Cuban girl in red

What To Expect As A First Time Traveler To Cuba

New, low fares to Cuba are prompting many people who never considered going to Cuba to take the leap and experience the island nation while it retains some of its nostalgic quality.

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.

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The best way to go to Cuba is on a tour or with one of the small cruise ship operators that call on multiple Cuban ports. Here is a simple and easy directory of tour company offerings for Cuba, including some cruise ship options.

Any any case, Cuba is unlike the rest of the Caribbean in terms of the level of development in its tourism industry. The best business and luxury hotels in Havana can be very expensive and/or not available. As an alternative, try finding an Airbnb that has a history of positive reviews. And don’t forget about Cuba’s many other cities outside Havana. Here is a guide for getting around Santa Clara.

Havana has been described as one of the most musical cities in the world because so many Cubans know how to play instruments.

Cuba Rumba Drummers
Cuban Rumba Drummers

If you decide to plan a solo trip, here are some resources to help you plan your trip:

What is the deal with U.S. travel restrictions? Cuba is the only country in the world where Americans are subject to travel restrictions. It’s a legacy of the Cold War and has almost nothing to do with the current situation. Cuba’s crime rate is much lower than the U.S. crime rate so its not about safety or crime. Getting a Cuban tourist visa to enter Cuba is as easy as paying $50-75 to purchase one from your airline at the airport. There is no need to apply or wait. Check with your airline about specifics. On the U.S. side, it’s easy to comply with the travel restrictions. While “vacation” is technically prohibited, people can easily travel to Cuba under one of 12 categories approved by the U.S. government. Most people travel under the so called “people-to-people” category. This means you are traveling to Cuba to: engage with people like artists, explore Havana’s amazing architecture, taste Cuban rums, or take a salsa lesson – as long as it involved interacting with Cubans. You can self-certify your compliance with U.S. travel rules by filling out a one-page form at the airport and giving to your airline or cruise company. Here is more detail U.S. travel restrictions in Cuba.

What To Expect As A First Time Traveler To Cuba was last modified: March 15th, 2017 by Cuba Journal