Cuba!!!!

Nuggler
#1



Anyone here ever been??

Cost?

Safety??

Music's gotta be good.

Passport??

Fly over US airspace??

Just pondering. google awaits.
 
Trotz
#2
It has always been fairly easy to travel to Cuba as a Canadian. My Grandparents had gone multiple times between the 1970s and 1980s. Myself, I had been there just last summer.

I've been to multiple countries in the 'Global South' and my complexion is as white as this chat box, while I certainty got stared at from locals, there are nevertheless facilities in most countries (Cuba) included that provide services for high income and low income tourists from the 'Global North'.

Depending on what you fancy, you can go with a resort, a bungalow or even a hostel (though hostelworld.com, since it is American owned, no longer does business with Cuba. So obviously, you'ld need a lonely planet.)
 
Highball
#3
I still visit Cuba on a regular basis. I fly to the Bahamas and then take a commuter flight to Havana. I have been treated very well and the people are very friendly. If you are an old car buff you'll be in heaven. There are lots of old Chrysler, GM, Ford and other fallen auto flags models on the streets. I even see some Hudson Commodores on occasion. Prices are very reasonable. Don't flash any US currency though. The back country scenery is beautiful. Bring a raincoat and umbrella.
 
Trotz
#4
Remember to say, "Yo soy un Americano, donde es los comidos?", the locals will treat you nice and warm...

Knowing some Spanish doesn't hurt but it's not necessarily as Cuba is tourist friendly.
 
Chiliagon
#5
ya Cuba was really nice. just make sure you don't go during Hurricane season.

and yes, passports are a necessity and you must fill out a tourist visa.

it's nice to go see..
 
gopher
+1
#6  Top Rated Post
Darn - I envy you guys!
 
Trex
+1
#7
Quote: Originally Posted by Nuggler View Post




Anyone here ever been??

Cost?

Safety??

Music's gotta be good.

Passport??

Fly over US airspace??

Just pondering. google awaits.

I lived and worked there for 4 1/2 years.
I had a house and a car.
I still rotated back to Canada for time off during the time I was there.

You need to have a passport to travel anywhere outside Canada.

Cuba is extremely safe.
Probably the safest Island in the Caribbean ( mainly because its a Communist police state).
The beer(Crystal) is slightly disguised Molson Canadian
The rum is excellent and dirt cheap.
Knockoff cigars are readily available, some are good, some are crap.
If you are single girls are friendly and available.
The food is so so and pretty bland.
The people are warm and welcoming.
The beaches are clean. The waters are relatively unpolluted and the fishing and diving is excellent(and cheap).
Cubana flies out of Toronto daily (or it used to) .
Many other Caribbean air lines and charters stop over there as well.
Stay out of the US when returning as they will get all pissy about you coming from Cuba.
They will also impound your fake cigars and cheap rum.

I assume you are going to Varedero?
Nice beach and lots of all inclusive hotels.
Pretty boring food and cheap drinks.
Several rocking nightclubs.
I recommend spending some time in Havana as its a much more interesting place.
The music and dance clubs in Havana are fantastic, but try and avoid the tourist traps.
Many stores will take Visa.
There are a few Interac/Visa debit machines around.
A little Spanish helps out a lot.
If you get sick there are "tourist" clinics available with English speaking doctors as well as access to prescription medications unavailable to the locals.

If you want to see the real Cuba you need to get out of Varadero and away from Havana.
You will need a bit of Spanish.
Local transit systems are crowded, rickety and unreliable however they are dirt cheap.
Internal airlines are cheap.
You can stay in "Casa Particulars" which are private homes (like a B&B) very cheaply.
Some of the Casa Paticulars are a bit plain and rough but you get to meet the locals.
Many private homes and Casa Paticulars will cook food for you if you provide it.
Black market (illegal food) like beef, shrimp and lobster is available if you know the right people.

Cuba is one of the safest and cheapest Caribbean islands in the tropics.

Have fun.
Trex
 
gopher
+1
#8
Many Cuban-Americans taking the opportunity to travel to the old country:

The Associated Press: Cuban-Americans haul goods home on holiday visits

Cuban-Americans haul goods home on holiday visits
(AP) 8 hours ago
HAVANA (AP) In Cuba, Santa's sleigh is a Boeing 737.
Thousands of Cuban-Americans are heading to Havana this holiday season carrying everything from electronics and medicine to clothing and toiletries to help relatives back home supplement monthly salaries averaging about $20.
Not only are Cuban-Americans visiting the island in far greater numbers since President Barack Obama lifted travel restrictions last year, they are bringing more stuff. One carrier says the average bag weight per passenger is up 55 percent and many Miami-Havana flights are shadowed by a separate cargo plane just to haul the load.
"They bring you things for the family," said Paulo Roman Garcia, a 45-year-old Havana native who makes $9.50 a month selling fruit at a market in the city's historic quarter.
Roman Garcia was looking forward to a visit in the New Year from his older brother, who lives in New Jersey and will be coming down with stocking-stuffers such as clothing and treats, as well as big-ticket items including a stereo.
"My son has asthma, and he's bringing inhalers for his asthma," Roman Garcia said. "Medicines are very important. Some don't exist here, or they're hard to find."
During the administration of former President George W. Bush, Cuban-Americans were allowed to visit only once every three years and were limited to $100 a month in remittances. Those restrictions ended in April 2009, although most non-Cuban Americans are still barred from traveling to the island.
Cuba watchers and charter flight operators say travel between the United States and Cuba skyrocketed after the change and continues to climb steadily.
"About 1,000 visitors are arriving a day from the U.S., and they expect somewhere close to 400,000 by the end of the year," said Kirby Jones, president of Alamar Associates of Bethesda, Maryland, a consulting firm that works with American companies looking to do business with Cuba.
"The U.S. is now sending the second-most visitors to Cuba than any other country," after Canada, Jones said.
The great majority are of Cuban heritage, and the rest are non-Cuban Americans traveling for officially sanctioned activities such as academic, cultural and sports exchanges. The figure does not include the small but growing number of Americans who sidestep the travel ban by flying in through Canada, Mexico or other countries, risking a stiff U.S. fine if they are caught.
Traffic is even greater during the busy holiday season, when charters add additional flights that quickly fill up. Miami airport officials said 55 flights are scheduled to depart to four Cuban cities this weekend, among the heaviest travel days leading up to Christmas.
At Havana's Jose Marti International Airport, Cubans crowded up against a low metal fence last week, straining to watch for loved ones as they emerged from customs pushing carts piled high with shrink-wrapped luggage, kitchen appliances, televisions, stuffed animals and cardboard boxes bursting at the seams.
Arturo de Cordoba traveled from Miami with five suitcases crammed with cookies, sweets, rice and other goodies for his son and daughter, who picked him up at the airport.
"I come here to share with my children," said Cordoba, a jeweler who has been living in the United States for 30 years.
Tom Cooper, the president and owner of Miami-based Gulfstream Air Charter, which flies a 146-seat 737 jetliner to Havana daily, said his company's passenger load has doubled from about 23,000 in 2009 to approaching 50,000 this year.
Also on the rise are baggage numbers.
"We track every pound that goes on the airplane. Our average bag weight in the last year has gone from 85 to 132 pounds (from 40 to 60 kilograms) per person," Cooper said. The first 44 pounds (20 kilos) are free, and there is a $1-a-pound surcharge after that, he said.
The load is so great that for about half of Gulfstream's flights, the company charters a twin-turboprop cargo plane to carry the excess baggage, Cooper said.
The visits are something of a lifeline in Cuba, where, five decades after the Cuban Revolution, many basic goods that Americans take for granted are in short supply from office supplies to clothing, makeup, aspirin, batteries and even cat food.
The Cuban government blames the 48-year U.S. embargo, which prohibits nearly all commercial trade with the island, with the exception of food and medicine. A historically stagnant Cuban economy hasn't helped.
What goods can be had are often out of reach for average Cubans. A small 19-inch (48- centimeter) flat-screen TV can cost well over $2,000 in the few stores that supply them. That's far more than the cost of bringing one in from the United States, even with the $270 import duty levied on electronics and the extra overweight charges.
Ten-year-old Daniela Lezcano of West Palm Beach, Florida, flew in alone for a three-week visit with her aunt, uncle, grandfather and other relatives in Pinar del Rio carrying clothing, food, medicine and toys, including a red model of a 1960 Corvette. Her family planned a Christmas feast of roasted pork, homemade sweetened cassava and a typical rice and bean dish known as "congri."
"We are very, very, very happy to see other family members more often" since the travel restrictions were changed, said her uncle, Juan Miguel Guerra Pereira.
Indeed, many say that as important as the gifts are, the emotional reunions are far more significant for families separated by just 90 miles (145 kilometers) of sea between Cuba and Florida, but torn by decades of Cold War tensions.
Take Roman Garcia, who said he and 10 other relatives plan to be on hand at the airport to greet his brother when he returns for the first time since leaving Cuba in 1980.
"We will have to cry a lot. It's a very beautiful moment, but very sad," Roman Garcia said. "We will go home together. ... He is going to be very happy, because it's the house where he was born."
 
Ron in Regina
#9
I've only been there once, but am going back in a few days. Trex in post#7
sums things up very well. I felt safer in Varadero at anytime of the day or
night than I do in my own neighbourhood, to be perfectly honest.

Been to Havana, just on a day trip, & it was interesting (Hemingway's bar,
etc...), but been there & done that. I like Varadero.

I'm a walker. I walk miles without issue and by choice. I walked all over
Varadero, all the alleys and back-streets as well at the strip. Always felt
safe. The people are very friendly. Express an interest & appreasiation
in a guys car, and inevitably you'll be under the hood with him as he tries
to show it off (language barriers aside).

The ingenuity of the people is incredible. I'm a self-professed Redneck, and
this I really liked to see. Awesome doesn't even begin to describe it.



Last edited by Ron in Regina; Dec 19th, 2010 at 01:23 AM..Reason: typo
 
Avro
#10
What kind of car is that?
 
Ron in Regina
#11
Quote: Originally Posted by Avro View Post

What kind of car is that?


Actually, I think the question should be, "What kind of cars is that?
 
Avro
#12
Quote: Originally Posted by Ron in Regina View Post

Actually, I think the question should be, "What kind of cars is that?



That's what I thought.
 
Ron in Regina
#13
You sure as Hell can't tell by the Badging....or lack there of...











 
gopher
+1
#14
Very creative cars!
 

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