Cuba is one of those places I could go again and again and never get tired of it. It's a country I would happily talk your ear off of and a place I hope so many people will get to see. It's like stepping into the past, if the past was full of bright colors and backyard mojitos. There's something so charming about disconnecting and really embracing the people around you.
What to Expect
Official language: Spanish; from my experience, not many Cubans speak English. It is best to learn some helpful Spanish phrases to make your trip more enjoyable and to communicate with the locals.
Currency: Cuban Peso
Safety: Cuba is incredibly safe! Tourism is very important to the Cuban economy so crimes against tourists are minimal. My friend and I walked around the streets of Havana at 4 in the morning and felt safe. The locals are incredibly kind. Don't be afraid to ask them for help or directions since you won't be able to use your cellphone for that!
Cuba is one of my favorite countries. It is full of friendly locals, incredible beaches, and loads of fascinating history. I picked up several books on Che Guevara while I was there. Cubans do not have access to the internet the way that we do, so unless you pay for an additional phone service, you will not have much access to WiFi. I had no service my entire 2 week stay in Cuba. It was so refreshing! Remember what it was like to have to ask someone for directions instead of just plugging it into an iPhone? It's such a great way to connect with locals and practice your Spanish!
Cuba is not fully open to tourist from the USA and who knows if it ever will be, but it is still possible to get a Visa as an American.
Everything you need to know about getting a Cuban Visa as an American Many US airlines offer affordable flights to Cuba especially out of Florida since it's so close. From Florida, you can get to Cuba for about 100 USD roundtrip.
Best Time to Visit
Cuba's dry season last from December-May and this is a perfect time to visit. You will have clear skies and warm weather.
Where to Stay
While Cuba does offer many hotel options, casa particulars are a great alternative. Casa particulars are essentially private rooms rented out in a families home. They are a great option to save money, practice Spanish, and support local families. Many families make more money with their room rentals then they do with there other jobs, even as doctors, so it's a great way to support local families. Most families will offer home cooked meals for a small fee. We had some of the best food in Cuba at our casa particulars! You can find them all over the island and many families are in contact with one another. If you plan to leave Havana, ask the family you are staying with to contact a family where you would like to go. They will happily rearrange accommodation for you beforehand.