When former President Barack Obama announced the normalization of relations with Cuba in 2014, the tourism surge began. A record 4 million visitors traveled to Cuba in 2016, an increase of 13% from the previous year. This rise is only expected to increase with cruise lines and commercial flights operating from the U.S., for the first time in over 50 years.
With this, came quick changes and new opportunities for the largest Caribbean island frozen in time. Internet hotspots, price increases, restaurant booms, Airbnb, Chanel fashion shows, a Rolling Stone concert, a Hollywood blockbuster, and visits by celebrity elite.
Outside the bustling towns and cities, the authentic Cuba, untouched by hordes of tourists, can be seen by those daring to wander into the unfamiliar and eager to step back into historical eras, still exists…for now.