[Mon 6 May, 13:49]
PST (Gumly Gumly -17)
Cuba best and safest way - (10 replies)

I'm planning a trip to Cuba for one week in June. I will be leaving from New York so I was wondering if someone can help me with some information to avoid custom problems when come back to the US.What's the best way, Mexico? I understand that I can't bring anything.I also understand that I could ask the authorities in Cuba not to stamp my passport but is that really works?. What about travelling with just my birth certificate and a photo ID, is that possible??..Muchas gracias!!!!!


[Mon 6 May, 14:26]
PST (Gumly Gumly -17)
1. FAQ

This is the most gfrequently asked question. Scroll back- much info.


[Tue 7 May, 10:12]
PST (Gumly Gumly -17)
2. Toronto

Toronto is your best bet.


[Tue 7 May, 12:25]
PST (Gumly Gumly -17)
3. not Toronto

Mirabel, Montreal is the best and closer to New York.


[Tue 7 May, 19:35]
PST (Gumly Gumly -17)
4. cuba questions

well, i don't know who told you you can't bring anything. I bring everything from school supplies to soap and this time I even brought a baby car seat for a friend. One time I brought a computer. I would bring my allotment of a couple suitcases, trying to bring things for the people there. They have trouble getting anything. I have been 5 times and never told anyone not to stamp my passport they never do. The cuban workers know that americans cannot have their passports stamped. They love the tourist dollars and don't want to get us in trouble. Anyway, that's how I see it. Have fun!!


[Wed 8 May, 05:54]
PST (Gumly Gumly -17)
5. NYC to Cuba

I just returned from Cuba and I am in NYC. I have been there a few times before. Toronto is OK but US Customs like to mess with people there, questions, check your lugage etc. I also went thru Mirabel and is OK also. This last trip I had the chance to go thru Santo Domingo using American Airlines frequent flyers miles (30K for a free R/T) and what a difference it is. Is a bit of a side trip but it is worth every munite of the 2 hour lay over. Tourist in the NYC hit DR by the truck loads and it is very common to see an American such as you or me going to DR. I took flight 619 @ 7:30 AM arriving there @ 11:20 and connecting to Cubana @ 1:00PM and by 3:30 I was in Havana drinking a beer. I the way back, I left Havana @ 9:00AM and by 4:30PM I was home in NYC. Customs don't mess with americans here because we don't bring nothing important. DR passengers are been picked up on by the Customs because they like to bring foods, lots of bottles of rum etc. If I was you, I do Santo Domingo. I am returning in October for 7 more days of fun. If you have any questions, contact me @


[Wed 8 May, 10:06]
PST (Gumly Gumly -17)
6. very simple

I have many, many clients in NYC and they ALL go through DORVAL, Montreal (not Mirabel) or Toronto. Price from NYC to Montreal/Toronto is about $180 tx incl. Price from Montreal/Toronto to Havana is about $400 USD icl tx and TC. TOTAL COST comes out to about $580 and no one can beat that.

Some people even drive to Montreal (5 hours and a great place to be in the summer).


1. Don't bring back any souvenirs from Cuba.
2. Remove all Cuban luggage tags
3. Lose your Cuba tickets.
4. If your passport was stamped in Cuba or in Canada (upon re-entry) MAIL IT back to yourself.
5. Use a certified/notarized copy of your birth certificate with photo ID to re-enter the USA.
6. Overnight and leave at a time when there are no scheduled arrivals from Cuba.
7. Never admit to having been to Cuba. If you follow these steps US Immigration will have NO PROOF and no proof = no possibility of conviction.

Note that you preclear US Immigration at Canadian airports.

Carlson Wagonlit

[Wed 8 May, 11:06]
PST (Gumly Gumly -17)
7. customs

i did puerto rico -> dominican republic -> cuba & reverse on return trip- it worked great, i had a cuban stamp in my passport, US customs didn't bother looking through my passport, but that was before 9/11. getting into cuba, they hassled me a little bit, checked my bag & asked me questions etc. but on the way out, there was nothing- the customs people in cuba have no problem not stamping your passport- i forgot to ask on the way in, but on the way out, i asked them not to stamp it, and they smiled a bit and didn't stamp it- at any rate, if i've heard correctly, it isn't technically illegal to Go to cuba, it's illegal to spend money there- but that may be semantics if they try to bust you. bush is trying to crack down on illegal travel to cuba, so i would recommend being more careful than i was.

have fun


[Wed 8 May, 16:21]
PST (Gumly Gumly -17)
8. Forget Mirabel

It used to be the airport you HAD to use: VERY INCONVENIENT, if you were flying into DORVAL (where most US flights to Montreal were routed). Waiting for a shuttle you might miss your flight - the $50 cab ride & an extra 45 min. to another fricken airport waaaaaaaay out of the city was annoying & costly. Who even flies out of Mirabel now? Most Cuba-bound flights from Montreal leave from DORVAL, no? I'm sure the other posters mean well, but US travelers should forget Mirabel altogether(unless you drive up there).

In my own experience, US Customs in Montreal or Toronto is the same: no one gets "busted" (arrested) at either gateway, for unlicensed Cuba travel. The 'harassment' is just 'unlikely, routine questioning,' and nothing a mature tight-lipped INFORMED Cuba traveler cannot deal with.

I've seen nothing of substance to indicate that "Bush is trying to crack down on illegal Cuba travel" : on the contrary, EVERYTHING suggests the status quo remains effectively unchanged...
Please, anyone: feel free to illustrate otherwise - with something more than vague innuendo culled from a fax-job (hack article), thanks.

Carry no compromising 'proof', answer no Cuba questions, and sign/confess nothing. Know your Rights as US Citizens!

Customs/OFAC and their silly little "allegations" can kiss my *ss! LOL

"El Torro"

[Wed 8 May, 16:37]
PST (Gumly Gumly -17)
9. Only a brief comment

There is no reason to rekindle the stamping issue, but prospective first time US visitors shouldn't expect their passport will not be stamped just because they ask the immigration officer not to do it.


[Tue 28 May, 13:29]
PST (Gumly Gumly -17)
10. New FAQ!

though i don't know if i got this question (ha ha ha).

BTW- it's a total crapshoot if you get checked or not (outside of Florida). Sometimes they don't even bat an eye, while other times they'll grill you even when you REALLY HAVEN'T been to Cuba! I'll look for more responses to add to the FAQ...

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