Many people wonder how the new influx of American tourists will change Cuba. While no doubt, there are pockets of loud talking English speakers taking in the sights and sounds, Cuba is still very much holding onto its own. It’s going to be a while before globalization takes Cuba away from Cuba.
If you’re a photographer – or even if you just wish you were one – you’ll quickly find yourself so overwhelmed with photo opportunities. Between classic cars, lush colors, colonial architecture, and untouched nature, every moment is a photo ready to capture.
Havana is the first stop for many tourists headed to Cuba. While Old Havana is a must, the real exploring comes in the bylanes where everyday life continues without fawning to tourism money.
PRIMERO DE MAYO, HAVANA, CUBA
We were lucky enough to be in the city on May 1st, aka International Workers Day aka Labour Day. For a socialist country, this is big deal. Parade preparation starts the night before. But be sure to turn up to the big event on time (7:00am). By 10am, the whole thing’s over and only a few pieces of trash in the road will clue you in to the fact that a celebration had just taken place.
To get a real taste of Cuba, leaving the city is a must. Pack your bags, hire a taxi, and hit the road.
CAYO JUTIAS, CUBA
The beaches of this island country beckon! Cayo Jutias is said to be one of the most beautiful and most “undiscovered” beaches on the island. Sure, you’ll find a handful of tourists hanging out on this 3 kilometer-long beach, but nothing like the crowd at some of country’s more notorious beaches. Be sure to lather up with 50SPF sunscreen; the UV ray game is strong here!
Only a three hour drive from Havana, Vinales is the land of tobacco. Here’s where all the magic of the infamous Cuban cigar begins. Farmers are required to sell the majority of their crops to the government. The remaining crops are rolled on into cigars using honey instead of glue and sold to visitors. If you want to visit the tobacco farms, be prepared for a little pain in the ass – literally. The only way to travel here is by horseback.