Havana

C U B A

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Going to Cuba has been one of the most uncommon experiences I’ve ever lived - it's literally traveling back in time. 

Since the moment you get to the airport it’s like you are back in the 50’s-
All the decor is from that time because that’s when they stopped importing from other
countries so everything stayed the same. Most of the city is old and not well maintained,
because they don’t have the resources to do it.


Even though there are a couple of new hotels, it is shocking to go inside the local
supermarkets and see how they have little to no options. The shelves are completely
empty. Tourist areas are better maintained, but they don’t disguise the reality.


As shocking as it is, there are still plenty of things to enjoy. I really enjoyed riding around
in those amazing 50’s cars. You can just feel a good, calm energy in the streets; you
can even walk in the middle of the street sometimes, since there isn’t a lot of traffic.
Despite their harsh conditions, most locals seemed very happy. Probably because that’s
all they know. Even though some of them wish they could go out and explore the world,
their salaries won’t allow that. For example, a doctor’s monthly salary is around $40
dollars. So you have an idea of how impossible it is for them to leave the country.
On a brighter note, the food is delicious Latin cuisine, shows that Cuba still has much to
offer. Even though there’s not much variety, mojitos are always available! (So
regardless you’ll have a great time). The beaches are beautiful and for sure worth
visiting.


Below I’ve given you some tips, suggestions, and background info! Enjoy.
History: The Cuban Revolution was an armed revolt led by Fidel Castro. It was
against the government of Cuban dictator, Fulgencio Batista. The revolt took
place between 1953 and 1959. Batista was finally removed from office in 1959.
He was replaced by a revolutionary government led by Castro. Food shortages,

power cuts, and the continued repressive regime stripped many Cubans from
having a decent quality of life. In the 90’s Cuba opened to tourism.
Currency: CUC is the tourist currency and CUP is the local currency. Travelers
should bring cash to exchange as you can’t count on working debit cards.
Internet: Account for very limited internet access! You have to purchase a card
that gives you an access code to connect to the internet and it only lasts a few
minutes; if you’re even lucky enough to connect to it.
Safety: Cuba is generally safe, you can walk around at night and the country is
proud of the very low rates of violent crime and theft it has.
Hotels: There are a few modern hotels in old Havana, but in general expect
hotels to vary widely in quality. The infrastructure in Cuba is old, so pack an open
mind.


Plans:

 

  • Take a 50s car in old Havana, they will take you to all the touristic spots.

  • Have a cocktail on the rooftop of the hotel Manzana.

  • Go to the central cemetery with the tour guide, it’s very interesting.

  • Museum of the Revolution, taking a tour guide is a must.

  • Go to the Havana Social Club to spend the day; enjoy a nice beach (open to the

  • public if you pay the day pass).

  • Go to Hotel Nacional for an amazing cabaret show.

  • Go to Vinales for the day, there they’ll show you around the Tobacco plantations


Restaurants:

  • Doña Eutimia: The best restaurant in Havana Vieja, reservation needed.

  • Bella Ciao: The best Italian restaurant in Miramar

  • El Del Frente: Habana Vieja

  • Toros y tapas: Miramar

  • La Guarida: Habana Vieja

  • Café del angel: Habana Vieja

  • La Casa de la Parra: Havana Vieja

  • Paladar San Cristóbal: Havana Vieja

  • Paladar La Guarida: Havana Vieja

  • Café Laurent: El Vedado

  • Habana 61: Havana Vieja

  • Paladar el Cocinero: next to FAC

Bars:

  • La Bodeguita del Medio

  • FAC (Fábrica del Arte). This place is a must!

  • La Casa de la Música: Live salsa music

  • Mio & Tuyo

  • Sarao

  • Espacios

  • El Gato Tuerto y La Zorra y el Cuervo

  • Don Cangrejo

  • La Divina Pastora