Historical Cuba in 7 days
Replies: 17 - Last Post: Feb 11, 2013 4:13 PM Last Post By: PorAcaPorAlla
Feb 8, 2013 10:00 AM
Historical Cuba in 7 daysMy husband and I want to go to Cuba this July. I know, the most expensive and hottest time of the year, but that's when we have the opportunity. We live in Costa Rica so we're not too interested in going on a tropical excursion or seeing lots of beaches (since we have plenty of those things here!) We are planning on 7 days and would really like to see the historically/politcally important sites, museums, etc. Our budget would probably be 75-100 CUCs per day since that's what most places seem to recommend. What sites would you most recommend?
Also, as far as visas I'm a US citizen though applying for residency in Costa Rica. My husband is a CR citizen. I have to get the tourist visa at the airport, but my husband needs to go to the Cuban embassy? It's hard for me to find info on that.
Feb 8, 2013 10:23 AM
1Lucybelle – 7 days is not a very long time to explore Cuba and to make the most of your holiday I suggest you contact a licensed bilingual tourist guide like Jorge at www.jorge-cubaholidays.com and have him submit an itinerary according to what interests you. He and his staff can pick you up at the airport; arrange your accommodation, driver or walking tour of Havana and reservations at the many restaurants. I have used his services in the past and he is highly recommended on the other Cuba websites.
Feb 8, 2013 10:34 AM
2The Cuban government only distinguishes between Cubans and non-Cubans. You and your husband are obviously non-Cuban. So it makes no difference where you are coming from or who issued your passport, they don't care.
Sometimes you can get the travel visa through your air carrier, sometimes you have to go to the Cuban embassy. I personally never have been to an embassy but others report that Cuban embassies in some countries are very responsive and while others are not.
Since you say your interest is in historically / politically important sites and you only have 7 days, spend it all in Havana. It is a very diverse city and you can have many different experiences on short day trips. You can travel less than one hour from downtown Havana and be in an agricultural community or a untouristed little beach town.
Feb 8, 2013 12:21 PM
3I would concur, the advice in 1# and 2# is very good. If its history you after, Havana is undoubtedly the place to spend your 7 days (don't worry about getting bored in one place, a month would not be long enough to see everything - if you are a history buff like me)
I would plug the website cubajunky.com which lists all the most useful sights, and museums and everything else you need to know..
I might consider spending perhaps one night in another place, perhaps Viñales or Trinidad..
Whilst I agree July is one of the hottest months, it is not necc. the most expensive, you should actually find this is the low season.
Feb 8, 2013 4:15 PM
4Leaving from SJO both you and your hubby can buy TCs from TACA for $15.
As far as I'm concerned the entire city of Havana is historical especially coming from CR which basically has none.
Try not to take dollars if possible. Do you have a CR bank account in dollars? If so, get an ATM card.
Feb 8, 2013 5:12 PM
5Whilst I agree July is one of the hottest months, it is not necc. the most expensive, you should actually find this is the low season.
July maybe one of the hottest month but August is the hottest month of the year and many Cubans close shop and head for the beaches. Summer is considered high season in Cuba when teachers and students in Canada and elsewhere are on summer holidays and vacation in Cuba along with Mexicans who find Cuba cheaper than their country for a vacation.
Feb 8, 2013 5:48 PM
6I would consider a day trip to Santa Clara to visit Che's memorial if interested in the historical/political Cuba.
Feb 9, 2013 3:09 AM
7Although I was tempted in to visiting the Museum of the Revolution, I found it to be very dry and it went into overkill a bit (though the outdoor section was good but partially falling down). If you are short of time, I think there might be better things to do of an afternoon, but it depends what you're looking for and how much detail you want.
Feb 9, 2013 10:27 AM
8Santa Clara would be an extremely long day trip from Havana and may not even be possible using public transportation. You could do it over two days but that would take a lot of your limited time and besides the Che Memorial and the Tren Blinado there is not much else to see in Santa Clara.
Feb 9, 2013 12:09 PM
9#7 Skipping the Museo de la Revolucion while the interest of the OP is historical/political doesn't sound right to me.
#8 Santa Clara can be done in one day, I did it and I still had part of the evening free in Havana.
My interest in Cuba was similar to the OP's, I also had 7 days to spend, and I stayed in Havana all week as #3 suggested except for the one day trip to Santa Clara.
Feb 9, 2013 2:30 PM
10lucybelle: I would encourage you to remember everything you hear from the Cuban government in their museums, then later verify the accuracy when you return home. In other words, do not believe 100% of what they tell you. While there is some lack of objectivity in any countries or churches story of their history, this is especially true in Cuba.
Feb 9, 2013 2:44 PM
11ramos wrote ....I would consider a day trip to Santa Clara
Ditto poster 8 ……..waste of time and money if you only have 7 days in Cuba.
Feb 11, 2013 5:57 AM
Feb 11, 2013 5:58 AM
13Oh, and my husband has Costa Rican bank accounts, so we should be able to use that credit card if needed. We'll of course be carrying Euros into the country for exchange as well.
Feb 11, 2013 6:15 AM
14Also, my friend is telling me with the chipped passport, the US can tell that I've been to Cuba? I've never heard this before. Is there any truth to this?
First time I heard that the US can tell if you have been to Cuba with a chipped passport. Cuba does scan your passport to see if you are barred from entering the country but doesn’t stamp your passport or leave any trace that you have been to Cuba.
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