On October 19, 1960, with the United States drawing ever closer to nuclear war with both the Soviet Union and Cuba, America cut ties with the island nation located only 90 miles south of Florida, establishing a commercial, economic, and financial embargo that would last long after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, long after the official end of the Soviet Union, and long after the Cold War in 1991. Although the embargo was expanded numerous times since its introduction, the restrictions have started to loosen in the last decade.
In 2009, President Barack Obama began allowing Cuban-Americans to travel freely to Cuba. Obama followed that up in 2011 by allowing students and missionaries to travel if they met certain criteria, and the government began granting licenses in 2015 to establish ferry travel between the two nations. It now appears that the ban may soon be lifted completely, meaning there’s no better time to start planning out a trip — even if nothing can be booked quite yet.
If you know nothing about Cuba, or need a bit of convincing regarding its appeal, allow us to enlighten you about the Pearl of the Antilles. Here are 12 reasons to take a trip to Cuba as soon as you can.