Cuba: A look back at the last three months

Six weeks after my original flight, I finally arrived in Mexico City on a Sunday night in the middle of March to a world of spicy salsas, everything maiz, new cars, American brands I'd forgotten, and 27 million people living at 2240 metres above sea level.  I find myself experiencing culture shock and struggling to adjust (literally due to the altitude).

Here is a look back at the last three months:  Cuba, an amazing country with kind and fun-loving people, with vibrant culture and music, beautiful architecture, and a two-tier economy that counters the state’s communist ideology. 

Cuba is a country of contradictions and like no other.  It is a also a wonderful place for independent travel: relatively affordable, small in size and easy to navigate, rich in history, a paradise for live music and dance, and perhaps the safest country in Latin America.

I traveled around the island at the beginning and end of my trip.  The first two weeks I visited cities in the Occidente: Varadero, Matanzas, and Vinales, and the last two weeks I spent in the Oriente, in Santiago de Cuba and Baracoa.  In between, I stationed myself in Havana taking various classes and just enjoying living there.