Seven months after its July 2015 launch, HavanaInsider.com continues to lead the field.
It is the single most useful website for travelers to Cuba who want to savor the very best the island has to offer. We extend a big thanks to all our readers for their great support and feedback.
Our team is led by the preeminent Cuban cigar critic, James Suckling. He has been traveling to Cuba on that beat for three decades. He knows the people who spearheaded the emergence of a private hospitality sector and Havana’s reemergence as one of the top draws in the Americas–as well as many of the artists, musicians, tobacco growers and others who make the culture such a draw.
More and more Americans seem to agree. American visits last year rose 77 percent to 161,000 (not counting hundreds of thousands of Cuban-Americans), and all signs only point to higher numbers in the years ahead.
New visitors are quickly discovering that Havana has become an unexpectedly rich food destination–a process spurred by the rapid growth of private restaurants and new investments in quality in many state-run establishments. Cuba’s iconic rums have arguably never been better and Havana Club is driving a new surge in unbelievable ultra-premium rums. Countless bars–new or historic, grand or edgy–provide a huge array of unforgettable settings to experience Cuba’s spirits. In the Cuban cigar world, quality, consistency, and accessibility make Havana the world’s top-rung destination for cigar connoisseurs.
James and the rest of our international and Cuban team know that HavanaInsider.com‘s greatest value-added, for first-time and repeat visitors, is in helping them navigate the scene-and zero-in quickly on the very best in Cuban cigars, rum, and food.
Our focus has moved steadily in that direction. Our readers have noticed and applauded our growing coverage of cigars and rum. This spring we’ll feature a new selection of what we regard as some of the top additions to Havana’s ever-changing dining scene.
You’ll note subtle changes in our graphics and format that reflect our growing focus on cigars, food, and rum.
When we say “Taste the Best of Cuba” it isn’t just a marketing slogan. No three sectors provide a better gateway to understanding Cuba’s culture, people, or identity.
Whether you’re tasting cigars on an airy tropical patio with some of Cuba’s bright new crop of opinionated cigar somms; sharing a meal with new friends and talking about changes in Cuban society; or sipping rum in a hundred-year-old bar and learning about its famous and infamous clientele–the experiences leave you with a much deeper understanding of Cuba’s society–past and present.
Building better understanding, in both directions, is important–something every visitor becomes part of, and something HavanaInsider.com is proud to facilitate.
-William McIlhenny, co-publisher of HavanaInsider.com