Cuba was the exact trip i needed to end the year. Visiting Cuba lifted my heart and soul. I’ve travel to several different international and local places., and each place brings a sense of either fun, risk taking or just relaxation. However, Cuba was different it educated, challenged and helped rebirth the new Cody . Cuba took me to a place within. Hard to believe right, well that i didn’t expect it but it happen. It made me appreciate being in the moment. I made me look at the people and be proud of working hard and being independent. The culture made me smile when they mistake me for Afro-cuban. Lastly the travel group was a different people coming together and creating a unique bond with others.
Im not a historian, usually my travel experience is to take in the visual and just take a risk. However i learn about Cuba’s history more than i ever knew. Its more than communism (i’ll let you do the research on that) . Thanks to our great historical tour guide from Amel with Eyewitness Cuba Tours.
My top things you should know:
1. Have your money ready to exchange!- No American money accepted. I repeat no American money accepted. We were fortunate to have our exchange done at our beautiful Airbnb mansion home. However there are places you can exchange money in Cuba, such as banks and independent exchange locations. We were unable to exchange money at Miami airport. Finally they will tax you for any exchange so for example $1 can equal to 97 cents in Cuba money. Yes taxes are high
3. Get ready with being disconnect from Internet. There is limited access to internet with the access of either a internet card or some hotels provide Wifi. Bottom line you buy a card and may only get an hour. It took almost 30mins for me to upload a picture on FB, and IG. I was done. I just took pictures, save my snapchats to memories and used WhatsApp to let my family know i was okay.
3. Weather- Was perfect. Just right. We went in December so it wasn’t one of the hottest months but it was warm. I wore sun dresses, shades and my big hair, long hair don’t care! All good with weather but please keep in mind of tropical storm seasons.
4. Beaches- Didn’t get a chance to visit it, but we heard Trinidad had some great beaches.
5. Cubans- One word- “Beautiful” “Flawless” Seriously there skin is so clear and glows with there own natural magic potion. Barely saw females with makeup and their skin was impeccable. The men!! OMG Handsome is an understatement. Can i keep it real? Cuban men are sexy!! They were humble, a bit flirtatious, which is not unlikely with hispanic men.
6. Food- I love the food. We had breakfast at the home. Lunch and dinner was at different local restaurants in old and new Havana. We went the same restaurant Jay-z and Beyonce visited. I had a lot of Seafood, Rice, beans, Cuban Sandwiches……etc… Yes carbs was everyday for me. But food was good. For my peep who love to partake on alcoholic beverage, try the Seven Presidente., super premium rum.
7. Nightlife- During my time in Cuba Fidel Castro recently passed. The country was mourning him which means certain places could not play music or serve alcoholic beverages for 8 days. Luckily for us we did get some music and fun towards the end of our trip. Go to Cabaret Tropicana, best nightclub.
I suggest to visit while it is still authentic. Get your visas prior to day of travel. You have to declare a reason for your visit.