Life, Culture and Travels from the perspective of a Cuban
Been there, done that!
Categories: Trips

I get a lot of questions from Canadians who want to visit Cuba for the first time. Is it safe there? Do I need a vaccine?  Is the food good? Is the silver as cheap as in Mexico? Have you heard of this hotel? Can you find me a tour guide in Havana?

Cuba is cheaper than Hawaii, Europe or even travelling within Canada and specially if you live in Ontario or Quebec a flight to the Caribbean is short and convenient. During winter the trip to a warm place is only four hours away.

I can almost read the faces of those that will go to Cuba once in their lives to never come back. Many of those will return home without knowing or wanting to know what Cuba really  is so I try to reply depending on people’s interest when they travel.

If you want to go to a resort and enjoy the beach I would probably recommend Cuban beaches but not resorts. Why? Cuban ocean is incredibly beautiful. I have not yet found a replacement. The resorts are a different story. I like to repeat that you will not find a variety of anything there. Do not expect strawberry cheesecake or something as common as apples everyday. You will get what they have and can serve at the moment and be thankful for it because you are eating better than most locals.

I cannot explain how some hotels are rated four stars when they are really two or three for world standards.

Sometimes I answer politely: you cannot choose Cuba if you want Starbucks. Sometimes I answer with a smile because I have realized they have been there without doing their homework and I am not in the situation to teach History.

My most sincere tip? Do not waste your precious time and money if you are not looking for the culture, history, the music, the people because you will not find material luxuries there.

Going to Havana or any other city will give you the real experience but it is more expensive. With the money you need to buy your ticket to Havana you can purchase an all inclusive package for a resort in Santa Lucia, Camaguey. But if you are the type who does not care about resorts then you are on my sidewalk, save some more pocket money and go to the genuine Cuba, do not return home without seeing.  You will never wonder why they do not have lamb or steak at the resort restaurant and will always have memories from the big Island, even if you never come back.

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