Many people have been afraid to travel to Cuba due to all the media and "travel changes" from The White House. We did all of our checks to ensure we were still good to go. We had absolutely no issues entering the or exiting the country. We had the pleasure of taking 15 people to Cuba last week. This was our second time going in 6 months. The demand is real and we know why! Let us tell you...
On both trips we stayed in a luxurious two-story penthouse villa that boasts two private roof-top pools with ocean and city views. Located in the historic area of Vedado and directly on the famous Malecón with bars, restaurants, markets and hotels right around the corner our accommodations were in prime location. Comes with 24 hour chef, concierge and security. You can also book this residence directly through us for your personal vacations.
For the Foodies:
Cuban cuisine is a blend of Native American Taino food, Spanish, African, and Caribbean cuisines. Cuban recipes commonly share spices and techniques with Spanish and African cooking, with some Caribbean flavor influences. The unique blend of cultural influences results in strong similarities to the cuisine of the neighboring Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. A small but noteworthy Chinese influence can also be found in Cuban recipes, mainly in the Havana area. You may also find some Italian influence. During colonial times, Cuba was an important port for trade, and many Spaniards who lived there brought their culinary traditions with them
Here is a list of our favorite eats in Cuba:
Paladar Yuri & Nino El Campesino-
For the Vibes:
Fabrica de Arte Cubano is hands down one of the coolest places in Havana! Its a huge warehouse building filled with 3 levels of art, restaurants/bars and music music music!
There is something different to do every night with wall to wall vibes including live performances to rocking with Cuba's hottest DJs. Also enjoy local art and fashion shows. Entry is only $2.00 USD for locals and foreigners on any night. Get there early because the lines can get long. Being in a group we used our local guide to ensure we didn't have to wait. After enjoying an exceptional meal at Tierra Art we took in the art, drank and danced the night away. FAC is a must do in Havana.
For the Culture:
Cuba is known for its famous hand rolled cigars and the old ladies that smoke them! We loved going out to the Vinales valley to meet with the local farmers. They showed us the process of creating a cigar from seed to smoke. We've found these are the absolute best cigars to get as they are 100% organic. Imagine puffing a cigar dipped in honey overlooking the beautiful valley. This opportunity is one that should not be missed. We also had the opportunity to visit the shop that holds the world record for the longest hand rolled cigar. While there we met the Expert Cuban cigar roller himself, Jose Castelar Cairo, known as ‘Cueto’! He is currently attempting to break his own world record set in 2011. After setting his fifth world record, he said: “Cuba is the country where the best tobacco is grown, and as long as Cueto is around, Cuba will have the world's longest cigar.”
Take a step back in time as Cuba is literally a rolling car museum. You can spot a line of vintage cars lined up at an intersection just about everywhere in Cuba. This stuck-in-time feeling Cuba has generated is the result of a four-decade-long grudge the country’s late leader, Fidel Castro, held against the United States. Though the island floats only 90 miles away from Key West, Florida, Castro had placed a ban on foreign vehicle imports, making it nearly impossible to buy a brand-new, foreign-made vehicle. It also made it difficult to buy new parts and fuel for the old-school American cars Cuba is known for. As a result, not only do Cuban citizens drive vehicles straight out of the 1950s, but these vehicles are kept running through a hodgepodge of hand-built, improvised parts. If that’s not innovation, I’m not sure what is.
Here's a recap of some of the fun we had! Be sure to sign up for our next visit in 2019!