Reasons to Travel to Cuba and Ways You Can Do it in 2017…
1. Explosion of Color and Contrasts
Cuba is a feast for the eyes. Whether you arrive via plane or cruise ship, you will be immediately shocked. The bright palate of colors plays against the stark cement buildings and streets in disrepair. One minute you see a rainbow of buildings all vibrant Caribbean colors from yellow to blue and red then the next is a dilapidated building having lacked maintenance for fifty+ years. Cuba is a shutterbug’s paradise.
2. Classic American Cars
They are the first thing most people think of when they imagine Cuba. The once forbidden island is like a rolling museum with pristine 1950’s American cars in every color of the rainbow. If you have watched the TV show Pimp My Ride, you will feel that Cubans have one-upped the show. It is quite common that many travelers become classic car paparazzi, shooting picture after picture and video of these amazing spectacles. One of the best souvenirs for yourself and fellow travelers is a convertible car ride. Treat yourselves to a forty-five minute to hour recorrido (tour of the city). Remember to always arrange the fare with the driver before.
3. Art Communities, Galleries, and Museums
Whether paintings, mosaics, or sculptures, you find art around every corner in Cuba. Cuba is an artistic hotbed showcasing the island’s unique spin on every form of art. You must see it with your own eyes, but until you do. Enjoy some of my favorites in Havana (Fusterlandia above and Muraleando below)
4. Salsa, Son, Cha Cha Cha y Más
The dynamic sounds and complex rhythms of Cuban music are world-renowned. Going to Cuba and not experiencing its music would be a sin. So don’t be a sinner. Go to at least one show. Almost all towns have a Casa de la Música (Music House), which has live music and DJs most nights. If you are in Havana, you will have many choices from the famous cabaret, Tropicana, to Buena Vista Social Club shows. If you fancy pure jazz, head to the Jazz Café or El Cuervo y La Zorra.
5. Roasted Pork, Rum, Cigars, and Cuban Coffee
One of the best ways to know a culture is experiencing it via your taste buds. Cuba is no different. The most popular dish, which every Cuban family cooks for special occasions, is roasted pork. Accompanied by staples of beans and rice and perhaps calabaza (squash), the delicious, slow-roasted pork is moist, falling of the bone, and worthy of seconds. To wash down such a meal, try a Cuban rum cocktail whether a refreshing mojito or a lesser known cocktail made with honey called canchánchara. As a finale to any meal, order a strong Cuban coffee. For those that want to savor the best of the cigar world, ask for a Cohiba cigar.
6. Value of the Moment
The most important reason to travel to Cuba is to experience the culture’s approach to happiness. This is by far the most valuable lesson that I have taken away over the last five years. In spite of hardships in every way, shape or form, the Cuban people have persevered by adapting, working together, and not forgetting that regardless of the situation they still have the moment. In the face of adversity, Cubans typically spin it and tell a joke, realizing they have very little control over an accident, a boss’ mood, or even their DNA. However, they take control over what they can, the moment, by joining a friend for coffee, laughing at a joke amongst family, or watching the world go by from the town plaza or seawall (Havana’s Malecón seen above).
Ways You Can Do it in 2017
- Without buying a ticket, taking off from work, or other, you can get a copy of my most recent book, Cubicle to Cuba. You will virtually travel with me to Trinidad, Cienfuegos, Bay of Pigs, Viñales, Varadero, and more. Through it, you will learn about Cuba’s history, culture, and even laugh at some my funny stories from the last five years on the once forbidden island. If you can’t find time to read, I have narrated an audio version. So, there are no excuses.
- Adventure with Me to Cuba October 15-21st – This October, I’m leading a private tour to Cuba for my readers, friends, and fellow adventurers. It will be an intimate group of roughly twenty travelers starting in Miami and flying to Cienfuegos. We will visit Cienfuegos, Trinidad, and Bay of Pigs before our finale stop in Havana. We will be staying at hotels in Cienfuegos, right on the bay, as well as in Havana where the Rolling Stones slept for their concert last year. We will be escorted by local, expert guides for educational lessons about history, culture, dance, music, cuisine, and cocktails. Check out the details of this amazing adventure October 15-21 and reserve your spot for only $300 here.
- All Aboard the LeadHERShip Cruise – In November, I’m partnering with the 5th Annual LeaderHERship Cruise and Sharon Frame. This cruise will be a mixture of business and pleasure with workshops aboard the ship and unforgettable cultural excursions in the ports. We will depart from Tampa, Florida and visit Havana for two days and Cozumel, Mexico for one day. Learn more by visiting this site. For those that book and mark, me, Heidi Siefkas, as the referral will receive a special gift that will be very valuable for your cruise.
Ready to go to Cuba? Don’t go without this!
Whether you travel with me this fall or do another trip, don’t go to Cuba without reading Cubicle to Cuba. It will save you a lot of headaches and lay the groundwork for a FUN adventure.
If you have specific questions about travel to Cuba, please comment below
Here’s to looking up!