Cuba Travel Tips & Tricks

Cuba is often considered the "forbidden Caribbean" island to most Americans. Just 90 miles from Key West, Florida until December 2014, this incredible island was restricted to US travelers.
Now that the travel restrictions have been lifted here are some useful tips for planning and executing a successful trip!

1. Take lots of cash because you can't use cards and it's difficult getting extra money. Exchange rate is decent but most places will take 10-13% for the exchange rate.

2. Few people speak English so brush up on your Spanish or get a translation app.

3. Do NOT drink tap water. Brush your teeth with bottle or run the risk of getting sick.

4. Havana is amazing but take a day trip or 2 out of the city. We went to Trinidad and Vinales and they were amazing!

5. Transportation can be expensive. I paid roughly $250 in taxis and transportation to and from both places. In hindsight I should have rented a car.

6. WiFi is sparce. You can buy cards and find Hotspot but I didn't even bother. Just enjoy being disconnected for a few days if you can.

7. Food was okay, nothing special unfortunately. Apparently communism also means lack of seasoning! I did have some amazing lobster in Trinidad.

8. We stayed in homes since hotels are few and super expensive. Air B&B were wonderful, very friendly and it was so nice to interact with locals.

Transportation

Taxis are the best option and depending on your destination and time of travel can be quite inexpensive, especially if you are splitting your fare. 

Places to Visit

Trinidad

Trinidad is one-of-a-kind, a perfectly preserved Spanish colonial settlement where the clocks stopped in 1850 and – apart from a zombie invasion of tourists – have yet to restart. Huge sugar fortunes amassed in nearby Valle de los Ingenios during the early 19th century created the illustrious colonial-style mansions bedecked with Italian frescoes, Wedgwood china and French chandeliers.

Declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco in 1988, Cuba's oldest and most enchanting 'outdoor museum' attracts busloads of visitors. Yet the cobblestone streets, replete with leather-faced guajiros (country folk), snorting donkeys and melodic troubadours, retain a quiet air. Come nightfall, the live-music scene is particularly good.

It’s also ringed by sparkling natural attractions

Twenty miles south lies platinum-blond Playa Ancón, the best beach of Cuba’s south coast.

Looming 18km to the north, the purple-hued shadows of the Sierra del Escambray (Escambray Mountains) offer a lush adventure playground with hiking trails and waterfalls

Vinales

When Pinar del Río's greenery starts to erupt into craggy mogotes (limestone monoliths) and you spy a cigar-chewing guajiro driving his oxen and plough through a rust-colored tobacco field, you know you've arrived in Viñales. Despite its longstanding love affair with tourism, this slow, relaxed, wonderfully traditional settlement is a place that steadfastly refuses to put on a show. What you see here is what you get – an agricultural town where front doors are left wide open, everyone knows everyone else, and a night out on the tiles involves sitting on a sillón (rocking chair) on a rustic porch analyzing the Milky Way.

Email me for specific names and numbers for taxis and tours!

Created By
Imani Cheers
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Created with images by Public_Domain_Photography - "cuba peace hand" • Lex Kravetski - "Cienfuegos, Cuba" • dwoodsi - "cuba havana habana" • bud ellison - from the street - "Architecture - Cuba" • dwoodsi - "cuba havana architecture" • PeterKraayvanger - "havana cuba auto" • neiljs - "Playa Ancon, Trinidad de Cuba" • Leshaines123 - "Cayo Levisa Cuba #leshainesimages #cuba #beach #dailyshoot #holiday" • AndreasPetzold - "cuba holiday caribbean" • Simon Matzinger - "Hungry water for paradise." • zoonabar - "Taxis" • flippinyank - "Taxi" • HellN - "Cuban Taxi" • Rinaldo W. - "Taxi Race, Havana, Cuba" • jodastephen - "Trinidad, Cuba" • Justin Otto - "Caribbean Sea, Playa Ancon" • hellosputnik - "IMG_1616" • Giåm - "2013-01-27" • samurai_dave - "IMG_5087" • samurai_dave - "IMG_5113" • samurai_dave - "IMG_5076" • samurai_dave - "IMG_5081" • dMz - "cuba valle de viñales mural de la"

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