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Visiting Cuba

Berkeley Parents Network > Reviews > Places to Go > Visiting Cuba

May 2005

Has anyone travel WITHOUT permission to Cuba the last two years? If yes, could you please tell me how did you do it and what's the story with the stamp on the passport? Thank you.

I traveled to Cuba from California 10 years ago. I went through Mexico City, where I had made arrangements to meet a travel agent at the airport who sold me a visa (20 bucks). Then we went to the Air Cubana counter and bought a ticket to Havana for that morning. I think I tipped the travel agent another 20 bucks.

Cubans are used to Americans coming - there are many, many American tourists. If you're nervous, you can ask them not to stamp your passport.

Legally, you can go to Cuba - the US government cannot restrict your movements. But you are not allowed to spend money there. Cuba has a thriving US dollar economy because many Cubans have relatives in the US. Bring lots of ones and fives.

By the way, I didn't speak Spanish when I went and had an amazing adventure. Have a great time. I'd love to go back. anon

We travelled to Cuba legally 2 years ago, but I do know the follwoing: Cuban customs NEVER stamps US passports, even when entering legally, bc of the embargo and to keep US citizens out of trouble. people on our delegation asked for stamps and they wouldn't do it. THey said it causes too much trouble for the traveller, even years later. To go illegally, go through Mexico, the Dominican Republic, or elsewhere. do NOT go through Canada as there as US customs agents there and you will get fined.

Do go, however, it's a wonderful country! anon

I go to Cuba often, most recently this March. It is simple to go. I fly to Cancun, and purchase a ticket from Cancun to Havana either at the airport, or in Cancun at a Travel Agent. I usually do the latter as I spend one might in Cancun prior to leaving as I arrive too late in Cancun to get out the same day.

When an American arrives in Havana, the Customs Official simply slips a piece of paper into your passport and stamps it. When you leave, they remove the paper. There is no official record of your visit. You used to have to ask for this service; but now it is routine.

My experience is that the Cuban people and officials love Americans and welcome our visits. As they often tell me, the disputes are just between our governments.

I would be happy to talk to you further about inexpensive ways to get around and stay in Cancun which is very expensive; and where to stay and eat in Havana and where else to go in Cuba if you are interested. Kay

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