While several U.S. airlines have cut flights to Cuba citing weak demand, American Airlines, JetBlue Airways and Delta Airlines are bucking the trend and investing in more service to Havana. In the last week, all three have applied for additional daily routes to the Cuban capital.
While travel to Cuba booms, airlines and hotels are managing the challenges of matching Cuba’s limited infrastructure with huge demand. But cruise lines will mostly avoid those difficulties thanks to the nature of their operation, which makes Cuban travel less cumbersome for passengers than other forms of travel. Eight U.S.-based lines will call there this year.
During the course of the cruise on Lindblad’s Panorama II, our schedule changed almost daily from our printed itinerary. Communication about changing procedures is not an attribute of central government in Cuba, a country known for breakdowns in plans and mechanics and disincentives for individual decision-making.
It’s midnight in Mexico, and my husband and I are sitting silently in the back seat of a small gray car, about an hour and a half from where we want to be — Tulum. We’re on edge, because we’re pretty sure the two guys in the front seat, whom we met at the Cancun airport a few minutes ago, are scamming us. Neil is calculating whether he can take them, should things go south. I’m wondering why, in the middle of Highway 307, there are speed bumps the size of large turtles that cause cars to slow to a crawl.
Laid out like a string of pearls along the eastern edge of the Grand Bahamas Bank, the Exumas are a breathtaking chain of idyllic, pristine islands with white sand beaches, crystal blue waters and very few people — remarkable, considering they’re only 300 miles from Miami.
The 4-foot-tall yellow sign on the chain-link gate didn’t just say “Danger: No trespassing” in block letters. It also had a black-and-red image of a bomb and the warning “Explosives — unexploded ordnance” in English and Spanish. Nevertheless, I squeezed though the gate’s opening. My husband, Andrew, followed me down the path to Carlos Rosario Beach.
Volcanoes, rushing waters, drama-queen falls, natural beaches, rainforest and teeming wildlife: Costa Rica comes by its tourism dynamics naturally. But it also works at it with groundbreaking sustainability ethics.