|by Laura Buckley||Cuba||24|
Finally, all Americans can now travel to Cuba, so long as they go with a licensed tour operator performing "people-to-people" trips.
Although the Treasury Department still requires travel to Cuba to be "purposeful," you no longer have to be pursuing a degree program or be a journalist to go there, thanks to policy changes made by the Obama administration earlier this year. The trips are, however, meant to be educational, so you'll follow busy itineraries with meaningful interaction with the locals. In other words, you're not just hanging on the beach in Havana for a week.
So far, the Treasury Department has only issued eight companies with people-to-people licenses. One such operator is Insight Cuba, which is offering several trips, including a long weekend in Havana, with 4-star accommodation, all meals, full-day guided activities, and in-country transportation, from $1,695. Each trip is limited to 16 travelers.
Other outfitters are also planning people-to-people trips to Cuba, including the Harvard University's Alumni Association, Learning in Retirement, and Corcoran Gallery of Art and College of Art and Design. According to the The New York Times, there are currently 35 tour operators whose applications are still pending, including the National Geographic Society, the National trust for Historic Preservation, and Collette Vacations.
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