Tag Archives: travel tuesday

Cuban food is delicious and flavorful blend of Spanish, Native American, African, and Caribbean cuisines that, like most Latin American cuisines, isn’t particularly spicy, but can be made spicier with some hot sauce at any paladares (privately-owned restaurants). Better still, the price at these restaurants for the quality food you get is very enticing: the average plate is much cheaper than at state-owned restaurants, coming in at around $3-$10 per plate. Portions are also often very large and perfect for sharing with your family, friends, and other travel companions.  

Have you been considering a trip to Cuba and wanted to learn more about the cuisine before you go? Here are 9 excellent Cuban meals to get your mouth watering:

  1. Pulpeta
    You can think of pulpeta like a Cuban spin on meatloaf. It’s well-seasoned mincemeat and ham mixed together with hard-boiled eggs stuffed inside. Rather than baking, pulpeta is generally cooked on the stove.
  2. Ropa vieja
    Ropa vieja (lit. “old clothes”) is the national dish of Cuba, which is interesting considering beef isn’t terribly common in Cuba outside of resorts and restaurants that cater to tourists. This heart stew is filled with tomatoes, onions, and tender beef chunks that slowly cooked until they are easily shredded.
  3. Paella
    Cuban paella is much like its Spanish cousin in composition, with its saffron rice, meats, and seafood cooked in a large, shallow pan, and is often filled with ham, chorizo, chicken, shrimp, lobster, scallops, and mussels.
  4. Ajiaco
    Ajiaco is another wonderfully hearty stew that has everything but the kitchen sink! This delicious Cuban stew has a little something for everyone: pumpkin, potatoes, plantains, corn, malanga, meats, spices, tomato paste, lemon juice, and even beer to add depth of flavor.
  5. Corn on the cob
    Cuba’s take on corn on the cob is both simple and delicious. First, the corn cobs are grilled before being rolled in mouthwatering cotija cheese, sprinkled with chili powder and garnished with a few drops of lime juice.
  6. Tostones
    Tostones are one of those foods that are found all throughout the Caribbean under different names depending where you are. This addictive dish is made using thick slices of plantains which are fried, pressed on to form something closer to a patty, and then fried again.
  7. Congrí
    This dish, simply rice and black beans cooked with garlic, oil, and spices, is found with pretty much any authentic cocina criolla (lit. “Creole cooking”), and is also referred to as moros y cristianos. It’s a delightful and satisfying dish with heart protein and flavorful rice that is the perfect accompaniment to any main dish.
  8. Arroz con leche
    Arroz con leche is a simple yet satisfying rice pudding made with rice, milk, sugar, and cinnamon that is the perfect comfort food for any occasion. The soft, sweet, creamy texture hits every high note a dessert should have.
  9. Cazuela de plátano
    This decadent dessert is made with bananas, raisins, pecans, butter, and brown sugar, and is an excellent dessert for lactose intolerant travelers. It’s the perfect combination of sweet, buttery, smooth and crisp to satisfy any sweet tooth.

If you’re hungry to try some amazing Cuban paladares, you’re going to need a passport and visa first. Fortunately, we can help you get both quickly and easily. Contact Texas Tower Houston at 713-874-1420 and we will always be ready to assist you with your passport and visa needs. For more information on what you need to get a Cuba visa, this article can help. 

You can climb Mount Everest from the China side or the Nepal side. This post is an overview and links to some well-done checklists for entering through Nepal and some tips to make your trip easier and avoid some of the bumps that international travel can sometimes bring.

Need a Passport or Visa?
United States citizens entering Nepal will need a visa to enter the country. Nepal also requires a blank page in your passport for entry. As of January 2016, you can no longer add pages to your passport. You will need to renew if you need to add pages no matter when your expiration date is for your passport.
Nepal Visa - Texas Tower Fast Passport and Visa Call Now! (713) 874-1420.clipular (1)

Nepal does not require any vaccinations to enter the country, the CDC has issued a list of vaccinations it considers important for travelers to Nepal to receive before entering the country.
You can read the most current information at the CDC.

Recommended Vaccinations for Nepal
Recommended Vaccinations for Nepal

What to Pack?
You cannot go wrong using the advice from thePlanetd. They have the most extensive list of what to bring for a climb to basecamp we’ve run across. Including valuable tips on layering and winterizing that even seasoned climbers may find helpful. They also cover electronics, snackage, and a ton of helpful tips.
Get the list here.

What’s the Cost?
Alan Arnette has a fantastic breakdown of the real cost for a trip to climb Everest. You can see the entire list here to make sure you’re considering every last thing when you’re planning your trip. See the cost breakdown here.

Considering a trip to Nepal? Get your gear in order and let us help you get there! Happy climbing!


We process passport and travel documents for individuals and corporations all over the United States. We also process travel visas and eVisas for U.S. citizens to use for entry to their country or countries of destination. Here’s a collection of some of the most common questions we get about visas.

1. Do I need a visa to visit every country in the world?
Nope! Here’s a handy map that will give you a fast overview of where you need a visa for entry and where you don’t.
(click to enlarge this map)

By Camoka4 - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=22514926
By Camoka4 – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=22514926

2. Is it true U.S. visitors entering Afghanistan are photographed on entry?
No,  but visitors entering the country are fingerprinted.

3. I was told that Azerbaijan does not issue visas to people of Armenian ancestry. 
That is among the guidelines from the Azerbaijan government. They also will only issue a 30-day visa if arriving in Azerbaijan on Azerbaijan Airlines from a departure in the State of New York.

4. I read about a temporary visa waiver by Brazil, when does that take place? 
Temporary visa waiver, for a stay up to 90 days, will be in place in 2016 between June 1 and September 18, just before and after the Summer 2016 Olympics and ParaOlympics.

5. What is required for traveling to Ghana?
One of the main things you need to have is an International Certificate of Vaccination required. To see the full list of what is required to travel to Ghana, visit our dedicated Ghana Visa page.

6. Is there a URL at the Department of State I can look up information about various countries?
Yes. You’re welcome to contact our office or you can look up information at the Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs.

7. I was told that I don’t need a visa to visit Russia now, is that accurate?
Not entirely. The 72-hour visa-free entry for international cruise ship/ferry passengers only. The requirements are very specific. You must be travelling with an organized tour and accompanied at all times by a tour operator.
American citizens may receive multiple entry visas valid for three years.

And there you have it. If you have a visa or passport related question, just send it to @txtpassportvisa on Twitter or Texas Tower on Facebook.

letestIf you own a website, you know how enlightening the web stats can be.  Especially the area where you see what keyword phrases people are using to find your site.  The following is a collection of the questions people have asked to find our site as well as questions we’ve received via Twitter, Facebook, and email. Please note the following responses to the questions reflect our company’s turnaround time and may not apply to any other passport or visa agency.

Can I still get U.S. passports from the government site? 
The short answer is yes you can. The more indepth answer is you will wind up waiting an average of 4-7 weeks and you’ll have to submit and follow up on all the paperwork yourself. That’s the beauty of outsourcing that task to us, we do the work for you and we can get your passport as quickly as 24 hours.

My passport expires in 5 months how soon so I have to renew?
Technically, your passport is already expired. Most countries require that you have a full 6 months left on your passport from your departure date of your trip. If your passport has 6 months or less until expiration, it’s time to renew  your passport.

Is it true there are three types of travel visas for Venezuela?
Yes, most countries have a business class and tourism visa for entry to the country. Venezuela also has a work class visa for individuals that will be working in the country.

At what age does a child need a passport to travel?
Even newborns need a passport. Up until the age of 15, younger travelers will need a child passport. After the age of 16, you will apply for an adult passport.

How fast can you get a child’s passport?
Your departure date for your trip needs to be at least 3 days ahead and we can obtain your child’s passport for you on a rush. Normal time service from the U.S. passport agency will take anywhere from 4 to 7 weeks on average.

Can I get a birth certificate translated?
Yes, we offer full documentation translation services. Just call us at 713-874-1420, we can help you.

Do I need a passport to go from FL to MN?
At this time, passports are not necessary for travel within the United States from one state to another.

Where on TexasTower.net will I find the Philippines Visa page?
If you’re ready to get your travel visa, just go here to Philippines Visa.

Okay one more, question and we’ll wrap up this session.
What is the best way to renew a U.S. passport?
Outsourcing the acquisition of your passport and visa documents is one of the smartest things you can do. All you have to do is fill out the paperwork, and we do the rest. We can also get your passport must faster than the U.S. passport agency. If you have any questions, just ask one of our trained agents. Texas Tower will work one-on-one with you to make sure the process of obtaining your passport or visa is easy from start to finish.

Namibia flag for namibia visaHere are some tips for making your trip to Namabia even easier. This country has a few requirements for entry that you need to meet or you will be denied entry.Tourists do not require a visa for entry, however if you’re traveling to Namibia for business purposes, a visa will be required.

Passport requirements for Namibia travel
Like most international travel destinations, your passport will need to show an expiration date that is six months beyond the completion of your visit to Namibia.  You will also need six or more pages are required for entry stamp. If you need extra pages added to your passport, Texas Tower can obtain them for you.

Medical requirements for Namibia entry
If your entry is arriving through South Africa, you will need to show proof of a yellow fever vaccination within the previous 14-days. Because both yellow fever and malaria are prevalent in the region, the CDC recommends both for travelers entering Namibia. Of special note, the State Department warns U.S. citizens should lesotho_diamond_3-300x216avoid purchasing diamonds and other protected resources outside of licensed retail establishments. The penalty for illegal dealing in diamonds in Namibia is stiff – up to U.S. $20,000 in fines or five years in prison – and the courts generally impose the maximum sentence.

How to get your travel visa to Namibia
Namibia travel visaHere is a collection of the top ten tourist attractions in Namibia

If you need help with extra passport pages or a business travel visa to Namibia, let Texas Tower make it easy and obtain those documents for you. Just contact our office at 713-874-1420 to get started.

Interesting stats from Richard Dow, President of U.S. Travel Association, a trade organization based out of Washington, D.C. He stated at their trade industry’s annual gathering, the direct spending of $928 billion occurred on tourism and travel in the United States alone.

This had an estimated $2.1 trillion impact on the economy, supporting the 15 million jobs that are dependent on the hospitality and travel industries to sustain themselves. Domestic travel has grown 2 percent and international travel jumped forward growing nearly 4 percent.

Chile has recently started a reciprocal visa program with the United States. A travel visa is not required for travelers from Chile and U.S. travelers are not required to present a visa for entry to Chile.

Dow was quoted as stating he hoped to see some other countries like Brazil follow suit on that action, but it has not been adopted as of yet.

See the full article here