Breezes Varadero, an all-inclusive resort in Varadero, Cuba’s resort area east of Havana, is pursuing American travelers despite regulations that prohibit leisure beach vacations for U.S. visitors to Cuba.
While solo travel to Cuba is now allowed, the White House still requires U.S. citizens to have an educational/cultural itinerary, just as tour groups are required to do the same in their people-to-people programs.
Sunbathing on a beach at a Cuban resort does not fit into the categories of activities approved for U.S. travel to Cuba. Plus, all-inclusive resorts are designed so the guest doesn't want to leave the grounds; they don't encourage guests to mingle and interact with the Cuban people, the prime purpose of the people-to-people exchanges.
However, the new rules for solo travel do not dictate where Americans must stay or the number of people-to-people encounters that are required during the trip.
Independent travelers are required to maintain a full-time schedule of activities that produce “meaningful interaction between the traveler and individuals in Cuba,” according to the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, which oversees the rules for Cuba visits by Americans.
“Breezes is merely saying that the hotel is open for business should an American want to stay there,” a spokeswoman said. She cited people-to-people itineraries offered by tour operators that include a stay in Varadero.
“Tours such as these visit Varadero regularly and stay at other resorts as well, so a stay at Breezes is just another option when exploring the region,” she said.
Stays at Breezes Varadero start at $120 per person, per night.