Fighting the embargo to get to Cuba

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Fighting the embargo to get to Cuba

Postby c12nate.w » Tue Aug 13, 2013 2:37 am

I'm an American but really want to check out Cuba before the embargo gets lifted. Does any one have suggestions for cheap ways to get to Cuba and once we get there any suggestions for cool things to check out?
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Re: Fighting the embargo to get to Cuba

Postby Athena » Tue Aug 13, 2013 4:25 am

Go through Canada to fly cheaply. Or take a non-stop right out of Miami. Get a note from an art class or something to make it legit. Cheapest way is on a raft, if the current is in your favor.
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Re: Fighting the embargo to get to Cuba

Postby c12nate.w » Thu Aug 15, 2013 6:38 pm

I'm finding its going to be cheaper to go through Mexico.
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Re: Fighting the embargo to get to Cuba

Postby Duende » Thu Aug 15, 2013 11:35 pm

I went for two weeks this last April and had a blast.

Went Seattle-Atlanta-Cancun-Havana on the way there. This was hellish and I don’t recommend it. Havana – Cancun-Detroit-Seattle on the way back with a 24hr layover in Cancun, which was one of the strongest reverse culture shocks I’ve ever had. That leg wasn’t so bad. This milk-run approach all cost me about $650 round trip, and I bought the tix 2-3 months in advance. Whole trip, all in, cost about $2,500. Absolutely no problems whatsoever with US customs – I don’t think they care anymore.

Speak Spanish. Give yourself 5 days in Havana in order to get the hang of it, go dancing, get ripped off, get blind drunk, go whoring, etc. Chill at the Hotel Nacional pool when you can’t take any more hustling for the day. And don’t be afraid to fuck with these guys or else you’ll catch a bad mood from the unrelenting harassment. Get in taxis and just drive around with a bottle of rum…for hours. Hang out on the Malecon. Walk through the Central District. Stay in Varadero. Go to a ball game - whether or not you’re into baseball, it’s super fun. Bring shit to hand out and barter and make friends with, like t-shirts and cds and whatever. If you’re a guy definitely bring a bag of trial size women’s shampoo and skin care products and the like– that shit is worth its weight in gold!

I rented a car for a week for about $300-400 and drove as far east as Santa Clara (boring place but the Che memorial is a hoot). Cienfuegos is a great time and a fun drive. The highway is pretty fucked but usually you’re the only one on it. Pick up ALL the hitchhikers you see – great way to get to know people Don’t even think about driving at night. Stop at Giron near the Bay of Pigs and go scuba diving – no experience needed. Also check out their invasion museum for great sloganeering and cool tanks and shit.

Let’s see….north coast beaches were sandier and nicer, I thought. Trinidad was beautiful but a definite trap, also blazing hot. Cave disco was interesting, though. Definitely go into Vinales, west of Havana, drive around and make friends with the tobacco farmers. Escambray mountains were also very cool. Remedios ended up being my favorite town with absolutely the most fun tavern-on-the-square scene I have ever been involved with.

Outside of Havana, the thing I eventually realized is that you cannot really escape the tourist trail. Only certain places have casas or hotels (choose casas), places to eat/drink, stuff to look at, and if you go off that path there’s pretty much fuck all to do except chat to locals, eat bland food and marvel at just how very backward everything seems.
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Re: Fighting the embargo to get to Cuba

Postby Osiris » Mon Sep 02, 2013 4:21 am

I sent you a pm with a program I know of that goes.

Good luck with it, be sure to let us know how it goes!
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Re: Fighting the embargo to get to Cuba

Postby friendlyskies » Mon Sep 16, 2013 1:51 pm

The cheapest way for most USAmericans is through Cancún. Book your flight to Cancún separately. Aeromexico is having a ridiculous sale right now, it was $188 RT w 1 checked bag from ATL last time I checked. When you get to Cancún, go into the AeroCubana offices and buy a ticket for cash. Supposedly AeroCubana doesn't give up their passenger lists to the yanqui neocolonialist oppressors. They'll change your name slightly on the ticket if you request it. See if you can keep them from making a photocopy of your ID. Make sure to fly back from Cancún on the flight you originally booked if you're especially paranoid.

If you live on the West Coast, it may be cheaper to fly through Mexico City. Canada is sketchy, they're all onboard with the Department of Homeland Security bullshit. If you're super duper paranoid, Nicaragua is in ALBA (ie the "Fight the Power" club created by our beloved Comandante Hugo Chavez, pbuh) and has direct flights to Havana 2x or 3x per week, but then you're looking at a $450RT from ATL or DFW, probably more from the northerern climes. Enjoy! Don't skip Santiago!

EDIT: And it's like marijuana - now that travel to Cuba is almost legal, no one really cares. BUT. If you think that at some point in your life you might want to secure US security clearances, or work for a company that will make extensive checks into your background, it's just better to cover your tracks as much as is possible in this age of Big Brother.
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Re: Fighting the embargo to get to Cuba

Postby Michael » Tue Oct 01, 2013 5:46 pm

Thanks, Friendlyone...now to sell the spouse...
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Re: Fighting the embargo to get to Cuba

Postby jphripjah » Sat Dec 28, 2013 1:04 am

I flew via Mexico city on Interjet. Booked online with a US credit card and everything. Even booked my Havana hotel on hotelopia with a credit card. Easy.

CBP doesn't really care if you went to Cuba, they only care if you are bringing stuff back. The gov't isn't prosecuting people for going, you might as well just write Cuba on the blue form when you return to the US.
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