Photo by Holly Wilmeth
The Caribbean’s largest island, Cuba remains mysterious to many American travelers, as it was only after a diplomatic détente introduced in 2014 that permissible travel categories expanded significantly. Leisure travel for Americans remains prohibited, and U.S. citizens and residents must justify their trip under one of 12 reasons allowed by the Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control. It can be confusing and challenging to plan a trip, but those who are persistent will be rewarded with one of the most intriguing, vibrant cultures in the region, where Spanish and African influences continue to exert themselves in food, music, art, and architecture. Beyond Havana, the capital, are 14 provinces to explore, many with beautiful scenery and endemic fauna not found elsewhere on the planet.