The late Fidel Castro, cigars, antique cars, tropical beaches, and Che Guevara are all images that come to mind when most people picture Cuba. But, Cuba is far more than Communism and cars. It is a country filled with warm people, stunning landscapes, and vibrant cities. After my recent trip to this island nation, I thought I would share my five reasons why Cuba should be at the top of your travel list.
Cuban people are warm, friendly, and quick to smile. Never have I been to a country and felt so welcome. From helping with luggage to making sure I was not lost, almost every Cuban made me feel like an extension of their family.
If you are planning a trip to Cuba and are eager to engage with local people stay in Casa Particulars. A Casa Particular is Cuba’s version of a bed and breakfast and staying in one will put you directly in the wake of Cuban hospitality.
Fresh, ripe, and home cooked are the only adjectives that can be used to describe Cuban food. From breakfast plates loaded with hand-picked fruit, homegrown eggs, and local ham to dinner tables piled high with rice, beans, slow cooked chicken, and soup, the meals I had in Cuba were a culinary delight.
If you are on the hunt for fantastic local food look no further than your Casa Particular or a busy Paladar (privately owned restaurant).
The Diverse Cities
I visited three different cities during my week long trek around Cuba. I visited Vinales, Trinidad, and Havana and each of these destinations were unique. The only commonality between them being that they were in Cuba.
Vinales was rural, small, and quiet. A place to go to unwind and relax. Whereas, Trinidad was musical, historical, and pulsed with nightlife. And on the other hand, Havana was multicultural, energetic, and filled with curious world travelers.
Each city in Cuba has its own special flavor to explore and experience so, make sure you visit more than one.
The Ease of Travel
Once you enter your first Casa Particular you can cease worrying about your travel plans. Casa Particular owners can arrange anything and everything or you. From meals, guided day trips, and transportation, to breakfasts and dinners, Casa owners will make sure you have a comfortable and easy trip.
The Photography Opportunities
Cuba is a photographer’s paradise. With a picture perfect moment around every corner, shutterbugs should bring quite a few SD cards with them.
I found the most interesting place for photo missions was Trinidad. The city is filled with colorful buildings, street musicians, horse-drawn carts, and everything quintessentially Cuban you could ask for.