What kind of hoops would I have to jump thru to go

by Laconicdan, Monday, October 23, 2017, 13:49 (364 days ago) @ Gringo Viejo

Several years ago my wife and I went from Cancun to Havana without seeking
approval from any US authorities, It was an incredibly interesting trip and I recommend it. I would note that it is not a Cuban stamp on your passport you have to worry about. Rather, when you leave Mexico it gets a stamp and when you return from Cuba it gets a stamp. Thus it shows you have left Mexico and returned without evidence of where you were. When you go back to the US a careful agent would note this and ask. You cannot lie to US officials. Thus if asked you need to fess up. While our agent was preoccupied and did not notice the situation don't count on that. I understand that while there are potential penalties for entering Cuba without US permission they are rarely invoked.
On the money exchange do yourself a favor and convert your US dollars into Canadian money. There was a 10% surcharge for US dollars on top of the ridiculous exchange rate to get the tourist currency which is all you can use in Cuba. Tourists may not use local currency. Also aside from the airport there were only two places I could find to exchange money. One big bank and the basement of the Hotel National. Good luck.

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