Cuba General Info

Last year I went to Cuba for a friends' bachelorette. 
Location: Caribbean
Capital: Havana
Language: Spanish
Currency: Cuban Peso & CUC. (tourists use CUC)
Always have cash with you because most places don't accept credit cards. 
The airport is the cheapest place to exchange money.
Internet: Most places do not have wi-fi and some that do charge you. So plan ahead. 
Pleople: They are very friendly and welcoming. They are super dancers as well!!!
Safety: While walking around, be mindful of ayour surroundings and be carful what you carry on you. Other than that we never felt threatened, just (a few times) annoyed with people hassling you to buy stuff. 
Food: Ok the food was not good at all. Try to visit Paladares - restaurants run by self-employers that offer homemade food. That was the only time we had good food. 

Havana Hotel

Hotel Presidente. 

The location was good and the bus stop (for touring round the city) right outside. The hotel was opened in 1928 and it felt like it was left like that ever since. The corridors are dark and the rooms old looking. Nevertheless it was clean and the room was spacious. The bathroom felt a bit dirty only because it had stains from many years of overuse. This was the only place we had internet and not in the rooms just the lobby. You have to buy internet cards and even then they do not always work. So just accept your non internet life for a little :) 

Varadero Hotel

Brisas Del Caribe hotel. 

Same as in Havana the hotel here looked like it hasn't been renovated since it fist opened. Our room was very big and clean. There was no internet in this hotel. Depending on where you are staying in the hotel there might be a lot of walking involved when you want to go to the beach. We didn't mind. What we did mind was the food. It was horrible. We ended up always being the first there so we could beat the flies, insects, birds, and other people to the food. Yes there were birds, inside, attacking the bread stall!! There was even a cat rubbing up against everyone begging for food. Plus the food was not tasty at all. Usually we would either get eggs or pasta that were cooked on the spot in front of you. Oh and they (sometimes) made us leave our bags at the door, like we would ever going to take food with us. 

Places we visited

Old Havana: Colorful streets with old buildings. Old Havana is beautiful to explore while walking around.

Museum de la revolution: A lot of history but no English translation on most things so if you do not understand spanish then you won't understand a lot. How can a museum not have English translations? There is an admission fee for foreigners - 8CUC.

Fortaleza de San Carlos de la Cabana: La Cabana was established during 1763-1774 by King Carlos III of Spain. It is 750 meters long and in case of a battle it could have hosted 6000 men. However, it was never used in any war. Since the 18th century a shot was fired everyday from the fortress to signal the opening or closing of the Havana gates. Every night at 9pm you can watch the cannon shot ceremony. It is not something special but its still nice to see them all dressed up for the ceremony. Be there early 8:30pm or else you will miss it. There is an entrance fee.

Tropicana: Its a Cuban cabaret opened since 1939. Good choreography with colorful costumes but it is too long and it gets a bit repetitive. We got tiered after a while. Also its a bit pricey. Tickets cost between 75 and 110USD.

Vinales: The day trip we took to Vinales was my favorite. We drove around small towns in Cuba, visited a rum factory, a tobacco farm and cueva del Indio where you walk through the cave and come out with a small boat. My favorite part was the mountains. So beautiful. It costs about 66euro and its about 5hrs.

Varadero: We enjoyed our stay at Varadero swimming all day at the huge white sand beach. We stayed there four days and we all agreed that it was a day too long. I'd rather have gone on another road trip exploring the old towns of Cuba.

Cayo Blanco: We did they day trip to Cayo Blanco. They take you there on a catamaran and they you have plenty of time to swim, explore, drink, eat etc. We had a great time and it was a nice change from our regular Varadero swims.

If I go back to Cuba I want to organize a road trip around the island, so i can see the less touristy and less populated towns around the island.

I will post two photo diaries soon with lots of photos from Cuba. So stay tuned. 

Seti Yeti