Chosen as one of the hottest tourist destinations over the last few years by the New York Times, Cuba has been getting a lot of attention since the re-establishment of diplomatic relations with the United States started in 2014. If you are wondering what all the fuss is about, here’s a few reasons for you to make the trip.
* A living museum of old cars
You will hardly find another country with so many old American cars in use, owning the streets as if it was 1959. Take pictures, ride all kinds of models, and talk to the drivers to hear about all the tricks they’ve come up with throughout the years to keep the cars rolling, without access to the original spare parts.
* A place frozen in time
Cuba is an eclectic combination of goods that survived past decades, from the 1950s to the 1990s, with the occasional state of the art smart-phone or laptop. You will find all kinds of functional relics, repaired over and over to make them last for as long as possible. From clothes to electronics, from vehicles to buildings, you’ll be able to see what a country without a first-world consumer culture looks like.
* Great weather
If you like to spend your vacations in regions with great hot weather, Cuba will not disappoint. With the exception of a few cool days in January, February and March, most of the time, temperatures will be high and the days sunny. At times, high levels of humidity can make the days feel hotter than they are, but you’ll hardly notice with the right combination of AC, swimming pools and beach trips.
* Cheap beer/drinks
Outside 5-star hotels and very expensive bars, beer is very cheap in Cuba. Local brands like Bucanero and Cristal can be bought for under 2 dollars in most places, or even for only 1 dollar at state-run stores. It’s not illegal to drink in public spaces, so it’s always safe to buy some for the road. Cocktails are not expensive either. Cuba takes great pride in its rum production, and it’s easy to find all kinds of drinks prepared with different types of Havana Club, the country’s top brand. Don’t miss the chance to try Cuban traditional cocktails.
* Beautiful beaches and landscapes
There is a plethora of natural places that are excellent for hiking and camping, especially near mountain regions. Caribbean beaches are renowned for their crystal clear waters and fine sand, and Cuba has some of the most beautiful in the region. From Viñales in the western part of the country to Guardalavaca Beach in eastern Cuba, you´ll have a broad variety of regions and landscapes to choose from.