Where to go in Cuba
Replies: 11 - Last Post: Mar 18, 2012 7:43 AM Last Post By: auldreekier
Mar 2, 2012 2:44 PM
Where to go in CubaSo.. looking for some cuba advice. I would like to go with my girlfriend for about 8 nights. thats all she can get off of work. Im a seasoned backpacker and been all over so not afraid of hard travel and pain in the ass situations. from what i have learned we would stay in Casa particulars. Now, just looking for any suggestions about where to go, recomened places to stay, how to get from one place to another.. (hitching, bus, whatever..) any must see things or hidden gems anyone has found. Any help is great! thanks everyone
Mar 2, 2012 4:15 PM
Mar 2, 2012 4:55 PM
Mar 2, 2012 5:39 PM
3i was more looking for just general recommendations.. like a couple days in Havana, maybe 3 in Trinadad and then somewere else? would rather not rush unless there isnt much to do in each place but i usually find it more rewarding to stay longer in each place and go to less places. I like low key places near or on good beaches with a chilled out vibe. hope that will draw some more suggestions of places to see.
Mar 3, 2012 5:18 AM
Capt: I write guidebooks and remember raising a bunch of eyebrows in an industry meeting when I suggested that my #1 tip for travelers is to ditch their guidebooks at least once on their trip - this is one of the simplest adventures any traveler can undertake. However, Cuba is a bit different. The double economy, the rules about line making, the lack of Internet, the isolation of visitors from one another (for a variety of reasons) mean the context can be confusing and complex and obtaining information on the ground difficult - especially if you don't speak Spanish.
One recent comment on my iapp said: I arrived at my casa particular where I had a reservation and they had already rented out the room. It was late, they had no other recs and I was saved by the app which listed other casas, one which took me in. This particular situation - where you have a phantom reservation - is so very very common in cuba where "un pajarito en mano vale mas que 100 volando" (our 'a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush') .
Also, without good orientation about the Cuban scene, you will likely leave A LOT of money on the table since Cubans are very clever and savvy in parting people from their funds. Of course, you can learn all this before you go, but I would suggest carrying some kind of reference material for your trip to head off scams/problems.
Mar 3, 2012 3:55 PM
Mar 4, 2012 12:36 AM
6#5 What the hell am I doing on here? asking a couple simple questions from people with experience in the country. Usually who are quite helpful. All the time people like you take to write a negative remark you could spend the same energy writing something useful and helpful. You say "all of us on here use guidebooks", I consider myself "on here" and will say that the sight of lost fools wandering around a city with a guidebook struggling to find an over priced LP recomended guesthouse that isnt filled up and the stressing when the book is wrong makes my laugh every time at how useless they must feel about themselves. I guess you are one of them. Theres nothing wrong with asking advice from people that have been and have no commercial interest in a place.
Mar 4, 2012 6:50 AM
7#7 then start in Havana Vieja and walk westward till you get comfortable and look for Casas particulares for the night- you can go as far as Marina Hemingway (maybe a five hour hike) and you will get a good cross section of Havana. Then take a Viazul bus (walk straight south from the bridge over Rio Almendares and you will hit the Viazul station in about 2 KM) and head out of town, Vinales is nice but heavily touristed, anywhere else will have fewer tourists....... or try hitching along the main roads out of town, always interesting if not always productive.......
Mar 4, 2012 2:52 PM
8I don't understand the scorn for guidebooks. We don't usually use one for accommodations or restaurants, but find it very useful for info on local transportation, economic and historical contexts, and what's interesting in the area--you don't have to be a slave to the book. In the case of Cuba, info ion how to navigate the system is very useful.
Mar 7, 2012 7:43 PM
9Seriously, people, the guy just wants a little advice, like...
"The best hidden gem we found in Havana was xxx" or "The best piece of advice I can give you is XXX" or "You'll save a lot of money if you do XXX." Don't flip out over whether or not he's got a guide book. Also, I need the same advice...
Edited by: maracujana
Mar 9, 2012 10:56 AM
10I recommend staying in a casa particular. I have a friend who can help you to find a place in Vedado (firstname.lastname@example.org). This is a good place in Havana City because it is centrally located. You should go the Old Havana. Trinidad, Varadero and Viñales are wonderful too. All depends on how many days you are planning to stay in Cuba.
Mar 18, 2012 7:43 AM
11Hey. Havana is awesome, just walking around the city was enough for me, it's beautiful, city bus tour is a good idea. plenty to see and do. The Viazul tourist buses were great, we travelled on them to Vinales, great wee town, did horseriding tour there, was awesome, one of the highlights of our trip. Then onto Trinidad, again great place to visit, did a jeep safari, was a highlight of our trip too, I think if you only have 8 days, you wont have time to go much further - IMO.
There is always loads of people meeting you off the tourist buses to offer accommodation. We wanted to stay in a casa in Havana called La Casa de Ana, but was full, but they found us a casa nearby, The couple that own La Casa de Ana invited us for coffee and kindly booked the rest of our casa's for us in Vinales and Trinidad. Worked out really well, as they met us off the bus holding a piece of card with our names - hah! Enjoy, Cuba is awsome, in fact thinking of going back next Janaury to see the rest of the Island.
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