U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Travel
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
 
Old 09-11-2007, 06:50 PM
 
Location: Lots of sun and palm trees with occasional hurricane :)
8,292 posts, read 14,841,459 times
Reputation: 6981

Advertisements

I was born in Cuba but have not been there in over 45 years and have no family there. I'm kind of bored lately and have been thinking about taking a trip to see some of the "touristy" areas. Havana for sure but I also want to get to Varadero (beach) and to some of the keys in the northern part. I've heard it is really beautiful.

I don't know anyone that I could go with (or that wants to) and was wondering if anybody has gone to Cuba recently and if you've gone alone or if you would go alone. The language is not a problem. I think I would just feel weird doing it alone because I may end up even more bored than I am now and it might not be the thing to do given the situation there.

Maybe someone knows of groups or something that arrange trips to Cuba and I can be a solo traveler within the group????
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 09-12-2007, 07:18 AM
 
Location: on an island
13,382 posts, read 40,936,227 times
Reputation: 13245
AFAIK, U.S. citizens still can't go there. Or do you have dual citizenship?
Wait a minute--U.S. citizens can go there, but are not allowed to spend American $ there.
Please, somebody correct me if I am wrong.
This did not stop a friend of mine from finagling a visit to Cuba. He is a well-traveled guy who has been all over the place.
Cuba intrigued him.
Not sure how he got there, but he went.
He said the poverty was depressing and the country not as interesting as he had hoped it would be.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-12-2007, 07:52 AM
 
Location: Lots of sun and palm trees with occasional hurricane :)
8,292 posts, read 14,841,459 times
Reputation: 6981
Quote:
Originally Posted by cil View Post
AFAIK, U.S. citizens still can't go there. Or do you have dual citizenship?
Wait a minute--U.S. citizens can go there, but are not allowed to spend American $ there.
Please, somebody correct me if I am wrong.
This did not stop a friend of mine from finagling a visit to Cuba. He is a well-traveled guy who has been all over the place.
Cuba intrigued him.
Not sure how he got there, but he went.
He said the poverty was depressing and the country not as interesting as he had hoped it would be.

You would think I'd know all the answers living here in Miami but no, actually, I've just started thinking about this.

I think we can go through a 3rd country - Mexico, Canada, Bahamas, but not from the USA directly. I did read something yesterday about the spending money there being the "illegal" part.

I have to look into this some more and think long and hard about it. I'm sure it is very depressing, much more so if you have family and friends. I was born in Cuba so yes, I have dual citizenship but I won't go spending time or money updating my cuban passport from when I was a kid. I could if I wanted to come and go "quietly". Use one passport to leave the US and the other to re-enter, or something like that but I wouldn't want to jeopardize anything and get in trouble.

I suppose I would be sad to see some things and I would have to look through the eyes of love. But the tourist areas, I haven't heard anything but good stuff about that.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-12-2007, 01:22 PM
 
Location: SoFlo to SoCal (Hacienda Heights)
1,510 posts, read 4,656,466 times
Reputation: 660
vpcats - we live in Miami.. go to Hialeah and find one of those agencies that say "viajes a Cuba" and they'll take you through the process step by step. I have never been to Cuba, but my grandmother has gone around 10 or 11 times this way since they arrived here from Cuba 40+ years ago.

And about the country not being interesting.. most of the people that visit Cuba are people who have family there, and thats why they go visit. I dont think there are very many touristy things for this reason, not because the country is not interesting. Keep in mind it is still a communist country and some things are very hard to come by.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-12-2007, 02:53 PM
 
Location: on an island
13,382 posts, read 40,936,227 times
Reputation: 13245
Quote:
Originally Posted by dragonofillfaith View Post
I dont think there are very many touristy things for this reason, not because the country is not interesting. Keep in mind it is still a communist country and some things are very hard to come by.
I appreciate your comments about people visiting family. This makes a lot of sense.
The reason my friend's opinion was significant to me is because he's not some touristy guy in a Hawaiian shirt who wants a Disney experience wherever he goes. He is an old hippie who does not need much to keep him happy.
I actually would like to see Cuba some day but I think I'll wait awhile, there are plenty of other places I have not yet seen.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-12-2007, 03:25 PM
 
Location: Lots of sun and palm trees with occasional hurricane :)
8,292 posts, read 14,841,459 times
Reputation: 6981
Quote:
Originally Posted by dragonofillfaith View Post
vpcats - we live in Miami.. go to Hialeah and find one of those agencies that say "viajes a Cuba" and they'll take you through the process step by step. I have never been to Cuba, but my grandmother has gone around 10 or 11 times this way since they arrived here from Cuba 40+ years ago.

And about the country not being interesting.. most of the people that visit Cuba are people who have family there, and thats why they go visit. I dont think there are very many touristy things for this reason, not because the country is not interesting. Keep in mind it is still a communist country and some things are very hard to come by.
Thanks dragon.

Is your grandma a US citizen? I think residents (green card) can go easier but not more frequently than every 3 years, although they can do it through a 3rd country also and just bribe people in the Cuban airport. It's the citizens that have a harder time.

I have heard that Varadero and Cayo Santa Maria and Cayo Coco (near Caibarien) are the best. It's all Sol Melia and other European hotels there so you'd never know you were not in Punta Cana or better. I would still want to see the "reality" of Cuba though if I do go someday. After all it is in my blood and it's not like I would die if I don't eat a whole chicken or churrasco and a dozen eggs every day for the week I'd be there.

Oh yeah, the people we know from HERE go because of the family but there are tons of Canadians and Europeans who go for the beaches and the partying and, there are some real historic areas throughout the island. Even where Hemingway made his home is kept up well. There are some other reasons that are not so nice to talk about.

Now mosquitos.....that's a whole other issue. :-)))
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-13-2007, 11:15 AM
 
Location: SoFlo to SoCal (Hacienda Heights)
1,510 posts, read 4,656,466 times
Reputation: 660
She was a resident for some time, but she went after becoming a citizen too. But youre right she did have to go to a third country.. I think it was Jamaica if I'm not mistaken. But like I said, those agencies take you through everything step by step.

I've heard my grandmother talk of all those places you mentioned too. She says Varadero has nothing to envy of Miami Beach lol.

Anyway good luck with whatever you decide. I'd like to go to Cuba someday too.. though I'll probably wait until I'm much older (only 24 now).
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-10-2007, 12:44 PM
 
Location: Hougary, Texberta
8,602 posts, read 11,093,754 times
Reputation: 10316
I've been a half dozen times or so. I love it. The people are amazing and unbelievably friendly, and it is overall a great experience.

One of the greatest things, and please don't take it the wrong way, is the complete lack of America. No US culture, no McDonalds, no KFC, no WalMart, no mass merchandizing. It is truly refreshing to go somewhere where they have developed in a relative vacuum of US commercialism.

The easiest and likely cheapest way to go is to take a package vacation from any major Canadian city. The tourist visa is taken care of, and the packages are super inexpensive. You can even get flight only.

The Cuban government has no issue with US citizens travelling to Cuba, it is only the US state department that does. They don't stamp passports in Cuba, so there is no record in your documents that you were ever there. All the stamping exit/entry is done on the tourist visa, which is a loose piece of paper.

I cannot recommend going highly enough.

Mike
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Travel
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top