EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT CUBA
This guide is a Guest Post by Claudia, a Sardinian girl specialized in Central and South America. You know that I seldom publish any guest posts on my blog, but this guide is a massive resource of tips if you are planning a trip to Cuba, and since I’ve never been there (yet) I thought it was a good idea . I split it in chapters and pages so that you can skip from one to the other easily! Enjoy!
I travel. A lot. I have lived in 2 continents, I have visited 3. I have a passion – shall we call it obsession? – for anything Latin American. Needless to say, Latin America is where I normally aim to travel.
Yet, when I arrived in Cuba I quickly realized that this is not just Latin America, it is not just the Caribbean. There is much more to Cuba than just a specific location: travelers would be better off leaving all their expectations behind passport control.
It is a beautiful country, but more than anything else it is interesting, mysterious, difficult and challenging; it may test one’s patience and in some aspects, you may find it plainly strange. Yet, you cannot help but fall in love with it and wishing to eventually go back and uncover more of its charm.
Cuba is a poor country, there is a constant need for material goods and life is plain and modest there, yet culturally rich. It may be decadent, with buildings falling apart, yet one ends up being charmed by it.
It is a perfect mix of lush nature, beautiful colonial cities, gorgeous beaches and crystal clear seas, mesmerizing countryside and tasty food. It can be plainly irritating, but it will teach one a good lesson.
LESSONS FROM CUBA
The history of the country is complex:
- External influences
- Internal fights
- Foreign invasions
With this past in mind, you may expect to find a dark, sorrow totalitarian State, but will be surprised to meet its exuberant, colorful and lively people.
Despite the difficulties they face in their everyday life, Cubans always smile: you will see them enjoying a game of chess or backgammon, sitting on an improvised table right outside their home; they will walk around with a small radio playing their favorite salsa or reggaeton tunes, proudly fix their old cars made up of leftover pieces of old Russian Ladas or American vintage cars; or wait patiently sitting on a sidecar.
Cubans proudly wear hot rollers to curl their hair while going to work in the morning and prepare amazing meals by using simple ingredients. They are ingenious and pragmatic; they are survivors, lively, cynical and wise and you can learn a lot from just observing their daily struggle for life.