As I'm writing this on August 31, 2016, the first American airline touched down in Cuba after more than 50 years.
For decades, Americans were only allowed to visit Cuba under strict requirements, including family visits, official business for the U.S. government, journalistic activities, professional research, etc.
As part of the embargo, if an American citizen wanted to travel to Cuba for personal reasonings, it was impossible.
As of March 2016 the travel restrictions were loosened to include people-to-people exchanges, meaning now you can go as long as you interact with locals. Hence, now any American can now travel to Cuba.
That means a few things; it will soon be overrun with Hiltons, cruise lines, Walmart, and other large American corporations.
Cuba will morph from this beautifully frozen in time country that doesn't rely on TV or internet for entertainment.
Instead, Cubans talk, laugh, play music and dance with each other. Hotels and restaurants are still primarily owned and run by Cubans.
Large corporations are not inherently bad, they provide a lot of really great things for the local people if done right, like jobs, food, infrastructure and telecommunications.
The potential problem is the loss of authenticity when Starbucks shows up on every corner.
So, visit Havana and it's streets filled with people talking in the streets, playing music and dancing.
Visit Viñales Valley in the jungle. Visit the white sand beaches of Varadero and Santa Maria. Visit the small towns of Trinidad and Santiago.
Travel to Cuba now. Put it as a top priority on your travel bucket list.
Hawaii, Paris, and Aruba will still be there.
Want help planning a trip to Cuba? Contact us.