Are you ready to experience Cuba?
If you’ve ever romanticized the idea of lounging in Old Havana, taking a long draw on a Cuban cigar and sipping a mojito, your time has come.
After 56 years, the United States and Cuba have agreed to brush away their lines in the sand and resume diplomatic relations. While it won’t open a floodgate of tourism just yet, the U.S. government announced that it expects to issue revised travel rules in the coming weeks.
You can be sure that AutoVenture is watching developments carefully in order to put together a memorable itinerary for its customers.
To date, Americans who wanted to visit Cuba could only go under very restrictive conditions, such as for professional, religious, or educational purposes. Other tightly regulated group tours were conducted for “people-to-people” trips that focus on educational and cultural interactions with Cubans.
But most of us have spent an entire lifetime never dreaming we’d have the chance to visit.
Cuba already is a popular vacation destination
The Associated Press reported that 124,000 Americans visited the country legally last year, and Quartz reports that Cuba was the second most popular Caribbean destination for international travelers during the first nine months of 2014. Travelers report that Cubans are welcoming and eager to share their country with visitors.
Here are a handful of the adventures that await those eager to discover the Caribbean’s largest island:
La Habana Vieja (Old Havana): You’ll journey back in time seeing all of the classic, 1950s automobiles zipping to and fro in this beautifully restored, colonial-era city. There are gorgeous fortresses, plazas, churches, cafés and, naturally, cobblestone streets.
Enjoy Afro-Cuban dancing: In Havana, walk the short alley, Callejón de Hammel, which is adorned with colorful murals and sculpture. On Sundays there is a famous celebration of Afro-Cuban dance and music.
The white sands of Playa Paraíso: On the western side of the island is a stretch of immaculate white sand caressed by crystal blue water. Bathers can walk hundreds of meters out into surf enjoying the perfect solitude. It’s just one of the many glorious beaches — both deserted and full of activity —on the island.
See where Fidel and Ché fought: Visitors can hike a trail through remote cloud forest up to Comandancia de la Plata, where Castro and Guevara hid out in the late 1950s while waging a guerrilla war against the Batista dictatorship.
Tour Finca Vigia, Ernest Hemmingway’s home: Hemmingway lived in Cuba from 1939 to 1960, and Finca Vigia is where wrote The Old Man and the Sea, A Moveable Feast, Islands in the Stream, and four other works.
In the near future, it’s expected that credit card and money transfer transactions will be commonplace, and airlines will begin regular flights to the island. Also, American hotel chains will be looking to establish a foothold to provide upscale accommodations.
While the details get hammered out with our new Cuban friends, AutoVenture will be hard at work, crafting an itinerary to get you closer to the Cuban culture. With AutoVenture’s expert guides, you’ll experience the best of Cuba in the most comfortable, stress-free and reliable way possible. Your AutoVenture chauffeured vacation will be one you’ll never forget.
As a side note, what’s really going to be interesting is seeing the influx of Cuban baseball players in America.
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We’ll have you sipping mojitos on a white sand beach in no time.
For those unfamiliar with Cuba, an AutoVenture guided tour is the surest way of getting closest to the culture, and of capturing an unforgettable land.
Starting Friday, January 16th, President Obama further eased restrictions on Cuba travel. It will now be easier to send money to Cuba, U.S. businesses will have more opportunities, and visitors can now spend more money and use credit cards while in Cuba.
Although typical vacation tourism still remains banned, AutoVenture will continue to follow these exciting developments and can’t wait to bring you closer to the Cuban culture.
Read more about exciting changes coming to Cuba.