Cuba is becoming a popular international Spring Break destination for Canadian and EU students. What happens in Cuba goes on YouTube!!! Party Time... Check out JackThePilot's trip on Canjet to Varadero Beach in her video below....

You would think that it would be easier for US students to travel to Cuba now that there are 20 or more daily non-stop flights to Havana’s José Martí International Airport by Alaska Airlines, American, Delta, Frontier, JetBlue, Southwest, Spirit, and United providing service from Atlanta, Charlotte, Fort Lauderdale, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Newark, Orlando, New York, and Tampa.

While these flights will make it easier to get to Cuba, however the travel embargo is still in place and Traveling to Cuba for tourism or recreational activities is still illegal. So for now, Americans students who want to travel to Cuba for Spring Break legally from the U.S. will have to coninue to jump through some hoops. But it can be done and here’s how to do it:

First you need a "General License for Educational Activities" in affiliation with a US educational institution or you need a General License for People-to-People Educational Travel" that meets all OFAC (the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the U.S. Treasury Department) guidlines. As of 3/16/2017 you can also travel now as an individual with a "General License for People-to-People Educational Travel" for US travel to Cuba. See fine print below.

Several colleges are now offering cultural study trips during Spring Break now, under the "General License for Educational Activities" so look for an institution in your area offering an cultural or educational itenerary that interests you.

Some larger commerial tour operators like Funjet Vacations are offering unique "People-to-People Educational" tours to Cuba. These tours offer you the opportunity to immerse yourself in Cuban culture by interacting and engaging with the people of Cuba including artists, farmers, health-care professionals, children and other locals. A professional, English-speaking tour guide will help facilitate many of your interactions with the Cuban people that you encounter throughout your tour.

Note: Students People to Cuba under the educational activities authorized category must keep all records, receipts, and documentation of their visit. This includes any transactions as well as the full-time schedule of activities. These records must be kept for at least five years.

An Aerial Overview of Varadero Beach

Here is a "bird's eye view" of Varadero Beach, the longest beach resort in Cuba. Varadero is considered to be one of the world's most beautiful beaches. AS you can see in this video, it is part of a peninsula that stretches out 21-kilometers into the calm waters of the Atlantic.

Read The Fine Print

First you need a General License for Educational Activities for US travel to Cuba. This requires that you to prepare all of your own documentation in a way that meets all OFAC (the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the U.S. Treasury Department) guidlines.

U.S. academic and educational graduate or under graduate degree-granting institutions and their staff, faculty and students are authorized to travel to Cuba under the General License for Educational Activities.

Participants in these programs must carry a letter on official school letterhead that has been signed by a designated representative of the sponsoring academic institution at all times. OFAC defines a designated representative as the dean, academic vice president, provost, or president responsible for overseeing the institutions Cuban travel program.

The purpose for travel should be:

  • the participation in a structured educational program offered for credit as part of a course of the sponsoring institution

  • the participation in a structured educational program offered for credit as part of a course of the sponsoring institution

  • educational exchanges sponsored by U.S. secondary schools for secondary students to take part in courses or structured program offered by the secondary school or other U.S. academic institution provided that a reasonable number of adult chaperones escort the secondary students in their Cuba trip;

  • attendance at non-commercial academic seminars, conferences and workshops related to Cuba sponsored or co-sponsored by U.S. academic institution;

  • non- commercial academic research related to Cuba for the purpose of obtaining a graduate or undergraduate degree;

  • the participation in a formal course of study at a Cuban academic institution provided that credits will be accepted toward the student’s graduate or undergraduate degree;

As of 3/16/2017 you can now travel as an individual with a General License for People-to-People Educational Travel for US travel to Cuba.

The trip should consist of a full-time schedule of activities intended to promote the exchange with the ordinary citizens of Cuba.

This full-time schedule must also include educational activities that result in meaningful interaction in between U.S and Cuban nationals. Persons traveling to Cuba under this license must retain records related to transactions and demonstrating that a full time schedule of authorized activities was followed.

Source HOW TO TRAVEL TO CUBA LEGALLY FROM USA AFTER THE EASING OF TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS AN OVERVIEW BY AUTHENTIC CUBA TRAVEL website.