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Cuba

Would like to travel to Cuba in Feb., 2017, using local guides, staying local B&B's, etc. Not using a tour. Anybody with experience or recommendations? Also, what are current requirements for a General License?
Thanks,
GB

Posted by
178 posts

While you wait for replies, here's a link to some good information.

https://www.tripadvisor.ca/Tourism-g147270-Cuba-Vacations.html

Canadians have been going to Cuba for decades staying in many of the all-inclusive resorts.

Things are very restrictive in Cuba from what I hear. Don't expect to go there and find good food or anything more than a 2 star accomodations outside the resorts.

Posted by
4535 posts

Are you an adventurous traveler? Used to traveling in 3rd World countries? If not, go on a guided tour. Cuba simply does not have the tourism resources and industry yet to handle well individual travelers, especially Americans (as so many things we take for granted, like getting cash from an ATM don't work yet). It can be hard to book hotels and hard to navigate yourself around. Non-Americans do it yes, but many go to all-inclusive resorts or stay just in Havana and they don't have the restrictions on things like ATMs and cell phones. You'll also get to see more and have a more stress-free trip. Having said that, even a group tour comes with hardships and stresses not typically found traveling to, say, Europe. And it's a lot to plan on your own in just a couple of months.

I've been to Cuba (Feb 2016) and it is amazing and wonderful and I do encourage you to go. I just think that right now, the typical American tourist should stick with a guided tour. I can answer more specific questions here or in a PM if you wish.

The other possibility is to take one of the newer cruises around the island.

Posted by
31471 posts

George,

If you go to Cuba and stay in one of the all-inclusive resorts, you shouldn't have any problems. However, the food may not be up to the same standards as other tourist locations. Here's one example of that....

http://globalnews.ca/news/2152014/update-canadian-travelers-ill-after-cuban-vacation/

You won't have the same standard of service for internet or cell phones, and will likely have to pay extra for internet, although this is improving all the time. As I recall, a new Wi-Fi system has been installed along the Malecon in Havana but I'm not sure if it's been fully implemented yet.....

http://www.havanatimes.org/?p=121125

As a U.S. citizen I don't know what your options are for tours, but if possible you could consider a small independent group tour such as one of these....

https://www.gadventures.com/destinations/central-america/cuba/?phonecode=CAN_PPC_Brand&gclid=CO_Phtvv4s8CFYNpfgodqlQJxg

You might also check the Cuba Forum on the Lonely Planet Thorn Tree.....

https://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/forums/americas-cuba/cuba

And whatever you do, DON'T take a Drone to photograph Cuba from the air, as you'll be arrested and thrown in a miserable solitary confinement cell....

http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/toronto-man-jailed-in-cuba-for-flying-drone-questioned-about-u-s-spy-connections-1.3116690

Posted by
360 posts

American travel writer and Europe guru recently took his family to Cuba for New Years. He had a detailed blog on his website. www.ricksteves.com There was good info on booking private homes, transportation options and activities in different locations on the island. Hope that this helps you.

Posted by
1071 posts

I am in Cuba now and highly encourage others to visit this amazing island. Come to see how a particular history can affect a people and their environment. As an American, I am finding it very moving to interact with Cubans one on one. Every time I interact with a person different from myself and find common ground, the sooner we will live in a global society.