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The Caribbean

Backpacking Baracoa, Cuba: The City of 29 Rivers

You sometimes get frustrated in Cuba— that’s fine and expected. I spent nearly 6 weeks on the island during summer 2016, and sometimes it hit me right in the gut. A Disclaimer for Cuba Just try your best to remember that it’s not the fault of the Cuban people; they can generally do even less …

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​Cuban Cross-Country Travel & Transport Resources (Pictures)

“Cuba is just one giant grapevine; you just gotta find out who heard what.” -Ian, July 2016 In Cuba they’re used to this non-system of just the barest of general information, and the practice of asking around until someone knows something. Someone always does. Just be careful that you trust the person giving you that …

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Havana to Matanzas: How to Ride the Hershey Train (Pictures)

My Cuban Mother “Vas a estar así.” She makes a tick-tick-ticking noise, imitating a train chugging along as she shakes her shoulders and chest forward and then to either side; she’s not a train, but she’s still a force to be reckoned with. My Cuban surrogate mother, Rosa, is skeptical of my desire to ride …

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21 Cuban Quirks: Things to Know Before Going

In honor of my 21st birthday yesterday, and the 6 weeks I just spent in Cuba, here are 21 things I don’t want you to have to struggle with during your trip to Cuba. There’s a mixture of positive and negative aspects there, some things more relevant than others, like the constant niggling reminders of communism weaved into everyday …

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What It’s Like to Tour a Government Cigar Factory in Cuba

Cuba is known for its cigars and rum, as well as being rather secretive about both. I admit that I partook of many late nights with a shared bottle of rum during my stay, but as for the former, I needed a bit of education. Taking a tour of a local cigar factory is one …

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Discovering Cigars on Horseback in Viñales, Cuba

*Last updated July 2017 Cuba is famous worldwide for its cigars and rum, and most of the former’s tobacco comes from just two regions, both close to Havana: Santa Clara & Viñales. In Santa Clara the plantations appeared to be more guarded, and the tours of government cigar factories are so closely guarded that you …

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