Cuba is a bucket list destination for many at the moment. Chartered flights originating in the US are often booked months in advance. Hotels are limited in supply and are also booked months in advance. This is all in a place where the average taxi drivers using vintage American cars bring home exponentially more income than a doctor or a lawyer.
I sat next to a French civil engineer on a 7 hour bus ride from Júcaro to Havana and he told me of his plans to move with his family to Havana for the next 2 to 4 years. His firm has been hired by the Cuban government to build more high rise hotels in Havana and elsewhere in Cuba.
Change is on the horizon in Cuba. As it is, there is a great deal of demand on a place with a quasi-broken infrastructure. Perhaps it's a race to see Cuba before it "changes." Developers are likely hashing out plans and concepts as we speak.
The only component of change many, including myself, cannot seem to predict is how this influx of Americans and the lift of the longstanding embargo will change the day to day lives of Cubans in Cuba.
Below is a slideshow of images from Havana to the protected marine archipelago, Jardines De La Reina. Jardines is located approxamately 60 nautical miles off of the south central coast of Cuba. As it is, the Cuban government only allows 500 anglers to fish / visit Jardines on an annual basis. It's about 160 kilometers in length and is comprised of nearly a thousand mangrove cays varying in size.
While the fishing could be as good or better in many global saltwater destinations, Jardines is unique and to visit it means an adventure and a glimpse at a relatively intact ecosystem that by and large has not succumbed to the industrial hands of the West.