Havana, Cuba is one of the top destinations these days, and as more travelers flock to this previously locked-up gem, the country is changing rapidly.
As a refresher, Cuba was effectively cut-off from the U.S. in 1961 when the Eisenhower administration closed the American Embassy in Cuba after escalating tensions with Castro’s regime.
Due to this complete shut down of diplomatic relations between Cuba and its closest world power neighbor, the country became frozen in the late 50s/early 60s era of American machines and influence.
When diplomatic relations were reestablished in 2015 and tourism was slowly allowed back into Cuba, the first visitors were treated to a scene out of a movie as they took in the commonplace antique cars and the Spanish Colonial architecture that defines our outside perception of Cuba.
Aside from the fun shock of seeing these cars that are usually sparse and marked as antiques at home, Cuba boasts a vibrant culture of infectious music, delicious food, and laid back attitudes. Even Ernest Hemingway fell in love with Cuba and lived there for 20 years enjoying island life, fishing on his boat, and writing his most famous work: The Old Man and the Sea.
While Cuba still has its Old World charm, the future is creeping in with each wave of excited travelers. As the country enjoys this new tourism boom, it is updating and upgrading crumbling architecture, transforming it into cleaner, more modern facades that match others in the Caribbean nations we love.
If you’ve been thinking about visiting Cuba, the time is now! More and more cruise lines are offering Cuba itineraries. Some offer itineraries where you can stay overnight in Havana to catch a spectacular cabaret show; others offer calls in Havana and Cienfuegos for a fuller Cuba experience.