Memoirs of a trip (October 2018) to a city stuck in time

My sadness in Havana  started with those very painful words “flight from Havana, Cuba to Chicago, Illinois now boarding at gate C15.” 

Imagine having to leave the city that you fell in love with at first sight, not knowing the next time you’d set eyes on it, the next time you’d interact, with pictures and videos being the only memories of such a pure and perfect love.

Havana, Cuba was my love. My 4 day trip in 2018 started and ended well, with a few showers here and there. The antique cars, the seafood, the old buildings, the roadside tangy fruits, the Jesus statue, the relics of history on every corner (Che!).

 The baked goods, the beaches, the walks along the promenade, the bike rides and late night pizza runs with with my friends. The salsa dancing, the Yoruba influences on Afro-Cuban culture as a result of the transatlantic slave trade.

I would recommend a visit to this island over and over again.

my favorite aspect of the trip was the ride in the antique car down the promenade

I felt like a premium babe, a cash madam for the full 30 minutes of the ride. Top down, hair flying in the wind, with people waving to me. I loved it. 


Beach day was also the best day. The closest beach to Havana, Cuba is the Santa Maria Del Mar.

I went to the beach on the right day- it was their Independence Day, so there was a massive party on the beach.   That was my first time seeing a plethora of young Afro Cubans enjoying their life without a care in the world. 

And for a moment in time, I did the same. I swam a bit, made new friends, and enjoyed my time on the beach to the fullest. 

In Cuba,  I went solo but made friends that I hung out with the entire trip. 

As always, I recommend booking excursions via Airbnb. A full day bike tour excursion through Havana resulted in me connecting with other Americans on the same tour. I ended up linking up with them a few times after the bike tour day. We had late night pizza, salsa’ed in the streets, and experienced a cannon blast ceremony at night at one of Havanas oldest forts. 

Havana is a great walk through - from old Havana to the promenade, to the arts district. It is also nice and calm at night! As a single girl roaming the streets on my own, I felt safe. I of course would advise you to use discretion in doing this, but again, I had no reservations the nights I ended up walking back to my home by myself. 

Speaking of home, I would recommend staying in a casa particulares. You get the traditional feel for half the price (and hotels in Havana can be quite pricey). 

Is Cuba on your list? 

The biggest question I always get is, 

can I travel to Cuba as an American/ from America? 

All COVID-19 precautions aside, the answer is YES. To obtain a Visa to enter into the country ($50), which is easy to purchase at your airline ticket kiosk, you would just need to state your reason for your visit. Most people would qualify for the "Support for the Cuban people" reason. 

If you need a customized itinerary for your trip to Havana, Cuba or any other assistance with flights and accommodation, please email thetitoeffect@gmail.com

Till later, 

xo titó

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