On March 21, President Obama flew to Cuba to improve relations and, thanks to the recent civil aviation agreement that allows other Americans to fly there too, tourism is bound to explode. Before booking your flight, what should you really know?
There is a lot of talk about how much Cuba could and will change once tourism restrictions are lifted further. The embargo from the last 50 years has left a distinct and unique culture and experience unlike any other Caribbean destination. And to travel without a license you’ll need to go for one of 12 reasons deemed acceptable by the U.S. government and provide an itinerary.”
However, you still cannot book a flight or a vacation to Cuba like you would any other Caribbean destination. Legally, U.S. travelers still must book their travel through a company that has been granted the required license and visa by the Cuban government.
One of the simplest ways to see the nation is to book a people-to-people educational program with a company that provides these experiences. Take advantage of special excursions that allows the traveler to enjoy the diverse offerings of Cuba, from the breathtaking architecture of the region to samplings of authentic Cuban flavors. These programs also have an educational component That allows you to learn more about the people, history and culture of Cuba. Americans now have the opportunity to select a shorter vacation package, which can be two nights and less regimented. The package includes a comprehensive guidebook that allows you to roam more freely on your own. I still highly recommend having a guide, though, as you can see and learn so much more.
Also be aware that while the Wi-Fi is getting better, it is not the same as in the States. Also, cash is still the main currency. There isn’t much infrastructure for credit cards or ATM cards, so Americans should be prepared to have cash while traveling.
On the fun side, when planning your itinerary, there are several must-sees such as visiting the cigar factory, the famous Christopher Columbus cemetery, a visit to Hemingway’s house and of course, Old Havana is beautiful with its cobblestones, cathedral, shops and restaurants.
Have I peeked your interest? Why not come along with us to Cuba next spring? We will be escorting a group to Cuba on a people to people adventure next March. For more details, be sure to visit our website and request more information.