For a long time, Americans were not allowed to travel to Cuba due to the conflict between US and the Latin American country. However, now that some of the embargo has been lifted, both countries are now ready to have a relationship. Among the things that recently opened is tourism.
As The New York Times mentioned, direct flights to Cuba are still pending approval by the Cuban government. However, once this is approved, it will be less expensive to fly into the South American country, considering that there will be no need to charter planes that take travelers from Miami to elsewhere before they can enter the country.
Ordinary tourism is still off-limits though, but there are several ways to get into the country. There are 12 allowable purposes, including visiting close relatives, academic programs, professional research, etc.
If your purpose for travelling is allowable, there are a lot of places to go. Among the points of interest are the Che Guevarra Mausoleum, Old Havana city center, the 16th-century star-shaped fort called Castillo de la Real Fuerza, and even the parks and lagoons at the Baconao.
For those who are interested in nature, backpacking and hiking is allowed at the Turquino National Park, which is a protected sanctuary that covers around 88.56 square miles of land. The park, named after the highest point in Cuba, has tropical rainforest habitats and pine forests as well.
For those who want to kick back and relax, Cuba is known for its white sand beaches, which means that there is always a place to lay on the sand. Some of the well-known beaches include Playa Esmeralda, Bahia de Naranjo Nature Park, and Pesquero beach.
Street life is also lively. Live music is everywhere and street food is a must-try. According to Buzzfeed, jazz music is big in Cuba, but there’s also son music, which is a definitive part of Cuban culture. Among the places to listen music is the popular Zorra y El Cuervo, or you can stop by the Association of Cuban Writers and Artists. For more cultural music stops, ask a local where to find son music or trova — they’ll be happy to help. Also, maybe try some street food along the way.
Cuba is fast becoming one of the top tourist destinations in Latin America and with that in mind, remember to be respectful of the country and its culture.
Maria Myka, Latin One
January 27, 2016