Superfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 39408 posts, RR: 76 Reply 2, posted (5 years 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 2209 times:
You have to ask?
Have fun, lots of fun!
Take a stroll along the Malecon, visit Revolucion plaza, check out the beaches, go see some bands performing as they are easy to spot. Hang out with the locals. They like to meet tourist and bring you over to various house parties. That is very common.
Bring bottled water too.
Avoid Varadero! Natives aren't allowed there and is only set up for tourist.
Braybuddy From Brazil, joined Aug 2004, 5476 posts, RR: 34 Reply 8, posted (5 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 2098 times:
Quoting Superfly (Reply 2): Avoid Varadero! Natives aren't allowed there and is only set up for tourist.
While I agree with the second part of your statement Superfly, there are PLENTY of natives in Varadero, at least there were 16 years ago. I don't know how much the place has changed over the years, but I loved the place (apart from the food, but hopefully that is better now with people opening their homes to the public). Then the place was extremely safe, although there wasn't a lot to do. But the people more than made up for that, and I hope that hasn't changed. I have to say, I don't think I've ever seen such a healthy-looking people: nobody overweight (well, that's wasn't surprising, given the food) and they all had excellent teeth.
I'll be heading back in November, so hope to travel around more this time. Anyone any advice or tips here?
Dougloid From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 9, posted (5 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 2087 times:
You can get a laugh listening to Raul Castro....there was an interview on the news a few weeks ago in which he said that the embargo (stupid assed idea) was "an act of genocide against the Cuban people."
Whatever your opinion of the embargo and politics is, and don't get me started on it because I'm missing out on all the fun too, this had to be one of the most idiotic things I ever heard any politician say in public.
My reaction was to pound the dashboard of my truck and say "Where are the frackin' bodies, Raul? Doesn't Cuba trade with other countries? Bring out yer dead, for Chrissakes!"
MadameConcorde From San Marino, joined Feb 2007, 10502 posts, RR: 38 Reply 10, posted (5 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 2081 times:
I would love to visit Cuba in a not too distant future.
The Buena Vista Social Club, Compay Segundo, Salsa and rum... beaches and starry nights. I have heard many good things about Cuba, good universities and excellent doctors/medical care
I hope you will have good weather, no hurricanes. Enjoy your visit, have a great time, and write us a trip report telling us about your experiences. Say hello to Raoul and Fidel if you ever happen to see them.
There was a better way to fly it was called Concorde
Scbriml From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2003, 11786 posts, RR: 48 Reply 11, posted (5 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 2068 times:
Quoting Braybuddy (Reply 8): While I agree with the second part of your statement Superfly, there are PLENTY of natives in Varadero, at least there were 16 years ago.
Sadly, it has changed, and probably for the worse. Varadero is effectively a tourist enclave to which most locals are excluded (unless they work at one of the hotels).
As others have said, Havana is amazing and worth a few days, incuding the Museo de la Revolucion which has some interesting things on display (including some planes).
You could also book a day trip to Cayo Largo which would probably involve a flight on one of Aerogaviota's An-26s. Weird flying without windows!
If you're interested, there is a half-decent aviation museum (Museo Del Aire) on the outskirts of Havana that's worth a visit. Some interesting exhibits, including the wreckage of a USAF U2 shot down over Cuba.
ScrubbsYWG From Canada, joined Mar 2007, 1490 posts, RR: 0 Reply 13, posted (5 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 2061 times:
i'd love to go to cuba and just explore the island, BEFORE it goes to a full free market after(if) the embargo gets lifted.
My friends always go to veradero, take a bus from the airport to the resort, don't leave the resort and come home and say 'hey i went to cuba!'. Well technically you did, but you really could have been anywhere in the Caribbean. I want to just explore the island and get a taste of stuff that only cuba can offer. It looks like a very interesting place, and from what i hear, the locals are great!
Dougloid From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 14, posted (5 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 2046 times:
Quoting ScrubbsYWG (Reply 13): i'd love to go to cuba and just explore the island, BEFORE it goes to a full free market after(if) the embargo gets lifted.
there's no "if" there. There is "when".
sooner the better....talk about stuff that serves no good purpose if it ever did. There is limited trade between the US and Cuba, primarily farm products and medicine on a cash and carry basis. It's quite clear to us in food producing states that when Cuba decides to go shopping for groceries, we know where she'd like to shop. The only thing keeping that from happening under the usual commercial terms and conditions is a bunch of cowards in Washington who are scared shitless that the Cubans in south Florida will be angry at them.
I mean, if trade with China was a good thing and what Nixon did in going to China was a good thing that made the world safer (smartest thing the Dickster ever did) then what are we waiting for? Permission from Miami that will never come?
Superfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 39408 posts, RR: 76 Reply 15, posted (5 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 2022 times:
Quoting Scbriml (Reply 11): Varadero is effectively a tourist enclave to which most locals are excluded (unless they work at one of the hotels).
All the locals I talked to had bad things to say about that place. Therefore, we avoided that place. If the natives can't go there, then I wont go there.
Other than that, the rest of Cuba is a great place to visit.
I look forward to reading your trip report MD90fan.
Take lots of pictures.
Scbriml From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2003, 11786 posts, RR: 48 Reply 18, posted (5 years 3 months 2 weeks 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 1980 times:
Quoting RayChuang (Reply 16): I think when the US embargo lifts, I'd want to at least visit the Old Havana section of that city, which I hope some benefactor will bring a lot of money to restore to its glory!
Parts of old Havana are already a UN World Heritage site and receiving plenty of funding towards their restoration (although this seems to be progressing very slowly).
One of the major attractions of Havana is the decrepit old buildings and the total lack of normal Western trappings (McDs, Starbucks, KFC, etc.) IMHO, you need to go soon, before it just becomes an extension of Miami.
MIAMIx707 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 19, posted (5 years 3 months 2 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 1964 times:
Cigar and beer?? That's that travel advice for the kid? lol I would imagine he could do that at the local bar and it'd be cheaper, maybe I'm just different I dunno...
Check out the Granma yatch, that's the boat in which Fidel Castro and his revolutionaries rode from Mexico to topple Batista. There are used to be old warbirds of the time displayed too, maybe still there
Taking a ride in the "la lanchita" that takes you from Regla suburb across Havana harbor used to be ia cool and impressive ride at least back in the 80s when the port used to be bustling with huge ships including many soviet ones and the boat would navigate around them. Probably a little less busy now. Anyone who's into transportation would've enjoyed the short trip.
On the other side check out the propeller of the "USS Maine", the warship that was blown up there in 1898. There's the casablanca hill where the meteorological station is and from there you get a nice view of the harbor, (some old cannons from back in the old days were there too I think) which is cool.
Near there is also the famous lighthouse which you see in every Havana shot. Make sure you drive under the tunnel under the harbor's entrance that connects East from Old havana.
You might want to check out the Capitol of Havana and the view from Plaza de La Revolucion's Jose Marti memorial (Jose Marti must be twisting in his grave to be associated with the revolution)
The Viñales valley is a surreal landscape that's a must if you are into nature and want to see where the world's best tobacco is cultivated (but this is hours away from Havana)