Americas - Cuba
Messages: 121,252 - Threads: 11,897
The "siren" that is Cuba, keeps drawing us back despite our attempts at our other destinations.
Renewing friendships has been our main motivation for returning to Cuba, from our homestay for eight days with an incredibly generous family in Matanzas where we experienced the almost daily quest for fresh food and the meeting of co-artisan workers in their home environment. Another revelation was the reality of a how beyond the sometimes dire appearance of houses, often the interiors belied the facade and were quite comfortable,albeit spartan at times.We managed to compensate our hosts by purchasing substantial amounts of silver jewelry and taking the whole family for a nice meal at a newly opened paladar.All in all we feel we prevailed in the barter. Our friend applied for an A2 visa, but the officials felt it wasn't worth the paperwork for just a few days.Incredibly,they gave us their ... more »
Just returned from Cuba and the good news is that my credit union MC worked! As it was formerly associated with Bank of America, I wondered if it would be accepted even though it is TD Toronto-Dominion Bank based now.Of course, this is only for in-bank withdrawal of funds and venues that accept Mastercard.
I flew Miami – Holguin on Tuesday a week ago and returned the following Tuesday. Took a pre-arranged for hire private car to the small town of Guaro where I stayed for the week. Nothing of significance travel wise.
When I exchanged Euros for CUC at the Holguin airport, I was presented with a detailed receipt showing all details including how many of each denomination of CUC I was receiving. The teller slowly (yes, slowly) counted out 15 of the 20 CUC notes, pointed to the detail receipt showing 15, and waited for my agreement before she repeated the process with 10 CUC notes, then the 5 CUC notes, the 3 CUC notes, the singles, and then the coins. It was by far the most comforting foreign exchange transaction I have ever made anywhere, not just Cuba.
My US passport was stamped departing Holguin but not on arrival.
The primary purpose of the trip was to attend a friend’s daug... more »
Intensas lluvias provocan inundaciones en la zona occidental de la Isla
AGENCIAS | La Habana | 30 Nov 2013 - 1:19 am.
Un temporal de intensas lluvias azota desde las primeras horas de este viernes la costa norte del occidente y el centro de Cuba y, en particular, La Habana, donde se han registrado algunas inundaciones parciales en zonas bajas, reporta EFE.
Un aviso especial del Centro de Pronósticos del Instituto de Meteorología de Cuba (Insmet) explicó que las lluvias están asociadas con el retroceso de un frente frío que se ha mantenido con poco movimiento sobre las provincias occidentales.
Esta inesperada situación climática se vincula también a una vaguada superior en el este del Golfo de México y se considera que es la causa de la inestabilidad atmosférica con significativas y continuas lluvias desde Artemisa hasta Ciego de Ávila.
Según EFE, se han producido inundaci... more »
Anyone know where I can find the train times from Santa Clara to Cuba - seat 61 only gives the times for overnight trains, are there others?
Thanks to previous forum advice, I’ve booked a Suzuki jeep in Santiago for 3 days from January 2nd, driving in the Sierra Maestra, and will report back to the forum in February.
When collecting the vehicle (from Via in Hotel Meliá Santiago), is there any chance that the UK’s driving licence counterpart may be requested? That’s the A4-size paper that records any driving convictions, and most countries have probably not come across it.
It’s a valuable legal document in the UK, and I’d rather not carry it around for a month in Cuba if definitely not required for this rental.
I can’t find anything on this online or in the three latest (Autumn 2013) guidebooks. So thanks for any advice.
I’m dropping off the vehicle in Bayamo, & have been instructed to do so at the Hotel Telégrafo. But the hotel is currently shut. Is it being used for offices, or about to re-open? more »
I am all set for my first time trip to Cuba. Leaving this saturday Nov 30th from Mexico and return to Mexico Dec 5th. My casa will accept all the casa related expenses and anything else they arrange for me in Mexican pesos which is great as my friends will give me a great rate to buy Mexican pesos from them and it works best for me since I will come back to Mexico for another 2 weeks after Cuba.
So what I wanted to know is how many UK pounds should I exchange to CUC for incidental expenses like having lunch outsides, or gifts I might want to buy to take back to Mexico like good Rum, cigars or other trinkets I may want to buy, and any other incidental expenses one spends on in Cuba. I will not be travelling much except I will probably take a day trip to the Varadero beach which I am hoping my casa will arrange anyways so will only be spending CUCs once I am on the beac... more »
Hello, I'm going to Cuba for the first time. I have a few questions about going there.
1. I travel alone and I'm used to backpacking around different hostels around the world. Here however I'll be staying in casas where I might be be alone with the host family. Is it pretty difficult to find other travelers? I don't speak much Spanish, and although I'll look out for casas where someone speaks English, it would be good to have a buddy for a day at least, plus I'd also like to take a side trip out of Cienfuegos or Trinidad to see some of the country side and it would be a little too expensive for me to rent a car and guide on my own.
2. Any pointers on picking out good restaurants/paladares?
3. Is there a good place in Havana to take panoramic pictures of the city? Like a rooftop bar or lookout point? (haven't done my research on this yet)
I'll be in Cuba for 13 days from D... more »
I found a list online one time, and I think it was on the Cubacel website. I need to find the list again, however I've been unsuccessful so far. If anyone knows where I can find this list, please share. Thank you.
Just been more than 3 weeks to Cuba. Can just anybody tell me where all our tourist money goes?
It sure as hell doesn't go to the cuban people.
It pisses me off big time!
My partner are considering going to Cuba next year, however, my sister in law went to Cuba a few years ago and claims that when she was there the nightlife was a bit rubbish. She says this is because everything is owned by the government so it's like having to choose between a small number of government sanctioned entertainment venues (want a drink? Go to State-bar! Want to eat? State-restaurant!).
I'm obviously aware of the political situation in Cuba, but this sounds like it might be something of an exaggeration, how have those who've been there themselves found it? If it helps, my partner and I are relatively adventurous travellers so we're perfectly happy to try places that might look a bit intimidating to the sorts that go on a Sandals holiday!
Hi there, I would greatly appreciate if anyone has some tips for a trip I have booked to cuba, arriving just after christmas and leaving on the 4th Jan.
We fly into Varadero on the 28th Dec and out on the 4th Jan, however I am not sure I want to spend too much time there as heard very touristy.
Ideally I would like to spend a couple of days in a few destinations within a few hours of Varadero.
I would like to go to Havana for a couple of days (perhaps new years eve) and then spend the rest of the time exploring nature / relaxing by the beach, visiting traditional cuban sites.
Would anyone have any recommendations on nice beach places to stay nearby to varadero and on the way or not to far out of the way towards Havana as we will probably only have time to travel around Varadero and Havana in a week.
I would like a balance of relaxing and seeing cuban sights, but we don... more »
I'm a first time poster so please bear with me! I've read up as much as I can but would like to ask a few questions for our forthcoming trip in January.
My husband and I will have our nearly two year old in tow and by now I've figured that doing the whole island in 19 days is unfeasible if we want to take some time in each place. Our itinerary now looks something like this: 4 days Havana, 6-7 to go to Vinales and the west, then on down to Cienfuegos, Trinidad and possibly Santa Clara. We'll be travelling by bus and by train if possible with taxi's to take us as far off the beaten track as we can manage. We'll be staying in casas, although wouldn't mind the odd hotel if it makes sense, and I also like the idea of campismos too. I'll be hoping for mostly nice shallow beaches with good snorkelling.
My questions are varied!
Is it safe to assume that casas provide ... more »
Hi all, help please..
I am about to arrive in Habana directly from Colombian rainforest where my G12 canon camera experience breakdown due to humidity and condensation.
Can anybody please suggest a good and trustful camera service in Havana where they could fix it. It would be a great help.
Thank you so much.
I am doing a 3+ week ramble from Havana to Santiago De Cuba. I have read that the south side of the island is better diving visibility in December. I am considering doing 2-3 dives at one of the following:
Bahia De Cochilos
Marea De Portillo
If you had to choose 2 or 3, what would you choose, and why?
Bonus question--am I completely high in thinking I can work my way east staying in 7-8 places on way to Santiago De Cuba in 3 weeks without feeling too rushed?
Thanks in advance
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