Cuba, the Island of Liberty, the biggest island in Caribbean and surely an interesting place to hang out. Despite cruel history full of slaves, revolutions and colonization, people of Cuba, Cubanos, are friendly and happy. They sing and dance since they are born and every ordinary Cuban salsa fiesta looks like a world class competition.
The biggest city, La Havana, second home of Ernest Hemingway is the epicenter of past, present and future time.
Traveling in Cuba is one of the most unique experience traveler can get around the world! 😉
San Francisco Plaza – Soak up the history
I’m a Cubano & I smoke cigars
There is no rush on the streets
Streets of historic La Havana Vieja are magic and one can get lost while admiring the colonial architecture. Some say it is dangerous to walk around in the night but we’ve never experienced any problem (thankfully). The night streets are light up in various colors so the look is completely different than during the day.
Nice & Safe
After the sun is down, the streets looks different
Except architecture Cuba offers other attractions like transportation, shopping or street food. Cuba is that kind of destination which you will fall in love with or hate it. If you like it you’ll probably come back otherwise never.
Traffic in Cuba? Never
Take a stylish taxi (these are for tourists only)
Taking a local taxi could be fun or pain in the back. Depending if you are moving around the city or reaching remote destinations. If you stop an old american Chevy or Oldsmobile the ride would be slow but very comfortable due to huge couches. There was a funny moment when we took an old small taxi, we barely fit in and while taking the curve the back side door has opened. Fortunately no one fell out so we could happily continue in a ride.
Take the ‘colectivo’ like locals do
cars are old, but owners take care of them
There is one more way how to move yourself around the country. It is hitchhiking but I wouldn’t recommend it as we’ve tried it. Since there are no many cars on the roads we were waiting for more than an hour but there was just few trucks and horses passing by.
Hitchhiking with no traffic could be boring
Speaking about food you got several options how to cater yourself. Depending on your budget you can eat in good restaurants or hotel resorts where food is good quality but the price range is similar to countries like USA, Canada or Germany (which really doesn’t make sense). If you are staying in ‘Casa Particular’ you can ask for a typical Cuban home made food which is cheaper and usually tasty (rice, beans, some meat, few vegetables and some fruit juice).
Pizza time – breakfast, lunch & dinner
The last option and probably the worst one is to depend on a street food. All what you can get on a street is a pizza (still not sure if it is a pizza or they just call it pizza), spaghetti with tomato sauce (super basic, Italians must hate Cuba) and some rice with beans. As far as we were on a tight backpacking budget we were challenging ourselves everyday on a streets. It was difficult battle against pizza, pasta and bread with avocado. I’m ashamed to admit it but I’m afraid we were defeated. The last day when we were leaving to Mexico I was so happy and excited about Mexican food, I couldn’t wait to grab tacos or enchiladas.
Pizza with cheese or with cheese and ham. This is it
Shopping in Cuba is an adventure by it self. It is quite hard to explain that feeling when you would like to buy something but they don’t have it. One thing you can be sure about is rum. They have several types, it is cheap and everywhere. Just to make sure you won’t be sober. Cuba is so much interesting with a bottle of rum. Like Viktor just to say ‘Beber y Vivir!!’
Rum, everywhere you look
The nature is very nice but don’t expect nothing spectacular, it is not Colombia or Thailand. If you like horse riding, bathing in a lake or you are a beach lover you would like Cuba. Varadero Beach town is the most famous but at the same time it is the most touristy place speaking about beaches so expect crowds like in Italy or Croatia.