We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

Can Tourists Visit Cuba?

Tricia Christensen
Updated May 23, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseTour is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseTour, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Many tourists do visit Cuba, but many of them, especially if they are US citizens, do so illegally. Because of the longstanding trade embargo with Cuba, regular visits to the island by the average citizen are not allowable under US law. In fact, travel agents inside the US cannot legally make travel plans that include flights to Cuba.

When people do travel to Cuba, they make arrangements with an airline in a different country, usually the Bahamas or Mexico. Some people also fly into Canada and then on to Cuba. Though it is against the law in most cases for a US citizen to travel to the country, the law is rarely enforced. If it were enforced, the estimated 15,000 or more illegal trips each year would garner a lot of revenue for the government. Theoretically, one can be charged $250,000 US dollars (USD) for violating the trade embargo and spend up to 10 years in prison.

A few US citizens can travel to Cuba legally, though they still must fly in from another country in most cases. US citizens who have family members in Cuba are allowed to go to the island. Professional journalists may also visit as part of a professional trip. Diplomats from the US, or US citizens working for humanitarian organizations also get special permission to visit.

In order to legally visit Cuba, one is required to apply for a special license from the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). The Cuban government recognizes this license, though one must still bring one’s passport. The license may be extended for several trips, or may only count for one trip. This means each time a person visits the island, he or she may need to reapply for a license. Legal visitors may also have to account for money spent on their trip, and there may be caps on the amount that can be spent daily.

Illegal visitors do not need to make money exchanges as American dollars are in high demand. However, most purchases have to be in cash. Cuban businesses will not take credit cards issued from banks located in the US. Further, plane flights to Cuba from another country must be paid for in cash, and people hoping to visit must apply for a special license from the Cuban government.

It is a common misbelief that Americans who visit Cuba do not have their passports stamped. This is not the case. Passports are stamped upon leaving the country, and can thus identify a person as having illegally traveled to there.

WiseTour is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Tricia Christensen
By Tricia Christensen , Writer
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a WiseTour contributor, Tricia Christensen is based in Northern California and brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to her writing. Her wide-ranging interests include reading, writing, medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion, all of which she incorporates into her informative articles. Tricia is currently working on her first novel.

Discussion Comments

By anon109275 — On Sep 06, 2010

I have been to cuba several times. The last time was August 2010 and they have never stamped my passport.

By anon83330 — On May 10, 2010

"It is a common misbelief that Americans who visit Cuba do not have their passports stamped. This is not the case."

False - maybe this info is old but I've been to Cuba 2 years in a row. No stamps on passport. Are you kidding?! Cubans shooting themselves in the foot? I don't think so.

Tricia Christensen

Tricia Christensen


With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a WiseTour contributor, Tricia...
Learn more
WiseTour, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseTour, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.