Visit Havana, Cuba for less than $500

My heart is in Havana.

"My heart is in Havana."

From the popular Camila Cabella song "Havana," to the increasing popularity in Cuban style decor, our culture seems to be recreating the same Cuba craze that struck the nation in the 1930s. Before our relationship with the island because as complicated as it is today, wealthy Americans whisked themselves and their lovers away to the island for a weekend of music, gambling, and drinking. After the Cuban Missile Crisis, relations with the island went downhill and Cuba became sort of a mystery to the US. With an embargo from one of the most powerful nations in the world, Cuba was stuck in the past unable to update most of their technology, cars, etc. Since Obama opened up our relationship with Cuba a few years ago, a few Americans have visited and gotten a glimpse at what we've been missing for years. As a Cuban-American, I'm dying to go but have limited time. I know that to see the whole country, I'll likely have to return, so I've planned a simple weekend trip to Havana, that's affordable and action packed.

Where to stay

Air BnB

There are a number of beautiful resorts in Havana and throughout Cuba that you can stay in that according to American standards are still pretty cheap, but the super affordable way to do it and see the most authentic version of Cuba is to stay in a Casita. Casitas are a lot like bed and breakfasts. Usually small and family owned the accommodations are simple but there is a lot of heart. This seems like a hard thing to track down, but it's not. With Air B n B, you can now look through photos of an array of places and choose your favorite spot with the best accommodations. I'm staying at La casa de Maria y Ernesto. Check it out here. On average, a casita will only run you $25-40 a night. This one is only $25! The added bonus of staying in a casita is that a home cooked breakfast will only run you an extra $5 max.

Housing will run you $70 including breakfast at the casita.

How to get there


Jetblue has made flying to Cuba easy. Depending on where you live, it can be a straight shot. If you leave near the Tri-State area, I recommend driving to JFK to save money on additional airfare. From there, a roundtrip flight to paradise will be about $200. If you live in the Southeast, it's fairly simple as well. There is a direct flight from Orlando that will run you about the same as New York. The good thing, is that once you're in Havana everything is fairly walkable.

Transportation will run you around $200/person.

What to bring


Cuba is a simple place. An island, don't expect to bring heels or fancy closed. Be prepared to wear a breezy blouse, cut offs, and sandals, let your hair down and dance. Since you'll be walking much of the time, if you're going to buy something, I'd say invest in good, breathable sandals like Birkenstocks or something similar, but other than that I'd encourage you to bring your favorite summer clothes. I'm even packing less makeup for my trip to let my skin breathe in the sea side fresh air.

If you decide to grab some new sandals, check out Madden Girl's Bryce sandal. They look just like Birkenstocks! This will run you only about $30 at DSW as compared to $135 for real Birks.

What to do

Easyvoyage UK

There are endless things to do in Havana and what's even better? Most things are cheap. You'll find the best things off the beaten path by walking around and exploring the streets. Lunch and dinner in Havana will run you no more than $7 each including a refreshing cervesa. Some of the top sight seeing places on our list are: Playa Del Este (to soak up some sun of course), Old Havana and Old Square (to snap some photos of the beautiful architecture, and of course Tropicana, a popular dance hall. My dad always tells me stories about my ancestors dancing the night away in clubs like this every night, so it's only fitting that I go check it out as well.

Food and activities in Cuba should run you about $100 max.

Now you can see why Cuba is such an affordable, awesome place to travel! With this simple but action packed trip, you're only spending about $400, leaving you with an extra $100! I bought a polaroid camera from Urban Outfitters so I can snap old school photos to commemorate the trip.

Check out flights to Cuba on Jetblue here.

Anie Delgado is a contributor to Popdust and is an actress and musician based in NYC. Follow her on Instagram | Facebook | Twitter and check out her music on Spotify. Press inquiries here.

Read More from Journiest

Subscribe now

Related Posts

There are several things about wine that can confuse the average person. If you haven't spent the last few years of your life learning everything there is to know about wine, you can be forgiven for picking up a box of the good stuff every now and then. However, if you want to know a little bit more about how to choose a good bottle, we can help you out. We've created a beginner's guide to picking a bottle of wine so you can enjoy yourself a little more.

Know What Type of Wine To Choose

First things first, you're going to need to decide the type of wine that you're looking for in order to narrow your search. Are you looking for a red, white, sparkling, or rosé? The choices may seem overwhelming, but try to focus on what foods you'll be pairing the wine with. Reds go great with heavier meals like red meat, while whites tend to lend themselves towards lighter dishes like fish and cheeses. If you'll be drinking the wine on its own, consider what you've tried in the past and what type you tend to gravitate toward.

Know How Much You're Willing To Spend

It's no secret that a penchant for wine can become an expensive hobby. If you're just getting into the idea, don't waste your time or money with the extremely pricey bottles. A good place to start looking for decent bottles of wine is somewhere between the $10 and $30 price range. This will keep you from buying something too low quality without breaking your bank in the process.

Read the Labels Closely

A good bottle of wine will often give tasting notes right on the bottle. Because everyone's palette is different, you may not get the same notes when you try the wine, but it's a good place to start. Choose something with tasting notes that you already enjoy like berries or cocoa and try to see if you get any hints of that as you drink. The labels may also tell you about the wine's acidity, or how tart it is, and the wine's body, or the way it feels in your mouth.

A beginner's guide to picking a bottle of wine can only go so far without being overwhelming. The next part of your wine journey will need to be undertaken on your own. Try various types of wine and see what tastes best to you—that's what wine is really all about.

Distillery tours went on hiatus in 2020, but there are high hopes for 2021. While bourbon leaps immediately to mind when thoughts turn to distillery tours, interest in other spirits and how they're made is increasing. Here are a few of the best tours to thrill tequila lovers.

Tequila Herradura

Ride in style on the Herradura Express, a distillery sponsored train ride that runs from Guadalajara to the town of Amatitán for a distillery tour and tastings, followed by lunch featuring live entertainment. The train then takes visitors back to Guadalajara by evening. Herradura is housed in the last tequila-producing Hacienda in the world, Hacienda San Jose del Refugio. Casa Herradura will be closed for visits and tours until Mexican health officials declare the coronavirus emergency over.

La Rojeña

Producer of Jose Cuervo, La Rojeña has a train of its own called the Jose Cuervo Express (currently on hiatus due to COVID-19) to bring visitors to the oldest distillery in the town of Tequila. Jose Cuervo offers distillery tours, tastings, and tours of the agave fields. Mundo Cuervo (Cuervo world) also has its own hotel, Solar de las Animas. Check for COVID-19 hours and restrictions before booking.

Casa Sauza

Founded in 1873, Casa Sauza offers four levels of tours including a visit to the La Perseverancia distillery, a visit to the Quinta Sauza estate, and for those willing to spend more, barrel tastings and a barbeque or a three-course meal. Casa Sauza is on hiatus until COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, but should go on the distillery tour bucket list.

La Cofradia

The only tequila distillery with a hotel inside, La Cofradia offers many experiences in addition to distillery tours. Choose a hike through natural trails, biking, or horseback riding through the agave fields. Rooms made of giant tequila barrels sit among the agave plants for a unique stay. Visiting La Cofradia is sure to be a tour that thrills tequila lovers. Contact the hotel directly for information about lockdown closures.

A distillery tour offers education about tequila's history and manufacture. Bone up on your tequila terms and tips for choosing quality tequila before you go, so you'll understand what you're tasting.

We don't know how to feel about winter this year. Sure, nobody likes the cold and dreary months, but there's something special about the Holiday season that just seems to be missing. Maybe the thought of staying inside and cozying up to a nice book isn't very enticing given the last few months. The joyful winter wonderland that we usually associate with winter seems to be missing.

That's why our editors decided to take it upon themselves and spread some delight with seasonal meals, courtesy of HelloFresh. For those who don't know what HelloFresh is, it's a meal-kit delivery service with dozens of easy-to-prepare recipes to choose from. Simply select which meals you want as well as how many servings and a neatly organized cardboard box will arrive at your doorstep within the week. Nobody wants to go out in the Winter anyway, and with HelloFresh, you don't have to!

To celebrate the arrival of the coldest season, we decided to highlight some of our favorite (and heartiest) recipes from HelloFresh that are perfect for the Holiday season. Here are five wholesome and balanced meals that will warm you up in no time.

Veggie Loaded Kale & Risoni Soup

A hearty and warm soup is a Winter staple and this veggie loaded kale and risoni soup from HelloFresh absolutely hits it out of the park. All anybody wants during the colder months is to feel cozy and nurtured--just like the flavorful bowl of nutrients. Warm and creamy risoni compliments the seasonal veggies perfectly and the side of garlic bread is a sure-fire cure for any winter blues. With 22 meals to pick from each week, this one is sure to be a household favorite.

Cheesy Red Pesto Chicken Melts

Everyone is familiar with classic green pesto, but have you ever tried red pesto? Red pesto offers way more complexity and oomph than its green counterpart. It is incredibly bright with rich notes of umami, roasted red peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, and fresh basil and garlic. This rendition also features hits of chargrilled capsicum for a little extra zest. You get the exact amount of each ingredient and seasoning, as well as super detailed recipe cards, that make meal prep a breeze. Spread it over a glistening chicken bread and sprinkle with cheese for delectable chicken melts.

Winter Risotto

Risotto is a great winter warmer. It's packed full of veggies so your body will light up like fire, but it's also silky, sumptuous and a real crowd pleaser. HelloFresh's Winter Risotto features a heart helping of kale that pairs perfectly with nutty Parmesan and crunchy walnuts for a robust taste. Did we mention that it also comes with fennel seeds sprinkled throughout? This unique seasoning adds a distinctive, yet delicious flavor to this classic winter staple. We know these meals are pretty hardy, which is why we love having the option to pause our subscription or cancel a week when need be.

Cheat's Italian Pork & Veggie Bolognese

A bolognese that only takes 30 minutes to make? Sign us up! This one is chock full of all the rich flavors of a classic Italian sauce. In fact, we're getting some serious Italian grandmother vibes with this recipe. Silky baby Spanish and grated carrots melt into a hearty meat sauce, offering a mouth-watering meal for anyone looking for a little zest. It's delivery quality, but much more affordable, plus you get to cook it yourself!

Smokey Mild Chorizo & Bean Chilli

Yet another clever twist on a weekday favorite! The paprika and garlic flavored cured sausage is a staple in our chopping baskets since it goes well with practically anything. Not only is Chorizo loved for its taste, but also for its ability to infuse sauces with its tantalizing flavor. This time around, HelloFresh has decided to spice up a classic bowl of bean chili with Spanish styling of a smokey mild chorizo. The end result? A mix of chorizo, red kidney beans, corn and avocado, and an irresistible flavor that everyone will love. This is just one of dozens of unique HelloFresh recipes you won't find anywhere else!

Gone are the days of trekking through the frigid cold just for a few groceries. Sign-up for HelloFresh today and get your ingredients delivered right to your doorstep. Time to start cozying up the right way, with a delicious meal and a nice cup of hot cocoa.

Update: Our friends at HelloFresh are extending a special Black Friday offer to our readers. Follow this link to get $90 off across 4 boxes including free shipping!