Cuba is the largest island in the Caribbean and has 40% more coastline than Florida – so it’s not going to be spoiled overnight.
But there is some truth to the notion that’s its changing in ways that are irreplaceable.
It makes a difference that Cuba is the largest island in the Caribbean, has the largest bio-preserve in the Caribbean, has by far the lushest diving sites in the Caribbean and has more history, art, cigars, rum, dancing, singing and architecture than the rest of the Caribbean combined.
Here are the three things you must avoid when going to Cuba:
- For a variety of reasons that are too mundane to get into, it is impossible for Americans to use credit and debit cards in Cuba. And for travelers from other parts of the world, your credit card may work in a theoretical sense but computer failure and/or internet connectivity may prevent you from using your non-U.S. credit card. Take plenty of cash.
- The large cruise ships offering day trips to Havana will present you with the same blandness that the cruise industry has cultivated in the rest of the Caribbean. If you are looking for a unique trip with a bit of adventure and wonder, you will be much better off with a small tour company or a small cruise ship that visits multiple Cuban ports and remains there overnight.
- For reasons that are beyond explanation, do not wait to buy Cuba’s fine rums at the airport. The airport stores are often out of stock or suffer from an unfortunate lack variety. Buy your rum in the city and pack it into your check luggage.
Here is a small group tour that uses private taxis, luxury private homes and a flexible iteneraries – and never any tour buses.