Edit: In June 2017 Trump reinstated travel restrictions to Cuba. Check with local laws before planning your trip to make necessary adjustments.
Since I went to Cuba I've received a lot of messages from friends and strangers asking how I, as an American, was able to get a visa and travel to Cuba. I was confused at first, but after the third or fourth person asking me I realized the info isn't so easy to find, even though it's extremely easy to get a Cuban visa now that Americans are allowed to travel there.
Since so many people want to know how to get a Cuban visa as an American, I thought I'd share how I did it:
Book a flight on JetBlue from San Diego to Fort Lauderdale. When booking the flight choose from one of the 12 reasons you are legally allowed to visit Cuba. I picked journalistic reasons, because I am here writing this blog about it. You can pick anything, most people go with support for the cuban people, or educational purposes. It doesn't really matter, no one will question it.
Once in Fort Lauderdale, upon exiting the plane, walk a few hundred feet to the JetBlue help desk and ask for a Cuban Visa. In March 2017 it cost me $50 and had to be paid with a debit or credit card, no cash. Tell them again, which one of the 12 reasons you can visiting Cuba, again no one will check or ask you anything. You wait around for like 20 minutes, because there's only a couple guys writing them up, and now ure on Cuba time. Get used to it.
Once you have it fill out your info and DO NOT LOSE IT. My friend lost his during the five hour layover and had to pay another $50 for a second visa.
We took the next 45 minute JetBlue flight from Fort Lauderdale to Havana, Cuba and used the same visa to come back on the return flight.
p.s. You can exchange you American dollars into Euros in Terminal 4 and then into Cuban pesos once at the Cuban airport. Some of this did it this way, some of us just changed American to Cuban and it didn't seem to make that big of a difference, even with the 10% fee. If you thought the visa line was long, wait until you see the money exchange line at the Havana airport. You may be better off exchanging it at a major hotel or money exchange business in town.