Hey y'all 2 months no post ... I honestly needed a break to re calibrate and re focus and that included not writing for the sake of just releasing a monthly post. But i'm back hot off a trip to Havana Cuba. In this blog post I will be giving you the scoop in my regular format but also adding the truth about what to expect during a trip to Cuba .. no sugar coating just the real.
When to Travel
Cuba is hot year round so weather wise pick a month and go. We decided to go in September over labor day weekend which provided a lot of sunny days. You can find round trip tickets out of Atlanta GA for under $250.
my shorts can be found here
my earrings can be found here
Where to stay
We stayed in Central Havana at a place called Casa Densil which we booked via air b and b.This place was recognized by Vouge magazine as one of "The 8 Most Charming Places to Stay on Your Cuban Vacation". The host here were very welcoming and it is the only place in Cuba as of today where internet is included in your stay (don't get too excited more on this later). We traveled under the Visa of "support of the Cuban people" so staying at an air b and b or casa supported our visa. Casa Densil provided us with a comfortable stay.
How to get around
From the airport our air b and b host helped to arrange our airport pick up prior to our arrival which cost 30 CUC . CUC is the local currency used for visitors in Cuba. While in the city you are able to take a taxi, bus , their version of a tuk tuk , or walk . We did a mixture of everything. No you will not need to rent a car. The ride back to the airport was 25 CUC which our host also helped us to arrange.
My dress can be found here and earring here
Places to eat
We found a variety of places to eat while in Cuba prices for a meal varied from $6 to $25. Below are some of the meals we enjoyed plus a few pictures of our night out at La Guarida yes this is the same restaurant that was made famous by the Carter Knowles Klan . Keep in mind if you have dietary restrictions Cuba may not be the place for you as resources are limited and they may not have the particular item that you want off the menu on that day.
Ropa Veja from a restaurant called Able in central Havana my husband enjoyed this meal
My metallic nails are by impress manicure
My hair is our exotic curl collection and perfect for the heat in Cuba it can be found here
Things to do
Two of our favorite activities to do while we were in Cuba were going to the beach and visiting La Fábrica de Arte Cubano. we also took a hop on hop off bus tour around the city which was pretty cool too.
Admiring the Art at La Fábrica de Arte Cubano
La Fábrica de Arte Cubano Wall Art
my earrings can be found here my hair is our exotic curl perfect for the heat in Cuba it can be found here
Santa Maria Beach Only 25 mins from Havana
Lobster meal at Rancho Don Pep on Santa Maria beach ..only cost about $18
Hop on Hop off Bus Tour
my dress can be found here
The Truth about Cuba..........
The truth about Cuba is that they are not ready to receive guest. We spent 4 nights in Havana and this is the 1st trip we have ever taken where we could not wait to get home. Cuba lacks resources all around don't let the Instagram pictures fool you because what they wont show are they citizens waiting in line with buckets to get their weekly supply of clean water. To make a trip to Cuba go well you must plan what you will do daily because once you step out of your accommodations the struggle begins. There is no google maps available to tell you where to go and English is not their 1st language so getting directions wont be easy. When you do find someone that speaks English ...be careful we often found that the Cuban citizen were trying to take advantage of the guest ...lets just say they will panhandle you to the point of exhaustion. The country as a whole is in an extreme state of poverty. ( I have been to third world countries before but i have never experienced anything on this level) There are no grocery stores available to purchase basic necessities. The accommodation we had were good but this place is truly cut off from the world as we could tell via conversations with the host and although we had internet included in our stay it was extremely slow for example it took almost 5 hours for me to load a picture before I gave up .
I am super dark and my melanin did not pop here.
The good about the trip included being able to disconnect for 5 days and the day we spent at the beach.The bad is surely the lack of resources and lack of food .The ugly .... this breaks my heart to say this was the huge disparity in the way Cuban's treat each other and guest based on how dark their skin is ... I had a personal encounter on the last day of our trip where a man was asking me for money (I was fresh out of CUC btw since we were on our way to the airport) and when i did not engage in conversation with him because frankly at that point I was exhausted from being hustled and harassed he proceeded to tell me that he is a White Cuban and because of how dark my skin is he is better than me. Two days prior one of the local guides we met gave us a break down of the severity of the racism in Cuba in a nut shell he told us that the White Cuban's get the better customer facing jobs and more education than the darker skin Cuban's ...the ugly as you can tell was a very ugly experience for me.
Locals getting their weekly supply of clean water
Cuban Citizen catching dinner for his family from the Malecón
Children playing outside in Central Havana if you can pack some items that you can give away to them they will appreciate it.
Tips to make your trip go well
pack all your essentials face wash toothpaste baby wipes etc
bring enough cash ( your us cards wont work here) budget about $150 per day its not a cheap city
buy a huge jug of water to keep in your room
get a guide who speaks English
get a personal driver for your trip to pick you up and drop you off during your trip
bring board games trust me you will play them
bring comfy shoes ...we walked alot
prepare yourself for an excessive amount of panhandling
its hot and humid pack light clothing
internet access is not available ...prepare your mind to be disconnected
Go on a cruise where you stay in Cuba over night vs staying for a longer period of time
Thank you for taking the time to read my post today please feel free to leave a question , comment , or heart like below .
As always "may your next adventure give you more stories to tell" #jadoreworldtour