Cuba Highlights

From Havana we travelled west to Soroa and Las Terrazas, then on to Vinales. We then returned to Havana and stayed in the small beach town of Guanabo before heading off to Trinidad, Sancti Spiritis, Santa Clara and then back to Havana again.

These are my highlights!

Just below my highlights I’ve included some extra information on things you should know before travelling to Cuba.


Havana


Places to Stay


Hostal Peregrino
Centro Habana / Habana Vieja
www.hostalperegrino.com 
T: +537 8618027 / +537 8601257
E: info@hostalperegrino.com

$25-30 CUC per room, per night.

Hosts Elsa and Julio Roque run casas from 3 locations in Central Habana and Habana Vieja. The main Casa is Hostal Peregrino Consulado, where we stayed for 4 nights. The interior is beautiful with soaring ceilings, and comes complete with antique furniture. Our bedroom had an en suite bathroom and a balcony, 2 beds and a fully stocked fridge. The breakfasts are pretty unforgettable, with an unlimited supply of bread, cheese, ham, jam, pankcakes, omlette, coffee, tea, yoghurt and fruit. For $5 CUC, breakfast is definitely worth getting up for. The service is also just as lovely. The ladies who cook the breakfast are super friendly and helped us with our Spanish.


Casa Sr. Ruben Gomez.
Calle 470 A No. 7B03 e/ 7ma. B y 9na
Guanabo, C. Habana
T: +537 7964626
E: rubengomez55@gmail.com

$25 CUC per night for the apartment.

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When Central Habana gets too much, make your way to Guanabo along the Playas Del Este for a few days rest. Guanabo is a small beach town 24km east of Central Habana. A taxi ride there costs approximately $25 CUC, although you can also catch a bus (no. 400) which leaves every hour or so from Calle Agramonte in Central Habana.

Casa Sr. Ruben Gomez is a block over from Lonely Planet’s recommended Casa Elena Morina, and here you don’t just a get a room, you get a whole apartment complete with a decent sized double bedroom, bathroom, living room, kitchen and a beautiful outdoor patio with rocking chairs. The garden surrounding the patio is a work of art, where Ruben and his wife Lisa have spent 2 years building in shells, coral and glass found at the nearby beach into the walls and the floor.

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What the guide books don’t tell you, however, is that the town of Guanabo itself is not so welcoming of tourists. Eyes follow you as you walk down the street and the people regard you with suspicion. That said, we avoided town and made the most of our lovely apartment and the nearby restaurant, Restaurante Maeda. We met another tourist who had been to Guanabo and we all agreed that the food served in Maeda was by far THE BEST food we had eaten in Cuba. We had the Festival Del Mar – split between two. It cost us $6 CUC each and the dish included lobster.

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For the lovely apartment and that restaurant alone, a few days in Guanabo is well worth the stop.
Ruben speaks English very well and is a terrific host. The apartment was serviced every day and was a peaceful alternative to the hustle and bustle of the city.

The beach is not the most idyllic at Guanabo but a 2km stroll west is pleasant enough, with white sand and warm waters.

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Places to Eat, Drink and Be Merry


El Chanchullero
Brasil, btwn Bernaza & Christo, Habana Vieja
www.el-chanchullero.com

Our favourite bar in Havana. If Salsa is your scene then unfortunately you won’t find it here. Described by Lonely Planet as a ‘Hemmingway-free zone’ it’s suited more for poorer Cubans and backpackers, with decent sized cocktails costing a mere $2 CUC and delicious plates of food for $4-6 CUC.

It’s a small graffiti-ridden dive bar, playing mostly rock music. We also discovered that this tiny bar is owned by the nephew of Fidel Castro. It made for good people watching.

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You’re in Cuba so you might as well…

La Floridita – Havana – yes I did and the Daiquiris weren’t all that good but the people watching was brilliant! White middle aged men chuffing away on cigars really believing they were all that. Loved it. Only stayed for one.

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Restaurante Porto-Habana (formerly Castas Y Tal)
Calle E, No. 158B, Piso 11, e/ Calzada y 9na., Vedado, Habana

One of our favourite eating spots in Habana. What attracted me to this place was Lonely Planet’s promise of ‘wrap-around views of Havana’ and great food. I also liked the idea of riding up a ‘painfully slow elevator’ to the 11th floor of a residential apartment block. It sounded like fun.

This place does not disappoint. It’s one of those restaurants you will always remember eating at. Since its initial write up in Lonely Planet it has had a name change, and is open every day from 12 midday to midnight. The service comes with a huge smile and the food is AMAZING.

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Restaurante Maeda
Av Quebec, near Calle 476. Guanabo, Habana

The chef has nailed it in this amazing little restaurant in the beach town of Guanabo. The owner, Maeda, recommended the ‘Festival del Mar,’ split between 2 for $12 CUC. By far, the best food I have eaten in Cuba. The portion size was huge and everything – from presentation and flavour to service, deserved a big fat michelin tick. My only grumble is that it would have been nice to have wine with the meal. Not many places in Cuba serve wine and if they do it’s quite expensive.

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Music


My image of Havana was one of people walking around with heavy instruments on their backs, smoking cigars and playing guitars in doorways, and Salsa music ringing through the streets. It was really hard to find any of that in Havana that wasn’t centred around tourism. Music was actually much more common in Trinidad but in Trinidad the tourists accounted for 99.9% of the crowd at night. It all felt a bit false and tacky. As the musicians played popular ballads I got the sense they were mocking their audience slightly.

I like a good live band, but what I found in Habana Vieja, Central Habana and Trinidad really wasn’t my cup of tea. The best music for me was in Santa Clara, simply because in Santa Clara you have a lot of students and the town doesn’t play up to tourists.

The Best Music – by Cubans for Cubans

The best music is away from the tourist crowds. Some of the popular music joints are actually overrun with young prostitutes – both male and female. We heard from a fellow traveller that one girl was ordering him to go home and get some money to have sex with her. Vedado is a good place to get live music away from the tourists but it’s hard to find – keep your ears close to the ground.


Things to See and Do


Wherever you are, you’re never far away from one of these bad boys!

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Coco Taxis are great fun and most other taxis come as old skool Fords or Yank Tanks of some form or another, usually with bits missing. It adds to the fun!


Habana Vieja

I would love to say that Habana Vieja is a pleasure to walk through but in all honesty, it can be a pain in the arse. Street musicians follow you, jineteros hassle you for your name, your country. It’s non-stop, and to enjoy this part of town you really need to learn to put the blinkers on and just ignore it all.

A stroll down Calle Obispo on the way to the cathedral is nice, and there’s nothing better than sinking a big glass of ice-cold beer in one of the many outdoor restaurants in Plaza Vieja – but it’s pricey. This area of Havana is incredibly tourist heavy. Even when you’re sitting down to enjoy a beer in the plaza you can never quite escape the attention of local hustlers trying to sell you things like characteur pictures. We had quite a collection growing after 1 drink.

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The Malecon

Really nice to walk down but don’t bother stopping for a sit down on the wall. Give it 5 minutes and someone will start pestering you.

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The Plaza de la Revolucion

The murals of Che Guevera and Camilo Cienfuegos hang large and heavy on grey concrete blocks in the somewhat baron, ugly square.

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However, it’s one of those things you just ‘aint going to see again, so it makes for a good morning or afternoon out to this part of town. Whilst you’re in the Vedado area grab a bite to eat at the Restaurante Porto-Habana (Formerly Castas Y Tal), and stroll back to Central Habana along the Malecon – it’s about 1 hours walk.


 Related blog posts:

Welcome to Cuba
Cuba – Havana
Betty, Miqael and the Cuban Home
Cuba – Behind the Smoke
Cuba – Jineteros and a New Land of Opportunities
Just Step Outside


Las Terrazas


Things to See and Do


The eco-village and Unesco Biosphere Reserve of Las Terrazas, set in the lush surroundings of the 40-something km stretch of forest and hills known as The Sierra del Rosario, is well worth a stop. Just 13km west of Havana, the Sierra del Rosario offers some of the best hikes in Cuba.

We paid $20 CUC for a hike known as El Taburete, a 6km hike up a steep 452m hill (the Loma el Taburete), which when you reach the top, offers stunning full panoramic views over all of Cuba. A monument sits, dedicated to the 38 Cuban guerillas who trained in these hills for Che Guevara’s ‘ill-fated’ Bolivian expedition.

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The hike is quite tough as the hills are steep and there is no real path. You haul yourself up most of the way using tree branches and rocks for support. Great fun!

The hike ends at the bottom of the hill at the idyllic natural swimming pools of the Banos del San Juan. Entry fee is included in the price of the hike and if you’re hungry you can also grab a bite to eat here.

The walk back to the the office was around 1 hour and is fairly straight forward. The guide will wait for you if you want, or you can arrange for a taxi to come and pick you up from the office.

We did stroll through the village around the lake and had we had more time it would have been nice to stop over for a bite to eat and/or drink in one of the eco-restaurants.


Soroa


Soroa, a natural settlement and mountain resort lying 95km southwest of Havana is known as the Rainbow of Cuba.

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It is not as common a tourist destination as Vinales which lies further west but the scenery is magnificent, so it’s worth a stop.


Places to Stay


I loved Soroa but I would advise everyone to avoid staying in Hotel & Villas Soroa like the plague. However, the accommodation in this area is pretty limited, so if you can’t find something through Trip Advisor, just avoid the food at this hotel (which resembled slops scooped out of a bin), and don’t be too disappointed if the pool is filthy and closed. I’m the type of person who is used to staying in hostels, so I really don’t aim too high when it comes to places to stay, but this place really does win a prize for being completely below any sort of standard.

November through to June would probably be the best time to stay here, as I imagine the hotel would sort their shit out in time for when the majority of guests arrive. We were here in late October and the service was appalling, and we were surrounded by local, loud Cuban chavs.

Don’t let them put you in the cabins on the lower level by the pool-side. We worked out that these were put aside especially for tour guides and were in really poor condition compared to the cabins which sat on top of the hill. We had to request a room change.

Also, if you’re scared of dogs, note – this place is over-run with stray flea-ridden pups who are hungry for your food. Some of them are actually pretty friendly and more like the hotel pets. We had two favourites who became quite attached to us and guarded our room at night.


Reynier’s Casa Options

Reynier Chiroldes Cardenaey
E: ESPST2@HVS.TUR.CU
T: +53 529937
A: Entronque “La Muralla”, Consultorio #18. San Cristobal, Artemisa.

If you’re feeling adventurous contact Reynier, a local businessman we met during our time here. He speaks good English and is a really nice guy and lives with his wife and young son in a Casa in Artemisa.

I’ve written a little bit about my meeting with Reynier here. He’s also one of my unsung heroes. We love this guy, and genuinely felt really lucky to have met him.


Things to See and Do


Visit Reynier’s bar at the waterfall, Salto del Arco Iris

Admission $3 CUC – then Reynier might show you the secret way in so you can visit again the next day for free, and enjoy a meal at his gorgeous little bar by a set of small natural swimming pools for just $4 CUC per person. Amazing and unforgettable!

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It’s well worth spending the afternoon here. Reynier’s English is very good and his spot is charming. It’s one place I actually miss and would definitely return to if I came to Cuba again.

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El Mirador

We loved this short (at times a little bit steep) climb up to El Mirador, a tall rocky cliff with views over all of Soroa. Words don’t really do it justice – it’s just a must!


Castillo de las Nubes (Castle of the Clouds)

A little small for a castle but still very sweet and the views are stunning (as most views in this area are). When we visited it was under construction but the guide book says that has been the case for a few years now so I only assume that plans to renovate and turn it into a boutique hotel have been put on hold. About 100m away is a bar/cafeteria with a small infinity pool looking out over Soroa. We only stopped to get some water but had we had the time we definitely would have gone back for drinks and a swim. It’s pretty secluded up there.


Related blog posts:

Escape to the Countryside – Soroa


Vinales


Places to Stay


There’s really no end to casas in this tiny town and competition is crazy! I personally would go with what’s in the guide book or go with a recommendation from one of the casas listed in the guide book. The last thing you want is to end up in an unlicensed house. Warning – before you even set foot off the bus, 50 odd Cuban casa owners have you surrounded and they do not leave you alone. If you’ve reserved ahead, have the casa owner meet you – make sure you check with them first which casa you’re going to. Many pose as the owner and there have been reports of people being taken to the wrong homes. If you haven’t booked just tell them all you have a reservation and go to a casa that is listed in your guide book. If they don’t have room they will usually be able to recommend somewhere else.

Villa Los Reyes
Salvador Cisneros No 206C (far west of town)
www.villalosreyes.com

$20-25 CUC

Staying with hosts Yoan and Yarellis was a great pleasure. Breakfast, as in many Casas is bountiful, dinner is huge and all home made and wonderful. They also organise the famous Sunrise and Sunset tours. If you visit Vinales without doing at least one of these tours – you’re doing something wrong!


Things to See and Do


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The biggest draw card of staying at Villa Los Reyes was that we could book tours to the valleys direct with Yoan who is an expert on the area and whose father runs a local organic farm. His dad also made the best Mojitis I’ve tasted in Cuba!

I’ve written more on my experience on the tours in my blog. Both Sunrise and Sunset tours were unforgettable experiences. It would be a crime to come to Cuba and not visit Vinales – you won’t get scenery like this anywhere else in the world.

Book a tour via Yoan and Yarellis with Lester and/or Fidel – both excellent guides!


Places to Eat, Drink and Be Merry


We ate at our casa and at a restaurant in town, El Olivo.

El Olivo is ridiculously touristy but to be honest, in comparison with other touristy Cuban restaurants, the dishes are pretty cheap and the food (mostly Italian), is amazing. I had lasagne – note, the best lasagne I’ve had since I can remember.

Balcon Del Valle
A few km out of town near Hotel Los Jazmines.
Just eat here for the views – the food is pretty good too! Just a few hundred meters away is a hotel with a pool and wifi.


Music


Centro Cultural Polo Montanez
Just off the main plaza – cnr Salvador Cisneros & Joaquin Parez.

A wicked place to stop off, have a drink and watch some interesting performances. From Salsa through to Afro-Caribbean dance and theatre. Just watch out for local Jiniteros. We were lucky enough to witness what can only be described as an old man song off. In a small, gated off patio area to the left of Centro Cultural, old men went head to head in a battle of words with musicians accompanying them as they slated each other passionately.

It’s one of those things that happen in Cuba, it’s not anything you would ever find time-tabled, but somewhere on your trip you’re bound to stumble into events like these.


Related blog posts:

Escape to the Countryside – Vinales


Trinidad


Stepping out onto the streets of Trinidad as the sun was setting was picture-book perfect. Narrow, cobbled streets, colourful colonial houses with their huge wooden doors, cowboys on horses, antique cars and the sound of live music filling the air… this is what I was expecting of Habana!

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I hate to say it, as Trinidad is very beautiful, but the magic soon wears off as you realise that 90% of everyone you pass in a day is a tourist.

Trinidad is also the most expensive place I visited in Cuba. Still – I don’t think you can really say you’ve visited Cuba until you’ve stopped off at this one-of-a-kind, as Lonely Planet says, ‘perfectly preserved Spanish colonial settlement.’

I had a pretty amazing time in Trinidad and I’ve written more about my experiences in my blog – from meeting locals and attending lectures to feasting at a Cuban Wedding and making small talk with the author of Lonely Planet, Brendan Sainsbury, and his lovely wife, Liz.


Places to Stay


Casa Munoz – Julio and Rosa
Jose Marti #401
Fidel Claro (Angarilla) y Santiago Escobar
Trinidad 62600

www.trinidadphoto.com
E: e:trinidadjulio@yahoo.com
T: +53 41 993673

The most beautiful casa we stayed in all of Cuba. Apparently Hostal Florida Center in Santa Clara is one of Cuba’s best, but we stayed there and, as pleasant as it was, a few things let it down, and it wasn’t a patch on Casa Munoz.

In Casa Munoz you feel very much a part of home life and you are invited to use the home as if it were your own. Julio was born in the house and inherited it from his grandfather. Julio is a horse whisperer come photographer come cowboy come lecturer. He is one character!

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He lives with his lovely wife, Rosa and two daughters. The family also has two very friendly dogs and a horse.
We stayed in the smaller, cheaper room which was fine but did get a bit hot and stuffy when the air conditioning or fan were off. The bigger rooms of the house were pretty magnificent and not that much more expensive. We spent our time sitting on the patio outside or on the secret roof terrace with views out over Trinidad, smoking cigars and drinking beers.


Places to Eat, Drink and Be Merry


Everywhere was quite expensive to be honest. The best food is probably in your Casa. Hostess, Rosa recommended two restaurants – Cubita Restaurant (just down the road from Casa Munoz), and Vista Gourmet – which lies a little further back from the famous Plaza Mayor. Nothing will prepare you for the stunning views you get when you go up the stairs of Vista. This restaurant really does have the best views in town and excellent food and wine to boot. It’s no surprise that the daughter in our Casa celebrated her wedding here.

Drinking – night life

We went to a few bars. They were all over priced and full of tourists. Grab a drink – a mojito, cuba libre, cerveza from one of the many holes in the wall around Plaza Mayor and find a bench or step. It’s cheaper and just a bit nicer and hassle free.

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Music


Just got annoying in the end. It was boring and repetitive and the musicians thought it was OK to blast the flute into your eardrum whilst you were eating. You can’t really eat in peace and if you do decide to eat out, take your small change with you as musicians pass their baskets around everywhere you go. They also try and flog you their CD at any given opportunity.

It was much nicer sitting on the steps outside Plaza Mayor where you could here it all happening in the background but didn’t need to get directly involved.

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Things to See and Do


Grab a beer or a mojito and people watch in one of Cuba’s most famous squares. Chat to friendly locals – the old guys selling baskets and bananas are great fun.

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Horseback riding

Julio from Casa Munoz (mentioned above) can organise a day out on horseback or by cart for around $25 CUC. Julio is a horse whisperer so you are guaranteed healthy and happy horses via Julio!


Photography workshops

I’ve written more about my meeting with Julio in my blog. He’s one very interesting guy and has worked with some very well known photographers. As well as being a horse whisper, an engineer and ambitious business man he is also a very well known documentary photographer and runs photography workshops.


Head to the BEAUTIFUL beach – Playa Ancon

Only 20 minutes away by Coco Taxi!

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Related blog posts:

Trinidad – Two Prostitutes, a Horse Whisperer and a Wedding


Sancti Spiritus


We broke up our journey from Trinidad to Santa Clara by stopping off at Sancti Spiritus, which, when we were there was completely dead. If you’re there at the weekend check out the Rodeo Stadium for Rodeo shows and I’m sure restaurants and music venues will be open, but not on a Monday or Tuesday it seems – everything was closed.

We stayed at Hostal Paraiso – a great option. The room was big and warmly lit, the casa was filled with antique furniture, the garden patio was beautiful. the breakfast was amazing. I only wish we had had dinner there as I’m sure it would have killed anything we had in town.


Santa Clara


I haven’t quite put my finger on why, but Santa Clara was like a breath of fresh air. Maybe it’s because most people you met were Cuban university students…I’m not sure – but it’s edgy and it’s fairly liberal, which, considering it’s Cuba, made for a great change.

Santa Clara is pretty small and you can see it all comfortably in just 2 days.


Things to See and Do


Everything that is Che Guevera – there are monuments, statues, museums – all in his honour. Underneath the main monument is a mausoleum containing his and his fellow guerilla’s remains and a fantastic little museum and photography exhibition.

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The Cigar Factory
Not a factory as you would imagine. I’ll leave it at that. Definitely a highlight of the trip.


Places to Eat, Drink and Be Merry


Hostal Florida Center
Maestra Nicolasa Este No 56, btwn Colon y Maceo
http://www.hostalfloridacenter.com

We actually stayed here for three nights and the food in the restaurant was pretty good! You can also have wine with your meal at a very reasonable price. That is hard to come by in Cuba.


Club Mujunje
Marta Abreu #107

One of our best nights out in Cuba was in Club Mujunje. All the students hang out here and take their own booze in. It’s relaxed, hassle free and you’re likely to be one of the only tourists there. For that reason, be careful of being scammed. Check the prices of the booze before you buy – maybe ask one of the students. Entrance fee is also in Cuban Pesos – not Convertible. Check any change that’s given to you.

The musicians playing were a mix of amateurs and professionals from the Cultural House in town. It was brilliant and by the end of the night everyone was dancing. On Saturdays expect a full on drag show. Anything goes at Mujunje.

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La Marquesina
Parque Vidal, btwn Maximo Gomez y Lorda

Great music played every night, great mojitos, local crowd. This is what you want.

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Cuba – things you should know


Visa and travel to the States


You cannot travel or board a plane without a Visa. All Visas/tourist cards need to be arranged well in advance of travel. I got mine with the Cuban consulate in London. They cost about £15 and last for 30 days. If you plan on staying longer than 30 days you need to organise an extension.

Headed to America afterwards? It’s a bit of a grey area but because of the US trade embargo it would be worth checking with the embassies where you stand. Your passport will get stamped in Cuba. If you are not a US citizen it should be fine but it’s just worth checking out if your trip does include a stop off in the States – for peace of mind, as you’ll get conflicting information while you’re away.

Note: Since writing this article the embargo has been lifted but it is still worth looking into as the changes have been recent.


Staying in a Casa


Documentation

When you arrive at your casa the first thing you must do is produce your passport and visa/tourist card and sign a registration and tax form so the casa owners have your stay on record. Apparently housing wardens make impromptu calls on casas that house tourists. If, as a tourist you are found in a casa and have not signed the registration book – even if you have only just arrived and put your bags in your room – a casa owner may receive a fine of up to $1500 CUC. So don’t be surprised if you need to fill out the paper work before you’ve even had a chance to put your bag down.

If for any reason you find yourself in a casa and you are not asked for your passport, and your details are not entered into an official book just leave. The casa isn’t licensed and your belongings (and probably you) are not safe.

Paying

Pretty much everywhere we stayed took cash only.

Keys

Many casas have keys to the front doors so you are free to come and go as you please, however some do not. For those that don’t, don’t be surprised if you find yourself locked out in the middle of the night because the owner has fallen asleep or can’t hear the doorbell.


Getting By


The Economy and Jineteros

Read about my experiences here – be prepared to be hassled but don’t let it get you down.

Paying for Things in Town

Many places, like the town of Vinales, only accept small notes – 10s or 20s max. Even 20 CUC is pushing it. Many people will be unable to give you change. That’s because most money exchanged in that area is in Cuban Pesos, which the locals use. You can exchange cash for local currency in the banks and in money exchange offices. Ask around for local peso restaurants. You’ll pay £1 for a full meal, and the food is usually pretty good!

The Internet

You assume that because you have been communicating with your casa owners via email that there is internet in Cuba. Wrong. When you arrive the chances of you getting wifi signal anywhere is very slim. Some hotels offer wifi but you need to buy a pin card to activate (about £5 for an hour). For the card to work you need to take down your firewall. It’s all a bit insecure really. I found one internet cafe in Trinidad and one in Santa Clara. Casa owners plugged into internet through other networks or used a Cuban intranet of some sort. I have no idea how it works for them to be honest, what I do know is, that for pretty much the whole time, I was completely unconnected.

Cuban Rum

Is cheap! I’m talking £2.50 for a bottle of Havana Club. Buy a bottle and have it on its own or with coke before heading out. Oh…wait…you can’t really get coke but you can get Tu Kola! Pretty much the same thing really – maybe a bit sweeter.

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Food

If you eat at your casa – breakfast or dinner – expect massive portions of delicious, organic, home cooked food. In one casa, breakfast dishes, cakes, sweets, bread just kept being put on the table until there was no room for anything else. It was comical! I’ve been told that that’s just what Cubans do – that an empty plate means there’s room for more and you may leave the table unsatisfied. Don’t feel obliged to eat everything that’s put in front of you. A lot of the time it’s just impossible.

Hotel Food in Cuba – IT’S BAD!

Avoid eating anything made in a hotel – it’s the most disappointing thing about Cuba. Don’t eat pizza either – it’s awful – or hamburgers for that matter – just avoid fast food. Why would you want to eat fast food in Cuba anyway when you can buy lobster for a fiver!? A few people we met who had also been to Cuba said that the food they had eaten was terrible. All I can say is that I ate at my casa and in restaurants suggested in Lonely Planet. Cuban food is some of the best food I have ever eaten and I am very VERY fussy about the quality of my food (and my portion sizes)!

Shops

Supermarkets, mini markets and convenience stores don’t really exist in Cuba. There are shops but they’re less than convenient. Say for example you want water – that may well be in a shop 3 blocks away but you’ll be in a shop that sells milk, rum and nappies. Take all the essentials with you – plasters, pain killers, batteries before you go.

The System is – There is NO System

Expect long queues that don’t make sense, a lack of signage and no communication. Don’t worry, you’ll get there in the end.

The process of getting a Viazul bus ticket is complicated. Always buy in advance of travel, especially if you are travelling at the weekend. There are usually two desks from which to purchase tickets – one desk for buying tickets on the day, one desk for picking up tickets you’ve reserved. Which desk you choose to queue at is up to you. At Havana – go to the desk on the right for collection. Don’t expect the attendants to acknowledge you while you’re standing there waiting either, or to answer your question with any clarity. One thing your learn in Cuba – PATIENCE!

Buses in Cuba

Viazul bus for tourists and local buses for the locals.
As hard as we tried we couldn’t get tickets for the local buses. However, the air conditioned Viazul bus is pretty sweet and is well connected for wherever it is you want to travel to in Cuba.


Enjoy Cuba. It’s like being stuck in a giant washing machine, put on a super spin cycle and chucked out at the end. It’s one hell of a ride!


Next Stop: Mexico


Check out my highlights for everywhere else I traveled to: Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, The Galapagos Islands, Argentina, LA, Fiji, New Zealand, Australia, Indonesia and Japan.

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3 thoughts on “Cuba Highlights

  1. Gracias! Recientemente he estado buscando informacion sobre este tema
    y de momento, tu pagina ha sido lo mejor que he encontrado, muchas
    gracias.

  2. What a fantastic and easy to understand load of information, my husband and i plan to go to Cuba in 2016 and you have given me a wealth of information and i am looking forward to staying at Casa Munoz and meeting Julio & family as I am a rodeo photographer and rider. Thank you so much. Kind Regards Barbs.

    • Hi Barbs! Ahhh that’s good to know! Casa Munoz is beautiful and Julio and his family are so welcoming and lovely. I got some great photography tips from him – I’m sure you’ll exchange some great stories – do attend his lectures if he still holds them. He has a very interesting background. Cuba is a wonderful country, and changing very quickly so you’re going at a good time! Make sure you go to Vinales – it’s stunning 🙂

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