“If it’s so difficult for Americans to get to Cuba, why bother?” I asked my new travel companion. We’d just met as part of Out Adventures’ Cultural Cuba gay tour.
“Well, it’s kind of like forbidden fruit.”
His answer hit me harder than a double Havana Club on the rocks; the allure of Cuba — despite Trump’s hardened stance on US-Cuba relations, the “sonic attacks”, the hurricanes etc. — is the mystery surrounding the flamboyant destination. The thrill of going somewhere you were told you couldn’t.
Our digital marketing coordinator Carl Hiehn, embraced the rhythm of Cuba last week with a great group of guys on Out Adventures’ Cultural Cuba tour. Get a feel for the island-nation by streaming his video above and then head to our website for more information about upcoming tours.
Last week, the U.S. State Department released a travel warning advising its citizens not to travel to Cuba. There have been reports that a number of diplomats became ill after suspected sonic attacks against U.S. government officials in Havana. These attacks reportedly occurred in the homes of government officials and in hotels where American diplomats were staying. No tourists were harmed.
From revered restaurants to his go-to gay bars, Rob breaks down the best of Havana, Cuba in today’s Roaming with Rob.
As per usual, a number of Rob’s best-bets were left on the editing room floor. For a complete list of his recommendations as well as websites, addresses and phone numbers for those businesses mentioned, please see below.
On June 16, 2017, Donald Trump announced a number of changes to Obama’s relaxed engagement with Cuba.
“Effective immediately, I am cancelling the last administration’s completely one-sided deal with Cuba,” said Trump in Miami, Florida. He stated Americans, “will not be silent in the face of communist oppression any longer,” then signed a document sanctioning Americans from conducting business with Cuban military-owned or -operated organizations amongst other changes.
After the announcement, The Department of Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control, released an online FAQ guide highlighting the restrictions expected to change. We’ve compiled the five biggest takeaways from this document, as they pertain to American passport holders who want to visit Cuba.
Kristopher Kelly’s photography not only captures the sites of our Cultural Cuba tour, but also the energy. His photos rumble with the rusted mufflers clogging Old Havana, the smell of cigars in Viñales wafts from them, and your mouth waters for the rum in Trinidad – Daiquiri, anyone?
Scroll down to see some of Kelly’s favourite images from his trip to Cuba. And visit Out Adventures’ Cultural Cuba and Cuban New Year Fiesta trip pages to start planning your own Cuban escape.
It’s especially important that we support our brothers and sisters while visiting Cuba, so OUT Adventures has chosen to stay, eat, and spend our money with locals, instead of at government-run properties (which even includes the major international chain hotels).
Since President Donald Trump’s Cuba sanctions speech on June 16, 2017, American travel to Cuba has become stricter. Gone are the brief days of the Obama administration’s relaxed laws regarding American-Cuban travel. Read our FAQs on the recent changes implemented since Trump’s speech.