As someone who has been to Cuba 4 times since 2008, I know Cuba is an excellent place to go to for vacation. It is always warm, relatively cheap and a very safe place to be. It gives you a chance to live life by a warm beach on an all-inclusive trip free of anything to do with Corporate America. This article will provide some helpful hits so you can best enjoy your vacation.
Refer here for a guide on how to get through Cuban customs.
Refer here for how to get the best deal for your trip.
Refer here for how to have a relaxing vacation in Cuba.
Refer here for how to have a party vacation in Cuba.
Refer here for the best Cuban souvenirs.
A Cuban all-inclusive trip will come with unlimited food, alcoholic beverages, travel from the airport to your hotel and back, use of facilities, and, most importantly, use of the beach. Depending on the star rating, demographics of the guests and location of the hotel the facilities included will be buffets, a la carte restaurants, pools, gyms, tennis courts and other similar types of rec facilities, a resort club/discotheque, day care services and limited amount of free shuttle services off of the resort.
There are also many other services, usually various day trips and water activities that can be done for extra charges. Some resorts will offer lobster or other delicacies at extra cost.
Here's some key points that will help enhance your Cuban vacation experience:
1. Don't be afraid to mingle with the locals. Cubans are very friendly and hospitable people who love life. The island has a very low crime rate and strict laws against those who attack tourists. Feel free to walk along the beach and walk off the resort. I recommend walking off of the resort only at night time because the humidity gets quite unbearable for Europeans and North Americans during the day when you head in-land away from the coast. The lack of lighting is not a problem at night because the sky is so clear that the stars will provide enough light for you to see along the road. You can walk along the beach at any time during the day or night.
2. Although alcohol is included it is generally not up to par of North American taste with the exception of the rum. If you are not a rum fan but are interested in the consumption of other alcoholic beverages then it is a good idea to research where the alcohol is good. It is possible to find good bartenders at a large resort in Cuba. The best drink I ever had happened to be in Cuba.
3. The food is an acquired taste. It is without preservatives and other processes that the guests are use to in their home town. I find this refreshing, tasty and enjoyable as the food is very healthy but I have spoken with plenty of people who don't like Cuban food. Absolutely avoid burgers, hot dogs and other knock-off versions of Western fast foods. They are generally horrible, with the exception of their pizzas and French fries. Don't expect steak any where at your resort. If you have beef at all at your resort consider it a delicacy. Pork, chicken and fish will be plentiful and tastes excellent to my taste buds. The fruits there are excellent in the "on" season during spring and early summer and while the desserts and pastries aren't as sweet as in North America, they are quite good. Most breakfasts are up to par or better with what you would expect at a breakfast buffet at your home.
4. If you have any old clothes, toys or other things that you wish to give away, you can bring them to Cuba and locals will be more than grateful to receive them. You will probably tip your maid, waiters, cooks, bellhops and other servers that you have interactions with on a regular basis. Keep in mind that these people get the same treatment from everyone. Be mindful of the Cuban locals who do not work at the hotel or those who work in the back scenes like the landscapers. They will be in much greater need of your generosity than the hotel workers you see everyday.
5. If you purchase Cuban cigars from anywhere other than your resort store or airport be aware that they are most likely fake, even if the seller promises they are real. Rum can be purchased from anyone and it will be real.
6. Cuba is generally good to go to with the exception of the hurricane season from August to Mid-November. The winter season does get a little bit cool by the island's standards in certain areas. Refer to this monthly temperature chart to get an idea of which region has a temperature acceptable for your vacation.