I just had an amazing vacation to the beautiful country of CUBA!! I fell in love with everything while I was out there.
I planned this trip about 6 months out, and I found that was enough time, considering it was difficult to get the VISA($125) through the Cubavisaservices.com and book hotels on Galahotels.com, since American hotel websites do not show Cuban hotels. Prior to leaving, I made sure I had my Hepatitis B, Tetanus and Typhoid shots.
It was great because I took a non-stop flight from LAX to HAVANA, which took about 6 hours. Upon arrival, I was able to exchange my money from USD to Cuban Pesos(CUC). At the airport, you go through customs and show your VISA, but while in Cuba, I never had to pull it out. The first days, I stayed at the H10 Panorama, which was in a town right outside of Havana called Miramar. Its where you will find most of the “popular” hotels that tourist stay at. Its only a $15 ride into Old Havana, so don’t let the taxi’s scam you.
The next day, I took a charter flight to Cayo Largo Del Sur, which is a gorgeous island off of the south of Cuba. It was rather difficult to arrange however completely worth it! Cayo Largo is a place for nature lovers who need a real escape from reality. I traveled through a company called Sol Airways, and they arrange transport to and from the airport, in both Havana and Cayo Largo. There are just a few resorts on the island, since it is such a small island. I stayed at the all inclusive, Sol Cayo Largo resort, and my beach bungalow was right on the water. They have many excursions, and you can even rent a moped to explore the island yourself.
Cayo Largo was the perfect escape. My last few days I spent back in Havana, and decided to stay at an Air BnB. I enjoyed Old Havana, Plaza Viejo and the Malecon. I ate at a fun spot right outside Plaza Vieja called Papa Ernesto, and they had delicious Tres Leche Cake.
Overall, I absolutely loved Cuba! So much culture, diversity and history, everything about it was charming. The people are so warm and welcoming, and I felt completely safe. The only issue I had, was that the food made me extremely sick. Unfortunately, I was not able to eat much while I was out there, luckily I pack a few snacks from home. Also, be sure to pack lots and lots of water bottles in your suitcase, because even the Cuban people don’t drink the water. If you plan on going, enjoy your time, it was an amazing experience and I cant wait to go back!