THE CENTRAL AMERICAN SERIES PT3
Cuba is one of the new exciting places to visit and now is the time to go, before America does the inevitable!
WE WERE DRINKING DAIQUIRIS FOR BREAKFAST, LUNCH AND DINNER.
It was a crazy welcome at arrivals, never seen so many people waiting for others and I had to find my driver in all the chaos. His car was an incredible 1957 Chevy. He was fascinated with cars and was happy to prove it so any car that we passed he told me the year and model!
WHERE IS CUBA?
Cigars, cars & cocktails in Cuba
HOSTEL CASA CARIBE
I checked into Hostel Casa Caribe which is thee hostel in Havana. I didn’t have many options but it was a small hostel ticked some of the boxes I needed. This was proven almost immediately when we all fell in together.
The few days were really spent just admiring the city. Parts of it are very much dilapidated but that’s part of Havana’s charm. Went out for food and drinks tonight to a nice bar which had an art exhibition on, something different but already a sign that Cuba is changing. Mojitos and Daiquiris were both founded here so its all any of us have been drinking and it’s the only cheap thing about this place.
Another walk around the town today, the locals are incredibly friendly. Walked down the Malecón, Havana’s promenade, to visit the fortress. After a few hours we started to get itchy feet and need to recharge on some rum again. Went to Florditas which founded the Daiquiri so it was only fair to stay for 3 or 4 then. After it was a case of hoping from bar to bar. We ended up in an amazing salsa place at the riverfront (salsa on the water), which is pretty much an outdoor nightclub.
Havana is one of the most photogenic cities I have ever seen and it’s a real joy to just walk around and take photos. Today I had a tour of the cigar factory which was interesting as they are all handmade but unfortunately no photos were allowed. Then in typical Cuban fashion myself and Virginia rented a 1950s car and driver for an hour. This is probably the top thing to do in all of Cuba. The driver will take you anywhere you wish but we left it up to him and took us up the Malecon for some incredible photos.
DRINKING IN THE PARK
Tonight most of the places seemed to be closed so 3 of us bought a bottle of Havana Club Rum for £3.50 and drank it in the park like we were 12 again. The parks here are special as they are one of few places with Wi-Fi. We had a few locals come up and a random guy selling donuts at 3am, no idea how he’s making money but they were nice. Then a drunk fella came up and invited us back to his place but we couldn’t figure if it was me he wanted or 1 of the girls. He couldn’t take no for an answer so stayed with us for over an hour!haha
Staying at an Airbnb here but this time it was someone’s spare room, always a better experience hanging out with the locals. Tori picked me up from the airport which was nice and couldn’t have been more helpful. She was keen to show me around and took me to the beach for a beer and sunset, how could I complain.
Her hosting abilities were more akin to that of a hotel. In the evening her and her husband shared their home made fish tacos with me and the room itself came with little bottles of shampoo, body wash and phone chargers, suppose it’s the small things that matter. It wasn’t cheap however but nowhere on the Caymans is so it was still a considerable saving on anywhere else, not to mention the airport transfers which saved me $30!
She used to have a great job in New York but dropped it when her husband got offered his job out here and Tori was also keen to point out that she really had enough of the corporate lifestyle. So instead she wants to meet a few people and maybe make a little on the side by renting their spare room out. I’ll be honest though as a traveller I wasn’t hugely impressed by the Caymans but it isn’t directed to the Backpacker market, however there is plenty of diving, 365 dive sites to be exact!
- PEOPLE – 8/10
- BACKPACKING – 8/10
- WEATHER – 8/10
- THINGS TO DO – 7/10
- FOOD – 6.5/10
- VALUE – 7/10
- HIGHLIGHT – Walking the streets of Havana
- LOWLIGHT – Hard to find a restaurant
- MVP – The donut guy!
- VISIT AGAIN – Absolutely
- RATING – 8.5/10
Cuba was excellent but it’s changing everyday and the western influence will become more and more apparent so if you want to visit then you will need to make it asap.
Jamaica where I get chased by a local on a motorbike! Click to read.!!!!!
SAFE TRAVELS, DS x
This post is part of The Central American Series, click to explore or for episode 1 click here.
- Have you been to Cuba?
- What did you think?
- Did you visit any of the other towns or cities?
Let me know in the comments below . . .