I have never quite been to a place that has such a unique character. I spent a little under two weeks exploring several different sides of Cuba and ever since then I have been itching to go back. The people, the culture, the colours, the cars, the history —it’s a complete package. If you are in doubt for whatever reason, here are 10 reasons to visit Cuba.
1. Cuba is like nowhere else in the Caribbean
As a Jamaican traveller, I’ve had somewhat a fair share of exploring the Caribbean; Cuba is in a category by itself. During my visit, for the most part, I remember walking around Havana in awe. It is almost like a dream from decades ago. You know, vintage cars, quaint looking buildings from the 1950’s, streets lined with pastel-looking houses? From the moment you touch down in Cuba, you will be transported to a different era.
2. You Can Travel Like You’re In The 1950’s
Modern-day travelling is great! I am sure we appreciate the convenience and how easy it is these days. But, you’d like to put a spin on it and change things up a bit, you can travel like you’re in the 1950’s when visiting Cuba. Aside from the 16-century era that it the core part of Cuba, the vintage-style cars aren’t a thing of the past here. You can rent one and make you’re way around the city — vintage style!
3. Cuba Has Some of the Whitest-Sand Beaches I’m Yet to See
Being not only from the Caribbean but also an avid Caribbean traveller, the beach happens to my playground, which I love. During my visit in Cuba, I was all over. From Havana to quiet-quaint-towns in the south, to the tobacco hub in the north and of course to the coast to dabble in the ocean and catch the orange-ist of sunsets. One thing for sure though, the Caribbean has this one in common; pristine white sand beaches. However, the Cuban coastline happens to be one of my favourites. Here’s why…
Photo Courtesy of Transat
4. Life is Simple
There is beauty in simplicity. I find so much joy whenever I travel and life is so simple, yet beautiful. During my entire time here, I listened, I observed, I sat with the locals and have good chats. I wanted to see what life was about. See how they feel about their country. The way of life here is relatively unbothered. It is authentic and beautiful.
5. They Make The World’s Best Cigar
The town itself where the Tobacco is grown is absolutely stunning (as pictured below). The Cigar is one of Cuba’s largest production. It is sold worldwide and often used as a gift option to take back home for friends and family. The Cuban Cigar is one of the finest.
Just 2-hours north of Havana, you can visit a small town; Viñales. This is where the Tobacco is being locally grown and to add to that, if you are looking for a quiet-mountain-town put this destination on your list. Viñales is beautiful!
6. Cuba’s History is Fundamental
The history has craved the country into what it is today. It is powerful, it is thick, it is complex. It is more than just the shiny vintage cars and the colourful houses. Also, an interesting aspect of Cuba’s history is that, it is still being made.
7. It’s The Home Of Salsa
Salsa is the rhythm of Cuba. Salsa happens to be one of the most dynamic and important musical phenomena of the 1900’s. It represents a mix of Latin musical genres, though it is the main aspect in the Cuban dance music. It is vibrant and full of energy. During your visit, you can take salsa classes here. Anyone up for the challenge? 🙂
8. The World’s Best Rum
Whilst Rum is one of the main productions in the Caribbean, the Havana Club created in Cuba happens to one of the best-selling rum brands worldwide. Since the Cuban Revolution in 1959, Cuba has been supplying countries all over (with the exception of the U.S).
It is the main alcohol used in Cuban Mojitos and Cuba Libres, with Mojito being the nation’s oldest cocktail. I recommend you try a few during your visit. 🙂
9. Casas are Widely used In Comparison to Hotels
Casas Particulars are Cuba’s local Airbnb. During my visit, I at several Casas and I couldn’t have thought of a more authentic way to explore the country.
They are more prominent than hotels and are more widely used too. Without many initiatives on your part, you’ll almost definitely end up staying with a local family— and if you ask me it is the perfect way to experience a country.
10. Cuba Is Still Very Untouched- It’s Authentic!
Cuba is like walking into a photo frame once captured in the 1950’s. It is primarily known for its complex history, Spanish-colonial architecture and its vintage styled cars.
After the U.S imposed an embargo on the country in 1960, nothing has changed since then. The infrastructure, the cars, technology, for example. Today, Cuba is still regarded as the roads-less-traveled.
Read: Cuba Untouched
If you are looking for a destination to unplug and detach, Cuba is the perfect place for that. It is relatively WiFi free. While this might give travellers mini panic attacks, it’s actually one of the best reasons to visit Cuba. I am sure we’ve all talked about going on a ‘digital detox’, from time to time, but only when visiting a country like this are we are truly forced to take one.
Be sure to follow The World Up Closer on Instagram for more adventures.