Traveling to Havana, Cuba was the trip of a lifetime. As an American, it was a unique feeling entering a country that is off-limits to the everyday traveler from the US. I chose to fly there from Mexico, which meant I didn’t need to apply for a license from the US. This method is technically illegal but Cuba welcomes Americans with open arms. The risk and the reward paid off as I explored Havana, made new friends, and saw some amazing sites. No matter where you call home I recommend traveling to Cuba if you have the opportunity.
I stayed with a family in Old Havana in what is called a casa particular, basically a homestay, for around $30 USD per night. In 1997 the government permitted Cubans to rent private rooms in their home. This change opened up a world of wonderful accommodation in the country. Not only was it a new source of income for Cubans but it is a wonderful experience as a tourist. I love staying in guest houses when I travel and renting a room in a casa particular was just as hospitable.
My host pointed me to all of her favorite restaurants, bars, and sites in the city. I retraced the footsteps of Hemingway, sampled local cuisine, and attempted to salsa with some new friends. The decaying architecture and classic cars took me to a time that I have never felt in any other city around the world. I wouldn’t trade my experience in Havana for anything and I can’t wait to return.
Take a look at some of my favorite photos from my trip.
Bio: Clint Johnston is traveler and blogger at Triphackr.com. There you can find his travel hacking tips on ways to see more of the world for less. He is an amateur photographer, travel hacker, and street food connoisseur. Follow his travels and learn how to start saving money when you travel at Triphackr.com.
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