Why You Need to Visit Cuba Now

havana, cuba

So Cuba may not be at the top of your list when it comes to places you want to visit, but it might be at the end of this article. For one, Cuba is currently in a time warp since the embargo in 1960 when the U.S stopped all exports to Cuba except for medicine and some foods. Traveling to Cuba is like traveling back to the 1940’s and 50’s.

Due to this, the country has been untouched by Americanism and commercialism, but the relationship between the U.S and Cuba is starting to relax. I would hate to see Cuba overrun by tourism and commercialized, but we’ve already started to see signs of it. Pepsi is now available in city supermarkets and brand new ATM’s are popping up. It is still under the embargo therefore the country hasn’t completely opened up, but it is slowly changing in subtle ways. That is why NOW is the time to visit.

Cuba is quickly changing and many people are rushing to visit Cuba before Starbucks arrives and the old cars disappear.

It was only seven years ago Cubans were first allowed to own mobile phones or stay in hotels in their own country. It is only in the last four years Cubans have been able to sell cars and buy and sell homes. Only in the last three  years Cubans could travel overseas.  While we were there the cost of the internet card halved from $4 an hour to $2 — a big change given the average local income is just $40 a month.

And of course, here’s some other reasons why I believe you should visit Cuba.

1. The architecture

The nation’s buildings exhibit an unashamed assortment of styles, ideas and background influences. I think pictures speak louder than words in this case.

2. The vintage cars

Cuba vintage car.

Because of the embargo in 1960, Cuba hasn’t been able to import new cars into the country, nor could they afford it. That’s why the transport you’ll see (besides horseback and bikes) is from the 40’s and 50’s. They’ve been cut off for so long, most of the cars have even morphed into their own species. Go on and jump in a 1956 Cadillac, but turn the key and it probably has a Peugeot engine.

3. The Cubans

Cubans are known for being some of the friendliest and warmest people in the world. It is uncommon to meet a Cuban who is not outgoing and fond of festivals, music, and especially; dancing. Most Cubans find it very easy to joke around about almost anything, even hardships. They are patriotic and very passionate about their country. They’ll make you feel right at home.

4. The rum

I mean, you’re in Cuba, the home of the mojito, so I think it’s perfectly normal to live off mojito’s while you’re over there. Also, while you’re at it, take a peek into the Rum museum, also known as “Museo del Ron Havana Club”. You’ll come back knowing all about the production or rum, as well as an insight into Cuban history. Also don’t forget to stop by La Canchanchara, an 18th century bar with the same name as its famous cocktail, a honey-infused variation on the mojito.

5. The beaches

Cuba is very well known for it’s idyllic postcard beaches, and the most famous are Varadero and Cayo Largo. They’re lined with palm trees, white sand and crystal clear water. And yes, water sports are available. Diving, snorkeling and canoeing are among the most popular.

A few helpful links…

Have you ever been to Cuba? Is it on your radar?