All general tourism to Cuba by U.S. citizens or permanent residents remains prohibited by the U.S. economic embargo under the Helms-Burton Act. Learn more about current U.S. Treasury Department Cuba Sanctions.
As of March 15, 2016, U.S. citizens or permanent residents can travel to Cuba under one of 12 specific license categories granted by the US Department of the Treasury OFAC. Among these categories, Americans are authorized to travel under a people-to-people educational travel license provided that “the traveler engages while in Cuba in a full-time schedule of educational exchange activities that are intended to enhance contact with the Cuban people, support civil society in Cuba, or promote the Cuban people’s independence from Cuban’s authorities, and that will result in meaningful interaction between the traveler and individuals in Cuba. The predominant portion of the activities engaged in by the traveler must not be with certain Government of Cuba or Cuban Communist Party officials. Persons relying upon this authorization must retain records related to the authorized travel transactions, including records demonstrating a full-time schedule of authorized activities”.
For example, under current regulations, U.S. citizens or permanent residents are not allowed to go to the beach unless engaged in a professional or educational activity. In the case that OFAC determines that American travelers have engaged in non-permitted activities while in Cuba, they could be subject to a fine. For the latest information on U.S. regulations governing travel to Cuba and to view the most accurate and updated travel restrictions information, please see the Department of the Treasury’s OFAC website.