Here’s Why 2017 Should Be the Year You Visit Cuba

Here’s Why 2017 Should Be the Year You Visit Cuba

Cuba is open for business. OK, so it always has been, although until recently Cuba and the US weren’t really what you could call friendly. But now there has been a handshake and a new understanding, and the tourism sector of Cuba is going to reap the benefits. But it was always possible to visit Cuba (it was somewhat more complicated for any American friends who might be reading this, but not impossible). If you haven’t already been to Cuba, well… what has taken you so long? Sure, there will be more people visiting the island than ever before, but this isn’t a bad thing. All these visitors are not going to change that quintessentially laid back atmosphere that the county is known for, and in fact all the necessary infrastructure for tourists will continue to improve. There will be more accommodation options, more places to eat and drink, and even things like accessing the internet (once a major annoyance in Cuba) are becoming much better. So if you needed more convincing, let’s look at some reasons why 2017 should be the year that you experience Cuba for yourself.

It Looks Exactly How You Think it Will

Have you seen all those photos of bright and vibrant buildings that, OK, might not have the refinement that they once did, but are still stunningly beautiful with a dishevelled charm? Sometimes you’ll arrive in a new destination and think that it doesn’t really look like it does in the photos you’ve seen. This is really not going to happen in Cuba. It looks better than it does in the photos, and this beauty is everywhere. Those buildings are just as exciting and as magnificent as they look in the tourism brochures. No filter needed!

Time for Some Drinking and Thinking

Not to alarm anyone, but did you know that Cuba experienced a shortage of beer in 2016? It was just one of those annoyances, and in this instance it was simply that an increasing number of visitors kind of drank the country near to dry. The authorities have mercifully stepped up production so that this catastrophe will never happen again! But this is a part of Cuban culture. It’s not as though everyone is getting intoxicated every night, but a cold refreshing alcoholic beverage on a warm evening is part of the Cuban experience. Whether it’s a beer under the stars or enjoying a mojito or daiquiri in the country that invented them, you might be disappointed to leave Cuba without enjoying a night of bar hopping (with salsa music playing in the background, naturally).

The Passion of Sports

While soccer (yes, yes, call it football if you like) is the preferred passion throughout most of the Spanish-speaking world, this isn’t really how it goes in Cuba. Soccer is not an unknown sport, but Cuba is the land of baseball. And boy, do they love it. Take in a professional game if you can, or just make your way to Havana’s Central Park to watch casual games… with a lot of passionate arguments amongst the spectators. It might seem a bit over the top, but once each side has strongly made their point, there’s a shaking of hands and everyone gets back to watching the game.

Cigars are Part of the National Culture

We don’t want to encourage smoking, but cigars are part of the cultural fabric of Cuba. These beauties are born from the tobacco that grows in the lush fields around Vinales (and a few other places), before being dried in an aromatic shed designed for the purpose. They are then shipped to a larger city before being (mostly) hand rolled. You might hate the smell of cigarettes, but the pungent scent of Cuban cigars is something that you will always remember.

Your Stomach Will Thank You

Cuban food used to have a bad reputation. Vast quantities of meat, rice, and beans… this was about all your could expect. The situation is happily changing, and the number of sensationally inventive private restaurants is on the rise. Whether it’s traditional Cuban cuisine with a fusion twist, freshly caught and cooked lobster, or even something as exotic as… sushi, you will be able to find it. OK, so we know that sushi isn’t something all that rare, but the influence of foreign cuisines on the Cuban dining scene is a fairly recent development.

The Warmth of the People

This could easily be a list of 20 reasons you will love Cuba, or even a hundred reasons. But if we continued too much further, this article would take you several days to read. So let us conclude by saying that one of the best reasons to get yourself to Cuba as soon as possible is the people. The locals are warm and friendly, and while there are many reasons to love Cuba, the people you’ll meet are likely to be your favourite part of your trip.

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