Taking a vacation is wonderful, but changing a vacation to learning about a culture that’s close to home, and yet unknown to many, is truly an experience like no other. Visiting Cuba is just this experience.
Cuba presents its visitors with a multitude of exciting things. It’s truly a melting pot of cultures, primarily Spanish and African, which shine through in every aspect of life, from its food to its music, from its sports to its dancing, from its history to its influence in the Caribbean and around the world. Take a ride in a vintage convertible and learn about all the incredible things Cuba has to offer. See where Hemingway lived and experience a sociocultural project in a community that helps children with social problems.
Driving through Havana, the sound of the rich and expressive music of the country fills the air. The largest island in the Caribbean is home to the salsa, the rumba, the cha-cha, and much more. Couples dance inside clubs, their hips swaying and swinging to the motion as their faces exude passion. And after a salsa lesson with a Cuban teacher, you’ll know exactly how to fit in with the locals!
While on a walking tour of the historic and modern must-sees, the enticing smell of traditional Cuban food floats through the air. Cuban food is a delicious fusion of Spanish and Caribbean influences and you can’t miss the sweet plantains, the hearty black beans and rice, and the slow-cooked shredded beef with a light sauce. Pork hamburgers are griddled to a perfect medium rare. They’re served on a soft roll with lettuce and tomato and a sweet pineapple ring that gives a fresh burst of sweet juice that contrasts well with the hot salty meat.
Stuffed with burgers and “guarapo,” a refreshing drink made straight from sugarcane, you’ll walk toward Havana’s Old Plaza, passing a group of kids playing baseball. The crack of the bat and the sound of their cheers and laughter is the perfect soundtrack for the Plaza. Filled with several exhibits of Cuban culture from art galleries to a beer museum, the outdoor cafes of the Old Plaza offer exceptional views of Cubans and guests alike.
After a day filled with learning about the culture and trying new foods, it’s time for a few moments to relax and watch the sunset. El Morro is a 16th-century fortress that was used as a prison for many years. But today, it’s the best place to enjoy the sky melting oranges, reds, and pinks together. Tomorrow, it’s time to venture outside Havana and explore more of the island on this experience like no other!
*Photo courtesy of Emilio Perez. Be sure to check out his website and more of his incredible artwork at http://emilioperezart.com/news/! Thank you for inspiring this Cuban adventure, Emilio!
Captivated by Cuba