Cuba is beautiful, but has challenges as well

Posted: 20-Apr-16 12:38

Although Cuba is undoubtedly a gorgeous Caribbean destination, it does have its issues. Problems around withdrawing cash, scratchy WiFi and levels of stocks in shops are more than common. In an article for the Calgary Herald, Lisa Monforton writes about the hiccups she experienced during a recent trip.

Cuba is beautiful, but has challenges as well

This year has set records in the number of holidaymakers travelling to Cuba, since Obama relaxed the over five-decade old travel constraints to the Caribbean nation. However, according to travel writer Lisa Monforton, Cuba isn’t quite ready for the rush.

Lisa Monforton wanted to travel to Cuba in order to get away from the resorts and white sand beaches and see the "real Cuba". There was a sense of urgency to the visit, wanted to see the Caribbean island nation "before the Americans come". She discovered that the country is still very much a Third World country when it comes to infrastructure and the common goods available.

Although Cuba has a lot that many other poor countries do not, such as health care, free education and home and food subsidies – the average wage is only about $20 per month. Wi-Fi is difficult to come by and sometimes shortages can cause the convenience stores to be very sparsely stocked. It is also recommended to bring cash with you and to always carry your passport, so that you can use it to get money from a teller at the bank when your credit card doesn’t work at the ATM.

However, the beaches are beautiful and they offer white sand, blue water and stunning views. Monforton said that during your expeditions out to the beaches she did quite a bit of hitchhiking, which gave her the only opportunity to ride in an air conditioned vehicle. They also listened to Afro-Cuban music and drink Mojitos in Old Havana.

During the two weeks that they were in Cuba there were in somewhat of a forced hiatus from the internet and television, so they were quite out of the loop when it came to world events. Less than 25% of Cubans have internet access and this amenity can be very expensive.


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