Cuba is undoubtedly one of the most fascinating, surprising and totally different than any other country, I have ever seen. As a solo female traveler, I had faced some difficulties while backpacking around the country. However, my purpose was to discover the real Cuba, before everything change and become too “Americanized”. It can be a hassle to travel by your own, but I can definitely recommend everyone to take a solo trip to Cuba. Here are some essential information might clear things up for you.
1. Wifi access
If you are looking for a place on the Earth to disconnect with the world and do digital detox, Cuba is definetally a place to be. Internet access in Cuba is still restricted and controlled by the government. There are public Wi-Fi hotspots, usually on the ”plazas”, where you can connect your device via the ETECSA hotspot. First you have to buy a prepaid ETECSA card, which are provide at ETECSA offices and hotels. An hour internet access costs $2 and you are allow to buy 3 cards at once.
2. Eat in local ”paladares”
Paladares are basically family-run restaurants, where you can experience real, homemade cuban food and be surrounded by local people. In 1990, the government-authorized paladares as a way for citizens to earn extra money. However, the limitations regarding the amount of seats for customers, the type of food to offer and number of hired employees were very restricted. Fortunately, everything changed after 2002, when reforms introduced by Cuban President Raúl Castro led to the exponential growth of such places. In paladares, the food is always good, fresh and at the same time, you are supporting the local businesses.