Cuba Vacation? – Don’t Forget These 4 Things When You Go

Cuba Vacation? – Don’t Forget These 4 Things When You Go

Cuba Vacation? Don’t Forget These 4 Things When You Go

After decades of being largely closed to Americans, Cuba is once again welcoming US visitors. While this is an exciting development for travelers, this island nation can be unlike other Caribbean destinations. Steeped in a rich and varied history, Cuba presents its own unique and varied challenges for visitors. Planning your Cuba vacation? Be prepared to navigate specific health, wellness and comfort situations. The following four essentials should help you embrace your visit with ease and enjoyment.

Travel to Cuba? ➝ Why Cuba?…


You’re likely to remember to bring your prescription medications to Cuba, but you may also want to be proactive with other remedies. Cuban pharmacies may not carry the over-the-counter meds you recognize from home. To save yourself some possible discomfort, pack your own preferences for headaches, upset stomach, colds and minor injuries. The small space they take up in your luggage is worth the peace of mind.

Read about: Cuba Experiences: Cuban Music – What Are They Listening to on the Street in Cuba? Buena Vista Social Club It’s Not

Good Shoes

So much of Cuba’s charm and ambiance comes from its historical architecture and colonial flair. Unfortunately, this can translate into some very difficult walking conditions. Cobblestone streets can make walking painful in bad shoes. There is also a constant need to move from the sidewalk to the street and back again in an attempt to dodge cars and pedestrians. Stepping up and down on already dicey surfaces necessitates sturdy and comfortable footwear.

A Washcloth and Toiletries

Many countries in the world do not commonly use washcloths as part of their bathing routine. By all means you can go native, but if you’re a creature of comfort, and if you are not staying in a luxury resort, bring your own washcloth from home. As well, bring your own shower and grooming essentials. The selection in Cuba can be very small and the brands unfamiliar. 

Wireless Entertainment

Access to the Internet in Cuba can be very slow and at times difficult to access. If your phone provider does not offer wifi in Cuba, you will likely have to buy a wifi card from the state-run provider. Even with this card, you may not be staying somewhere that is within a local wifi hot spot area. In short, be prepared to be offline. To ensure you have entertainment, have whatever media you want to consume already downloaded to your device, or bring physical books or DVDs for your laptop. ▄

Cuba Vacation? - Don't Forget These 4 Things When You Go

About Us ➝ Total Advantage Travel

Cuba Vacation? Don’t Forget These 4 Things When You Go
Adapted by Total Advantage by licence.
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Cuban Cigars – The Basics

Cuban Cigars – The Basics

Cuban Cigars – The Basics

Those with even a passing interest in fine tobacco have heard of the quality of Cuban cigars. Cigar aficionados throughout the world have sung the praises of this small island nation’s chief export for years. Certainly, long before a U.S./Cuba embargo was a thought in anyone’s mind, these cigars were wanted and desired. Winston Churchill made the Romeo y Julieta variety famous. Photographers rarely snapped him without the ubiquitous stogie clenched between his teeth. And in 1961, with the aforementioned embargo looming, John F. Kennedy sent his press secretary on a mission to Cuba with the express purpose of acquiring 1200 Petit H. Upmann cigars. Trade or no trade, Kennedy wasn’t about to give up his Cubans.

Why Travel to Cuba? ➝ Read more…

Best in the World?

But are Cuban cigars truly the best in the world, as some tobacco connoisseurs might suggest? The truth is it depends on whom you ask, as well as a great deal on personal taste. In actuality, many cigar aficionados will tell you that, these days, the cigars produced in places such as Honduras and Nicaragua are of higher quality than those coming from Cuba. But if that is indeed the case, it has quite a bit to do with the fact that Cubans work in the factories in these countries implementing their homeland’s long-cherished hand-rolling techniques.

And it’s the combination of these practiced artisan manufacturing methods as well as general climate conditions that earn Cuban cigars the distinction of being some of the finest in the world.

Cuban Cigars Cuba The Basics - Man smoking

A man smoking Cuban cigar.

The Facts

Cuba manufactures over 40 different brands of cigar that all vary in price but all of which have a good minimum quality. That means, at worst, any Cuban is going to have a smooth draw. Something that is very important to the typical connoisseur. Take for example Habanos, S.A, Cuba’s largest cigar-manufacturing monopoly. They roll 27 high-end brands, such as Romeo y Juleita, Montecristo and Cohiba, available in 220 sizes ranging in length from 4-10 inches. That’s quite a few options for a good cigar.

The Tobacco

Typically, Cuban cigars are made using five different types of tobacco, all dried in fincas, or outside huts. The outer leaves of the tobacco plant receive the most sunlight, and thus have the strongest flavor. Therefore, these leaves are used as the filler for a typical cigar with the inner leaves providing the binding, or wrapper, that holds the cigar together. Part of the reason Cuban cigars enjoy a reputation as some of the finest around is because the tobacco selection process is so exact.

The Climate

Those who have read up on these cigars have likely heard the Pinar del Rio province of Cuba mentioned in conjunction with tobacco growing. That’s because with a year-round temperature of 75 degrees and 65 percent humidity. In fact, this area of the country is ideal for tobacco production. There is even a small sand content in the red earth that facilitates the growing of the leaves.

Cuban Cigars Rolled by hand without imperfections - Cuba

Cuban Cigars – Rolled by hand without imperfections.

The Preparation

All tobacco leaves used in Cuban cigars are fermented at least twice (some three times) and aged for months or years until such time as they are ready to be rolled. In the Cohiba factory, a converted mansion in Havana, 25,000 cigars are produced daily. In fact, all are rolled by hand without imperfections. Indeed, the process is so demanding that potential rollers must pass a nine-month course before they can begin work.

It’s this level of care, attention to detail, and respect for tradition that has helped the Cuban cigar to be the dominant force in the tobacco market that it is. And while reasonable cigar aficionados can disagree on the merits of Cubans compared with other varieties from other countries. One incontrovertible fact remains, Cuban cigars have more than earned their glowing reputation. ▄

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Cuba Cigars – The Basics.
Written by: Christopher McMurphy. Adapted by Total Advantage by licence.
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Cuba Travel – Americans Going to Cuba for a Vacation

Cuba Travel – Americans Going to Cuba for a Vacation

Cuba Travel – Going to Cuba for a Vacation?

In January 2016, Cuba and the U.S. signed to launch the first commercial air service between the two countries in a half-century. As a result, with the agreement in place, Cuba travel is far easier for anyone in the United states. American carriers can fly 20 times a day to Havana, and 10 times to the other places in Cuba.

If this fills you with hope that you can visit the Caribbean nation one day soon for a great, affordable vacation, there are a few things that you need to know first. Most importantly, the general license under which you need to travel only recognizes a few different travel purposes as legitimate.

What are the Purposes Recognized?

The general license allows 12 different travel purposes, including: visiting close relatives, travel for academic purposes that offer credits, scientific research, artistic collaboration, sporting or public performances, and journalism. A visitor also needs to show some proof of legitimate involvement in such activities. Therefore, what you can’t do is to simply pack your bags to go to Cuba for a vacation.

Read more about  Americans Traveling to Cuba

Cuba Travel - Americans Traveling

You Can Always Find a Way to Vacation There

People-to-people travel is an initiative that U.S. citizens can use to travel to Cuba for cultural participation, for the purpose of, the establishment of friendships with Cuban citizens, a cultural education, and the spreading of awareness of American culture. People-to-people travel is freely allowed as an educational experience of direct engagement. Under these circumstances, it is possible to sign up to people-to-people groups heading off to Cuba, and to use these trips to go sightseeing. However, since these trips are usually jam-packed with schedules of cultural and business meetings, prices tend to be as high as $4,000 to $5,000 per person.

Cuba Travel Tip!

Total Advantage Travel & Tours highly recommends that you choose a Canadian city for your Cuba travel departure. They will fly you to Toronto, Montreal, Calgary or Vancouver easily, at reasonable rates, thereby eliminating some of the costs and inconveniences experienced by travelers to Cuba from Miami and other US departure points.

Read more about  Total Advantage Travel

Flying in Under the Radar

If you aren’t willing to pay high prices out of the US, affordable commercial flights and packages are available through countries such as Canada. Consequently, if you want to follow the letter of the law, it’s important to receive a release from the U.S. Department of Treasury.

Most people simply book through Canada without a release from the treasury department. So they book one flight to Canada, and then book a separate flight from Canada to Cuba. Hence, anyone traveling between Canada and Cuba will receive no stamp on their passport. Thousands of American tourists visit Cuba in this way, and it can be the most affordable way to go. ▄

Americans traveling to Cuba

Cuba has no restrictions on US tourists. On the contrary, Cubans welcome US visitors with open arms.

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Cuba Travel – Americans Going to Cuba for a Vacation.
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