Want to Visit Cuba? Getting There & Where to Stay

President Obama in December announced intentions to normalize diplomatic relations with Cuba, meaning the day could soon come when Americans can travel there freely for the first time in more than half a century.
Maybe you want to go when all restrictions are finally lifted. Or maybe you want to go now, to beat the rush of American tourists that are sure to one day come. The path for Americans to get to Cuba is opening up slowly — very slowly. Americans still face travel restrictions from the U.S. government. But for now, you still need to meet a certain set of criteria to book a charter flight from the U.S., or you can book a spot with a tour group classified as an educational exchange. Americans may have the impression that because Cuba has been off-limits to them for half a century, that it's relatively virgin territory for tourism in general.
This is not at all the case.
Cubans have long been hosting tourists from Europe and elsewhere, so there is an infrastructure for both hotels and homestays in place. The challenges and rewards of traveling there aren't all that different from visiting other developing countries.