A: Exceptional and meaningful cultural experiences - the absolute best way to experience Cuba. You’ll be greeted at the airport in Havana by your private chauffeur, with your name on a sign. Whisked away on a highly curated custom itinerary, be led by an exceptional bilingual Cuban guide, through experiences not found anywhere else in the world. Stay in beautiful boutique luxury properties, the hidden gems of Havana! Wonderful meals are had at Cuba’s best private restaurants (never prepaid or fixed menu).
A: Yes. Travel to Cuba is legal for Americans under a special travel license. Cox & Kings’ local Cuba office will arrange all of the details on your behalf.
A: You will need a Cuban tourist visa and U.S. travel license (compliance with U.S. law).
A: The Cuban tourist visa is exceptionally easy to obtain for most travelers, including all U.S. passport holders (except those born in Cuba). There is no process required for the Cuban tourist visa. Travelers do not need to send in their passport or contact the Cuban embassy. The Cuban tourist visa is a blank form with 5 fields that takes less than one minute to complete. Cox & Kings will send blank visas to you with instructions to complete. Alternatively, the Cuban tourist visa can be purchased directly at the airport with a credit card on the day of departure.
A: Yes, travelers born in Cuba require a special visa, even if they are U.S. citizens. Travelers holding passports from these countries must apply for a visa with their local consulate: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cameroon, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, India, Iraq, Iran, Kenya, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Syria, Yemen. If any of these travelers also hold passports from the U.S., they are eligible for the easy Cuban tourist visa and do not need to apply to their local consulate, as long as they travel to Cuba with the U.S. passport.
A: All U.S. persons traveling to Cuba must select an authorized purpose for travel to Cuba, in order to qualify for a travel license. The travel license is self-authorized (honor system), meaning, there is no physical license or license number provided. The most common travel authorizations are “people-to-people” (group tour) and “support for the Cuban people” (individual travel). Most of our travelers are authorized under “Support for the Cuban People”, as we facilitate a full-time schedule of activities that promote independent activity intended to strengthen civil society in Cuba, and that enhance contact with the Cuban people, and that result in meaningful interaction with individuals in Cuba and that does not include free time or recreation in excess of that consistent with a full-time schedule.
We retain records on behalf of our clients for five years from the date of travel.
A: We require each client to complete our online Travel Affidavit, which takes 3-5 minutes.
A: Land travel provides a much better experience in Cuba, allowing clients to be fully immersed in the amazing Cuban culture. Cruise travelers are limited to 1-2 days in Havana (often with long waits to disembark). We recommend 3-4 days in Havana. Cruise travel does not allow for proper excursions to two of our favorite cities in Cuba: Vinales and Trinidad. Experiences for cruise travelers are very limited at this time.
A: Multiple U.S. airlines, including JetBlue, United, Delta, and American fly direct to Havana. You can simply book online as you would any other flight. You will be required to select the travel purpose at the time of booking.
A: Yes! Cuba is one of the safest countries in the world to visit. A March 2018 study showed that of nearly 500 U.S. travelers who visited Cuba in 2017 and 2018, 99% felt safe or very safe while in Cuba. Less than 1% felt unsafe and zero respondents felt very unsafe.
A: Technically, you must have a “full-time” scheduled itinerary in Cuba per U.S law. “Free time” is limited due to this requirement, but we can include some free time with your local guide to explore personal interests. A full-time schedule of cultural experiences with Cox & Kings is a fantastic way to see the country!
A: No, unless you have a full-time schedule of educational activities while there. Cuba is great for cultural experiences but not yet beach experiences due to the U.S. restriction on beach time and the lack of resort infrastructure. We can include a half-day at the beach as part of a cultural excursion.
A: Yes, to diving and fishing, but only as part of a full week of the activity on a structured educational tour, for example, diving with a marine biologist. These tours are fantastic, but they require a deep dive (no pun intended) into the educational content. More casual day trips for diving, fishing and snorkeling are very difficult in Cuba due to the U.S. prohibition on “recreation” and the lack of infrastructure in Cuba.
A: Our most popular length of stay is 7 days. A 7-day trip allows you to explore Havana in depth, plus, venture to two additional cities, Cienfuegos and Trinidad, for an overnight excursion.
A: Peak season is December through March, when the Caribbean weather is irresistible. Prices are higher and reservations require more advance planning. November, April and May are great months to visit as well, with less tourists and more lodging options. Temperatures rise in June, July and August. September and October are low season. We strongly recommend travel insurance year-round, but especially in June - October to allow for a full refund in case of a mistimed hurricane.
A: As soon as possible for the best accommodation options. For December, March and all holiday weekends, travelers should book 3-6 months prior to travel. For any other time of year, 2-3 months is typically sufficient. We can make last minute arrangements with at least one week prior to travel. If you wish to stay in 5-star lodging in Trinidad, you must book 6+ months in advance, regardless of travel dates. Five-star lodging in Trinidad is very limited.
A: Cox & Kings uses the highest level of accommodation available, which usually means luxury boutique hotels and villas. These hidden gems provide a dreamy and authentic experience with excellent service. Note: some properties require a supplement and pricing can fluctuate by season. Your Cox & Kings Destination Specialist can provide photos upon request.