Many people believe that time traveling is impossible, but now, thanks to the Obama administration restoring full diplomatic relations with Cuba this past January, going back in time will be possible with a 45-minute flight off the coast of Miami.
“I want to go to Cuba because of its isolation. It’s like the 1950s,” said Julia Tampellini (Questrom ’18).
Virtually untouched by modern technology—even the CIA has difficulty locating WiFi—the Cuban island functions like America did in the 1960s. Millions of American tourists are predicted to want to get in touch with this antique culture, before public enterprise deals allow companies like McDonald’s to come in and replace historical cafés and cigar shops. But before you rent your Airbnb and schedule a parasailing flight, make sure you know that general tourist trips are still considered illegal under U.S. law.
“Cuban style is hype and new. It’s generating a lot of attention right now,” said Samantha Morse (CFA ’18).
So with Beyoncé posting photos basking in the Havana sun and popular magazines writing articles about the best place to get a mojito, it is misleading to say that any American can take their spring break trip to Cuba.
According to CNN, U.S. citizens no longer have to apply for permission to travel as long as their purpose falls within 12 categories of visitation: visiting family, humanitarian projects, official government business, journalist activities, professional research, educational activities, people to people travel, religious activities, public performances, providing travel services, research and exportation of certain internet services. Visitors must produce a detailed itinerary of how their time will be spent in Cuba, and the U.S. government requires they keep it for up to five years.
If you are one of the lucky individuals who finds themselves awarded access into this Latin American time capsule, you are now able to travel by cruise or even a private chartered jet. For those whose best chance at the Cuban experience is simply eating a Cuban sandwich, you can now see the breathtaking ocean views and vibrant city streets through the eyes of a drone.
Traveler reported that the popular tech company, DTS, got permission from the Cuban government to fly a drone over the country’s most famous plazas and beaches “as a way to boost tourism.” But they certainly don’t have to advertise too much, because according to the International Monetary Fund, “Cuba is bracing for as many as 10 million American visitors per year.”
Even though Cuba might actually discover Google or air conditioning before you are granted visitation access, it will remain one of the most authentic and traditional Latin American countries for generations.
Start planning your trip and buy a swimsuit soon, because this new vacation spot is really starting to heat up.