The Allure of Forbidden Cuba


We’re going back to CUBA! The island we barely know and are so eager to explore as Americans. It’s only 90 miles from our home state of Florida. It’s only an island and we’ve visited many islands before. Hemingway lived there, but he also lived in Key West…

So what is it about Cuba that has us so fascinated?

It is because it’s forbidden? Verboten for us to go? Many American’s do. Illegally. And yes, we’ve been tempted. It’s so easy to hop on a quick flight from Cancun. No one would know…

But today things are different. The political climate is thawing and now under the “journalist” and “education” exceptions we’re able to legally book a trip and go. Yes, it will be a tightly structured itinerary and we won’t have a lot of free time for exploring on our own, but for our first time in Cuba that’s okay with us. Update! This will be our 2nd visit to Cuba and this time we will be on the ONLY cruise ship to Cuba from an American port. Fathom Travel now brings American travelers to 3 cities in Cuba directly from Miami. While there are still restrictions on many of our activities, we do have ample free time to explore on our own.


What is the attraction we have for Forbidden Cuba? In my mind, it seems to be a land where time has virtually stood still since the 1960’s. The time when I was born. A look back at the past perhaps? Our world today seems mastered by technology where we are all connected via a wireless system. Although only 90 miles away from Florida – in Cuba – things are different.

The sultry romance of the social clubs where sweat and passion are entwined in dance and music. Cuba is heat.

We know the cigars, the antique cars and the rum. We think we know the politics, but what about the people?

We’re going to Cuba to visit the past before the future arrives.

We want to be able to say we were there “before” the shiny new contemporary hotels arrived. Before late model auto imports crowd the streets. Before the innocence of the place is spoiled. Many who have visited recently say the Cuban people are ready for change. But are we ready for Cuba to change? Will our ideas of the romance and allure of Cuba be spoiled when the waves of gross commercialism arrive? We’ll have to see.

Many people are asking if we’re afraid to go to Cuba. Afraid? Honestly, I’m more afraid of visiting New Orleans than I am of Cuba. We don’t plan on frequenting dark, back alleys too much while we’re there, though, so we should be as safe as if we were back home in the US.

To prepare for this journey, I’m reading everything I can get my hands on to better understand the place where we’re going. If you’d like my pre-trip reading list, it’s right HERE. This country with a higher literacy rate than the United States. I can’t wait to visit a bookstore in Havana. I want to buy a book there. I feel as though I’m having conversations with Ernest as he’s finishing up For Whom The Bell Tolls. I long to visit HIS Cuba.


We’ve heard many stories of Cuba – both good and bad. For now, we yearn to see for ourselves if our preconceptions of this islands are real. To feel the allure of Cuba firsthand and see what’s so special – or not so special – about this forbidden country. We’ll be sure to share our feelings and discoveries as we travel to Forbidden Cuba – in case you’re interested in seeing it for yourself.

Cuba is a time capsule that is about to be opened for every American. We just want to be one of the first to see what’s inside.

Addendum to Forbidden Cuba – March 22,2015

Now that we’ve come back from this intriguing island – please come by to see our CUBA destination page HERE. Loaded with articles on how we prepared for the trip and what we saw while we were there. It was amazing!

Addendum to Forbidden Cuba – September 22, 2016

We loved Cuba so much that we’re going back! This time instead of flying, we’ll be enjoying the experience with Fathom Travel on their cruise ship Adonia. Their tag line is #traveldeep and we hope to delve even deeper into this mystique of Cuba we enjoy so much.

Have you been to Cuba? Would you like to visit?




About the author

Lisa is a traveler, photographer and pharmacist. She and her partner Cheryl MacDonald enjoy sharing inspiration and good health with fellow travelers!


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