Man, the tropics have been some kind of active this season! It seems records are being broken this year for all sorts of terrible statistics associated with these damn hurricanes. Our friends in Puerto Rico, Cuba, Eastern Caribbean, Texas, Florida and everywhere else affected by these storms are certainly in our thoughts and prayers. We are pulling for all of you to come though and rebound soon as possible!
Since Hurricane Irma, we have received numerous phone calls regarding Cuba and Havana in particular asking how severe the island was damaged. While the Eastern shores near Cayo Coco, Jardines Del Ray and Cayo Romano were pounded hard, Havana did not receive any major damage only experiencing some flooding and power lose. The city has already bounced back with a vengeance opening its doors once again to those visiting the island. The two hotels used by Trek, Hotel Nacional and Parque Cenral, both fared very well and are expecting a busy upcoming holiday season. Old Havana picked itself up, brushed away the debris and is thriving once again with the shops, museums and restaurants all open for business. Hemmingway’s Finca Vigia was spared by Irma and continues to be one of Cuba’s most visited stops by those wanting to get a glimpse into quite possibly the most famous Havana resident’s way of living in 1950’s Havana.
We do need to remind those thinking of visiting Cuba, but not exactly sure how Trump’s changes effect things, that you can still visit the island 100% legally with Trek Safaris. Back in June, Trump did propose policy changes to the way Americans can legally visit the island, but these have not been implemented as of today meaning the twelve OFAC categories are still in place. Trek’s Havana program is performed under the People-to-People exchange visiting and spending time with the local Cuban people and learning about their culture. Trek does not conduct any business with members of the military GAESA or under the Gaviota umbrella, as this would be a direct violation once Trump’s policy does go into effect. One other idea to keep in mind is customers currently booked to Cuba or customers who have already deposited or bought an airline ticket for their Cuba trip will be exempt from any future regulations. Even when the changes do go into effect, we have taken steps for Trek’s Cuba trips to remain legal for those of you traveling with Trek Safaris.
In summary, Havana’s doors are open! Fall is a great time to visit the island as temps will cool slightly, but the warm & salty breeze will always be there to greet you. Hopefully the tropics will remain sleepy the next few months allowing all our friends to clean up and rebuild from the devastating past few months. Trek is in your corner!