This month we needed to escape the madness of 2017 and head somewhere to truly disconnect. Travel has that wonderful capability to realign us and help us find our center. And Cuba did just that. It allowed us to detach from the daily noise, introduced us to an entirely new type of politics, and connected us with people who at the onset, we never imagined having so much in common with.
We explored and documented and are now ready to share with you. Things to know…
Bring Euros & exchange at a hotel, don’t wait in line at the airport. There are no ATMs so bring extra money, honey!
Bring soap, hand sanitizer and more toiletries than you think you’ll need. Bring extra stuff to giveaway!
Wifi is only available in some hotels and you need to buy a card to use. Don’t bother, disconnect!
Avoid government owned hotels aka the fancy stuff and stay at a ‘Casa Particular’ or AirBnb. We stayed at Casa Habana only a few blocks from Plaza Catedral and paid a sweet price of $55/night. The staff was helpful, the location was ideal, and our room was adorable.
Casa Habana - Habana 209 e/ Empedrado y Tejadillo - Vedado Rampa, La Habana, Cuba
Santys: Super delicious seafood whose location is not easy to find. Get a driver who knows the area around Fusterlandia well.
El cocinero: Some fancy dining and the official flag that screams ‘Hipsters have arrived to Cuba’.
Amigos del Mar: A local spot on the river. Good place for groups or a night of a little romance.
Dona Euitima A nice spot in Havana Vieja for classic Cuban food. Be warned that food in Havana Vieja is generally not great
La Roma: A rooftop on an empty building in Havana Vieja a couple blocks from O’Reily’s pub with a good mixture locals and expats.
Casa de Musica: A must-see place for late night live music. The mojitos are done right here.
Espacios: A huge mansion converted to a bar and dance party.
Sia Kara: Bartenders are super fun and the décor is funky.
Day trips are easy. We recommend using our driver, Jose, who speaks English and can organize everything for you (Email Him!)
Varadero is two hours east on the ocean. Go to what was formally the DuPont family’s mansion, but is now a golf course with a private beach. The bar on the top floor is absolutely stunning and the bartenders all speak fluent Russian. Also, Cuba is swarming with Russians making the 1950’s seem ever more real there.
Viñales is two and a half hours west towards the countryside. If mountains are your thing, you’ll drool over the mogotes in Vinales which look like a bunch of fat thumbs covered in trees. Horseback riding is a must here and picking up some hand rolled cigars from local farmers will make the perfect gift.