Cuba has always held a mysterious fascination for Americans. For nearly 50 years U.S. citizens have been restricted from traveling or doing business in Cuba, except under special circumstances. Even though Cuba lies just 90 miles off the coast of the U.S., very few Americans have ever been there. But all that may be about to change.


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Fast Facts About Cuba

  • Population: 11,061,866
  • Capital City: Havana
  • Climate: Tropical; moderated by trade winds; dry season (November to April); rainy season (May to October).
  • Time Zone: UTC-5
  • Language: Spanish (official)
  • Country Code: 53



Three Great Restaurants to Eat At When You Visit Havana, Cuba

If you visit Havana, Cuba it’s crucial to know exactly where to eat. That’s because there are no concierges for directions, no Yelp service to read reviews and no signs advertising the restaurant’s best features. In fact, until recently there were no options for a high-end meal at all. But that’s all changing. Cuba is opening up to Cuban entrepreneurs…and the best way to see it is through dining. If you’re making the trip then you should visit these restaurants…


What Asia’s Rising Middle Class Means for Noodles

Asia is vast and diverse but a few things unite it, one of which is a love of noodles. Every day from Beijing to Bangkok billions of noodles are sucked up and scoffed by everyone from lunching laborers to office workers in a hurry. And for the biggest producers times have been good.


Emerging Markets Grow as America Declines

For any careful investor it’s important to understand not just the current trend but rather where we’re headed. As such, keep an eye toward the future for the growth leaders of tomorrow. Since 2007, emerging markets have been outspending American consumers. Take a look at the charts here to see how the international growth/redistribution of current consumption trends will change the landscape of international business.

When abroad, being able to speak the language makes travel richer, less stressful and more independent.

The 3 Best Reasons to Learn Spanish

When I started learning Spanish in Spain some years ago, I never envisioned how helpful it would become. Mostly, I just wanted to know how to order food, talk to people a bit and avoid embarrassing myself as much as possible. The more I learned, however, the more I discovered how much of a key that speaking the language is. Spanish has opened many doors for me—in Spain, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Cuba and Mexico.


A Chinese Property Bubble

Figures released by the IMF reveal that the three least-affordable cities to buy a home in are Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzen in Mainland China. And the fourth least-affordable city is Hong Kong!


Burma: The Last Asian Frontier

The Burmese story is pretty simple. There’s an economy of 60 million people that were shut off from the rest of the world and now the doors have opened. But what exactly will you find if you walk through them?


Gods, Kilts, Mules and Nudity

For the divers out there and indeed for anyone with an interest in idyllic getaways… begin June on the paradise island of Curaçao in the southern Caribbean.


The Best Way to Enjoy a Vacation in Cuba

Cuba’s muggy humidity made our lazy wanderings feel like we were walking through soup. But despite the heat and our rusty Spanish, we made it from Havana to the small rural town of Viñales and into the welcome arms of Thomasina and Juan Rivero. The couple opened their home to nomads almost 10 years ago. It’s just as well that they did, because Cuba has no hostels, and all hotels are government-run—and expensive.


News from Around the World

Seaside docks are scattered all along the coastline in Belize. They’re great places to watch the sun rise, fish from, or lounge on as you enjoy the mild sea breezes. From some of them you can also catch boats to Belize’s white-sand islands (known as cayes), or to snorkeling and diving spots along the world’s second-longest barrier reef, just offshore.

Pirate Week And A Monkey Banquet

Pirate Week and a Monkey Banquet

The Cayman Islands hosts an annual Pirates Week Festival from November 10 to 20. It’s got everything you’re looking for in a pirate fest: an underwater treasure hunt, paddleboard races, and a Miss Pirate Queen pageant. Don’t forget your costume!

Art, Dance, Drink… a Perfect Sunday in Havana

Art, Dance, Drink… a Perfect Sunday in Havana, Cuba

In Havana, the Cubans are waiting. Waiting in line for a bus, waiting for an ice cream, waiting to use the food-ration cards at the bodega, waiting for the street lights to come on—which they don’t. If you are young and Cuban, you hang out on the street with your friends waiting for morning. And of course, everyone is waiting for the U.S. to lift the trade embargo…and that won’t happen any time soon.


How to Travel to Cuba as an American

President Obama has reduced some restrictions on travel to Cuba by Americans with family there, allowing Cuban-Americans to visit annually instead of every three years.


Visit Cuba: Where to Go and What to See

There seems to be an unwritten rule that all travel writers are obliged to describe Cuba as forbidden, mysterious and “lost in time.” But Canadians, Europeans, and others–especially those from Latin American nations–travel to Cuba without a thought…there is nothing forbidden, mysterious, or lost about it.

Cuba: Change is Coming…What Will it Mean?

Most of us envision Cuba as a sun-kissed land surrounded by warm, turquoise waters with miles of virgin beaches and swaying palm trees…where sugar cane fields give way to rolling hills and foreboding mountains shelter bearded rebels.

Is This the Best Country in the World? Part II

Yesterday I told you about a country that has much going for it: Thousands of miles of gorgeous coastline with warm, tropical offshore waters…top-notch (and free) health care. A crime-free society and a population that is among the best-educated, most athletic, and most culturally talented in the world. Read the full description here.

The Travel Press Talks...July 2009

The Travel Press Talks…July 2009

Celebrating Darwin’s 200th birthday, visiting Cuba and staying with the locals in Latin America.

IL World News...November 2008

IL World News…November 2008

Let’s go surfin’…for Costa Rican real estate Watch for real estate sales to get a boost in Jaco, Costa Rica, when the International Surfing Association’s World Surfing Games take place there in the summer of 2009. Costa Rican developers are already gearing up marketing strategies to appeal to the participants and fans who will descend […]

Let's Dance

Let’s Dance

Dance yourself around the world!

Spanish lessons with a difference

Spanish lessons with a difference

Bring the language to life with activities as diverse as sangria tasting or salsa lessons at these six inspiring education centers

Havana Survival Guide

These coco-taxis will pick up tourists if the police aren’t around…but the police are never far away in Havana. International Living Postcards– your daily escape Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2006 Havana, Cuba Dear International Living Reader, Colorful and chaotic, Havana’s streets are an exuberant mix: children play with their dogs amidst the rubble lying piled in […]

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