A destination like no other, Cuba. This small communist island is hot right now, everyone wants to travel here before it gets inundated with tourists and the country becomes ruined with high rises. As Lonely Planet says “CUBA, is old-school cool.” The impact of tourism could help restore the historical buildings decomposing daily and help the country come back to life after sitting dormant for so many years. This country, as they say, is “trapped in a time warp”. Expect the unexpected when traveling here and leave your assumptions at home. Get ready to experience more than just white sandy beaches; untouched forests, swamps infested with crocodiles, coffee plantations which haven’t been worked in years, and famous rugged mountains to explore. Go with an open mind and embark on new adventures when visiting this untouched land with a magical culture.

 

 

For me, Cuba has always had the allure a forbidden fruit. I love it for its uniqueness, creativity and survivalist spirit; but, above all, I love it because, despite 60 years of setbacks, it remains an upbeat and open place. Walk down the street with a Cuban friend and, within one block, you’ll have received five handshakes, four kisses, three greetings of ‘dime hermano!’ and at least two invites into someone’s house for a cafecito (or something stronger). I’ve been lucky enough to visit 75 countries worldwide, but Cuba will always be my número uno.

Brendan Sainsbury

Writer, Lonely Planet

How to travel to Cuba?

Travel became restricted to Cuba back in the 1960’s. The Blockade was formed after Cuba nationalized American-owned oil refineries without compensation. Due to the economic issues, air travel to Cuba from the United States was near impossible. American credit & debit cards do not function in Cuba either.

Things are beginning to change; now you can register with the U S Government and receive a special licensing. These include family visits, professional reasons, journalism, educational tours, religious or cultural programs, and humanitarian projects.

See full list here: https://cu.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/local-resources-of-u-s-citizens/traveling-to-cuba/

 

Cruising to Cuba?

Another option on getting to this historical country.

These days you have many options on cruise lines:

  1. Royal Caribbean
  2. Viking
  3. Pearl Seas
  4. Fathom
  5. Viking
  6. Norwegian

 

Most lines spend 2 days in port so it gives you plenty of time to soak in a guided tour, try some authentic Cuban food, drink rum in the streets while taking Salsa lessons, or try one of many cigar shops and belly up to the bar.

 

Where to stay?

People to People Programs

For Example from Cuba Tour Planner- Havanna Getaway

Overview
Experience the best of Havana with its glorious architecture, fascinating community projects and welcoming people on this 4-night getaway. This people-to-people program will allow you to interact with local people from all walks of life to truly understand this island nation. Visit a community project involving residents of all ages, learn about Havana’s recent preservation projects and history. On this Havana Getaway, you’ll get a taste of Cuba that will make you want to go back for more!

Tour Highlights:
-Panoramic Tour of Havana
-Antique American Cars Ride
-Old Havana Walking Tour
-Salsa Lesson
-Cuban Cocktails Demonstration
-San Jose Craft Market
-Hemingway Home Visit: Finca Vigia
-Community Day Care Center
-Day Trip to Las Terrazas
-Private Artist Workshops, Studios and Gallery Visits
-Jose Fuster’s Community Art Project
-4 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 2 Dinners

Since you aren’t able to fly in direct to Cuba, you are met at the Miami International Airport

 

What’s included:

-Meals as indicated in the itinerary
-Activities and visits indicated in the itinerary (except optional excursions)
-4 nights accommodations at Havana hotel
-1 bottle of water per person per day (500ml)
-Welcome cocktail or non-alcoholic drink
-Tips and gratuities for programmed activities
-Transportation with Driver per itinerary
-Tour Director Services per Itinerary
-Cuban Local Guide Services per itinerary
-Cuban Medical Insurance (excluding pre-existing conditions)*
-Group arrival and departure transfers for group flight arrivals and departures only

Before or After your guided tour, your travel agent can arrange for you to stay at one of many All-Inclusive resorts on the beautiful island of Cuba. These resorts have been hosting the Canadian population for years and it has always been good reviews.

Check out the #1 rated hotel out of 314 in Havana

Royalton Cayo Santa Maria, such a beautiful resort.

 

 

Where to eat?

San Cristobal Paladar

Looking for just the right ambiance while visiting Cuba, look no further…Best wait staff, food is bursting with flavor, and the atmosphere is everything you have imagined while visiting Cuba. Don’t be surprised by the reasonable prices on the menu either, this restaurant hits everything on the checklist.

Location:

San Rafael, La Habana, Cuba

www.paladarsancristobal.com

Where to buy the best cigars?

La Casa del Habano

This picturesque shop sits in Havana’s famous neighborhood of Miramar. Within several feet of the entrance, you can smell the aromas of the tobacco. The ambiance, deep rich Cuban coffee, and the bold rum which is free-flowing will entice you to take a puff.

Located inside is 96 lockers where clients store cigars they intend to age for future smoking. Several smoking rooms beautifully decorated and a full-service restaurant.

Address: CD, La Habana, Cuba
Phone: +53 7 2144737

Let’s go Explore the untouched country of Cuba. Call me for details, would be happy to help plan your destination vacation.

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