This post was last updated on 2024 April 21


That’s what Cuba is to me. I know very little about the country, but you know how it is when someone tells you something’s off limits. Because of the Embargo, Americans aren’t technically allowed to travel to Cuba unless they have procured a special license or are traveling in a group program – in fact, that’s the only way to book a direct flight from the US to Cuba.

But you know how we Americans roll. If there’s a will, there’s a way. Even though we’re not supposed to vacation in Cuba or spend a single cent while there, nearly 600,000 of us managed to pull it off last year. The trick? Book a flight to Canada or Mexico, then another from there to Cuba – and be sure not to get your passport stamped upon entry!

With the number of American visitors rising exponentially over the past few years, I kind of feel like I have to visit Cuba, like, yesterday. I want to experience authentic Cuba, not the future commercialized version of it.

Streets of Havana, Cuba
Photo Credit: James Bruno

What do I know about Cuba? Not much beyond the clubs, cigars, and old cars. I envision it as a place stuck in time – one that’s vibrant and raw and untouched. And who knew it had some gorgeous beaches? Sign me up, please and thanks!

Varadero Beach in Cuba
Photo Credit:

Streets of Cuba
Photo Credit: MW Kitchen (edited by me)