Due to the unique socio-political history between Cuba and the USA, American citizens are held to a higher standard of tourism on the island. Our government does not allow us to behave purely as tourists, rather we must 'maintain an itinerary of cultural exchange activities consistent with a full-time schedule'. Here's a link to the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) FAQ
But, what does that mean?!?
It means you can't wall yourself off in an all-inclusive mega-resort and subsist on mojitos and daquiris while ignoring Cubans and their culture. It also means that we don't contract for services with certain Cuban government entities.
This definitely complicates Cuba travel but, honestly we believe that 'People to People' is the best way to travel and we promise you'll have a genuine experience connecting to the people and places of Cuba.
No, of course not!
You don't go on vacation to work harder than you work at home. You go for fun, excitement, perspective, relaxation - to see the sights and meet the people at your destination. and, when you go you want to make sure your presence and impact are positive on the people and their natural environment.
Following the rules and keeping your Cuba travel is our full-time job and we're good at it. We promise to provide all of the documentation and guidance to take you to Cuba and keep you from breaking US laws there. We'll keep you busy and moving but we don't overdo it. We will take your breath away without leaving you winded!
That is how we do people to people travel! And, you can too. Have a look at these interactive map sample itineraries. You can either request to join a trip just like it or work with us to custom tailor it to your tastes:
This itinerary is designed to hit the three biggest destinations in Cuba. You'll cover the entire Western half of the island and you'll need about 9 days to do it.
9-16 Days, from $200 per day
This trip is designed to get you in and out of Varadero when HAV is too crowded or too expensive. You also get to decompress on both sides of your travels at the nicest resort hotels in Cuba. Then strike out in search of genuine cultural exchange in Havana and even sample the beaches of the Southern Coast.
5-9 Days, from $200 per day
Short on time or want to go deep into Havana? This itinerary is for you! Spend a few nights or more in Havana at the seat of government and culture learning about history, colonial and contemporary. Take a couple of excursions to jungle - Soroa - and beach - Playa Larga/Bay of Pigs - to break up the cityscape.
5-9 Days, from $200 per day
Got some time and want to see the entire island (well 12 or 13 provinces anyway)? This is your trip. We'll take you all the way out West to and then start a journey to the Eastern tip of the island and many points in between.
12-19 Days, from $200 per day
Cuba's East is a destination in its own right. You can fly into either Holguin or Santiago. Get real off the map in Moa and Baracoa. Bring it back to the realm of places you've heard of in Guantanamo and spend a few days in Cuba's 2nd city Santiago before flying out again.
7-9 Days, from $200 per day
Customization - Cuba is dynamic and we have to rework these trips every time we run them so we'll ask for your input when we do.
Pre-departure guidance to help you pack and prepare yourself
Necessary legal documents
Travel health insurance documentations
In-country flights if applicable
Round the clock monitoring and support from the USA
English speaking local guide
Private transport - airport to airport
Food and drink between meals
Tips for in-country guide and driver*
*Southern Star Travel makes sure our travel professionals are tipped at least the minimum expected amount but we believe that if Americans are bringing tipping culture to the developing world it should be representative of service rendered and not just added as a flat fee. Read more about tipping here.