After decades of tension. between the U.S. and our island neighbors to the south, diplomacy, trade, and tourism are beginning to make their ways back as our battered relationship begins the healing process. With all of this being so recent, the question still stands for many Americans. Is Cuba safe?
Having just come back from Cuba, I can tell you in hindsight that this is such a silly question. I definitely had my own concerns and questions about traveling to Cuba.
Is Cuba Safe?
In short, the answer is yes, it is absolutely safe for Americans to go. If you have the opportunity to go to Cuba, I wholeheartedly encourage it. It was a one-of-a-kind travel experience that will forever stay with me, for a number of reasons. One of those reasons is the intense passion and extreme hospitality that the Cuban people have. Yes, that includes towards Americans.
Despite the decades of our governments being at odds with one another, the people of each country have not let that define how the people feel about each other. While anti-American sentiment might still have a presence in parts of Cuba, it will be minuscule and likely only from older generations. As an American traveler, I had no animosity or resentment shown towards me. Even if there was any hostility expressed specifically towards me being American, it would have been far outweighed by the friendliness and openness the Cuban people show towards everyone.
If you are respectful towards the Cuban people and approach the at-times chaotic world they live in with an open mind, they will welcome you willingly into their amazing country. Sure, if you go around drunkenly screaming “‘MERICA” everywhere, you might not be the most appreciated person in Havana, but you’re probably not the most appreciated person anywhere you go anyway.
What about crime? Will I get murdered in Cuba?
Nah. While Cuba does not have much detailed information on crime or murder rates, locals have told me that violent crime is virtually nonexistent. Guns are practically impossible to attain for anyone in Cuba, so you don’t have to worry about ever getting shot. While I didn’t have any problems or know anyone that did have problems, petty theft or pickpocketing is something to keep an eye out for no matter where you go. It happens everywhere else in the world, so I’m sure it happens in Cuba. A local told me that the only crime that happens is when you become too enamored with your Cuban lover, they might sneak your phone or wallet out of your pocket. I’m not sure how true that is, but there are some damn good looking Cuban people out there.
Go to Cuba. It’s a lot of fun, and honestly, with all of the crazy sh*t going on around the world right now, it is probably a lot safer than anywhere else you can go. If you’re on edge about going to Cuba because you’re scared that it might be dangerous, I personally guarantee that you have nothing to worry about. You will have a lot of questions once you get to Cuba. “Is Cuba safe?” will not be one of them. It is a completely different world down there, and you will come back a different person. I’m not even exaggerating or being overdramatic this time. I promise.
Related: The Backpacker’s Guide to Cuba
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Cuba has been an incredible country with the most welcoming people I've ever met. It was definitely more challenging than I anticipated, with having to ramp up my Spanish to levels I've never had to use before, running out of money after like 3 days, and learning to get by without the sweet sweet wifi that I had taken for granted throughout my travels. In place of google, we had the old fashioned search engines of asking the overly fun-loving Cuban people how to do literally anything. By the end of the week, we had just basically accepted that nothing in Cuba is going to go exactly as planned, but there was always someone willing to go well out of their way just to help us figure out what the hell we were doing. Go to Cuba with an open mind and they'll accept u with an open heart 💃🏽. Hasta pronto, Cuba (and our pink convertible) 🇨🇺