People-to-People Travel

What is people-to-people travel?


People-to-people travel is not only a legal way for Americans to visit Cuba, but a new way of traveling, wherever your wanderlust takes you. Travelers consistently tell us that their favorite in-country experiences are the intimate and special connections they forge with local residents. The opportunity to share a smile, make a friend, and gain real insight into the destination is what gives travel meaning.

People-to-people travel with insightCuba provides guests with unique access to people and places the average tourist rarely sees. Our travelers discover Cuba through its people, from a local’s perspective. You’ll get to know extraordinary people who will inspire you, share their stories and listen to yours. We’ll take you to the heart of what makes this country so fascinating and you’ll walk away with memories you’ll cherish forever.

On our people-to-people Cuba tours, you'll not only visit Cuba’s most sought after sites, you'll meet the people who make this country so special. We visit Cuba's music schools and inspiring community projects. You’ll meet the most talented artists and musicians in their home studios, and visit with eager elementary school children that will ignite your own inner spark. You'll also have the unique opportunity to participate in discussions with Cuban government officials, experts in architecture, political scholars, journalists, and award winning economists. A full list of people-to-people activities can be found on any one of our Signature or Specialty Cuba tours. 

To read more about people-to-people travel and what it means to the world traveler, read the article by Los Angeles Times columnist Chris Reynolds after his interview with insightCuba’s president, Tom Popper.  


People-to-people travel as a way to travel to Cuba legally:

The U.S. Department of the Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), under direction from the President, regulates travel to Cuba pursuant to the U.S. Embargo Against Cuba. Currently there are 12 categories of authorized travel to Cuba which include: Family visits; official business of the U.S. government, foreign governments, and certain intergovernmental organizations; journalistic activity; professional research and professional meetings; educational activities including people-to-people activities; religious activities; public performances, clinics, workshops, athletic and other competitions, and exhibitions; support for the Cuban people; humanitarian projects; activities of private foundations or research or educational institutes; exportation, importation, or transmission of information or information materials; and certain authorized export transactions.  

Notably, 11 of the 12 categories of authorized travel to Cuba are very narrow in scope, meaning few Americans qualify. However, people-to-people travel, which exists as part of the educational activities category, allows any American to legally travel to Cuba, provided they engage in a full-time schedule of activities. Travel-related transactions pursuant to this authorization must be for the purpose of engaging, while in Cuba, in a full-time schedule of activities intended to enhance contact with the Cuban people, support civil society in Cuba, or promote the Cuban people’s independence from Cuban authorities; Each traveler has a full-time schedule of educational exchange activities that will result in meaningful interaction between the traveler and individuals in Cuba.

To hear what the experts say about our people-to-people tours, please visit insightCuba’s press page.