American Guide to Cuba Vacation

 

Cuba is an amazing travel destination situated roughly 100 miles off the American coast. It offers an opportunity to travel to the lost age. Travelers who haven't been to this country are picturing a vintage 1950's car rolling against the degenerating Spanish-colonial structure. Perhaps they are also seeing the majestic coastline and the streets filled with traveling musicians during their Cuba vacation. This is definitely one of the most interesting parts of the Caribbean. If you are planning to travel to this country, it is important to understand the complex and profound history and its current political situation.

 

Things You Should Know Before You Take Your Cuba Vacation

 

Cuba vacation

Cuba, on its present-day, is an interesting mix of old history that dates back to hundred years ago and the record of the past decades. History plays an important role in defining the modern state of Cuba. In 1960, the US imposed a trade restriction against the country of Cuba. Due to this, Cuba vacation has become limited to Americans by more than 50 years. This regulation has prevented most Americans from exploring this stunning country. Fortunately, things are starting to change now.

 

Three Ways an American can Travel to Cuba

 Cuba people to people tour

Despite the restriction, an increasing number of Americans are taking their Cuba vacation. Originally, there were three ways you could accomplish this dream vacation.

 

·         Special License- If your reason for traveling to Cuba falls under a specific category, the US Government will allow you to sign up for a special license. Some valid reasons include humanitarian programs, cultural programs, religious programs, journalism, professional reasons, and family visits.

 

·         People to People Tours- There are organized tours that the local Cuban citizens offer. The tours commonly involved relaxing on the pristine Cuban beach and enjoying educational Cuba travel. Typically, the travelers will talk with the school and volunteer for a project. This is like a legal loophole used by travel agencies to sell Cuba vacation.

 

·         Foreign Gateway- Americans can 'illegally' travel to Cuba using a foreign gateway. This means that the travelers will need to travel to Mexico or Canada first before heading to Cuba. 

 

Updated Rules for the Americans

 Cuba travel

Last January 2015, Americans are no longer required to apply for a special license to fit a certain category. This streamlines the whole process of getting into Cuba vacation. Technically, it is still illegal for Americans to go to Cuba. However, no one seems to be imposing these restrictions anymore. The increasing number of American travelers shows that more people travel freely to the country. In addition, the amount of Airline companies offering a flight to Cuba from the US (American, Frontier, Delta Airlines, Spirit, Southwest, JetBlue) shows how Americans can now travel conveniently to the country.

 

If you plan to go on a Cuba vacation and have additional questions, we encourage you to post your questions in the comment section, and we will be willing to answer your concerns.

 

Questions You Need to Ask When Going to a Cuba Vacation

 Cuba people to people tour

Apart from the majestic shores and the commanding mountains, Cuba has managed to captivate many tourists through its unique culture and tropical pleasures. Travelers who want to experience the nightlife will enjoy the afro-Cuban jazz of the city, and the sun-worshippers will appreciate the pristine and turquoise waters during their Cuba vacation. If you are from the US and the travel restriction prevents you from experiencing this stunning country, you may join people to people tours or get a special license. Here are some of the answers to the most common questions of people who want to travel to this Caribbean destination.

 

How do I Get a Cuban Visa?

 

A Cuban Visa can be purchased at the waiting line or the check-in counter before your Cuba vacation. It will be given as a separate card and not be attached to your passport. The tourist visa can cost roughly $20. The Visa can also be processed contingent upon the airline company you are flying with. For instance, Southwest will process your Visa for $50 and deliver it right at your doorway. On the other hand, United Airlines will allow you to purchase the Visa at the gate.

 

How Does the Immigration Process Work?

 Cuba people to people tour

Generally, the immigration process in Cuba is so simple. If you are in Havana, you can tell an officer that you are traveling to the country and place a stamp on your Visa (rather than your passport). This has been the standard procedure of the country for many years. This will prevent you from getting into trouble due to the imposed restriction of the US Government. This means that if you take the foreign gateway, your Cuba vacation will look like a vacation to Canada or Mexico. However, people who received a stamp on their passports did not receive any penalty or punishment from the government.

 

How Do You Exchange the Cuban Currency?

 Cuba people to people tour

The debit and credit cards that an American financial institution issued will not be accepted in Cuba. This means that when you get to your dream Cuba vacation, you will be compelled to bring in a significant amount of money. On average, your travel to Cuba will be comfortable by having a budget of around $50-$100 daily. Cuba has dual currency. They have CuP (Peso) that the locals are using and the CuC (Convertible Peso) for the tourist. Tourists who are exchanging their money will receive the CuC. Remember that there are at least 10% service charges for tourists exchanging their foreign currency.

 

These are just some of the answers to the most common questions that you need to know to make your Cuba vacation exciting and fulfilling. The solutions are specifically geared towards the Americans who have existing travel restrictions from the government.

 

Things to Do in Cuba Vacation

 Cuba vacation

Cuba has a fascinating history. You have to visit the entire 265 museums, 70 theatres, and 120 galleries of Cuba before you even have a slight idea about the vast history of Cuba. When you are done visiting popular landmarks, you can grab a glass of mojito and relax while reading the coolest things to do in Cuba vacation.

 

In Cuba, Street Dancing is Normal

 

Dancing in the street might sound crazy to most of us but not in Cuba, particularly Callejon De Hemel. The sound of the pounding of the rumba and the live music will draw you in, and you will find yourself dancing on your favorite moves in no time. You will be enjoying the colorful and vibrant music of the Cuban and will have a sort of a friendly match with a local. It would be great to visit the place every Sunday but get enough dancing practice as this is one of the coolest things to do in Cuba vacation.

 

Rolling your cigar

 Cuba travel

Cuba is known for the unparalleled quality of its tobacco. If you happen to be in Havana, you might want to have a visit to their cigar factory and learn how to roll a cigar like a pro. You can join an exclusive tour and visit the Partagas, which will cost you a 10CUC as an entrance fee.

 

Look at the Camera Obscura

 

Have a view of Cuba using the Camera Obscura made by Leonardo Da Vinci. It will give you a different view of the streets of Havana. You can experience it by paying 2CUC on the edge of Plaza Vieja. Having a warped view of Havana is definitely one of the coolest things to do in Cuba vacation.

 

Dress like Che Guevarra

 Cuba vacation

Souvenir shops all over Cuba will certainly have an item that resembles the outfit of Che Guevarra. Santa Clara would be the perfect place to find a souvenir since it is the defining point of the revolution. You will be able to find Mausoleums of other revolutionary armies that fought behind Che Guevarra to end the oppression of Batista.

 

 

Drink Mojitos...more mojitos

 Cuba travel

When drinking a mojito, see to it that it is blended with the original Havana rum for a satisfying experience. Drink a mojito on Hotel Nacional where Sinatra, Alcapone, Winston Churchill, Nat King Cole, and Ava Gardner had a drink once. But if you want to experience how mojitos of the locals taste, you may want to search for Monserrate. If you can't find it, follow the sound of a live band playing, and your feet will take you there.

 

Marvel around the cemetery of Christopher Columbus

 Cuba vacation

This might sound like a boring suggestion, but the effort put into constructing the Cemetario de Colon makes the sightseeing all worth it. The intricate design of the tomb is a sight to behold. You should get a tourist guide to get the best experience. It is not the usual tourist destination, but this is certainly the coolest things to do in Cuba vacation.

 

Things You Need to Know During Your Cuba Vacation

 Cuba people to people tour

The US has an existing travel restriction to Cuba, preventing other American tourists from considering this Caribbean destination. Unfortunately, they are missing many things, such as the vibrant cities, commanding ranges of the mountain, the stunning waterfalls, and the wildlife-rich and immaculate forest. There are different ways that an American can get unhampered access to Cuba, such as going on people to people tours. By traveling to the country, you will understand the profound Afro-Caribbean culture and travel back to the lost time by walking on the cobbled streets adorned with faded Spanish-colonial structures. Here are some things that travelers will need to consider before taking their Cuba vacation.

 

Accommodations

 Cuba travel

Many resorts and hotels in Cuban cities are popular among the tourists, such as Varadero, Trinidad, and Havana. However, most of the accommodation options in those cities will not be cheap. If you are going on Cuba vacation on a tight budget, the best option will be the Casas particulares. It is similar to the guesthouse; it costs only $20-$30 and mostly includes breakfast. An authorized Casas particulares should be registered by the government. It can be challenging to look for this type of accommodation since they don't have an official site. You only have to walk around the town and ask about its availability.

 

Cuban Transportation

 Cuba travel

There are different transportation options in Cuba; you can either take the bus system, rent a car, or through a vintage car. The government of Cuba is running a bus that is particularly intended for tourists. Viazul is offered all across the country. The tickets can be availed at a very affordable price, but unfortunately, you can't purchase them online. Aside from that, the most popular route of Cuba vacation will also sell a lot faster.

 

On the other hand, renting a car will not be easy (not to mention that it is expensive). Make a reservation 2 days ahead of your Cuba vacation to book a vehicle. Renting a car will cost around $80-$90 per day. Finally, if you want a luxurious way to travel, a vintage car can also be rented in Cuba, but it will also be expensive.

 

The Internet

 Havana cuba

Based on the survey, Cuba is considered the least connected country. However, this does not mean that there is no available internet access. Remember that the government is imposing strict internet censorship that prevents you from accessing anti-government blogs. You can purchase Wi-Fi cards for $3 per hour during your Cuba vacation. This is a scratch card that will provide you with a username and access to the ETECSA network. Additional hours can be purchased at your hotel, but they will cost higher. Internet is quite slow, but it will allow you to access your Facebook account.

 

During your Cuba vacation, knowing these essential matters will make your travel experience more fun and convenient. If you want to know additional travel information, be sure to keep posted on our future articles.

 

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