "single supplemental" / 3rd, 4th, 5th person in a cabin, or pricing for any children in a cabin, CubaToDo needs to manually price that. Lastly, these prices do NOT include: airfare, visa, transfers, additional optional nights in Cuba at a hotel, etc - AND are subject to availability and pricing changes at time of booking - which MUST BE BEFORE November 30, 2015 to get these reduced Early Bird Discount special prices.

      For more detailed information please click for our downloadable Cuba Cruise brochure.

      All Celestyal cruise package prices are subject to the following two surcharges EVEN AFTER your cruise is confirmed:

      Shore excursions prices, which are built into your package pricing, are subject to change. These changes may occur due to unexpected increases in the cost of transportation, land arrangements and/or major currency fluctuations.

      Fuel surcharges as follows may be imposed:
      · USD $4.00 p/p per day, should the price of ICE Brent exceed USD $90.00
      · USD $8.00 p/p per day, should the price of ICE Brent exceed USD $110.00
      · Should a Fuel Supplement be imposed, CubaToDo will communicate the names of passengers booked on a cruise to the cruise operator, and this surcharge will be due and payable before going on the cruise. Name changes will not be allowed.

      Last updated: Oct 17, 2015

      • Itinerary - Celestyal Crystal
        Departs every Monday

        Havana
        Embarks Monday 9:30am
        Departs Tuesday 5:00pm

        Maria de la Gorda
        Arrives Wednesday 8:00am
        Departs Wednesday 3:00pm

        Cienfuegos
        Arrives Thursday 8:00am
        Departs Thursday 3:00pm

        Montego Bay
        Arrives Friday 8:00am
        Departs Friday 8:00pm

        Santiago de Cuba
        Arrives Saturday 8:00am
        Departs Saturday 4:00pm

        Sunday: at sea

        Havana
        Arrives Monday 9:30am

        Last updated: May 18, 2015

    • Panorama - 25 cabins
      Departure & return every Saturday. The 8 day / 7 night cruise goes from Havana to Cienfuegos around the western tip of Cuba. It goes in one direction, meaning it reverses starting location every week, one week commencing in Havana, the next week in Cienfuegos. This is a bespoke tour - the best of the best - allowing you to leisurely see multiple Cuba locations while staying on this luxury sail / motor vessel.

      There are 3 cabin categories: Cat A is on Upper and Main decks ($5,869), Cat B ($5,429) and Cat C ($4,999) are on lower decks (only four Cat C cabins on the vessel). These prices include R/T airfare from MIA and visa. Single supplements are between $1,369 and $1,869. Drinks and tips additional. Port charges $375.

      For more detailed information please click for our downloadable Panorama brochure.

      Last updated: May 18, 2015

      • Itinerary - Panorama
        Departs (every other Saturday this itinerary is done in reverse)

        Saturday - Havana
        Day at port with activities included

        Sunday - Havana
        Day at port with activities included

        Monday - Maria la Gorda
        Day at port with activities included

        Tuesday - Maria la Gorda
        Day at port with activities included

        Wednesday - Cayo Largo
        Day at port with activities included

        Thursday - Trinidad
        Day at port with activities included

        Friday - Cienfuegos
        Day at port with activities included

        Saturday - Cienfuegos
        Day at port with activities included

        Last updated: May 12, 2015

    • Callisto - less than 17 cabins
      Keep checking back - we will immediately post info if, and when, this vessel becomes available for the 2015-16 cruise season.

      Generally the itinerary, cost and what is included will be in line with the info we list for the Panorama.

      It will change a couple stops, and will probably include "Colony" at Isla de la Juventud.

      Last updated: May 19, 2015

      • Itinerary - Callisto
        We will add the final itinerary as soon as CubaToDo is able to sell cruises on Callisto in Cuba.

        Last updated: May 12, 2015

  • Flight FAQ
    There are 8 Charters (CubaToDo sells tickets on all 8), flying daily non-stop flights from the United States to Cuba (most depart from Miami). Depending on demand the Florida flights range in price from $300 to $500 R/T (pricing includes all taxes and fees that can be paid in advance).

    Prices for other states with direct flights to Cuba can approach $1,000 R/T, and may be limited to flights one day a week.

    Below is additional info related to Cuba flights:

    Last updated: Jul 11, 2015

    • Can I do 100% of my flight booking online?
      You can do 95% of your flight booking online, or you can call us at 231-282-2863 and we can do it for you.

      It is a 6 step online process similar to that for most airline flights: 1) Choose your DEPARTURE flight. 2) Choose your RETURN flight. 3) Either Login if you are a returning client, OR enter all your information (name, address, passport, etc.). 4) Verify that your information is correct. 5) Pay online with a credit card, check (A/K/A an ACH transfer from your checking account). 6) Print the confirmation screen.

      The final 5% of the process is us confirming that your flight is available and us contacting you (sometimes within minutes of you making your reservation, generally within 24 hours, but always within two business days), so please provide the BEST phone number for us to reach you directly.

      Last updated: Feb 08, 2015

      • I did the 6 flight booking steps above, am I guaranteed a ticket to Cuba?
        No, while 99% of our clients who "book online" (technically you aren't booking online, rather you are making an application for a reservation for a voucher for a charter flight online) do get a ticket on that flight to Cuba, two things may prevent this:

        1) The flight is closed to new passengers when you make your reservation online, as we do not have 'real time access' to the Charter's inventory, that's why we recommend choosing a Charter whose flights were most recently updated - look below the calendar on the flights tab to see the time of the 'last update' for every Charter AND flights that are not in red (which means they have fewer than 10 seats left).

        2) We determine either by the information you entered in Step 3, or more likely in the obligatory phone conversation with you, that CubaToDo is not comfortable that you are eligible under the OFAC rules.

        Again, either of these situations are very rare, as 99% of the time you'll have a voucher for your flight within 48 hours of completing the 6 steps for your flight.

        Last updated: Apr 09, 2011

    • Explain charters and airlines to Cuba.
      None of the Cuba flights are run by an airline (such as Delta, United, American, JetBlue, Southwest, etc.) - and although the airlines want to start flights to Cuba tomorrow, it is doubtful they will for the years due to several factors - the biggest being they would be liable to OFAC for 5 years for the certifications of each passenger - something airlines are not set up to do. Instead 8 Charters have regularly scheduled flights from the U.S. to Cuba, which operate a lot like airlines, but with some slight differences, for instance

      The Office of Foreign Asset Control, A/K/A OFAC, is the U.S. government agency that oversees travel to Cuba, and before Obama's January 2015 change, OFAC required that the flight was on a licensed Charter Service Provider (currently there are 8 active Charter's - all were CSP’s under OFAC).

      CubaToDo.com can book you on any of the 8 Charters. The Charters wet lease a plane for flights to Cuba generally with smaller carriers such as World Vision, Falcon Air or SkyKing - but some Charters actually wet lease from American and JetBlue. Charters currently fly: • from 4 U.S. airports: MIA (Miami), (FLL) Fort Lauderdale, (TMP) Tampa, (JFK) New York City • to 6 Cuban airports: HAV (Havana), CFG (Cienfuegos), SNU (Santa Clara), CMG (Camaguey), HOL (Holguin), SCU (Santiago de Cuba) – the last 5 airports are often referred to as the airports in the ‘provinces’ When Charters begin to fly from additional airports you will know immediately because you will see the airport as an option in the "From" / "To" box under the words "Step 1: Departure Flight", and like with any other departure airport you will be able to search and view all flights available from there.

      Before January 2015 all Cuba travel related services were required to be purchased through a licensed Travel Service Provider (TSP), there were over 300 TSP's (mostly located in Miami) - but only a few were very active. CubaToDo.com is a web based TSP with an office outside of Boston that can handle ALL your Cuba travel needs from Cuba flights to ground services in Cuba (hotels, car rentals, transfers, meals, etc.).

      Last updated: Feb 08, 2015

    • Can I fly one way?
      Yes, the cost is almost the same as the round trip fare. You can book this by Emailing or Calling us.

      Last updated: Apr 06, 2015

    • Can I return with a different Charter company than I flew to Cuba with?
      Some Charters have what is called an interlining agreement with other Charters - meaning you can fly to Cuba on one Charter and back on another - BUT none of the Charters like doing this. IF you cannot find any other flights using the same Charter, we can ask if they will "interline" with another Charter - there may be an additional cost of $25 to $100 for the round trip ticket using two Charters.

      Last updated: Apr 06, 2015

    • Can CubaToDo sell me a flight originating in Cuba?
      No, no agency in the U.S. can sell a flight originating in Cuba (EXAMPLE: a flight from HAV to MIA is impossible for us to sell by itself, or as the first flight of a round trip ticket).

      Only Havanatur in Cuba can sell tickets originating in Cuba.

      Last updated: Apr 06, 2015

    • Children and infants - flights:
      This is DOT regulated, so ALL Charters have the same rules for children and infants (but each Charter prices these tickets individually - chose your flight dates and the prices for Infant / Child / Adult will display in the box below the calendar) - all ages below are calculated on the RETURN DATE from Cuba.

      INFANTS:
      HAVE NOT had their 2nd birthday. Infants are ALWAYS a "lap child" (meaning they sit on an adults lap) - you can always purchase a seat for them at the Child fare - to do so speak with a CubaToDo.com team member so they can create a Child's reservation fare for an Infant.

      CHILD:
      It is their 2nd birthday, or they already have had it, but HAVE NOT had their 12th birthday.

      UNACCOMPANIED MINORS:
      This policy and additional fee for Unaccompanied Minors varies from Charter to Charter - please speak with a CubaToDo.com team member so we can find out the current policy for the flights you want.

      Last updated: Feb 15, 2015

  • Hotel FAQ
    CubaToDo.com can book you at over 250 hotels in Cuba, representing over 20 chains, ranging from the Spanish chain Sol Melia to Cuba's own chain Habaguanex.

    There are no hostels in Cuba (in light of the fact that there are so many budget hotels). We currently book just a few casa particulares (like a U.S. Bed & Breakfast - but usually without the charm) in Havana only.

    Below is additional info related to renting a hotel room in Cuba:

    Last updated: Jul 11, 2015

    • Can I book a Cuban hotel room online?
      Not in real time, like with Expedia, Hotels.com, etc. (none of these sites are selling hotels in Cuba either - part of the reason is because all U.S. travel providers, including CubaToDo has to manually confirm availability).

      Our site allows you to select a hotel, room type, meal plan and dates - once we know availability we will email you (usually within one business day), alternatively Email or Call us.

      Last updated: Apr 06, 2015

    • Can I get a hotel room without breakfast?
      No, all prices we are given include at a minimum breakfast (except for the rare hotels which provide no breakfast), and by clicking on the "meals included" box on the details screen of each hotel you can see if additional meal options, including all drinks and entertainment at some all inclusive hotels, are an option. Please note that breakfast can range from a sumptuous 50 item breakfast buffet at an all inclusive in Varadero, all the way to a simple piece of toast and coffee at a 1 star hotel.

      Last updated: Jan 12, 2015

    • What are the Check-in and Check-out times of hotels?
      Although this varies from hotel to hotel, it is best to assume you can check-in after 3 pm and need to check-out by noon - these times can vary so either check with your hotel at arrival, or contact them before leaving the U.S. if these times are critical to you.

      Always keep in mind no matter what time you're told, like at any hotel in the world there may be exceptions, such as when a large number of rooms are being turned over in one day, or the hotel is short on house keeping staff.

      Last updated: Apr 06, 2015

  • Car rental FAQ
    We work with 3 car rental agencies in Cuba: Rex, Havanautos and CubaCar, (there is only one other company in Cuba which has limited locations and inventory - but we do not work with them). There are approximately 150 locations in Cuba where you can pick up/drop off a car (some locations service more than one agency and most locations are at, or adjacent to large hotels or within an airport terminal) - to find specific locations use the Location search feature at the bottom of the left column on the - Cars page. You pre-pay CubaToDo in USD ($), and we give you a voucher that you MUST exchange at an airport Havanatur office for their "blue voucher", which you then take to the rental agency. Although we have confirmed car rentals the day before a customer departs for Cuba, it is in your best interest to book as early as possible as last minute bookings risk us not getting a confirmation from Havanatur prior to your departure, or all cars are sold out.

    Like in the U.S., cars are priced according to Category (Economy, Medium, Luxury, etc.) and we cannot guarantee a specific make or model.

    FYI: U.S. driver's licenses are accepted.

    Last updated: Apr 06, 2015

    • Can I book a car rental online?
      Not in real time, like with Hertz, Avis, etc. (because all U.S. travel providers, including CubaToDo, have to manually confirm availability).

      Our site allows you to select a rental agency, car category and dates - once we know availability we will email you (usually within one business day), alternatively Email or Call us.

      Last updated: Apr 06, 2015

    • Since I paid CubaToDo for the rental do I need to pay anything additional in Cuba?
      Yes, although we aim to include everything that you can pre-pay in the prices shown, the following are examples of what you may have to pay in the local currency (CUC) when you sign the contract or upon return (some of these are obvious, such as a deductible or for damage to the car, but we list them in an attempt to be as thorough as possible).

      TANK OF GAS: You need to pay in CUC for the tank of gas (cost depends on the size of the gas tank - but gas in Cuba is approximately $4 USD per gallon) - the gas tank can be empty upon return as no credit will be given for gas in the tank.

      INSURANCE: although some rates include insurance, with most cars you have to pay this at contract signing. The per day rate rate ranges from 10 - 30 CUC.

      AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION: when there is a car model that can be rented with a standard transmission, we try to create an additional 'model' with the only difference being the option of an automatic transmission, and this model's price would include an additional charge of usually $5 - 10 USD / day built into what you pre-pay CubaToDo. However, some Agencies collect this at contract signing - we apologize in advance for any confusion, but this is a very tricky option for us to always price and disclose correctly.

      SECURITY DEPOSIT: ranges from 100 to 600 CUC (depending on the value of the vehicle & whether you have insurance). In addition to any damage to the car such as scratches, stolen medallions, hubcaps, antennae, lost keys (keys alone cost 200 CUC), etc. being deducted from this deposit, any fines for traffic violations (ranging from 5 CUC to 30 CUC each) noted by a police officer on your rental contract will be deducted.

      DAMAGE AND / OR DEDUCTIBLE: damage to the car when returning will need to be paid in full if you do not have insurance, or the deductible amount if you do have insurance.

      ADDITIONAL KILOMETERS: cars include unlimited miles unless the car details state you are limited to a set number of miles per day. If you exceed the limit you will pay the per kilometer overage charge in CUC upon returning your car.

      ADDITIONAL DRIVERS: see the additional drivers FAQ, but in general this cost anywhere from 3 CUC per day to 30 CUC for the term of the rental contract, depending on the Agency.

      ONE WAY DROP OFF CHARGE: this ranges from 10 - 150 CUC and only applies if you do not return to the same exact office where you picked up, this charge also applies when you have a driver (chauffeur).

      EXTRA DAYS: of course if you go over the days on your contract you have to pay for each additional day (and possibly an additional penalty if you did not notify the Agency in advance). Extra days begin to be charged if you return your car a minute later than the scheduled return time (many Agencies allow you to go over by up to 1 hour for free - you can inquire in person about their latest policy - but we are disclosing that you must be on time). EXAMPLE: on Monday you pick up a 4 day rental, your contract specifies a return time 2 p.m. on Friday & you return it at 3:05 p.m. on Friday, the Agency will charge you for an extra day. NOTE: it is your responsibility to make sure the RETURN time on your contract corresponds with the time you pick the car up - a common problem is the contract was filled out assuming you would arrive on a 2 p.m. flight, and you are delayed until 4 p.m. BUT you did not get the return time changed before leaving with the car and hence you are charged an extra day.

      Go to CubaToDo.com for car rental pricing.

      Last updated: Apr 06, 2015

    • What do I do if the car breaks down?
      You call the phone number provided to you when you rented the car, they will send a mechanic and/or a tow truck to either get the car going, or tow you to a location where the car can be swapped out. This process can take hours, especially the further you are from the nearest rental location.

      If the car is drive'able you can try driving it to the nearest location for the Agency you rented from, and see if they will either fix the problem or swap the car out. Although we are told they are supposed to swap the car out if they have a comparable car on the lot, we have heard anecdotal stories of locations refusing to do this.

      Last updated: Apr 06, 2015

    • Is it difficult to drive in Cuba?
      We don't think so.

      #1 The street systems are usually based on a grid system (like NYC and Miami), and there are good maps you can buy at the airport, or even at bookstores in the U.S. before leaving.

      #2 There are few traffic jams in Cuba as car ownership is limited, so generally you can move around without delay.

      #3 Cubans are VERY helpful if you need help finding ANYTHING.

      All that being said it's always advised outside of developed areas to reach your destination during daylight (unless you know the roads well). This is just common sense in any country with rough roads, limited street lights, and a lot of pedestrians and bicyclists sharing the road.

      In the end if you do not think you will feel comfortable driving in Cuba, rent a car with a driver - the additional cost varies - but starts as low as 20 CUC / day. There are many benefits to having a driver: a) you enjoy all the pluses of having a rental car at your disposal b) you have the freedom to go where you want, when you want to (OK maybe not 100% when you want - the driver may frown on a 3 a.m. run to get ice cream) c) you create employment for a Cuban, thereby helping him and his family d) your driver may show you sites most visitors miss e) you can learn the roads and driving techniques in case you want to rent a car without a driver in the future f) you get to spend time one on one getting to know a Cuban (in our opinion the most valuable benefit).

      Last updated: Apr 06, 2015

    • What are the minimum requirements for renting a car?
      1) Minimum age:
      *CubaCar, Havanautos: 21 years old
      *Rex: 21 years old (EXCEPT for Sports (I) category you must be 30 years old)

      2) Minimum driving experience:
      CubaCar, Havanautos & Rex: you must have had your driver's license for at least one year.

      3) You present a valid, non-expired driver's license and passport when you rent the car.

      Last updated: Apr 06, 2015

    • What is the condition of the cars?
      Like with any rental in the world you could get a brand new car, but normally the cars have substantial wear and tear, and sometimes are in rough condition. That said the cars appear to be well maintained, and safe. The high level of wear and tear comes from the rough condition of the roads in Cuba, just as it would with any vehicle constantly driving on poorly maintained rural roads in the U.S. This wear and tear is evident in cosmetic ways, as well as worn shocks and suspension. There is no way we can request a newer car for you, so if car condition is a concern for you than you may want to consider renting from the more expensive car categories, which tend to have cars with less wear and tear.

      Last updated: Apr 06, 2015

    • Can I return a car at a different car rental location?
      Yes, for an additional charge, and of course it has to be the same Agency you rented from.

      The drop off charge may be due at the time of return, and if so would be paid in CUC, and ranges from 10 - 150 CUC, based on the distance from where you picked the car up.

      If you decide while in Cuba that you want to return your car at a different location you will be responsible for arranging this with Havanatur and / or the Agency. Remember in Cuba the contracts are not electronic, and this paper contract along with your cash deposit may be held at the location you rented from - so if you go to another Agency location without prior arrangements you most likely will be turned away.

      Last updated: Apr 06, 2015

    • Can I rent a chauffeured car?
      Absolutely, CubaToDo.com can arrange anything from a Mercedes with chauffeur, to an economy car. Go to our car home page and chose in the left column the search option 'driver'.

      Most Agencies include fuel when you have a driver, but charge additional for exceeding a pre-set kilometer limit. Additionally there may be additional daily charges for going beyond the Province you rent from, as well as for lodging and meals for the chauffeur (although some Agencies allow you the option to pay this directly). We try to disclose all of these additional fees that we know of on the details page of each car.

      One way drop off charges apply when using a driver if your car return location is different from your pick up location.

      Last updated: Apr 06, 2015

    • Can I have an additional driver?
      Usually, for an additional fee.

      CubaCar and Havanautos charge 3 CUC per additional driver.

      Rex charges 10 CUC / day for additional drivers up to a maximum of 2 additional drivers.

      Although only Rex spells out the penalties should an additional driver who is NOT listed on the contract use the car, assume that ALL Agencies have similar penalties as Rex:

      If an additional driver NOT listed on the contract is caught driving the car the penalty is the car will be taken away from you and you will forfeit all rent paid for the remaining days PLUS your entire deposit.

      The Agencies want the named primary renter to return the car at the end of the rental period, if a listed additional driver returns the vehicle instead there will be a 50 CUC penalty charge.

      Last updated: Apr 06, 2015

    • Can I extend my car rental?
      Yes, this is a little different with each Agency.

      With CubaCar and Havanautos you can extend your car rental by contacting us IF it is over 24 hours before the scheduled return time.

      With CubaCar and Havanautos (if it is within 24 hours of the scheduled return time) or for ANY extensions with Rex, you need to deal directly with the Agency and pay the highest daily rate for that Category in cash (CUC) directly to the Agency.

      Last updated: Apr 06, 2015

    • Is insurance mandatory for a car rental?
      Yes, insurance is mandatory for all car rental companies, and U.S. car insurance never covers the Cuban insurance requirement.

      The daily price for insurance is included with most rentals, if not included insurance ranges from 10 - 30 CUC / daily, with the higher premiums usually for more valuable cars.

      Car rental insurance covers EVERYTHING with NO deductible (BUT you must ALWAYS get a police report BEFORE arriving at the rental car return – no matter if it’s a minor as a missing hood ornament, or you ran over a tree branch and it left a small dent).

      VERY IMPORTANT, there are 3 reasons you will not be allowed to leave the country until you pay 100% of the damage (obviously insurance does not cover these 3 violations of the contract):
      1. Someone driving who is NOT listed on the contract (at time of contract signing you can add unlimited additional drivers for 3 CUC / day)
      2. Drunk driving
      3. Driving under the influence of drugs

      Last updated: Jul 11, 2015

    • What are some of the penalties associated with car rentals?
      Although only Rex spells out the penalties in the list of Conditions we are given, assume that ALL Agencies have similar penalties as Rex:

      *Lock your key in the car = 50 CUC in Havana & 100 CUC in the rest of the country
      *Lost car key = 200 CUC
      *Bring the car back "extremely" dirty = 50 CUC
      *Lose the registration = 120 CUC
      *Transport an animal OR bring car back dirty = 50 CUC
      *Lose the floormats = 50 CUC

      Additionally we answer in additional drivers the penalties for letting anyone not on your contract drive your car, and in the additional charges FAQ the likely possibility of traffic violations. In general the Agencies, as for that matter most government companies we have experience with, are fair and just in these matters, usually following the rules to a 'T' because they get audited occasionally and could lose their jobs, but not trying to find things that are outside the rules to extract money from you. Of course Agency employees, as with most service industries in Cuba, appreciate tips for superior service.

      Last updated: Apr 06, 2015

  • What are other quality websites devoted to Cuba?
    Below are some quality websites that we use, and recommend:

    Last updated: Apr 06, 2015

    • VisitCuba.com
      An excellent website for current, quality content is Visit Cuba, checkout their write-ups for everything from Hotels in Cuba we rent, to CubaCruise’s circumnavigational island cruise we sell – to the hip restaurants and clubs that we include on our “Cuba Secret’s” sheets.

      Last updated: Apr 06, 2015

    • CubaAbsolutely.com
      Cuba Absolutely is a quality website with a free download'able magazine and in-depth information.

      Last updated: Apr 06, 2015

  • How does this web site and CubaToDo.com work?
    Excellent question! Our team has worked day and night to build this website, creating a clean user interface, and easy to use system.

    Last updated: Apr 06, 2015

    • How do you calculate pricing?
      Pricing for flights is set by the Charters and approved by the FAA, and no travel agency, nor the Charter are allowed to change this. Pricing for hotels and cars is set by our counterpart in Cuba and is the same for all travel agencies, we then mark up these prices to cover our overhead, and have flexibility to adjust these prices for larger purchases, such as those tour companies make. Lastly, all pricing, whether for flights, hotels or cars is set by the first day of the transaction. In other words if you take a flight, check in to a hotel, or pick up a car the last day of low season, you lock in this lower rate for your entire transaction, and vice versa if it is the last day of the high season.

      Last updated: Apr 06, 2015

    • What does the name CubaToDo represent?
      The name is bilingual, simply change the uppercase "D" to a lowercase "d". This allows us to use the same website address when marketing to our English and Spanish speaking clients.

      A capital "D" represents our English version, and signifies "To Do", as in a 'to do' list, or in our case a list of things 'to do' in Cuba, or for you it may mean visiting Cuba is on your 'to do' list. A lower case "d" represents our Spanish version, and signifies "todo", which in English means 'all', as in our company is 'all' about Cuba.

      Our company believes in harmony, cooperation and exchange; so the blended name CubaToDo stands for 'all' the things 'to do' in Cuba.

      Last updated: Jan 22, 2015

    • How can we help CubaToDo.com?
      There are several ways you can help us:

      1) Tell anyone who may have an interest in traveling to Cuba to check out our website to learn more about the subject.

      2) Provide a link on your website, FaceBook page, blog, etc. to our website.

      3) Refer to us as often as possible online, for example when leaving comments on Cuba related web sites and blogs, on question and answer websites, and any online conversation where the subject of Cuba, and especially Cuba travel comes up.

      4) Join our social networking groups (just click on the symbols on the middle of the left hand of every screen) - like us on Facebook , subscribe to our YouTube channel and Follow Us on Twitter, and connect with us on LinkedIn!

      Last updated: Apr 28, 2011

    • Is it easy to book travel?
      Yes! Just do one of the following three:

      1) select your dates on our website, enter your personal information and we will review your requests and email you with availability;

      2) email us attaching a filled in Reservation Request form you download from the blue bar at the bottom of our website;

      3) call us and we'll take all the details for your tavel!

      Last updated: Jan 22, 2015