Author dishes out Cuban travel advice

Posted: 18-Feb-16 09:10

Moon Cuba and Moon Havana author, Christopher Baker, shares his anecdotes, tips and advice on visiting the country with a new generation of American traveller.

Author dishes out Cuban travel advice

In the summer of last year, renowned author and Cuban travel expert, Christopher Baker, regaled a standing-room only audience with numerous tips on visiting the country at a Marin County book signing – and now, with travel between US and Cuba even easier, they're more pertinent than ever.

Contained within his two best-selling guide books, Moon Cuba and Moon Havana, Baker's inside knowledge of Cuba has been garnered over the course of more than 100 trips to the country; and with many Americans set to follow in his footsteps this year, his advice is certainly worth revisiting.

First and foremost, Baker highlights the fact that any US citizen can now travel to Cuba providing their trips falls under the definition of 12 pre-approved categories, but advises that all visitors keep a journal of their activities in the country and hold on to it for five years after they return to the US.

Furthermore, Baker suggests that one of the most rewarding ways to visit the island is via a "people to people" tour organised by many approved US travel agencies. Indeed, Baker himself has led such trips to the country, including the first motorcycle tour for US citizens since the Revolution, in 2003.

An "only in Cuba" experience

Baker also shared many anecdotes on what first-time visitors to the country could expect to find on arrival, with the classic cars of Havana particularly singled out as an "only in Cuba" experience. In particular, Baker recommends that tourists take a beautifully restored classic American convertible taxi to dinner on their first night in order to get an authentic perspective on Cuban life.

Other iconic aspects of the country mentioned by Baker in his talk were the architecture of Old Havana – where more than 500 monuments exist in various states of repair – and the classic billboards that hark back to Cuba's revolutionary spirit with messages such as "Fatherland or Death".

Having travelled to the island over the course of three decades, Baker has met with both Fidel and Raul Castro and has grown intimately familiar with Cuba's society, history and politics from his numerous visits. For more information on the country, check out his personal website.


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