The United States still holds an embargo AGAINST Cuba and american travelers need to follow certain Rules. OUr Trips follow these rules fluidly and provide all necessary documentation.
UPDATED JUNE, 2019
Otros Ojos travels under the “Support of the Cuban People” category (§ 515.560(c)) which is one of the approved categories that allow Americans to travel legally to Cuba despite the trade embargo. On June 4, 2019 the US government eliminated a different travel category called “People to People” which was frequently used by large group tours and cruise ships. Our trips were not impacted by this change, and it is still easy and legal to travel with us.
The “Support of the Cuban People” license requires that travelers frequent and support privately run businesses in Cuba and that U.S. citizens have proof of those types of activities in the form of reservations and itineraries.
Our company was built to create community by connecting travelers to Cuban culture and supporting small businesses and arts organizations here. We believe in incredible cultural access, connection with communities and understanding the context of where you are and why things are the way they are. Because of this, our trips easily meet the requirements outlined by the U.S. government, and do so with flair and ease.
We provide all documentation of all of your activities for when you reenter the U.S., which is the only time documentation may be asked for. You are also required to keep that itinerary in your files for five years after you travel.
Still have questions? Send us an email and we’d be happy to talk more about it.
THe U.S. Embassy in Havana
The U.S. Embassy in Havana was reopened on August 14, 2015 (we watched the flag get raised). At the moment the embassy is open but functioning with a skeletal staff. U.S. Citizens traveling to Cuba can get help there if needed, but visas are not processed and other standard diplomatic features are not currently performed.
Travel to Cuba is easier than it has been in over 60 years. Flights fly to havana from all over the world and our drivers Wait for OUr travelers outside of Customs.
OUtside of jose marti airport, havana
Commercial flights now operate from a host of U.S. and international airports on many airlines from American to Southwest. You can purchase a flight without any documentation, no matter your nationality.
You will need to obtain a tourist card / visa to fly to Cuba. For all U.S. based airlines, visas can be purchased ahead of time through your airline or at your gate of departure. If you are traveling from anywhere outside of the U.S., please check with your airline to confirm if they provide visas, some do not.
For U.S. based flights, you will need to state that you are traveling under “Support of the Cuban People” when purchasing your visa and when checking in for your flight. There is no documentation necessary at this time.
On your flight you will be given standard entry forms to fill out at Cuban customs. You will provide these to Cuban immigration along with your visa. The Cubans are happy to have travelers and you will not have any issues.
Once you clear customs in Cuba and get your bags (which can take awhile), one of our drivers will be waiting for you on the other side with you name on a placard.
At the end of your trip, we provide all necessary documentation that may be asked for upon returning through U.S. Customs.
Terms & Conditions
Please review our Booking terms and conditions before booking your trip. These are also included in your booking process.
Otros Ojos requires that all travellers have comprehensive travel insurance that covers medical emergencies, personal injury, personal property losses and trip cancellation expenses. You are also required (not just by us but by the Cuban government) to have adequate health insurance that will cover you should you become sick or injured during your time in Cuba. By purchasing a trip with us you are acknowledging that you have traveler insurance coverage and that Otros Ojos has no liability for any potential shortfalls in your coverage. There are a lot of good companies out there, but we have had good experience with World Nomads, Allianz Travel Insurance and Travelinsurance.com.
PAYMENTS, REFUNDS AND CANCELLATIONS
We require a non-refundable deposit to secure your booking. The balance is required 60 days prior to departure.
// CANCELLATIONS BY YOU OR YOUR PARTY
If you need to cancel your trip with us, we need your cancellation request in writing via email.
If you cancel your trip the following refund policy applies:
- 61+ days prior to departure: full refund (minus the nonrefundable deposit)
- 31 to 60 days prior to departure: 50% refund (minus the nonrefundable deposit)
- 0 to 30 days prior to departure: no refund
// CANCELLATIONS DUE TO CHANGES IN REGULATIONS
If there are changes in law by the US government that make a trip legally impossible for you to travel, a full refund (including deposit) will be refunded.
ITINERARY CHANGES BY OTROS OJOS
Because our trips cater to the cultural calendar of Havana, itineraries shift from trip to trip. There may also be changes in our itinerary due to circumstances beyond our control. By coming on a trip with us you acknowledge that these situations are a normal part of a travel experience, especially in a location like Cuba.
Compliance with local laws and customs
Otros Ojos expects that all participants on its trips are respectful of the laws, customs and culture of Cuba. It is particularly important that all travellers with us understand that there is absolutely zero tolerance for any type of recreational drug use in Cuba—and the penalties are severe. Enjoy yourself, have fun, but respect your fellow travelers and the many Cubans you will meet.
Passports and Visas
You are solely responsible for ensuring that your passport is current. For US citizens this means that its expiration date cannot be within 6 months of your date of return to the United States. If your passport is from another country, please make sure you are compliant your specific regulations. If you cannot join the trip because of passport issues you will not be refunded any payments made to Otros Ojos.
You are responsible for purchasing your travel visa. For all U.S. based flights, visas can be purchased ahead of time through your airline or can be obtained at the gate before you board your flight to Cuba. If you are traveling from outside the United States, please check with your airline about obtaining your visa.
Please book flights that land no later than 5pm into Jose Marti Airport in Havana. Trips and retreats start at 7pm sharp on the first day at our Turquoise House in Vedado. It is an important time to review logistics and is also a gathering to ground the group and get to know one another before heading out to a special evening. You are welcome to land in the morning, drop your bags at your casa and explore on your own until we meet. Many of our travelers choose to arrive a day before and we are happy to assist you with lodging.