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Light a cigar in celebration, since yesterday marked the first day of direct flights to Havana, Cuba from LAX. Obama relaxed travel restrictions to Cuba back in April, allowing people to visit their relatives in Cuba and resume educational and journalistic travel to the Communist nation, but it takes some time to put the direct flights into place to get them there.
According to USA Today's Today In the Sky, the weekly flights are chartered by Cuba Travel Services of Long Beach, and flown on a Continental Airlines 737-800, which can accomodate 150 passengers, Perhaps Continental should consider putting their retro-liveried planes on this route just for kicks.
If your papers are in order, you can book one of the roundtrips starting at $689 and settle in for the five-hour flight landing in Havana at 7:25pm EST, perfect timing for dinner with the family you haven't seen in forever or just for kicking back with a few cuba libres.
· Continental begins flights between LAX, Havana Today [Today In the Sky]
· Obama eases Cuba travel restrictions [CNN]
· Cuba Travel coverage [Jaunted]
[Photo: Samuel Negredo]
Travel booking website Orbitz is not about to waste any time getting their foot on the door with travelers drooling over the possibility of making landfall in Cuba soon. On March 10, President Obama signed a bill to ease travel restrictions for Cuban Americans heading home to visit family, amongst other changes. On March 11, Orbitz had launched their website petition to open the floodgates to all tourism.
The "Open Cuba" campaign is simple enough: enter your name, state, postal code and email address, and choose if you'd like to receive further news about the campaign or emails from Orbitz about travel deals.
Aha! The entering the email part; that's where they get you! Their mailing list gets padded, they get free publicity, and you feel as though you have participated in history. That is, until you begin receiving Orbitz deal emails when you have no intention of booking a 3-star all-inclusive resort in Puerto Vallarta. You just want some Cuba time, damnit.
Until JFK to Havana direct flights look more feasible, we're going to hold back on the online signature. After all, the only thing we're in the mood to sign after checking out their website is the receipt for a box of Cohibas.
Today's movie set travel takes us to a warm and saucy destination with the opening of Andy Garcia's The Lost City. Set in '50s Havana, Cuba, the plot revolves around a nightclub owner who's caught having an affair with his brother's lady, all while Castro's regime in taking down the country. Of course, the film was not shot in Cuba at all, but in Santo Domingo, D.R. We offer you some warm and saucy things to check out in Santo Domingo--just stay away from your brother's wife.
Where To Stay:
Hotel Sofitel Santo Domingo
Housed in the 16th-century former mansion of the Governor of the Americas, the colonial rooms have all the right touches, like canopy beds and shutters. You can also opt for the contemporary wing, where some rooms have views of the river. A courtyard hosts concerts and guests can sample French fare at the hotel's restaurant.
Where To Tan:
This pristine beach is the spot to go to carry on that affair. It's isolated with jagged cliffs and golden sand, though the pebbly shore makes it tough to walk on so don't forget your sandals. Bring change to buy a fresh fish lunch from one of the many vendors.
Where To Smoke:
Step into the temperature-controlled cedar room and take your pick of the best selection of Dominican and Cubans extant. Staff will be happy to help you, and ensure top quality. It's the perfect way to end a night of illicit activity.