Understanding Cuba: What No One Talks About
If you are flying to Cuba or arriving by cruise ship, then the process is as simple as getting a Cuban Tourist Visa at the airport gate before boarding your flight or on the cruise ship before getting off at Havana usually the first port of call on a Cuba cruise. The visa is valid only for single entry and for days after the date of issuance. You are only given permission to stay for 30 days, but that can be extended for up to another 30 days once there.
If you purchase your Cuban Tourist Visa card through the airline or cruise line, insurance is included. Do note that all of this is subject to change , so check the current requirements when it comes time to book your trip. When President Obama was in office, he restored diplomatic ties with Cuba and, in the process, lifted some of the travel restrictions to the island.
Once that happened, many US airlines, as well as cruise lines, launched routes there. However, since that time, many airlines have reduced or eliminated service to Cuba. Virgin Voyages will sail there beginning in though no kids can sail with Virgin. The same price applies to both adults and kids. Spring, which in Cuba is between March and mid-April, is one of the most pleasant times of the year weather-wise. This time of the year is pleasantly warm and sunny with no humidity or storms.
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Before you travel to Cuba, and while in Cuba, make sure to keep an eye on the weather and watch for any related warnings. Eastern Cuba is prone to high heat, humidity and — at some times of the year — the threat of hurricanes. Pro Tip: While Cuba has tourists almost year-round, the months of July and August are the hottest, the most humid and have a high chance of hurricanes. Most people who travel to Cuba with kids head to the city of Havana or to Varadero, which is known for its beautiful beaches and all-inclusive resorts. You can find plenty of these casas on Airbnb at all price ranges.
Some casa particulars have pools, and some even include a housekeeper and chef. We stayed in a casa particular in the middle of Old Havana and it was perfect for our family. It allowed us to be immersed in the culture and interact with locals on a daily basis. If you choose to stay in a hotel instead, keep in mind that Americans are prohibited from staying in hotels owned and operated by the Cuban government.
You can use your up to 35, free night anniversary certificate like the one card members receive with the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card. If you need to bulk up your Marriott points, remember that Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer to Marriott at a ratio. There are so many things to do in Cuba. We only had five days there so we had to pick and choose what we wanted to do wisely.
We booked all of our excursions through a local tour company that was recommended by a friend. I found this to be easier and less stressful given the fact that we booked our trip the day before we left home. Our tour guide gave us a list of things we could do and I was able to easily pick and choose. She also arranged for airport pickup and drop off, which was great. There are several tour companies online that you can use to book activities if you prefer to have someone do it for you. If you prefer to book everything on your own, you can do so by reading tour company reviews online and recreating their tours yourself.
Also, Cubans in our experience are very nice, friendly and great at offering recommendations, so if you can always ask around and someone may be happy to guide you. On the other days of our trip, we walked around on our own. Take a salsa class: Cubans are well-known for salsa dancing, so what better place to take a class and learn the basics? Kids and adults alike will love dancing to the music and learning new steps. Play at a park : This was the highlight of our trip to Cuba. My kids really enjoyed playing with other kids at the park. Every evening, we walked to the park so that the kids could play together.
We ran out of cash because we underestimated how much we needed, so a family member had to send some to our tour guide for us through Western Union. Better to be safe than sorry; carry more cash not less.
Make sure to exchange your money to CUC at a bank before your trip or at the airport. Travel with items your kids are familiar with: There are times when kids cannot sleep without their favorite toy, or favorite bottle or something similar, and if this is the case in your family, do not forget to pack the items your kids love. Some of these things can be hard, if not almost impossible, to find once in Cuba. You can also find hotspots in newer local parks around town. These parks are a bit hard to locate on your own, however all the locals know where they are.
If you ask, someone will be able to guide you.
singles in cuba - Cuba Forum - TripAdvisor
Access is spotty so be aware that you may not be able to connect from these locations at all times. Pack light: Most Cuban casas houses have no elevators, and lugging heavy luggage through small doors and up the stairs can be a hassle. Download an offline map: Before heading to Cuba, make sure to download offline maps. Google Maps and Galileo Offline Maps are both great options. There is so much to do and so much to see. Cubans are genuinely nice people and kids in Cuba seem to love spending time outdoors playing soccer, riding bikes and gladly sharing their toys with my kids.
Cuban food is so yummy and affordable.
Classic Cars and Friendly People: Guide to Visiting Havana With Kids
The Cuban Revolution worked to erase class lines. However, over time, Cuban society has become increasingly stratified. A class of rich Cubans exists, as do very poor people, many of who are black. Many rich Cubans receive remittances from families in the United States; some also own private businesses, including restaurants and casa particulares. Cubans are warm with foreigners.
In these casas , families rent out rooms in their own home. Although each casa is different, many owners are friendly and interested in the lives of their guests. This is a valuable, first-hand experience for travelers.
Cubans speak Spanish; few are fluent in English. English, however, is taught in schools and many Cubans are familiar with some English words. If possible, try to speak Spanish with Cubans—they are typically very patient and understanding, and provide travelers with a good opportunity to practice speaking a new language. If they show interest in speaking English, give them the same courtesy and support as they have given you.
They kiss openly and are indulgent in their attitudes about sex. Women stare down locals and foreigners alike, making catcalls and kissing noises as you pass. The country is erotic and bold in its suggestions. After the Revolution, brothels were closed and prostitutes were sent to trade schools.
In time, Cuban women were jailed for suspected prostitution and banned from tourist hotels.
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These days, Cubans are allowed in tourist hotels although some casas may not allow locals to come inside , and foreigners can legally sleep with Cubans. Women will sometimes spend time with foreigners, who take them out to good restaurants and provide access to places that they would otherwise be unable to go. For many women, the ultimate hope is not cash but a relationship, especially one that would provide them with a non-Cuban passport and the possibility to leave the island. Thus, Cuban women and men, too , attempt to court foreigners with the hope of living the high-life in or outside of Cuba.
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Cuban Cultural Traditions. Cuban Santeria Practices. Cuba's Government and Economy. Development and Society in Cuba. Environmental Issues in Cuba. Food and Drink in Cuba. Getting Around in Cuba. Getting to Cuba. Hemingway in Cuba. History of Cuba. Holidays and Festivals in Cuba. Internet Access in Cuba.
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