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USA Cuba Educational Travel Regulations Explained
Educational Travel to Cuba from USA
I’m a professor of earth and marine sciences at a US University. I would like to take my students to Cuba so that they learn about the UNESCO Caribbean Ecosystem project in the area. But I’m not sure how to go about it? I need help. This sort of questions we hear lately by US professors. And yes, you can travel to Cuba and you can take your students, in order to facilitate answers we have come up with a blog to explain
USA Cuba Educational Travel
Cuba Tours
Whether you want to go to Cuba for Professional Research, Support for the Cuban People, Professional Meetings, Religious Activities, Public Performances, Exhibitions or Workshops, chances are you can find a Cuba tour that matches your interest in our 2021 & 2022 rooster. Here’s our full roster of Cuba tours:
Cuba Real Tour 10 From Oct 9 to Oct 16, 2021
Cuba Engage 10 From Oct 9 to Oct 16, 2021
Performing Arts Tour From Oct 10 to Oct 17, 2021
Dance Cuba Tour From Oct 10 to Oct 17, 2021
Seven Historical Cities I From Nov 4 to Nov 15, 2021
Cuba Nature Tour From Nov 5 to Nov 14, 2021
Jo Jazz Havana Trip From Nov 10 to Nov 17, 2021
Cuba Business Tour From Nov 13 to Nov 20, 2021
Healthcare Cuba Tour From Nov 13 to Nov 20, 2021
Cuba Real Tour 11 From Nov 13 to Nov 20, 2021
Cuba Engage 11 From Nov 13 to Nov 20, 2021
Film Festival Cuba Tour From Dec 6 to Dec 13, 2021
Cuba Real Tour 12 From Dec 25 to Jan 1, 2022
Cuba Engage 12 From Dec 25 to Jan 1, 2022
Cuba Education Tour 9 From Dec 25 to Jan 1, 2022
Cuba Education Tour 10 From Dec 25 to Jan 1, 2022
Cuba Education Tour 11 From Dec 25 to Jan 1, 2022
Bird Watching Cuba Tour From Dec 25 to Jan 1, 2022
Cuba Architecture Tour From Dec 25 to Jan 1, 2022
Cuban Art Explorer IV From Dec 25 to Jan 1, 2022
Photography Tour IV From Dec 25 to Jan 1, 2022
Family Discovery Tour From Dec 25 to Jan 1, 2022
Jewish Heritage Tour From Dec 27 to Jan 3, 2022
Havana Jazz Festival From Jan 16 to Jan 24, 2022
Santiago Jazz Festival From Jan 17 to Jan 24, 2022
Cuba Jazz Festival From Jan 19 to Jan 24, 2022
Cuba Real Tour 1 From Jan 15 to Jan 22, 2022
Cuba Engage 1 From Jan 15 to Jan 22, 2022
Havana Book Fair From Feb 4 to Feb 11, 2022
Cuba Al Natural From Feb 11 to Feb 22, 2022
Cuba Real Tour 2 From Feb 12 to Feb 19, 2022
Cuba Engage 2 From Feb 12 to Feb 19, 2022
Habano Cigar Festival From Feb 19 to Feb 26, 2022
Cuba Education Tour 1 From Feb 26 to Mar 5, 2022
Cuba Education Tour 2 From Mar 5 to Mar 12, 2022
Cuba Real Tour 3 From Mar 12 to Mar 19, 2022
Cuba Engage 3 From Mar 12 to Mar 19, 2022
Cuba Art Explorer I From Mar 12 to Mar 19, 2022
Bird Watching Cuba Tour From Mar 12 to Mar 19, 2022
Cuba Education Tour 3 From Mar 12 to Mar 19, 2022
Cuba Business Tour From Mar 12 to Mar 19, 2022
Healthcare Cuba Tour From Mar 12 to Mar 19, 2022
Cuba Education Tour 4 From Mar 19 to Mar 26, 2022
Photography Tour I From Apr 9 to Apr 16, 2022
The Nature of Cuba From Apr 9 to Apr 18, 2022
Cuba Engage 4 From Apr 9 to Apr 16, 2022
Cuba Real Tour 4 From Apr 9 to Apr 16, 2022
Four Biosphere Reserves From May 6 to May 15, 2022
Cuba Engage 5 From May 14- May 21, 2022
Cuba Real Tour 5 From May 14- May 21, 2022
Cuba Education Tour 5 Jun 11- Jun 18, 2022
Cuba Engage 6 Jun 11- Jun 18, 2022
Cuba Art Explorer II Jun 11- Jun 18, 2022
Cuba Real Tour 6 Jun 11- Jun 18, 2022
Photography Tour II Jun 11- Jun 18, 2022
Fire Festival Cuba Tour Jun 28- Jul 5, 2022
Cuba Education Tour 6 From Jul 2- Jul 9, 2022
Cuba Real Tour 7 From Jul 2- Jul 9, 2022
Cuba Engage 7 From Jul 2- Jul 9, 2022
Cuba Business Tour From Jul 2- Jul 9, 2022
Healthcare Cuba Tour From Jul 2- Jul 9, 2022
Cuba Education Tour 7 From Jul 9- Jul 16, 2022
Jews of Cuba Travel From Aug 11- Aug 18, 2022
Cuba Real Tour 8 Aug 13- Aug 20, 2022
Cuba Engage 8 Aug 13- Aug 20, 2022
Photographers On Tour Aug 13- Aug 20, 2022
Cuba Education Tour 8 Aug 13- Aug 20, 2022
Cuba Art Explorer III Aug 13- Aug 20, 2022
Cuba Architecture Tour I Aug 13- Aug 20, 2022
Lawyers Cuba Travel Aug 13- Aug 20, 2022
Seven Historical Cities II From Aug 13- Aug 24, 2022
Cuba Real Tour 9 From Sep 10- Sep 17, 2022
Cuba Engage 9 From Sep 10- Sep 17, 2022
Cuba Baseball Tour From Sep 10- Sep 17, 2022
Cuba Ballet Festival From Oct 25- Nov 1, 2022
Havana Art Biennial From Nov 19- Nov 26, 2023

Nature & Bird Watching Travel
Cuba's Biosphere Reserves

Guanahacabibes Biosphere Reserve contains never-ending beaches, jagged limestone pavements, marshland and mangrove swamps providing a natural habitat for about 600 species of plants, deers, jutias, bats, reptiles and any number of birds.

Four rivers run through the evergreen and semi-deciduous tropical forest of Sierra del Rosario Biosphere Reserve. Natural habitat to one of the world's smallest frogs and more than 115 bird species.

Peninsula de Zapata Biosphere Reserve contains the largest wetlands in the Caribbean with blue-water beaches, forests, rivers, lakes, flooded caverns. Natural habitat to the Cuban crocodile and 175 bird species.

Buenavista Biosphere Reserve protects nature ecosystems including mangroves, coral reefs, active dune zones, keys and natural reproductive zones for aquatic birds. Caves hold historically significant paintings.

Cuchillas del Toa Biosphere Reserve, is the best preserved mountainous natural ecosystem in the Caribbean. UNESCO declared it “one of the most biologically diverse tropical island sites on earth.”

Baconao Biosphere Reserve is natural home to 1,800 plant species and 939 indigenous species of wildlife including birds, butterflies, mammals, reptiles and the endangered hot-cave bat.

authentic cuba, just a click away

Cuba Study Tours

Authentic Nature Travel & Bird Watching Cuba Tours

Support for the Cuban People Tours & Travel Discount Cuba Tours Support for the Cuban People Tours & Travel Banner Cuba Nature Travel by Authehtic Cuba Travel Cuba Nature Tours Birdwatching Cuba Tours Birdwatching & Nature Cuba Travel Birdwatching Cuba Tour, Cuban Parrot US Organizations Cuba Travel by Authehtic Cuba Travel Cuba Beach for Spring Break 2020 Cuba School Travel and Study Tours Cuban crocodile, Cuba nature tour 4 Biosphere Reserves by Authentic Cuba Travel®

Cuba Nature Travel, We Help You Discover Authentic Cuba

Authentic Cuba Nature & Bird Watching Tours for North American Bird Watchers, Biologists, Natural Science Educators and Environmentalists.

Cuba is home to a wide array of natural landscapes and wildlife habitats. Here you will find the Caribbean’s largest tropical forests, mountains and wetlands. Cuba bird watching tours and nature tours offered by Authentic Cuba Travel® include some of the island’s most beautiful and biodiverse areas. Cuba is home to more than 200 different protected areas, including six UNESCO Biosphere Reserves, representing a variety of different eco-systems.

Thanks to the support of a number of different local nature conservation organizations, our Cuba nature tours and bird watching tours will take North American nature lovers, bird watchers, naturalist, biologists, natural science educators, environmentalists and nature conservationist to explore UNESCO Biosphere Reserves and National Parks, as well as the chance to meet with the directors and scientists of Cuba’s premier National Centers for Protected Areas.

Authentic Cuba Travel® takes great pride in all of our unique Cuba nature & bird watching travel experiences, and with more than 15,000 unique species of fauna, 350 species of birds and 600 species of plant to be found on the island, our authentic Cuba tours offer a chance unlike any other to explore the authentic Cuba.

Notice to US Wildlife Environmental and Conservation Organizations, US Bird Conservancy Organizations, and other Environmental Organizations from USA:



US Wildlife Environmental and Conservation Organizations, US Bird Conservancy Organizations, and other Environmental Organizations from USA can organize a trip to Cuba under the provisions of the General License for Educational Activities, the General License for Support for the Cuban People, the General License for Professional Research, the General License for Semi-Professional & Amateur International Sports Competition, the General License for Humanitarian Projects, the General License for Activities of Private Foundations or Research or Educational Institutes among others. Certain conditions are to be met to comply with OFAC General License requirements for each category of USA Cuba travel though.

The mission of your organization and the objective of your trip to Cuba determine under what general license you can travel to Cuba legally. In general, most trips should consist of a full-time schedule of activities intended to promote the exchange with the ordinary citizens of Cuba. This full-time schedule must also include educational activities that result in meaningful interaction in between U.S and Cuban nationals. Free time in excess or regular tourists' activities are not permitted.

We take care of all details both in North America and in Cuba, including VISA and flight arrangements to Cuba's main destinations via USA ports (Miami, Tampa, New York, Los Angeles, or other) or through third countries like Canada and Mexico. Authorized US organizations can travel through a third country subject to the same restrictions and requirements as those flying directly from USA.

At Authentic Cuba Travel®, we have been organizing such educational and cultural travel experiences from the United States of America for years with great success. Call us and let us know more about your organization and we will provide guidance and assistance.

Cuba's National Parks

Alejandro de Humboldt National Park, Situated on the southeast side of the island is Cuba’s most humid location, this Cuban National Park offers an incredible combination of unique ecosystems, rare orchids, virgin rainforests, lakes, lagoons, mangrove swamps, and an incredible array of indigenous fauna and flora. The park is considered home to a number of endangered species of bird. Cuba’s ivory billed woodpecker was once found here, but many now believe the bird to be extinct. Cuba nature tour participants visiting the park can also take part in bird watching, cave exploring, nature tourism, eco tours, and long walks.

Caguanes National Park is on the itinerary of our Cuba nature tours and bird watching expeditions because of its system of underground caves including more than 35 caves and grottoes that are home to a large array of rupestrian art. Located in the north central portion of the country, visitors to this park can find land, swamp, and marine areas. The sea niches here are home to numerous fauna and flora, while the park’s Guayaberas Swamp is home to the nation’s most sizable colonies of Grus Canadensis nesiotes, or Sandhill Cranes.

Parque Nacional Desembarco del Granma was constructed and named to honor the Granma landing. Covered with woodlands, marine packed lagoons, and a dry area comprised of steep terraces and cacti, the park covers much of the southwestern end of Cuba. Here, Cuba bird watching tour participants and nature tour participants will find many well-marked hiking areas to enjoy, including the Sendero Arqueologico Natural El Guage, a roughly 2 hour hike that spans mangroves, the Cuban coast, and areas believed to contain Taino remains.

Guanahacabibes National Park. Participants in nature travel to Cuba certainly won’t want to miss this one, which is actually among the largest nature reserves in the entire country. White sand plains help separate the park from the remainder of the island, and it is home to not only one of the biggest lakeside areas in Cuba, but also a unique area that contains some 100 smaller lakes. Those taking part in a Cuban bird watching tour will be pleased to know that the park is home to an incredible 172 species of birds, which belong to 42 different families. Of these, 84 of the species are migratory, while 11 are endemic to the island. Marine experts also surmise that the Guanahacabibes Peninsula is home to four of the seven remaining marine turtle species living on our planet.

The archipelago Jardines de la Reina can be found about sixty miles south of Cuba’s central coast. This coral reef measures nearly seventy-five miles in length, making it the world’s third longest coral reef! The archipelago includes some 250 different virgin islands, which visitors will learn are home to crocodiles, turtles, jutias, and iguanas. The scene under the waters in the area is incredibly diverse and beautiful, with sponges and coral covering marine walls. Numerous species of fish can also be found here, even at fairly shallow depths, as the reefs offer a natural source of protection and shelter.

Sierra Cristal National Park. Situated in both the Sagua de Tanamo and Mayari municipalities in the southern part of the Holguin Province and established in 1930, this is the oldest national park in Cuba. The highest peak in Holguin is found here, as the Pico de Cristal reaches a total height of 4,265 feet. Pine forests are found throughout the mountains here, and are home to the Caribbean Pine, a tree that can ascend to heights of up to 98 feet! The research center located in Pinares de Mayari established back in 1988 helps to monitor the region’s ecology. Bird watching Cuba tour participants will find that Sierra Cristal is home to the Cuban Solenodon, an endangered species.

Turquino National Park (sometimes called Sierra Maestra National Park) is situated right in the center of the Sierra Maestra Mountains. This park features the highest peak in the whole of Cuba, as Pico Turquino measures an astounding 6,480 feet in height. The geography of this park is quite mountainous, and the flora is incredibly diverse. Nature tour participants will enjoy the incredible rain forests, the arborescent ferns, and the magnificent Sierra Maestra pine trees. The fauna of the area serve to match the flora in diversity and grandeur, however, and reptiles, birds, mollusks, and other creatures create a unique array of life that would be hard to find in any other location in the world.

US- CUBA School Travel

United States of America Schools for Resource and Environmental Studies, Wildlife Conservation, Earth and Marine Sciences and others can organize a for-credit structured educational and research program to Cuba under a General License. Under such a program professors, students and staff can travel to Cuba legally to conduct research on resource and environmental issues as well s wildlife conservation.

Authentic Cuba Travel® specializes in working with US Schools and Universities in creating custom-made structured courses and educational field trips to Cuba that meet the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) Cuba travel regulations, while also meeting the curriculum criteria, learning goals and the needs of your university, college or school. Our one-of-a-kind nature programs will provide insights into Cuban environmental & wildlife conservation while still being immersed in the historical, political and cultural aspects of Cuba.

Here’s what Professor Professor Jeffrey Ashley from Philadelphia University says about his experience:

From a instructor's viewpoint, I was particularly impressed with how local experts played a pivotal role in the learning experiences of my students at each of sites. Our students loved the variety of activities, sites, and experiences they had, from visiting an urban 'organoponico' in the suburbs of Havana, to hiking the remote ecosystems of the Guanahacabibes National Park in the most westerly part of Cuba. Our students have described the experience as a 'once in a lifetime' experience and the 'highlight of their undergraduate education'.

Notes on Cuba's Nature

Worldwide recognized as the Caribbean island with the greatest biodiversity, Cuba’s ecosystems are also among the most well preserved. Showcasing more than 200 protected areas and 6 UNESCO Biosphere Reserves, animal life contains an incredible 15,000 animal species, 350 bird species and over 600 recorded plant species making the island nation an authentic destination for Cuba nature and bird watching tourism in the Caribbean basin. Read More...
Cuba Education Travel Site


Notice to US Conservation Universities, Colleges and Schools with Forestry and Wildlife, Marine Ecosystems, Fisheries Ecology and Environmental Conservation Departments and Programs:



In January 2016, the US Government announced further enhancements to the 12 categories of authorized travel to Cuba that previously required a specific license (this is, lengthy applications to OFAC). Now travel to the Caribbean island is allowed under a general license (this is, self-completed paperwork with no application to OFAC needed).

After President Trump’s policy change on USA Cuba travel on September 24, 2020, the General License for Educational Activities remains in place. Accredited U.S. graduate or under graduate degree-granting institutions; U.S. Academic Institutions; and U.S. Schools can organize and sponsor an educational trip to Cuba for their students, faculty and staff under the General License for Educational Activities, provided that the trip meets OFAC guidelines; and that an employee or other representative of the organization escorts the trip to make sure such guidelines are followed by all participants.

US Conservation Universities, Colleges and Schools with Forestry and Wildlife, Marine Ecosystems, Fisheries Ecology and Environmental Conservation Departments and Programs; and other Academic Institutions from USA can organize and sponsor a trip to Cuba for educational activities. The purpose of the Cuba travel should be for:

_ the participation in a structured educational program offered for credit as part of a course of the sponsoring institution;

_ educational exchanges sponsored by Cuban or U.S. secondary schools involving secondary school students’ participation in a formal course of study or in a structured educational program offered by a secondary school or other academic institution, and led by a teacher or other secondary school official are authorized. This authorization allows for participation of a reasonable number of adult chaperones to accompany the secondary school students to Cuba.

_ attendance at non-commercial academic seminars, conferences and workshops related to Cuba sponsored or co-sponsored by U.S. academic institution.

_ non- commercial academic research related to Cuba for the purpose of obtaining a graduate or undergraduate degree;

_ the participation in a formal course of study at a Cuban academic institution provided that credits will be accepted toward the student’s graduate or undergraduate degree;

_ participation in a 10-week structured educational program in Cuba as part of a course offered at the U.S. institution;

_ participation in a formal 10-week course of study at a Cuban academic institution, provided the formal course of study in Cuba will be accepted for credit toward the student’s undergraduate or graduate degree at the U.S. institution;

We take care of all details both in North America and in Cuba, including VISA and flight arrangements to Cuba's main destinations via USA ports (Miami, Tampa, New York, Los Angeles, or other) or through third countries like Canada and Mexico. Authorized US organizations can travel through a third country subject to the same restrictions and requirements as those flying directly from USA.

At Authentic Cuba Travel®, we have been organizing such educational and cultural travel experiences from the United States of America for years with great success.

Check Our Most Popular Cuba Study Trips

Most Popular Cuba School Programs!

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