Yes, it is safe and legal for Americans to travel to Cuba. Since President Obama lifted the embargo, Americans can now go to Cuba provided it is for certain objectives. These include visiting family, educational or professional research, humanitarian and religion. Permits and visa are required but easy to obtain as long as you go with an agency that legally organizes trips to Cuba.

Photo by Lorne Resnick Photography

Entry to Cuba: There is a direct flight from Miami, Florida to Havana, Cuba. The only downside of this flight is the visa fee is much higher $85. Alternately, Americans can fly via Canada or Mexico and pay only $25 for visa. Immigration in Cuba will not stamp US passports, so you don’t have to worry about being answerable in the US either.

Money: Credit and debit cards issued by banks based in the US will not work in Cuba. So, your only option is to carry Canadian Dollars, Pounds, Euros or US dollars in cash.

Safety: Contrary to perceptions, Cuba is virtually crime-free. The streets are well policed and the people are welcoming to visitors. Perhaps the most dangerous weapon found in Cuba is the sun. During the summer months, the sun is nearly directly overhead, and can cause severe sunburns if you are not protected.

If you are up for some adventure, you can join me for a trip to Cuba this Labor day weekend. Atlanta based non profit, Go Eat Give is taking group of travelers who want to learn more about the culture, cuisine and people of Cuba to Havana from August 31 – September 7. The price for the 7-days trip is $1,999 per person and includes obtaining permits, ground transportation, accommodations in a four star hotel, daily breakfast and lunch, some dinners, guide, insurances, sightseeing, volunteer activities. See full itinerary and details.