I feel so fortunate to be able to recount one of the very best Travel Journeys of a Lifetime – my recent short 5-day travel adventure to Cuba. And yes, it was every bit as fascinating, educational and exciting as you may imagine Cuba to be! And though I went just days prior to the latest restrictions put in place by the US Government, I could not be more pleased to say that you, and any another American, can still legally travel to Cuba with your own Private Guide and Driver to experience the real authentic Cuba exactly as I did. Or you can take part in a week-long small group tour. So be sure to read my other recent blog article to find out exactly HOW you can legally travel to Cuba. For now, I want to share some of the highlights of my trip to visit Cuba with you.
Arriving in Cuba could not have been easier. The Southwest Airlines flight from Tampa was supposed to be an hour and we arrived in about 55 minutes. I was the only one at the counter to get my visa, so it took no more than two minutes to pay the $75 and I was on my way. Immigration in Havana was a breeze, although I did get lucky as we were the only flight arriving. So, after a short delay to get my luggage and go through Customs, I was with my guide, Pedro, and exploring Old Havana by 10:00 in the morning! Of course, the first thing you notice is the brilliantly colored classic American cars from the 50s and 60s roaming the street, mostly as taxis and being used for tours.
I’m a cigar aficionado, so I spent a day going out to Pinar del Rio and the town of Viñales to experience the world’s most fertile tobacco fields. Highlights were taking a tour of Cigar Factory, stopping for a cold beer to witness the spectacular scenery of the mogotes (karst hills), and smoking a hand-rolled cigar and drinking rum with Benito, the owner of a small tobacco farm. It could not have been any more of an authentic Cuban experience!
Of course, I strolled all the famous plazas and learned every detail of the history from Pedro who is like a walking encyclopedia of historical facts and knowledge. I visited the small fishing village of Cojimar made famous by Ernest Hemingway and his fishing tournaments. I also toured his house where he wrote several novels and saw his boat that he would take overnight from Key West to Havana. And I had always wanted to stay at the Hotel Nacional and it certainly did not disappoint. The grounds are beautifully manicured and super expansive. There was a wedding on one of the evenings and the backdrop of the Caribbean Sea and famous Malecon was perfect. The hotel is probably one of the best people watching spots in all of Havana and there are even tours offered since it is a historic monument.
I don’t know what will happen between our two governments in the future so I could not be happier about having the chance to experience the treasures of Cuba. And my advice to you is if you even have the slightest interest in going to Cuba, go NOW! Give me a call and I will provide whatever advice and information you need so we can plan your legal Travel Journey of a Lifetime to Cuba!
More information for your bucket-list travel to Cuba:
Take a look at our Best of Authentic Cuba tour package.