Bianca Jeanty
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Bianca Jeanty | Thoughts

Exploring Cuba: Food, Art, and Cohibas

5 minute read

¿Acere, que bola?

Bianca Jeanty Visits Cuba - Travel - Culture

Art & Design | Restaurants & Nightlife | Relaxation & Vibes | How I Got To Cuba

Honestly, i don't know how I ended up in Cuba(Like, I do, but i don't at the same time.) Nonetheless, this #blackgirlmagic trip featured brand marketer and sister-friend Nakea Tyson along with digital storyteller and spirit animal Nadia Sasso. Beyond taking TravelNoire-esque pictures and getting my twist out right every time, one of my goals for to share my POV on things that actually excite me – one of those being culture. Being in a different space from the norm provided some clarity for me. And in those moments, you’ll recognize that disruption breeds creativity.

And in those moments, you’ll recognize that disruption breeds creativity.

Art and Design

Like most Caribbean islands, there’s a fearless use of vibrant colors on their buildings, houses, and streets. A strong foundation in the Spanish colonial times, Havana was compelling and diverse in architecture—a photographer’s playground.

Old Havana--Plaza Vieja, specifically--is what i speculated of Cuba. Giving me Williamsburg of Brooklyn vibes, I immediately understood what tourism can do for a country. With that being said, I enjoy seeing an authentic side. Not to be exploited, but to be understood. 

If you haven't noticed my instagram, I basically fell in love with the Cuban art scene. When I go back, I’m definitely checking out Fabrica de Arte Cubana again. We also got lucky on our day tour to Las Terrazas and met renowned artist Lester Campa. 

Regardless of a language barrier, art will always be universal.

Restaurants and Nightlife

Thanks to my bestie in high school, I’ve been hip to Cuban coffee, Cuban sandwiches and a few lines of Spanish from Abuela. Beyond the traditional arroz con frijoles and ropa vieja, our friend at Havana Tour Company, Yaniet, plugged us into a bunch of restaurants that had some interesting cuisine. Ranging from Spicy Crab and Sweet Potato dish to coconut flan, I definitely say the ambiance at El Cocinero emulated the food.

Landing at King Bar for a vibe session with Chacal, we ended our first night out turning up to Salsa and Reggaeton all night. Fabrica de Arte Cubano is another dope spot - flooded with visual and performance arts, photography and sculptures, all while the DJ's Arriba De Lo Mal Hecho, Duele El Corazon and Work all night.

Relaxation and Vibes

So, Cuba cigars are strong. I'm flexin' in the below photo for the sake of "content" but good lordt. Visiting Cascada de Soroa and the coffee plantations of Las Terrazas had so much sentimental value, as it directed our attention to the history of slavery in Cuba--from the tools still used to the villages formerly inhabited, I can't tell what I made of it. I'm still processing it. Needless to say, it was an experience. 

How i got to cuba and notes

  • American Airlines
  • Needed a Passport, Visa, and Travel Health Insurance (Visa Selection: Educational/People 2 People)
  • Airbnb in Vedado, Havana, Cuba
  • Restaurants and Bars: El Litoral, El Del Frente, Bar Floridita, El Cocinera, King Bar, Fabrica de Arte Cubano
  • Explore: Old Havana, Buena Viesta en Las Terrazas, Casada Soroa, Orquideario Soroa via Havana Tour Company
  • Cigars: Cohibas > Monte Cristo
  • Get your Spanish together, bro. 
  • Bring toilet paper where ever you go (no, but for real.)
  • Wifi for purchase at nearby hotels for $3 per hour
  • No ATMS available -- bring enough cash to last your trip (I did $500 for 4 days)

Also check out Nakea Tyson's take on Cuba and Chasing Destinee's Travel Tips

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