There is this indescribable feeling I can’t explain about seeing the world, but I know for sure that traveling is when I feel the most alive! Over 5 Days and 4 Nights I emerged myself in the culture of Cuba! Along with 5 Fabulous Friends we embarked on a journey that would create memories to last a lifetime. Be prepared to disconnect from the life you know as routine, and “just be.”
Traveling to Cuba soon? Check out 5 Things To Know Before You Go!
The Site Seeing:
Cuba is rich in culture and we were exposed to it first hand while visiting, Callejon de Hamel. The Afro Cuban street is filled with art created using old domestic objects. The 15 minute self guided walking tour also includes a museum. The colorful and lively alley is the perfect destination if you are interested in learning more about Cuban art and history. On Sundays there is music and dancing!
We also visited Casa De Africa which is Cuba’s African History Museum. Here you will learn about African influence in Cuba while viewing a few historic artifacts.
When in Cuba, you must take a tour through Old Havana, Central Havana, and New Havana via a vintage taxi. The tours range from 1-3hrs and cost about $30-$40 per hour. (They will try to charge $60+, make sure negotiate!) Along the way you will make stops at some of the city’s most historic monuments. Your tour guide will also tell you abut the city’s history during the ride. If you do not speak Spanish I suggest requesting a driver that speaks English.
My favorite #FunFact I learned along the tour is that the vintage cars that are such a rich part of Cuba’s culture were left by the Americans during the revolution. All of the cars still have their original motors like the 1952 Chevy that served as our taxi. Because these are American made cars, the parts needed to maintain them must be imported from the United States. Of course importing anything from the U.S. is illegal, so as a result there is an underground trade system in place that supplies the parts needed to keep the cars up to speed. Also, the cars were later customized with vibrant paint and matching interior to compliment the lively colors of the city of Havana.
I stopped to indulge in a cup of cuban coffee…sooo delicious!
We lodged in Santa Maria, which is a five minute walk to Santa Maria Del Mar Beach. The beaches are absolutely beautiful and fully equipped with beach chair and umbrella rentals, a DJ and restaurants serving pina coladas around the clock. You can also participate in water sports such as jet skiing and boat riding.
Swim Suit: Ashley Graham Swimsuits for All
Everyone will recommend you go to La Frabrica which is the city’s most popular night life destination. The warehouse features 3 floors with multiple rooms playing music ranging from old school jams, to salsa dancing, and live music. However, frankly we weren’t that impressed.
On night two after bar hopping in Old Havana we stumbled across a gem. As we approached the venue laughing and chatting amongst ourselves, the doorman interrupted with a loud “SHHHHHHHHHH!” At first glance you wouldn’t guess you were about to enter a club. The speak easy disguise lead to an open space with a staircase. It was too quiet and not convincing that a nightlife attraction existed there. Hesitantly, we climbed one flight of stairs and walked through a door and whoa, it was litt! THERE was the party. We discovered the cutest lounge ever named Casa de la Musica. It was the perfect nightlife vibe with a mix of cuban music and American top 40. We enjoyed the combination of learning to salsa dance one minute and singing along to to Drake the next.
All photos were taken by Melody Araujo.
I believe that when you travel it is not only important to learn something about the culture, but it is equally as important to connect and learn something new about the people who traveled with you. I laughed, I cried, and I cried laughing! Experiencing Cuba along side 5 beautiful, educated, and talented women made my trip most memorable.
Ladies, thank you for not only embracing me but for sharing with me a piece of YOU!
Until Next time! #GirlsGoneHavana