You ever time traveled before? I know.. me neither. Cuba is truly like no other. I felt like I time traveled into the past and was stuck in the 70’s. The way some people were dressed, being disconnected from the outside world, the rustic buildings and cars. It certainly felt like something out of a movie. I went on this trip for “educational purposes only” which fell under one of the 12 categories for U.S. travelers. I found the flight for $200 round thanks to JetBlue and stayed in some of the finest thanks to Airbnb. I didn’t know what to expect from this trip because I got there on the day they were mourning the death of the late Fidel Castro. Due to his death most of the places were closed, the streets were somewhat deserted, and no one was allowed to drink until 12 am of the next day which honestly wasn’t a problem. It gave me more time to interact with the people of Cuba. Cubans really make the country what it is. They are very friendly, lively, have great hospitality and are very educated on their country. Feel free to make conversation with the locals if you ever intend on going because you can learn just about anything about the country from them. Money can be an issue if you are traveling here. Make sure to have sufficient funds for the duration of your trip because they don’t accept credit or debit cards. Americans get penalized when changing our currency into theirs. For instance if you change $1 USD you will only receive .87 CUC. That’s a 10% penalty and a 3% currency exchange fee so it may feel like you are getting beat in the head throughout the trip. So it may be best to change the USD into Euros or Canadian money to avoid this fee and get a better exchange rate. Cuba has 2 currencies; the Cuban Convertible Pesos (CUC) mostly used by tourists and the Cuban Peso (CUP) which are used by locals. Cuban money isn’t traded internationally so you can only change it when you get there. Luckily almost everything is very cheap out there. As far as the food is concerned I wasn’t too happy about the food. There are so many places to dine but you gotta find the best one and almost everyone you meet will make a suggestion as to where you should eat. Almost every other house you see you can find a paladar. A paladar is a restaurant where the food is cooked in someone’s home as opposed to state owned restaurants. The best choice of food here in Cuba is most definitely their lobster. It’s cheap and it tastes good! Everything else is really shaky in my opinion. Aside from the food there’s so much to do and see in Cuba that I wish I a stayed a little longer. From Museums, cab rides in old American cars, interaction with random locals, the lovely art all around and culture you’ll surely be in for an eye opening and humbling experience.
Big shoutout to Humberto & his wife for the hospitality, Gladys for the rides all over town, Tito for keeping us safe through the streets & showing us around town and Tony for dropping knowledge on us about this country.