VIVA LA CUBA
The long awaited Cuba post… it’s here. I had the pleasure of venturing to the beautiful country before someone (Trump *cough cough) ruined it for everyone. Although newly instated regulations make traveling to Cuba a bit more rigorous, the trip is completely worth it. Now, literally everyone and their mama are traveling to Cuba, and I mean everyone. Back in 2016, Obama lifted the outdated Cold War trade embargo on the country and Americans began to flock to this once forbidden place. So now that you have the facts, here’s my Cuba run down:
Flights and that Damn Cuba Airport
Earlier this year flights were insanely cheap to Cuba ranging from $250-300. Due to new travel restrictions, I believe you can no longer purchase flights directly through an airline, but a travel agency instead. Definitely do your research with the new travel restriction in effect.
I CANNOT NOT NOT NOT NOT STRESS THIS ENOUGH... have everyone's flight itinerary. Once you land, you cannot make phone calls or text messages, NOTHING. There are two terminals that U.S. flights fly into and you need to catch a cab to get to them. My friends and I landed at the same time but at two different terminals... so it took us basically 6 hours, two panic attacks and a miracle to find each other. Worse come to worse fly together or establish a meeting point once you arrive because once you land it's like you're in 1990 with no cell phone.
Varadero vs. Havana
In my honest opinion I wish we stayed in Varadero for the majority of the trip. It's a little touristy but you get more bang for your buck. It just gives total vacation vibes were as Havana is nice for the cultural aspect but there are some not so great neighborhoods and not as much to do except wander around the city. To sum it up, Varadero is fun as fuck! The Havana club down the street, played Future and Migos, which is always a win win in my book. We actually split our stay into two parts spending two days at an all inclusive resort in Varadero. SO FREAKING WORTH IT. The Barcelo Solymar Resort seriously was like a continuous party the entire stay. All food and drinks are included (make sure you request to stay on the newly renovated side). They also have snorkeling, sailing and paddle boating included with the resort on their private beach, what more could you really ask for.
Ok so the food in Cuba in general isn't that lit especially on the resort. The resort had one really good restaurant but it was only open for specific hours. HOWEVER, we did a ton of research and found the best food places to eat in both Varadero and Havana (more than enough listed in the itinerary). We had dinner at some of the most expensive places in Cuba and by expensive I mean about $20-30 a meal. Food on average is about $5-8 a meal. We had dinner at the same restaurant as Jay-z/Beyonce and the Obamas and it was fantastic! Who knew I would have the best tikka masala of my life in Cuba. You have to make reservations ahead of time and it's called La Guarida. In varadero you can get fresh lobster right on the beach from a little shack and we had dinner at Al Capone's beach house.
Cuba legit has a zero crime rate. We walked back and forth from the club to our resort by ourselves in varadero at 5am and no one bothered us. Police/military are actually very present in the city as well (havana). Safety shouldn't be a concern.
We planned on catching a bus to Varadero to Havana and vice versa for $10 but we were in a rush so we just took a cab. The cab was about $100-$150 but it was worth it. They drive you directly to your hotel. Try to finesse my any means because they will quote you high ass prices. If you know a little Spanish, use it, to bargain with them.