If your bucket list doesn't say "visit Cuba", it may after reading this. Who knows if there will be a full on embargo (again) and we won't be able to go legally for another 56 years...
1. Trump Is Trying To Undo Obama, visit cuba
That president y’all voted for is undoing what Obama did faster than command-Z… (or control-z if you still use a windows machine, uugh). You know that one kid at the beach who gets mad that the other kid built a bigger sand castle so he walks through it? Like that. From 1960 - 2016 we (Muricans) couldn’t visit Cuba legally, until last year. Specifically he took away the people-to-people program which was like an easy-button to visit Cuba. He also created a long list of places it is illegal to patronize.
2. The 33rd Annual International Havana Jazz Festival
Hmm, let me see… YEP count me in! I got to go photograph this event in 2016 and it was simply amazing. When 5-time grammy award winning pianist Chucho Valdes opens up the show you know today’s gonna be a good day. It seems like everywhere you go in Havana there is jazz playing, there is someone dancing and the sound of distant waves can be heard lapping against the seawall. During our Content Creators Tour we will have jazz fest passes… boom.
3. The Journalist Loophole
Technically, it’s still illegal to travel to Cuba for tourism. BUT… there are currently 12 categories of people that can go to Cuba without a special license. One of those categories is names journalistic activity. Nowadays a journalist can mean many things, but writers, photographers, videographers and yes… even bloggers. If you are one of these you may be able to travel under a general (implied) license. Our Content Creators Tour is built around this loophole, erruh uhhh category.
4. They Have More American Classic Cars Than We Do
The flow of American metal stopped around 1960, but those amazing cars still live on today. Cuba is known for having expert mechanics that can fix antique cars, often times using creative solutions. New paint job? No problem. Convertible top? Say no more fam. They have classico taxis that you certainly have to ride around in, just to do it. You will smile the entire way between Vedado and Old Havana.
5. Airlines Are Not Feeling The Love
Back in August/September 2016 every major airline in the U.S. was legally able open up routes to Cuba, so most of them did. Options are great for us, so is competition. When they fight for our business prices drop, winning. But many airlines were caught scratching their heads when planes were flying half full so they began to cut their routes. After Trump’s announcement of more stringent rules for Americans getting to Cuba even more are cutting back. Recently Alaska Air has cancelled ALL routes. making it impossible to visit Cuba on their planes after Jan. 22, 2018
6. Ice Cream For 4¢ Per Scoop
Lactose intolerance be damned! So… there are two currencies in Cuba. One for tourists, and one for locals. $1usd = 25 CUC (Cuban convertible peso). If you are savvy and you can get some of their money you will be able to pay for certain things as a local, including ice cream! Go to Coppelia and pray that they have guava as a flavor that day.
7. Tell Grandma You'll Be Safe when you visit cuba
Cuba is very safe for tourists. Many of their laws are harsh on the locals but lax or even non-existent for tourists. I walked around at day & night with a few thousand dollars of equipment on me and never felt unsafe. Of course you will want to take the normal precautions of traveling abroad, but they genuinely want you to have a good, safe trip (so you tell other people about it). Check out Cuba's score on the global peace index, they rank considerably safer than the US...
8. Afro Cuban Culture
Black folks created salsa, let’s go ahead and get that out there now. Afro-Cuban rhythms such as Rumba, Tumbao and Marcha are rich in Cuban culture. There are also lots of other Afro-Cuban cultural aspects to learn about such as the food, religions, secret societies, and more! See you there.