10 reasons Cuba is described as a country unlike any other

Posted: 12-Jul-16 09:52

There is an adorned and very exotic side to Cuba that tourists can see if they go there for a limited period of time and follow the advice of classic guidebooks aimed at travellers. But there is another way to experience Cuba for more adventurous voyagers: travelling, eating and living like locals do is highly recommended by travel experts as the best way for understanding "the essence" of the island. Youtube channel Kombi Life recommends ten things people should do if they want to experience the real Cuba.

10 reasons Cuba is described as a country unlike any other

Cuba's salsa, cigars, and beautiful beaches are just small pieces of the amazing landscape that travellers can admire if they use public transport, stand in long queues outside stores, or if they pop into a local bar, says blog Kombi Life after weeks of intense travel around the island.

British blogger and YouTuber Ben wrote the following in an article published recently following a two-chapter audiovisual series on the Caribbean island:

“Nobody knows for certain how Cuba will change, but what we do know is that there is no shortage of incredible things to do and places to see.”

The “change” that Ben refers to is a possible new economic scenario as a result of the easing of the U.S. embargo on Cuba. After a negotiation process that kicked off in December 2014 and led to the relaxation of the historic political tensions between the White House and the Cuban government, many things are changing in the Caribbean island.

However, the author of the blog believes that “the essence” of the Cuban people is not going to change despite the new economic opportunities that have recently opened up. In the second part of his programme “Naked Cuba”, Ben affirms that locals are the “richest poor people that we´ve ever met”.

Among the reasons for saying that, there are ten basic things the British adventurer listed, which also validate the idea that Cuba is a “unique” country in the world. For enhancing and enriching a Cuba holiday -Ben says-, those things could be enjoyed even if time and money are limited.

As many other holidaymakers and travel experts already do, Kombi Life recommends sparing some time for a sunset stroll down the Malecon, an eight-kilometre-long seawall located next to historic buildings and many craft shops and paladares (privately-owned restaurants).

Religion, folklore, street art, and passionate dancing can be found at "Callejon de Hamel" (Hamel Alley), which comes to life on Sundays when musicians and dancers perform there for free. Salsa dancing lessons are yet another way to get to know the real Cuban popular music, and people on the streets often invite tourists to dance with them:

“Even if dancing is not your thing, Cuba’s infectious music will make even the most beat deaf individuals getting those hips shaking and toes tapping.”

"Guarapo" (or pressed sugar cane) is a delicious local refreshment that Cubans love, not only because it is extremely sweet, but also because it is very cheap ($0.10 CUC for glass – less than 10 pence!). Drinks are also very cheap at any local (state-owned) bar, a spot that could also prove interesting to travellers wanting to engage in conversations with Cubans and to take in the sights, smells and sounds of the country.

Kombi Life also recommends not to miss the ice cream and long lines at Coppelia, in the heart of El Vedado, Havana, as well as to try Cuban cigars. For those who love the nature, there are plenty of opportunities for diving and snorkelling, and for exploring caves and wrecks. Riding a bike while trying to find remote spots and exotic beauties is also among the best things that adventures can do in the country according to Kombi Life.

In an article posted about a month ago, the blog also recommends travellers to buy some Cuban Pesos (CUPs as opposed to CUCs) and use this local currency to ride local buses, trains and even horses; to make friends and to learn some Spanish.


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