Four reasons travellers should visit Havana right now

Posted: 20-Jul-16 11:24

What is so special about Havana? The answer isn't simple or short, but one every traveller has to discover for themselves. TravAlliancemedia CEO and founder, Mark Murphy, decided to do just that. After taking a trip to Cuba's capital, he offered his personal impressions on why this destination is so popular and the reasons people should spare no time in visiting.

Four reasons travellers should visit Havana right now

It is impossible to give others truly insightful advice on what makes a certain destination tick without having experienced it in the flesh. This is why Mark Murphy, TravAlliancemedia founder and CEO, chose to make a personal trip to Havana and discover its wonders up close. According to an article he published in Travel Pulse where he describes the highlights of his stay and the aspects that made it so special, “selling Cuba is about selling the experience”.

The unique and interesting blend of Spanish and African roots, the contrast between new upscale “casas particulares” (private-owned B&B’s) and crumbling buildings as well as the colonial past of its streets faced with a promising modern future are some of the elements that catch visitors’ attention straight away. Nonetheless, the warmth, hospitality and energy of its friendly people are very much the cherry on top for tourists. It was no different for Mark Murphy.

The TravAlliancemedia CEO arrived in Carnival Corp.’s Fathom Adonia, the first U.S.-based ship to sail to Cuba in many decades. Once he stepped off the ship he was immediately greeted by a cheerful crowd and he was able to corroborate first-hand the enthusiasm of the Cuban people to be working towards harmonious relations with the US. During his visit he took note on what he enjoyed the most and what could truly help travellers’ grasp the essence of this beautiful city.

Strolling through Old Havana’s Plazas

If you start off in the mesmerizing Old Havana, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the best thing to do is explore its four main plazas at leisure: Plaza de Armas, Plaza Vieja, Plaza de la Catedral and Plaza San Francisco de Asis. Each one possesses its own charm and is surrounded by interesting landmarks like the Havana Cathedral. Make sure you wander at will and take the time listen to street musicians, sip a refreshing mojito or daiquiri in a local bar and enjoy a meal at a quality restaurant.

Snapping incredible shots

Cuba’s capital is a photographer’s paradise. The constant contrast between shiny and new and old and decadent is in every corner you look. Snap away with the warm sun illuminating Old Havana’s colonial architecture and busy roads swamped with colourful 50s cars. Dare to dig a little deeper and step into other local neighbourhoods to get a feel of the non-touristic spots too.

Riding Vintage Cars

Many people are absolutely fascinated by how Cubans have made old 50s cars work almost perfectly to the date. These beautiful exemplars that roll all over the city are called “almendrones” by locals due to their almond shape and work as common taxis for locals and tourists. Don’t miss the once-in-a-lifetime chance to cruise the city in one of these wondrous antiques.

Mingling with Cubans

The most surprising and joyous aspect of visiting this Caribbean island is definitely meeting its welcoming people. Mark Murphy was thrilled on how he was able to speak to locals who were open, animated and eager to receive Americans in their soil after so long. The people of Cuba are grateful that change will come along and better the country’s economy and are happy to show the world their friendly and enthusiastic character.

In Murphy’s words:

“Cuba is a living museum that has to be experienced while it still seems set in the 1950s. Time will change much about this island nation as its U.S. tourism numbers continue to expand.”

All the more reason for eager travellers to plan their trip soon. These tips and impressions will never be enough; discover Havana for yourself.


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