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1. You Still Can!
After President Obama opened up tourism to Cuba without needing a specific visa, tons more Americans started visiting the Caribbean island. However, it wasn’t too long after Trump got elected that he decided to, once again, block open tourism to Cuba. Many people still believe that Trump made it illegal to go to Cuba, but that couldn’t be more wrong.
It is still totally legal to visit Cuba for Americans, which is the number 1 reason you should visit Cuba. Because who knows what the hell Trump is going to do next. You should visit while we are still able to.
2. Cuba is Not Americanized
With not too many Americans having visited Cuba, the entire country is relatively un-Americanized. And it is very refreshing.
We don’t know anyone who likes to travel to Madrid and go McDonald’s or visit Croatia and eat at Subway. While there are probably some McDonald’s or Subway connoisseurs out there, most people don’t travel to other countries to have it be just like home. They travel to experience other cultures, learn languages, see the way different places work, and taste new food.
Cuba is very Cuban and has been influenced very little by outside countries and global corporations, so when you visit Cuba, you are going to experience Cuban culture.
3. People are Incredibly Welcoming
The Cubans we met were incredibly welcoming and so happy to have us in Cuba. Obviously, we were travelers and spending money, but the people and families we got into deep conversations with told us that they really want more Americans to visit. They said that it’s good for the Cuban economy, and they are proud of their culture and want others, specifically Americans, to know about it.
We never felt unsafe, uncomfortable, or in a dangerous situation in Cuba. In fact, we always say we felt safer in Cuba than in many places in the United States.
4. The Food
Cuba has delicious food. It’s pretty good everywhere in the country, but if you can eat a home cooked meal at someone’s house, it’s exquisite. This could be said for anywhere in the world though…
As stated above, most Cubans were very welcoming and wanted us to know more about their culture, which included food. They were happy to have us try different traditional food and encouraged us to do so.
Make sure you stay at a casa particular or Airbnb. The families that own them will most likely treat you, and your stomach, very well.
Also, be sure to check out Airbnb Experiences in Cuba. We did them for the first time there and had such wonderful experiences with locals. We tried them in Havana and Viñales, so check out our links in those posts. We don’t get any commission for the links, but we had such fantastic experiences that we wanted to share the links so others could have just as incredible experiences in Cuba.
5. Off the Beaten Path
Because Cuba is not visited much by Americans, it can still be considered an “Off the Beaten Path” Destination.
In fact, most Americans don’t even know you can travel to Cuba with relative ease. If you are looking for a travel destination that’s close but that not many people have gone to, visit Cuba.
Check out our guide on How to Go to Cuba as an American.
You don’t have to be a cigar smoker to know that Cuban cigars are popular. Although they are legal now in the U.S., of course it’s better getting them straight from the source.
While you can get them anywhere in Cuba, head to Viñales to get cigars right from where they are produced..
7. Get Off the Grid
Aside from just traveling to Cuba, learning about the culture, and enjoying everything it has to offer, you will also be off the grid in Cuba. There’s very little wifi and no cell service for American phones, so you will be able to be totally immersed in Cuban culture without worrying about social media. It’s almost impossible to do this most places in the world nowadays, so take advantage of it and just enjoy the moment in Cuba.
8. Helping the Locals
Cubans really want people, especially Americans, to travel there for a few reasons. First off, tourism brings money and because Cuba is not suffering from overtourism at the moment, it is still almost all good.
Secondly, and most importantly, Cubans want others to learn about their history and culture. Many Cubans were very excited to share more about their country with us.
9. Breaking Down Barriers
This last one is related to the second point of the previous reason you should visit Cuba.
Growing up in the United States, we were never explicitly told that Cuba was bad, dangerous, or really anything in particular. We just knew we couldn’t really go there, they had old cars because of a trade embargo, and their government was communist. Basically, Americans are lead to believe that Cuba is a bad place that Americans cannot go to.
We have already proven that you CAN go to Cuba, but in traveling to Cuba, you can learn that Cuba is not a terrible, scary place. The best part about learning this is that you can go back home and educate others about Cuba, their culture, and their perspectives. This is the best reason to visit Cuba, and the best reason to travel in general.
The further we travel, the closer we get.