So I had a random 5 days off IN A ROW.. I couldn’t believe it! My boyfriend was like 5 days? LETS GO TO CUBA!!!! I work so much that it was exciting to book a spontanious trip! 🙂 I was super nervous right after we booked the trip.. A million questions ran through our heads so Im making this blog for everyone who had the same nervous thoughts as us.. DONT WORRY! CUBA IS AWESOME.
First things first… AIRPORT!
When you first arrive to the airport you have to get a visa. It was $5o each at the Airport (FLL). It didn’t take long at all. The line was short ( people over exaggerated how long the lines are at the airport to get your VISA…it took us no more than 15 mins)
Flight from Ft. Lauderdale to Cuba was less than an hour. It was the easiest flight we’ve been on!
Once you land in Cuba you have to go through customs. It was a bit crowded ( like it is anywhere out of country) so expect a long line but it went by super quick for us. I highly suggest only bringing a carry on. We checked in a suitcase (we shared one) & it took at least 45 mins if not more to finally get it. IT WAS INSANE. We only stayed for 4 days so we should have just packed with our carry on…perooo I’m NOT a light packer haha. SO this was annoying and a learning lesson for us.
VERY IMPORTANT: CUBA DOES NOT ACCEPT AMERICAN MONEY/CREDIT CARDS.
We had people tell us to exchange our money at the airport in Cuba once we land (long line) but we ended up going with our taxi driver to the bank to exchange our money ( only took 5 mins ) I would highly recommend doing it that way but they do TAX you at the bank. They took $60 to exchange ( i think) i forgot but something around that amount. Cuba’s CUC is equal to our dollar.
LUCKILY, one of my good friends had just gone to Cuba- she had used this Taxi driver and she got his number for us. So he greeted us at the airport with a sign that had our names on it. It was SO CUTE.
He was the coolest dude! SOO glad we had him for our first ride in Cuba. He spoke minimum english but he did great & with my spanglish we communicated just fine 🙂 He didn’t mind taking our pictures every second haha.. he asked us if we exchanged our money yet ( which we didn’t) so he took us to get our money exchanged at this bank in Cuba. Its a certain place, Im not sure what its called but if you don’t want to wait at the airport there are other places in Cuba you can exchange your money at 🙂 SO DONT STRESS! but if you want to be safe.. just wait in the line at the airport once you land in Cuba!
WHERE TO STAY:
We are soo happy that we booked with an AIRBNB while staying in Cuba. It was the perfect way to really experience the CUBA LIFE. I wouldn’t recommend staying at a hotel..its just not the same. Our AIRBNB was amazing. It was in central Havana. The balcony overlooked the Hotel Nacional de Cuba which is the first hotel built in Cuba.. Also overlooked The Malecón which is the seawall that is along the coast of Cuba. OUR VIEW WAS INCREDIBLE! We were in the middle of everything important! The hotels were right next to us ( we walked to the Hotel Nacional and had cigars and lunch. We walked to The Malecón every day. Its beautiful. Everything was pretty much right near us! Old havana was 5 mins away from us as well. We took a taxi for $5CUC.
The AIRBNB was modern and updated. (rare for Cuba)… It had 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms! It was on the 18th floor 🙂 The host was SO great and the balcony view was breathtaking. They stocked the fridge with drinks and food. They had bottles of Havana rum for purchase (we ended up buying our own for $2cuc cheaper) but the presentation was more than we could have imagined. The AIRBNB had a camera outside the front door and a guard gate that locked the corner of the walk way which made us feel extra safe (even though there is NO need to worry) The building comes with security guards & the area we stayed in was super safe ( Cuba in general is) but a new country.. it made us feel better 🙂 It was $80 a night but to be honest i would have paid alot more because this AIRBNB was perfection for our Cuba stay! Our host even offered to cook us breakfast every morning for $10CUC so we took advantage and did that 🙂 it was SO DELISH!
DOPE FACT: Cuba Street signs are on the side of the road on the floor on a big rock! SO different and we loved it.
We walked to Havana 21- a spot around the corner from us everyday when we got hungry randomly
( Alot of walking means Alot of eating) haha
MUST HAVE IN CUBA- MANGO JUICE! ASK FOR IT FROZEN! THANK ME LATER! WE HAD ABOUT 2 OF THESE A DAY! WE BECAME ADDICTED.
MUST DO’S IN CUBA:
This was hilarious! So the AIRBNB gave us 3 wifi cards (they were literally, the best!).. Wifi cards have 1 hour loaded. You have to sign in the info and the time ticks! Splitting it with my man and I was beyond comical. We would spend all day long exploring and come home, figure out what picture we wanted to post and who we wanted to text real quick, login and log off haha IT WAS TORTURE…just because we had such beautiful pictures and we wanted to share them with everyone! You don’t realize how fast time passes until your wifi clock starts ticking! hahaha it was funny BUT it was super nice not using our phones and bonding every second every day
( If your Airbnb doesn’t include them- which they probably won’t. Ours did because they were AWESOME.. haha don’t worry, they sell wifi cards in certain locations)
FOOD WAS YUMMY!
We ate so much in Cuba but it is pretty expensive. It is not cheap at all…Each GOOD meal was about $45ish for the both of us. (hotels & resorts are way more expensive).. We stayed away from pizza ( we heard some gross stories about the cheese made for the pizza before we took the trip so it basically stuck to us) We tried to eat at local spots. Hotels, Restaurants that were recommended to us. They were delicious.
We wanted to go to Veradero beach ( we heard such great things) but it was almost a 3 hour drive so it wasn’t worth it for us since we only were there for 4 days. So we went to Santa Maria beach. It was about a 20 min drive from Old Havana. IT WAS SO HOT! We stayed for about 2 hours and decided to head back home..it was beautiful but being from Miami, Florida…The beach wasn’t our main priority! haha.
Im super extra so I packed super Cubanita!!!!! My man was laughing at me because I was literally the ONLY person dressed the way i was… ” how are you a cubanita and nobody looks like you” HAHAHA he was so right but he loves it. My man thinks Im so extra but appreciates my EXTRA-NESS! I made sure to pack all colorful clothes! Maxi dresses, Shorts, Crop tops, Floral outfits! IT IS SOOOOO HOTTTTTTTT so leave your jeans and long pants/sleeves in your closet! Thankfully I already knew that but for those who don’t know…CUBA IS HOTT AF! I made sure to pack a bunch of cute headbands and tied them in big bows on my head. LOVED IT. Don’t forget your red lipstick 😉 super mamacita! haha FOR PICTURES AT LEAST! be the vibe….
ALL IN ALL the trip was amazing! I highly recommend everybody go there while the government is allowing us too. It was such a great experience! It felt like we were in the 1950s! The vibe was just so dope! I would say 3 days is more than enough time! The Cubans are SOOOO nice and more than wiling to help you! They are the sweetest people.. seriously. Some people told us “their opinions” before we took the trip..”Cubans over there don’t like americans blah blah blah…” THATS A JOKE. They are so friendly! The first night in Cuba we wanted to grab dinner…we were walking in front of Hotel Capri and asked the guy standing outside for directions to this food spot we heard of.. He went out of his way to grab a piece of paper, draw the streets and make us a map on how to walk there. That within itself explains it all… 🙂 They are all about Americans and excited to help!
Hopefully i added what was important! If you have any questions comment below or hopefully i will remember and add some more important details! 🙂 YOUTUBE VLOG IN THE WORKS !
ENJOY SOME PICTURES BELOW 🙂