The simplest reasons for doing something are often the best.
With that in mind, it’s not as though you need a reason to visit Cuba other than the fact that, well… it’s Cuba. If you haven’t experienced the delights of the island for yourself, you shouldn’t waste any further time. You are all but guaranteed a fantastic year if you finally make your way to Cuba.
If there are any reasons why you might be hesitating, your finger hovering over the “book now” tab on the travel website, then let’s look at just why should get to know Cuba for yourself.
A Few Good Reasons You Should Plan a Trip to Cuba
1. You’ll Be Doing a Good Deed
Let’s be serious. The summer of 2017 wasn’t a great time for Cuba. Hurricane Irma lashed the island with devastating wind (along with many other islands in the region, as well as the US), causing widespread damage.
While the efficiency of the clean up effort was admirable, the effects of the hurricane made a lot of people rethink their travel plans. This is problematic in a country that relies heavily on tourism, and is simply unnecessary, since the whole country promptly got back to business after the hurricane moved away.
Rather unsurprisingly, it took some time for aid to reach the more isolated, rural parts of the country, but in a place like Havana, it was difficult to tell that a natural disaster had struck, since the destruction was quickly swept away (or pumped away, in the case of flooding) so that life could return to normality. In visiting Cuba, you will be doing your part to help a country that befell a rather nasty event, and your reward will be an unforgettable holiday.
2. You’ll Learn a Useful Skill
OK, so your definition of “useful” might not come into effect here, and it’s not as though Cuba has exclusivity when it comes to cocktail making courses. And yet there are those quintessential Cuban cocktails that would be even better if you learned how to make them in Cuba.
You can regale your friends with stories about how you perfected your mojito at a rooftop cocktail course as the sun began to dip beneath the horizon in Havana, bathing the city in a golden light (we’re assuming you will want the description to be as poetic and lyrical as possible).
Even without formal lessons, you will learn a thing or two from watching the bar staff mix drinks that are quite literally part of their country’s cultural heritage.
3. Your Horizons Will Be Expanded
Cuba is a curious country in many ways. On a global scale, it’s a relatively poor place, and yet with its dual currency and government rationing, the cost of living can be difficult to equate to the prices that you will pay as a visitor.
This resilience is fascinating to see for yourself, and while Cubans might not strut the streets clad in designer wear with the latest smartest of the smartphones in their pockets, it’s not as though the country is noticeably impoverished.
This spirit, this way of life, can be a revelation to behold - one of the reasons why Cuba can be such a life-changing experience for many visitors.
4. You Will Experience Beauty
Once you begin walking the streets of Havana’s Old Town (La Habana Vieja), you might subconsciously try to become lost so you’ll never have to leave this place.
The area was always well-maintained within the means of its residents and the local authorities, but this part of the city being granted UNESCO World Heritage status in the 1980s was a godsend.
Funds were made available to restore many of the sublime buildings to their former selves. The slow creep of gentrification also made its mark on La Habana Vieja, and a number of luxury hotels are beginning to open in the area.
It’s not going to have any effect on the remarkable character of this jaw-droppingly beautiful part of the city, and an afternoon tour in Havana will allow you to quickly get to know this gorgeous place (although admittedly, this makes it somewhat more difficult to become lost).
5. Time to Dance
In addition to cocktail making, you will also probably return home from Cuba with a few new dance moves in your repertoire.
It’s common for cafes and restaurants to clear some room for dancing as the night moves on, and so you will get to see the impressive skills of the locals even if you don’t make it to an actual salsa club. Cuba is a country that always feels like it’s about to break into a song and dance, like a movie musical come to life.