Are you curious about visiting Cuba? I sure am.
Let me introduce you to Joshua, host of The Travel Guides podcast. Joshua is a black American man who loves to travel and he has visited over 20+ countries. Follow him on Instagram to see where he is headed next.
Black Man’s Guide to Cuba
- What was the trip style? Group
- Type of trip experience: Adventure
- Housing Type: Hotel
Tell us a little about the trip
I traveled with a group whose leader worked extensively in Cuba and organized a cultural immersion visit for us–education, healthcare, economic, and cultural presentations/activities. She organized Visas and coordinated travel to Cuba. The majority of the group was comprised of educators and social activists.
Describe your experience in this city/country. How was it traveling as a person of color? Were people friendly?
The term “priceless” first arrives in my frontal lobe when thinking of how to characterize my experience in Cuba. We were immersed in the culture, and we interacted with the Cuban people regularly, who were very kind.
As a person of color, I definitely did not encounter any type of prejudices or hardships. The Cuban people refer to themselves as “the cosmic race”, and this serves as a term that encapsulates the diversity within the people. With the colonialism and foreign influence that Cuba has withstood over the years, a heavy mix of Spanish, Mexican, African, & Chinese ancestry exists in the people. Traveling with me were Asian, Black, White, and Latino people of various origins.
Where to find Hotels
For the majority of the time, we stayed in a hotel in Havana (across the street from La Rampa), but we also stayed in a church in Sanctus Spiritus for the celebration of the Revolution. (picture shows view from room)
Things to Do in Cuba
Must do activities include: the Revolution Museum, the Mausoleum of Che Guevara, Varadero Beach, & dancing in the city square. Spring for a tour guide if you can. It’s worth it to receive proper historical context of Cuba at the beginning of your trip, so you can appreciate it all.
Best Restaurants – Where to eat and drink
Restaurante Flor de Ioto (Havana) & La Casona de 17 (Havana) stood out as the notable restaurants, but all of the food tasted delicious! Seafood was the star at all of my meals along with variations of potatoes, rice, plantains, & veggies. Get ready for a lot of food (often 4 courses) for a great value!
Average meal cost: 15 Cuban pesos
Every night in Havana, we enjoyed parties in the streets of the city center square, located across the street from the water. They have music playing, videos being projected onto the side of a building, and vendors in attendance to supply drinks and food.
Also, as a fan of Latin dance, I was looking for clubs to enjoy. I was pleasantly surprised in that even though the actual Salsa clubs were further from our hotel than I would’ve liked, everyone dances in the restaurants.
People are friendly and looking to dance & have a good time. Feel free to get up and move to the live music that frequently accompanies the meals there. The only actual club that I attended was on the top floor of the Saint John Hotel, and this embodied more of a traditional club. I did not stay long, as it wasn’t my scene overall.
Where to shop?
I typically don’t shop a lot when I travel, so I don’t accumulate more stuff and complicate customs when I return to the States. However, I did purchase a Cuba baseball, and some other street items.
What’s the transportation like? Any driver recommendations?
I flew to Miami first and then from Miami to Havana. Havana, specifically, is fairly easy to navigate with taxis and walking. When traveling from Havana to the other cities in Cuba, I think the bus would be the best avenue. Everything in Cuba is fairly reasonably priced in comparison to the US, so cost should not be an issue.
If you’re looking for an awesome place to visit in the Caribbean, why not put Cuba on your travel list?
It’s closer to the USA than places like Colombia and Brazil. The island is filled with hot exotic Caribbean girls and everything is very cheap.
Get Lonely Planet’s Cuba Guide Before You Go
I rely on Lonely Planet’s guides for all my trips. They are filled with tons of useful information that will save you time, money and headaches.
Get a copy of “Lonely Planet Cuba” before you begin your journey. It’s worth the price.