cuba | alaska airlines
i had the privilege of heading to Cuba for 8 days with the best crew on behalf of Alaska Airlines. we spend our days touring coffee & tobacco farms, eating lots of rice & beans & wandering the streets of Havana, Cienfuegos & Trinidad. here's a collection of my favorite photos from the trip as well as some tips for you all if you ever find yourself heading to Cuba!
tip 01 -- each morning, these are some of the noises you wake up to all at once: roosters crowing, barking dogs, screaming babies, people screaming in Spanish, construction, more roosters, more dogs. i would recommend that you bring ear plugs!
tip 02 -- you can only drink bottled water -- tap water will make you sick -- & every restaurant charges $3+ for a bottle. you'll honestly drink about 7 a day so stock up when you can because you will get very very thirsty! & they're anywhere from 50¢ to a dollar at convenience stores & cafés.
tip 03 -- wifi is scarce. there are hotspots & you have to buy wifi cards that last on a timer for one hour. they range from $2-$6 a card & you can only use them in the wifi parks!
tip 04 -- everything is open air basically, you're always outside so have bug spray & sunscreen & put it on whenever you think about it.
tip 05 -- bring SNACKS. there is literally nowhere to buy snacks. i was told this going into the trip but i didn't believe it & only came with 6 cliff bars thinking that i'd find a convenience store. i regret that decision very much. they don't have convenience stores at all & just do three meals a day & every meal is rather heavy & fairly expensive if you want to eat safe food that won't make you sick & give you food poisoning!
tip 06 -- every meal consists of meat & rice & beans & fruit. try to eat rice once a day instead of three times. we all felt pretty gross four days in or so & realized it was due to the constant consumption of rice. also if i had brought more snacks i wouldn't have felt desperate for any food i got & would have been able to ration meals & avoid all the rice. so bring snacks & try to not eat rice as frequently as three times a day!
tip 07 -- money: i got $350 out of the bank & transferred it to Canadian dollars where there was no exchange loss & then it pared down to $266 CUC for use in Cuba & it wasn't really enough. spending $35 or $40 a day was pretty practical & then i wanted to get way more gifts for people than i did get. they have so many awesome leather goods, cigars, turquoise, coffee beans, etc. & i barely walked out of Cuba with $10 left so i had to very sparingly purchase gifts!
tip 08 -- get a tour guide! we had one every day of the trip & i would not recommend a trip to Cuba without one. we had the same guide the first 5 days & he was AMAZING. he was so funny & personable & made our trip so much fun & without him it probably wouldn't have been nearly as memorable or enjoyable.
comment below if you have any other questions about the trip & i'm happy to help! xx