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Cuba Calling

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Written by @LesleyAbravanel

A bucket list favorite for the wanderlusty, Cuba isn’t your typical cruise ship Caribbean island with the same rum bar and tee shirt shop. The Pearl of the Antilles, Cuba is a complex character, a mashup of multi-cultural marvels in music, architecture, cuisine, literature and the arts. Not without its troubles, Cuba has baggage, but it’s that baggage the island carries with it like a beautiful woman aging gracefully.

The republic of Cuba, with its colorful and, in some cases, crumbling, capital city declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is an amalgam of European architectural influences with decidedly Cuban flair.  It’s also a trippy time machine to an era when greased lightning style hot rods roamed the streets decorated in all their Art Deco, Baroque, Classic, Neo Classic and Modern glories.

A nation that lives permanently in the 1950s and shows its age proudly, Cuba, contrary to common perceptions, remains one of the safest countries in the world. If you didn’t know much about the history, you’d think it was a utopian island straight out of a whimsical Japanese video game, where classic American cars double as taxis, where Wi-Fi is spotty, and McDonald’s and Starbucks are nonexistent.

In Cuba, carbs rule as the national dishes of rice, beans, fried plantains with garlic sauce and ropa vieja will fill your stomachs and warm your souls.  The home to the smallest bird of all—that would be the bee hummingbird—as well as some of the smallest owls and frogs, Cuba may be a nation the size of Florida, but it remains a huge influence on world culture, history, ecotourism, and more.

Did we also mention that Cuba happens to be the cradle of the Daiquiri and Mojito? Ernest Hemingway asked for ‘less sugar, more rum,’ and thus was born the Papa Doble, aka the daiquiri as we know it. Papa loved Cuba so much he considered himself a native.  His presence is still widely felt there almost as much as the rhythmic lure of the country’s music.

The land of only 11 million people has given rise to countless cultural influences, from Bacardi Rum, founded in 1862 with its original factory still standing under the brand Santiago Rum to the cigar, which, like Cher, needs only one name: a Cuban, derived from rich soil producing the world’s finest tobacco plants.  Kick back with one on the city’s largest oceanfront couch, aka El Malecón habanero.

A place where people smile, kiss and hug all the time, even though it can be oppressively hot and humid at times, Cuba is a beautiful landmass that is so close, but yet world’s away. Why not go there?

Traveling to Cuba for Americans is not as easy as jetting off to the Bahamas, but it is possible thanks to a People to People License comprised of 12 different categories under which American citizens can still legally visit Cuba. There are also several American-based travel agents who organize both individual and group tours. Click Photography Tours, a company with a vast experience and the most competitive rates in the market today, provides the facilitates all of it, coordinating visas, accommodations, tours, transportation, meals, and, of course, priceless memories.

Founded by a Cuban American with strong Cuban roots and a deep passion for the island, Click Photography Tours has crafted unique itineraries designed for travelers to connect to Cuba by immersing into the local culture, history and natural beauty. , from salsa lessons in a circa 1715 restored Cuban Colonial landmark and a modern art gallery walk in Havana’s hippest version of Miami’s Wynwood, to out of this world ceviche in Cuba’s coolest tapas bar and the best. Daquiri. You. Will. Ever. Sip. North, South and in Havana. This is not your granddaddy’s Cuba, though it does come close to the vintage rum-soaked days and nights of the Pearl of the Antilles. Experience the old, the new and the undiscovered with Click Photography Tours.

In order to travel to the island, US citizens need a valid passport with an expiration date extending at least six months from the date of reentry. That’s all you. Leave the rest up to us. Do not miss the opportunity of a lifetime to visit the most exotic, sultry, musical, cultural, historic country in the world today. Cuba’s calling and Click Photography Tours can take you there.