Showing posts with label Cuba. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cuba. Show all posts

7 Adventurous Things to do in Cuba

In the wake of President Obama's historical visit to Cuba this week, I wanted to share a story that I wrote and published on the Outdoor and Adventure Travel page for listing 7 adventurous things to do in the Caribbean country. Cuba isn't usually considered much of an adventure destination, but it turns out there are some good things to do there for active travelers.

Amongst the activities that I recommend is making the 2-3 day trek to the summit of Pico Turquino, the tallest peak on the island at 1974 meters (6476 feet). Obviously this isn't a mountain that challenges you with altitude, but it has two different routes to the summit that pass through dense forest along the way. It is a good opportunity to see some of the island's natural wonders along the way.

Other options include snorkeling and scuba diving on some pristine coral reefs, taking a cycling tour of the island, and surfing off Cuba's coastline. There are also suggestions for visiting a national park, sailing through Cuba's storied waters, and more.

Now that Cuba is opening up to visitors, I'm sure more American's will be visiting in the months and years ahead. If you're looking for a few suggestions on things to do while there, hopefully this list will give you an idea of what to expect.

Cycling Through Cuba with Richard Bangs

We are living in a remarkable time. After more than 50 years of ice cold relations, the U.S. and Cuba are at long last thawing their relationship, and it is for the better. The trade embargo imposed on Cuba for decades has been a failed, outdated approach to foreign affairs for a very long time, but fortunately some semblance of sanity is returning, and the two nations are now on a path to normalizing – and formalizing – relations. 

It is in that environment that the travel industry has found a great deal of excitement this year. Cuba has long been off limits for American travelers, some of whom went to great lengths to go there anyway. But now, travel to the Caribbean country is a real option, and many are lining up to visit the place while it is still in its current, preserved state. 

Recently, my friend Richard Bangs led a group of travelers on a cycling journey through the island nation and shared his experience with readers at the Huffington Post. His journey took him through a series of historical sites, beautiful landscapes, and burgeoning urban settings. Cuba, it seems, is still caught in the past, but is joining the 21st century very rapidly. 

The island nation is tailor made for cycling it seems. Richard says that in the 1990's, following the collapse of the Soviet Union, bikes were the dominant form of transportation. Traffic has increased since then of course, but the roads are bike-friendly, and the terrain isn't particularly demanding. 

Richard's journey through Cuba is made all the more memorable as he is joined by his seven year old son Jasper. The young man rides a trail-a-bike behind his father for much of the trip, while having the rare opportunity to explore a country that is opening up to future possibilities for the first time in many decades. The father-son duo roll their bikes past farms, beautiful beaches, and buildings that were the height of luxury back in the 1950's. 

As someone who does a good deal of travel writing, I know that there is immense interest in visiting Cuba right now. Richard's article will give you taste of what it is like there, as the country goes through a transition period. Eventually, Cuba will begin to change, as economic forces from outside start to develop the country. For those who want to see it in its purest form, now is the time to go. While the future does indeed look much brighter for the Cuban people, much of its charm will eventually disappear, lost in the mists of the modern age.

Video: Go Cuba!

With the recent thawing of relations between the United States and Cuba there is a lot of excitement from U.S. travelers to get the opportunity to visit the Caribbean nation at long last. This video provides a great idea of what they can expect when they get there. It is a land of natural wonders, with friendly people with a zest for life. It is also a country that has been left behind due to oppressive restrictions that have been placed on it for more than 50 years. If things continue to improve between the two countries, that will soon change however, and we could witness a real renaissance for Cuba. If you didn't want to go before, after watching this short clip, you'll probably want to visit the country for yourself.

GO Cuba from Joshua Morin on Vimeo.