Havana is the capital city of a country caught in time, but it's more than just its time-capsule qualities that make it an excellent Caribbean destination.
What to Do
This Caribbean city was once one of the top island vacation destinations, and the reasons it was so popular haven't really changed. In fact, some of the reasons it declined as a vacation hotspot have contributed to making it even more interesting as a vacation destination now.
U.S. passport holders are still, for the most part, not allowed to visit Havana - which only increases its allure. And because the country was largely cut off in the 1950s, its time-capsule qualities add to its interest level for those who do make the trip. But aside from that, Havana remains a bustling and beautiful city with lots to offer visitors.
While in Havana, be sure to tour a cigar factory and see what all the fuss is about. To get a better understanding of Cuban history, check out the Museum of the Revolution. Havana's old town and waterfront are great for evening walks, and for another mode of transportation rent yourself a classic car from the 1950s and go back in time.
Havana's Jose Marti International Airport (airport code HAV) is the city's main international airport, and for many people getting a flight to Havana is as simple as booking the ticket. For U.S. citizens, however, you've got to be a little more creative. You'll have to first fly to another Caribbean country or somewhere in Central America or Mexico and then book a separate flight into Havana. Many of the cheapest flights are from Cancun to Havana, but you may not find anything that's truly inexpensive.
Getting around Havana is easiest (and cheapest) on foot, although there are plentiful taxis and buses. You can rent a 1950s car for the day, just to have that experience, too.
Where to Stay
Havana can be surprisingly expensive to stay in, although there are some budget hotels in Havana. The quality can vary greatly, though, even in what might be considered nicer places. Different parts of the city can also affect your hotel experience - whereas the Vedado area is known to be quieter, it will be a bit more expensive. Old Havana will be less expensive, but it may be too busy and noisy for your tastes. Budget travelers will want to check out the Havana hostels as well.