What is People-to-People Cuba Travel?

Without a doubt, the most popular question International Expeditions’ Travel Planners receive has to do with the definition of people-to-people Cuba travel. What is it? What does it mean? How will this impact my experience in Cuba?

The people-to-people initiative allows Americans to travel to Cuba, via a specific license, issued by the Department of Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control. Every program operating under this license includes a full-time schedule of educational exchange activities, including interactions with Cuba’s musicians, artists, naturalists and new generation of entrepreneurs. As the name suggests, International Expeditions’ people-to-people travel license means that our itinerary focuses on cultural exchanges that will be as educational for the Cubans we encounter as they will be for you! IE’s itinerary allows participants to visit a wide scope of organizations, institutions and community projects, which will provide a deeper understanding of Cuban culture through people and places that the average tourist rarely sees.

We have many people who call regarding our programs that want to arrange an individual trip or custom program; however, while not impossible, keep the following things in mind:

  • International Expeditions’ Cuba travel license dictates that all groups must be accompanied by both an IE representative AND a Cuban guide. This requirement is not waived based on group size.
  • People-to-people travel is not tourist-oriented or self-directed. There is no time allotted to skip an activity in favor of shopping or to wander the streets of a colonial city. IE included a full-schedule of engaging activities.
  • You can’t travel to or from Cuba on your own and “meet the group later.” Flights to Cuba are highly regulated by the U.S. government, and only licensed travelers are able to secure a seat on charter flights. Since these charters are not commercial, interested travelers will be unable to find them available online or direct through an airline. As an IE participant, your travel is fully licensed and your charter flight is coordinated and booked on your behalf.

Have other questions about legal travel to Cuba? Our Travel Planners are happy to chat anytime. Just call 800-234-9620.