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Want to go to CUBA?

New Trump Policy: What you need to know

As of Friday June 16, 2017, U.S. embargo’s back (sort of)

(It’ll take a couple months to implement)

If you’ve already planned your trip to Cuba or are planning to go in the next month, the new travel restrictions will not apply to you (yet).

From US Treasury website:

How will OFAC implement the changes to the Cuba sanctions program announced by the President on June 16, 2017? Are the changes effective immediately?

  • OFAC expects to issue its regulatory amendments in the coming months.
  • The announced changes do not take effect until the new regulations are issued.


Obama lowered the barrier to entry to go to Cuba…Trump reversed it. President Donald Trump is just trying to reverse as much as he can in relation to Obama’s Free Trade and Tourism Policy Initiatives. There are still ways for you to go, the government just likes to complicate things. 

  1. Americans can’t head to there as “tourists” (they technically couldn’t under Obama either) – just take an official tour (Browse that link, and make sure to pick one that the government will approve.
  2. U.S. companies aren’t allowed to to work with Cuban companies in the tourism space.

So, how can you go?

  1. Family travel
  2. Humanitarian Projects
  3. Religious Activities
  4. Public Performances
  5. Official Government Business
  6. Journalism
  7. Professional Research and Meetings
  8. Export
  9. Activities of private foundations or research for educational institutes
  10. Exportation, importation or transmission of information or informational materials
  11. Support for the Cuban People
  12. Educational Activities

More details on these travel types


Commercial Flights and Cruise Ships are still permitted to go to Cuba.

  • Spirit, Frontier and Silver airlines deserted their U.S.-to-Cuba routes,
  • Airlines such as JetBlue and Delta are continuing their service to the island


Easiest way to go: Book through a tour company (Insight Cuba or Intrepid Travel)


Resources for you:

More details on these travel types

June 16, 2017: Details from the U.S. Treasury on travel to Cuba

US Embassy info for Americans interested in going

Legal Cuba Explained



Rainbow Mountains – Zhangye Danxia Geological Formation

David and I recently visited the famous Rainbow Mountains, otherwise knows as Zhangye Danxia Geological Formation – near Zhangye, China.  These mountains look like they’ve been painted with broad brush strokes with lively colors zigzagging across the rolling hills (mostly in warm shades).  With each hill a new pattern emerges and across the range dozens of differing patterns can be detected.

There are many pictures online that depict additional colors (cool colors as well) and these are not all that truthful I hate to say…the mountains do change color slightly with different lighting (sunrise and sunset), but at all times of day they roughly resemble what I have captured in these images.

The mountains are truly remarkable and a one-of-a-kind experience.  The surrounding ranges do not resemble this color palette at all – and they almost seem to appear out of nowhere when you arrive.  It’s like a scene from a Dr. Seuss book, your eyes almost do not believe it 🙂  Oh and did I mention, we saw a real rainbow in the sky while exploring the Rainbow Mountains?  That was cool!

To get to Zhangye Danxia Geological Formation:

First travel to Zhangye, which is a town on the Silk road accessible from Xi’an, Pingliang or Jiayuguan.  Upon arrival in the town you can simply hop in a cab and show them the Google translation for Zhangye Danxia Geological Formation in Mandarin.  Any cabbie will happily take you out to the site (45 mins from the town) and wait for you.  The cab itself will run about $30 for 4-5 hours and the site itself is about $6/pp.  The site ticket includes admission and a shuttle bus that drops you off at the main viewing points (although you can additionally venture off on your own at any point in time as well).