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Cuba Regulations

The World’s Most Creative and Inspiring Photo Adventure Vacations


Is Photo Workshop Adventures authorized to travel to Cuba?

Photo Workshop Adventures offers 100% Compliant and Legal Travel to Cuba. We are unaffected by the latest Cuba travel rules imposed by the Trump Administration. U.S. Citizens have been able to travel to Cuba legally under 13 category licenses. The “people-to-people category” has now been eliminated as of June 5, 2019. Travel by cruise ships, private boats, and airplanes has also been banned. Photo Workshop Adventures travels to Cuba legally under the license category for Workshops. Additionally, we offer “Support for the Cuban People”.

Photo Workshop Adventures holds a U.S. Treasury OFAC license CT-2016-327909-1 / C.F.R. 515.567 (Public performances, clinics, workshops, athletic and other competitions, and exhibits – C.F.R. 515.567). The current administration believes that the cruise ship industry, as well as certain tour groups, were using the people-to-people category as “veiled tourism”, and without structured itineraries.

Can U.S. Citizens travel to Cuba?

Absolutely! And now is the best time ever to travel to Cuba. There are fewer tourists making for better photographic opportunities. U.S. airlines (American, Delta, jetBlue, United, and Southwest) fly to Cuba on a regular basis. Individual travel is banned, as well as People-to-People group travel, cruise ships, private yachts, and aircraft. You may travel with a licensed tour provider (such as Photo Workshop Adventures) that remains compliant with the requirements of the license. Non-U.S. citizens are always welcome to join our Cuba Photo Adventures.

Can I travel to Cuba as an individual?

Individual travel to Cuba for U.S. citizens was banned in November 2017 by the Trump administration. New regulations require that U.S. citizens must travel with a licensed travel company (such as Photo Workshop Adventures) that organizes legal trips so travelers remain compliant with the requirements of the license.

Can I travel to Cuba on vacation as a tourist?

Tourist travel to Cuba for U.S. citizens is strictly prohibited and illegal. Traveling to Cuba and lounging on the beach is not allowed. Organized group travel must include a licensed Cuban tour guide, a detailed itinerary including interactions with Cuba people, businesses, etc., compliant within the requirements of the U.S. Treasury Department OFAC license.

Can anyone join your Cuba Photo Adventures?

Everyone can now travel with us to Cuba and experience one of our world-renowned Cuba Photo Adventures. International guests must apply for Cuban visas through their country’s Cuban embassy or consulate.

Can I fly directly to Cuba from the United States?

Beginning in September 2016 U.S. Airlines began direct flights to Cuba from major U.S. cities. Major carriers include American, Delta, United, jetBlue, and Southwest. Visas are issued by each airline at the counter check-in based on the documents we provide you with.

U.S. Citizens are banned from transactions with Cuban military owned hotels and entities.

Yes, the new regulations effective in November 2017, ban U.S. Citizens from any monetary transactions with a military-owned hotel, stores, tour companies, car rental companies, restaurants, etc. We make sure you stay clear of these so that you are compliant with the U.S. Treasury Department OFAC regulations.

Is the US Embargo against Cuba and the ensuing travel restrictions lifted?

The U.S. Embargo and travel restrictions remain in place for U.S. Citizens. Currently, there are twelve categories of travel, including people-to-people travel. What this means is companies like Photo Workshop Adventures are authorized by license to send Americans to Cuba legally under this provision in exactly the same way we have done in past years. Individual travel is no longer allowed. 

What is OFAC compliant travel?

OFAC compliant travel allows people from foreign countries to engage in cultural and educational activities that are not tourist-oriented. Photo Workshop Adventures provides guests with unique access to people and places most tourists rarely get to see. You will learn from and collaborate with Cuban photographers, artists, writers, and others related to Cuban arts and culture, as well as supporting the Cuban people. You’ll travel to a country once off-limits, but more importantly, we’ll take you deep into the heart and soul of the island where you will capture amazing photographs, and leave with memories you will cherish forever. 

How much free time is there on the photo adventure?

Under the license, full participation on our renowned adventures is required by the regulations but we promise you won’t miss a thing.

What is a Cuban Casa Particular?

Back in the late 1990s, the Cuban government began issuing permits for Cubans to rent out rooms in their homes, entire homes and apartments. In Cuba, these are referred to as Casas or Casa Particulars. Since 2014, the number of casa particulars being offered exploded to record levels. Bedrooms typically include an ensuite bathroom, and breakfast served by the homeowner. These are considered a bed and breakfast but some are set up as home stays. We use casa’s in remote areas like Vinales, Trinidad, Cienfuegos, and Baracoa where hotel availability is very limited.

Can I use my credit card or debit card in Cuba?

Foreigners can use credit and bank cards, but U.S. citizens are still banned from using any form of payment other than cash. It is not likely this will change anytime in the near future.

Can I use my mobile phone in Cuba?

Foreigners can use mobile phones, and U.S. Citizens can now use their AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint phones. Data usage is reasonable at 1 CUC (about 1 US dollar) per hour. Phone calls can be as much as $3 per minute. You can now purchase Cuban SIM cards for your phones. We can help guide you to do this, but waiting on long lines may be experienced. 

Is Internet available in Cuba?

Cubans first got to experience the internet in 2015. Currently, the internet in Cuba is very limited. Hotels and most parks and plaza’s offer wifi, but with very limited bandwidth. You can buy a 5 hour Internet card for 5 CUC. It’s old school. You must login and logoff each time you use it. We expect access to continue to improve over time. Cuban were given access to surfing the web in October 2018. IF you have a Cuban number you can apply for access to data.

Links to latest information from the U.S. Department of Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC)

If you are interested in booking a photo adventure, a private adventure to Cuba, or would just like to know more about our amazing adventures, please feel free to call us 1-888-834-0288.

Photo Workshop Adventures provides 100% legal and compliant Cuba travel under US Treasury Department’s OFAC License CT-2016-327909 / C.F.R. 515.567. This allows group travel to Cuba for “workshops” and “support for the Cuban people”.

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