Its finally easy for Americans to get to Cuba.
JetBlue has regular flights out of JFK, and they are cheap right now, about $350 for a roundtrip in and out of Havana.
All you have to do is provide a reason for going to the country to purchase the tickets, picking the “Educational activity or people-to-people exchanges” choice is sufficient.
*I was certainly planning on doing some ‘people-to-people exchanges’ with the local girls, heh.*
At the airport, there is a separate section for flights to Cuba, and the agents will ask you why you are going.
I had a pretty good reason for my professional work, but could have easily said I was going to write an article and take photographs of Havana and that would have been good enough to be issued a tourist visa.
The tourist visa to Cuba costs $50 at JFK, you buy it right from the agent (make sure you don’t lose it or else you will be fucked trying to get back in to the States), and you are on your way.
Upon re-entry into the U.S., the customs agent will ask why you went to Cuba, “To experience the culture and take photographs”. He then asked me “Are you a photographer?” I said “Yes”, he stamped my passport and said “Welcome home.”
The most important thing you must know before going is that:
American credit/bank cards do not work anywhere in the country. You must bring cash to pay for everything.
I was absolutely screwed after getting robbed, I even went to the central bank and the ministry of finance in Havana to see if anything could be done and there wasn’t.
Its the worst thing in the world to be stuck somewhere with no money. I grew up poor and my family was always on a budget, so I know how to get by with minimal funds easily, but not having money for food and water is a truly helpless and disheartening feeling.
If it wasn’t for Tata, the 80 year old Cuban grandma I was sharing a house with, I would have resorted to begging or theft in order to survive.
It is also important to note that there are two currencies in circulation. One of them, the CUC (convertible peso) is exactly equivalent to the US dollar and the one you want to use.
The CUP (moneda national), is almost worthless, and is used for transactions among Cubans in small cafes and shops.
Make sure you are not getting ripped off when getting change from someone and look at your cash carefully so you know which is which.
Hotels are frustrating to deal with if you don’t go through a travel agent, and they are very expensive, so I chose to rent a room in a ‘Casa Particular’, which is just like Airbnb. This ended up being the core reason I ended up getting robbed–so I wouldn’t recommend getting one in a shared house like I did–but if you can get a place to yourself, it should be fine.
The internet is RARE in Havana, so most locals don’t have access to it, you will have to call them up by phone in order to book a room.
I didn’t use this app, but on my next trip down I’ll probably use cubajunky and get a private apartment.
I stayed in the Vedado neighborhood, which was OK, but it was far from many of the places I wanted to go and the nightlife wasn’t that great. Before getting robbed, I was taking a lot of taxis–which are mostly old Chevrolet Bel Airs from the 1950s–and they are not cheap.
Havana is a large and expansive city, with the nightlife and action concentrated in certain areas, and Old Havana is where the finest clubs and bars are located.
Next time, I will definitely be staying in Old Havana, which is walkable and where the most action takes place.
Since your phone will NOT work anywhere in the country, its best to download an offline mapping system (I didn’t, but it would have been great to have one like Galileo loaded up).
Havana is a safe city, even in the ghetto parts, but you have to be on the watch for scams. Its best to go in with the mindset not to trust anyone who offers you anything, they are just trying to get money out of you.
Whenever I was approached, I just looked them in the eye, shook my head, and said ‘No’, and kept walking–that kept me from being bothered.
Getting robbed by Russians was completely my fault, and its not something anyone should worry about–just don’t make rash decisions at 2 in the morning.
There are plenty of things to do and see during the day in the city. It is brimming with interesting history, and is seriously beautiful. I’ve been all over Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean, and have not seen a city that tops Havana in terms of pure aesthetic pleasantry.
For many more photos, make sure you check out my Photo Tour of Havana, Cuba post.
Girls responded very well to my look and style–even better than Mexican girls do.
And they are beautiful: healthy light skin, curves like a true Latina, pretty faces, thick hair, and great personalities.
Havana proved to be the best place for me to meet local ladies with ease.
A few times while I was walking down the street, I had pairs of girls yell at me: “Argentino? Chile? Italiano?!” or some country my features resemble. When I responded with “Nueva York” they stood there stunned for a moment, and then really wanted to talk. The girls who hollered at me weren’t very attractive though, and I suspect two of them were definitely prostitutes.
During the day, I didn’t see many attractive locals, but at night, the girls get dressed up and go out looking for a good time.
Cuban women are highly sexual creatures, they are some of the most uninhibited ladies I have ever been around, and they know it.
The approaches were some of the easiest I’ve ever done in my life, just a simple “Habla Ingles?” and then rolling from there. They immediately asked where I was from and when I said New York City, none of the ladies wanted to leave my side.
One group of girls had my attention, and another group would be watching the interaction go down, and when I approached the watching group, they had already been warmed up and wondering who the mysterious guy with the hat and beard was.
*Guys with beards are very rare, and more than a few times I had girls ask if they could touch mine–and you know what that means…
I had to do the pulling away if I wasn’t feeling the vibe enough, and it was remarkable being the desired one at the club.
The only spot I remember the name of is Fabrica de Arte, located in a converted olive oil factory, and it was a perfect place for me to operate. Its a massive club with many rooms, live music in several of them, it attracts a lot of artists, and oozes with style. I loved it.
It is hard to get in, but I was with Tata’s grandson, and he greased one of the bouncers for us.
I met a girl there and ended up spending the rest of the night with and her and her friends.
They took me around to other places that were great. I have no idea where they are located or what they are called because I was occupied/distracted in the taxi taking my girls tits out of her dress and getting frisky.
Cubans love to dance, so every bar/club had some live band or DJ playing good tunes. I don’t like dancing that much, but when you have a Shakira lookalike grinding her ass on you, the inspiration comes naturally.
Most of the single girls live at home with their parents, so you will have to take them back to your own place, and doing so was pretty simple. Just be prepared to pay for their taxi back home before the sun comes up and daddy knows what happened.
Americans really are exotic to the Cuban people, and they love hearing about it. They also love to hear about sexual repression, shit-tests, and how American girls think they are sexy, but are really some of the soulless females on Earth.
The conversations about shit-testing were particularly entertaining: “you mean, if an American girl likes you, she will play these silly games with you?”
“Yeah, its like dealing with a little fucking kid. Its much better in Cuba, when you are attracted to someone, you enjoy it and let them know.”
If you are looking for an exotic adventure somewhere with interesting people, fascinating culture, and sexualized women, I would highly recommend Cuba.
Feel free to ask any questions.