Over the past year, I’ve conducted careful research in order to create the upcoming Cuba People-to-People Multisport Adventure (available in both February and December of 2017). I did a lot of reading, checked out blogs, and spoke with many people who have already traveled there to get their perspective as Americans traveling to Cuba. In my discussions, one of the main recurring themes was that you should leave your expectations of what Cuba is going to be like at home.
We all have our preconceived notions. When we think about traveling to Cuba, we think of antique cars from the 1950s, colorful yet dilapidated buildings, and lively music. We don’t expect all of the creature comforts that most people living in the United States have become accustomed to as Cuba is still a developing country. We know there are still government run and regulated restaurants and businesses that offer the same exact products from one place to another. And we know we will have to travel with a government issued Cuban guide while we are on our tour. But there is a whole other side of Cuba that is just waiting to be explored!
Until the late 1990s, it was illegal to run a privately-owned restaurant, also known as a paladar. Even after that point, paladars were under strict regulations on what types of food they could offer, who they could hire, and even the number of seats available in the restaurant. In 2010, the government started to revise the regulations and began allowing a much more diverse and appealing range of paladars. Personally, I am very much looking forward to tasting the new and innovative flavors and cuisines that are now being developed.
Interested in traveling to Cuba with us? There’s still room on the February and December 2017 trips!
Another aspect of Cuba that I believe most Americans forget about is its staggering natural beauty. We mostly picture the city of Havana and almost forget that Cuba is a Caribbean island full of stunning coastlines, incredible mountains, spectacular waterfalls, and intriguing rock formations. Cuba also boasts miles and miles of the healthiest, unspoiled coral reef in the Caribbean. Though we have a focus on the cultural side of Cuba as this will be a people-to-people tour, we will have plenty of opportunities to explore its natural wonders while hiking, biking, and snorkeling.
It may still be hard to put our expectations aside when traveling to Cuba, but I for one will be going with an open mind and open eyes to take in all I can and to enjoy everything that Cuba has to offer.
Stay tuned for an update once we’ve returned from our inaugural Cuba People-to-People Multisport Adventure this coming February.