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Archive for cuba

Valley of the Sugar Mills

By Linda Tancs

Eight miles northeast of Trinidad, Cuba, a trio of rural valleys–San Luis, Santa Rosa and Meyer–comprise the Valley of the Sugar Mills.  The industry peaked there in the 19th century, when more than 30,000 slaves worked in more than 50 sugar mills.  A monument to that powerful industry is Manaca-Iznaga Tower, a 147-foot-tall mud brick structure built in 1816 by Alejo Maria Iznaga y Borrell, a successful plantation owner.  Its value as a lookout over this region dubbed an area of Outstanding Universal Value by UNESCO belies its harsh history; a bell in the tower once signaled the start and end of the slaves’ workday in the mills and on the plantations and sounded an alarm should any of them try to escape.

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Cultural Learning in Cuba

By Linda Tancs

The U.S. Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control has recently dished out approvals for “people to people” cultural excursions to Cuba under new government rules.  The timing couldn’t be better as Havana celebrates its 25th year of the Marathon Marabana on 20 November.  More than 2500 people ran last year.  Will you join them?

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Sticker Shock in Cuba

By Linda Tancs

Now that travel under some circumstances from the U.S. to Cuba has been eased, don’t break the piggy bank for that traveling money. According to the official Cuban tourist board in Canada, that American-based dinero will not be as welcome as you might be. For instance, unlike euros, Canadian dollars or even Swiss francs, American dollars are subject to a 10% surcharge on exchange. Also, credit and debit cards and traveler’s checks drawn on U.S. banks are not accepted. That’s not to say that you can’t spend dollars at all. Save the greenbacks for the street vendors and relatives. In other cases, it might be best to go continental.

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Cuban Travel

By Linda Tancs

According to the American Society of Travel Agents, the Obama administration is being urged to consider lifting travel restrictions to Cuba. To be sure, Castro and his cohorts are no more antagonistic towards American ideals than the Venezuelan administration, yet there are no barriers to travel there. Perhaps the time has come to let bygones be bygones. Then you, too, can enjoy places like Hotel Nacional de Cuba and other former playgrounds of the rich and famous like Frank Sinatra and Ava Gardner.

If you enjoyed this post, please share it on sites such as StumbleUpon, vote for it, or bookmark it. Thanks for your support! Travelrific® was featured as Blog of the Day on NJ.com!

Cuba Hits Tourism Milestone

By Linda Tancs

They were breaking out the mojitos and salsa (a band, that is) in Cuba this past week in celebration of the island nation’s 2 millionth visitor for 2008, according to the Associated Press. Not bad for a destination hit thrice with hurricanes while the rest of the world wrestles with bad debt. Not that the Cuban economy wins any awards either, mind you. But despite their own share of woes, they must be doing something right to hit the 2 million mark every year since 2004. That’s a lot of bola.

If you enjoyed this post, please share it on sites such as StumbleUpon, vote for it, or bookmark it. Thanks for your support! Travelrific® was featured as Blog of the Day on NJ.com!

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