“PEOPLE-TO-PEOPLE” TOURS in CUBA
- Operating under a general license for people-to-people travel to Cuba pursuant to US Treasury Department regulations, our clients are expected to engage in activities that bring them in close contact to the Cuba people. General tourism is not permitted in Cuba. This tour is not designed to be a “resort experience.” Each day, we will have a “full-time” schedule of guided activities, as well as time to enjoy museums, experience Cuba’s unique street culture and artistic scene, and connect with locals. To learn more about the legal restrictions connected with our tour, please review (complete & sign) our Waiver Agreement (word) (PDF) and Travel Affidavit for P2P Exchanges (word) (PDF).
- Before we arrive in Cuba, we will distribute an updated tentative itinerary (the current tentative itinerary is here. While activities have been identified, our schedule remains flexible. We will fine tune the schedule on a daily basis and distribute daily printed itineraries. The advantage of a small customized tour like ours is that we are constantly adjusting to weather conditions, availability of local artists, guest interests, and last minute venue updates. This makes for a much more fulfilling travel experience. It also makes it complicated for us to a set a fixed day-to-day schedule.
- Your input is welcome. If you are looking for specific learning opportunities, please let us know and we will try to make arrangements. For example, guided tours of museums not on our itinerary, music lessons with local professionals, or attendance at musical and theatrical performances at additional venues. Visit our website to see the already scheduled destination sites. Some of these new opportunities might come at an additional cost. We will share information of any additional costs with you prior to finalizing these arrangements.
GENERAL HEALTH & DISABILITIES
Cuba is not ADA accessible. Though we are careful to limit the amount of walking each day, and work hard to mitigate mobility issues, please be aware that travelers will be often be standing, walking on uneven and/or broken pavement, climbing stairs, and exploring some natural areas on paths (or horseback, if preferred). If you have mobility issues, please share your concerns with me at your earliest convenience.
- HOMESTAYS: Whenever possible, Ashé Tours uses homestays rather than hotels. Guests will typically live in Cuban homes, each with 2-4 private rooms. Each room has its own lock, private bathroom, and air conditioning. The room are modest, but are clean and secure. Our homestays in Havana are located in a working class neighborhood, just 2 blocks from the ocean and 4 blocks from the edge of the tourist district (Paseo de Marti of Cento Havana). In Trinidad, we generally stay less than 200 meters from the center of tourist activity. Again, we emphasize…this is NOT a resort experience.
TRAVEL RISKS & SAFETY
Travel always comes with risk, many of which are formally addressed in the attached Waiver Agreement and Travel Affidavit. These documents (and others that will be sent separately) will need to be signed and returned as soon as possible. For now, I’d like to informally address the current conditions in Cuba. Over a year ago, a Travel Warning was issued by the US State Department for Cuba. This warning is a response to events that happened over the previous year (most recently in August 2016). This warning was subsequently updated, and is available at travel.state.gov.
While there is reason to be concerned for the safety of our diplomats in Cuba, the growing consensus among those in the travel industry and those knowledgeable about Cuba-US relations, is that Cuba remains a safe destination for tourists, including Americans. It is important to note that no private US citizen has ever been affected by the so-called “sonic attacks.” It is important to note that the United Kingdom and Canada have NOT issued a travel warnings to Cuba. The major cruise lines from the United States continue to operate on their normal schedules, and the vast majority of airline carriers that serve Cuba have not varied their policies. In fact, several airlines are still looking to expand service. We plan to continue the tour despite current State Department warnings. Of course, we will continually monitor the political environment in Cuba.
CDC Guidelines for Travel to Cuba: Whenever you travel abroad, it is advisable to check with the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and review their advisories. While most clients can travel without an additional vaccinations, some may opt to follow suggesting on the CDC website.
HEALTH INSURANCE REQUIREMENTS
All visitors are required to have health insurance that is accepted in Cuba. In most cases, health or travel insurance policies issued in the United States are not accepted at medical facilities in Cuba, so the cost of your Cuban health insurance ($25 per customer) is included in the total cost of your airline ticket (which is included in your fee for this trip). Cuban health insurance is provided by ESICUBA and is valid for 30 days. If you are staying in Cuba beyond 30 days, you’ll need to purchase additional insurance to cover the remainder of your stay.
Please note that while Ashé Tours (together with our airline carrier) is facilitating the purchase of this required Cuban health insurance, Ashé Tours bears no liability and all matters regarding the insurance policy’s terms and limits, and health care in Cuba, are solely between the traveler and ESICUBA. If you are interested, you can review the review the policy online.
Included in your tour fee is second medical policy (PATRIOT TRAVEL MEDICAL INSURANCE) issued by IMG. This group policy was chosen by Ashé Tours because it provides Emergency Medical Evacuation, Emergency Reunion, Political Evacuation, and Natural Disaster coverage. Please note that while Ashé Tours is facilitating the purchase of this insurance on your behalf, Ashé Tours bears no liability and all matters regarding the insurance policy’s terms and limits, and health care in Cuba, are solely between the traveler and IMG. You can review this policy online.