- Traveling to Cuba from Miami is very very easy. If you didn’t know, you’d think you were simply taking a flight to Chicago.
- If possible, travel with carry-on luggage. We waited for an hour and a half for luggage to come off the plane and make it to the carousel.
- Havana is old and in disrepair. There are some gems that have been restored or preserved, but for the most part, don’t expect to see freshly painted anything.
- It’s HOT. Cuba is hot and humid most of the year. When I asked one man when the weather cooled down–that is, “when is it winter?”, he said, “Well, there might be a couple days in January.” With that said, casual and light attire is accepted and normal. Shorts and sandals are all OK.
- Tropicana Night–a lovely and lively experience. You will want to dress up a little more for this evening. One thing to note: the best seat cost approximately 95 cuc/dollars and the show starts at 10pm.
- I was surprised to see 110 outlets in the hotel. This is helpful when it comes to thinking about adapters and electronics.
- The people are so friendly; smiling all the time and so grateful that we/travelers are coming. Business is booming as a result. One hotel manager told me that October is their slow season, but this year (2015), the occupancy rate was up to 95%. Continuing with that fact, I could not find any rooms in the historic downtown during the months of November, December or January. For that reason, I have found a beautiful villa that will serve nicely and give an entirely different experience.
- The food is good, plentiful, and milder that I expected. For some reason, I imagined the food would be spicier–more like Mexican. Paladars are locally owned (as opposed to most everything else that is State owned) and are just wonderful. These small restaurants are mostly in private homes and range from a simple to an elegant menu.
- As for shopping, there are many gift shops that carry similar Cuban souvenirs, but I spent my time and money in art galleries. Once you begin looking, you will see all types of art and all prices–some very, very reasonable.
There is much more to share and the most important thing I can say is that I can’t wait to return. This country is simple and complex, old and yet revitalized. It’s history is of turmoil and it’s future is of growth. I love Cuba!