Hey guys! Thank you so much for visiting my blog and I hope you are all doing fab!
So for those of you who are following me on Instagram here, you would have seen that I spent this summer travelling around Central America and the US. Our first stop was Cuba and it was INCREDIBLE!
I’ve added a new travel section to my blog (on the right had corner of the page) so everything I post r.e travel will be there so it is easier for you guys to access. Anyway I’ll stop rambling and here is a bit about what I did in Cuba!
How we got there:
So we flew in to Havana in the evening so decided to stayed in Havana for one night then drive to Vinales the next day. Ask your AirBnb host in Havana to arrange a taxi. Ask for a new car, don’t do old!! The old cars are very cool for tours but the appeal wears off eventually with the leather seats and no air con for 2 hours. To get to Vinales from Havana should be 100 cuc (we paid 25 each as 4 of us so try get that down if you’re only two people). The drive takes 2.5 hours. Public bus is 20 cuc but takes 4 hours! (1 cuc = €0.85)
Where we stayed:
In Cuba the best accommodation to go for is AirBnb. There are hotels but they are ridiculously overpriced and AirBnb is best as the hosts are very nice and basically act as a tour guide for your stay. Make sure when booking you make sure that the host speaks english! We had amazing hosts called Idania and Mario. You can check out the AirBnb we stayed in here.
What we did:
• Horseback riding tour which includes tour of tobacco farm and coffee plantation and a cave. So so enjoyable! ( We organised this with our host when you’re there (25 cuc.) We found out after that ou can also book it in the town which is 16 cuc for day. Which was a pity as they were both the same tour but in and around those prices anyway.
• Dance in casa de la musica! It’s unreal! There’s a show piece thing on first which has pro dancers in the bar then at about 10/11 the real salsa slay kicks in with all tourists. Go after dinner, the salsa dancing is INCRED.
• There is a beach is 1.5/2 hours away depending on new or old car! (Try get a good car with air con as road v v bumpy and very hot.)
Beach called Caye Jutias (BRING BUG SPRAY). V nice and relaxing, we spent whole day here.
• Two really nice view points (only two hotels in Vinales)
– Hotel Los Jazmines
– Hotel La Ermida
Can just ask a taxi to bring you around for a fixed price and you can spend some time having a look.
– can also do a cave tour in a boat at Cava Indian but not the most impressive – the cave on the horse back tour was cooler.
Where we ate:
Not much choice but the good ones are:
– El Olivo – trip advisor recommended and our hosts favourite restaurant – grilled chicken was quite nice but the carbonara wasn’t great
– La Quinca
– Roof top restaurant (can’t remember name but we think something simple like The Bar) on a street called Rafael Trejo – the chicken skewers were really good here!
• don’t get the Pepperoni pizza at El Billy’s – always busy here though so other stuff could be nice.
• Opposite El Billy’s you buy wi-fi called something like Telephonica – can buy wifi for one hour for 1.50 cuc / don’t need to use full hour can turn on and off again – by forgetting network – v handy.
• Bulk buy the strips here so you don’t have to queue to get them in Havana!
Overall we absolutely loved Vinales. We felt that it as a great place to really immerse yourself in the Cuban culture and was probably one of our favourite spots of the trip!
Where we stayed:
We stayed in an AirBnb in old Havana. The host was nice and spoke english. Great location as easy access to all of the city. You can check out our AirBnb here.
What we did:
- Do a convertible old car tour of city (go to main square and stand beside car you want and the driver will come over. Haggle!!)
- We did hop on hop off tour (don’t get off bus lol but good way to see more of city if you want)
- Go to hotel Florida to watch salsa dancing and you can do lessons also! We did a dance class and we LOVED it!
- Walk around the following streets – nice cobblestones with restaurants outside so nice. Cuarteles, Habana, Compostela, Aguiar. (See lost of restaurant in food section).
- We did the war memorial museum called Revolution Museum TBH not much info there as all in Spanish so we ended up looking up most things online after. Still cool to get a feeling though of the history side of Havana.
- Go to FAC (Fabrique D’Arte Cuba) it’s an art museum that turns into a club. It’s contemporary modern art so so so cool (bring cash and a lot of it so you don’t get stuck just in case.)
Where we ate:
- Go to El Cocinero for dinner (restaurant right beside FAC) so go dinner and then pop into the museum after! We went El Cocinero twice because it was so nice. (Food in Cuba isn’t great just grilled chicken and rice with beans mainly. However there are a few spots we found which are nice in Cuban standards.)
- Cafes: cafe artes on Aguiar st, Heladoro ice cream delish place on Aguiar st.
- Breakfast: on main st (Obispo) I can’t remember name but its third or fourth block down coming from Floridita on the right. Looks quite American.
- Dinner: Cafe Espada, 5 Esquinas Trattoria all on Espere st.
- Cocktails in Floridita (famous for a cocktail)
Overall Havana was a really cool experience. Lots of history in the city and I would defo recommend going sooner rather than later if you can as it is definitely changing. At the moment when you’re there it feels like you have gone back in time. They don’t accept cards anywhere only cash so just be aware of that! I will definitely be going back to Cuba at some point purely for the salsa!