Cuba - any advice?

Oct 1st, 1997, 01:03 PM
Michelle Parfitt
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Cuba - any advice?

We are considering visiting Cuba next year but do not simply like lazing on the beach. Is there much to see or would we be disappointed? Are there any specific places we must go?
Oct 8th, 1997, 06:36 AM
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Old Havana is a must, and Hotel Inglaterra is a pearl! It is beatifully renovateted in an the old english colonial style. But look out for beggars and thieves on the street. The beggars are stealing by refocusing your attention! Trindidad in the south coast is a beautifully renovated colonial town from about year 1500. I also recommend Santa Clara: It is a typical, beatiful Cuban city wiht nice people. In the city centre there is live music from the scene almost every day. Outside Santa Clara there is a statue of Che Guevara who lead a great battle against the corrupt and suppressing Batista-regime in 19 in 1958.( Che Guevara was an excellent fighting-leader but was not a successful leader in peacetime. Fidel Castro is respected my most Cubans, but he is said to be ill, and the cubans fear that his more brutal brother, Raoul, will take over power).

There is an excellent motel about 5 kms outside St. Clara with swimming pool, bars, disco etc.(Do rent a car, because the buses and trains can not be trusted; people are hitch-hiking all over Cuba). In the sundays the cubans visit the motel - gathering around the bar and the pool. Then you have an excellent opportunity to talk with them.
The Pig bay, where a US-supported invasion took place in 1961 is also very interesting - including an invasion museum wiht parts of an american airplane which was shot down. Santiago de Cuba is also said to be a very interesting place (I did not stay there when I visited Cuba in september this year). Use credit cards only in the receptions of serious hotels. My card was stopped because someone tried to "fix" it in a Havana-restaurant. The food in Cuba is "well done" and of medium quality, but the sanitary conditions are excellent.And so is the cuban beer. Try a "mochito"; the favourite drink of Ernest Hemingsway who stayed many years in Cuba. You can visit his favourite restaurant in Old Havana (sorry: I don remember the name; but ask in Hotel Inglaterra; it is about 400 meters from there toilet-paper.
Dec 28th, 1997, 03:38 AM
Andy crowe
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I agree with everything in the first reply and would add that of ALL of the caribbean islands Cuba is the one with the most interesting and historical places to visit. The Museum of the Revolution in Havana is well worth a visit and Trinidad is an absolute pearl. If in Varadero a visit to the Du Pont Mansion in the late afternoon for cocktails is highly recommended. I only have two negatives : the food in Cuba isn't worth writing home about, but unlike some of the rumours you might hear about there is plenty of it for tourists. And some of the shop assitants are amongst the most miserable I've ever come across!
Dec 31st, 1997, 02:44 PM
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Why not put this posting where it belongs - Cuba is not in Africa or the Middle East!
Jan 1st, 1998, 07:19 AM
Janet Deer
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I did not enjoy Veradero at all.I couldn't breathe well due to the air pollution. Petroleum is burned everywhere in short unfiltered stacks, trapped below an inversion layer and high humidity. Inhaler Central.A good cup of coffe totally evaded me. The national drink the mojito was unavailbe until my trip to Havana. There I was harrassed by an old cigar smoking woman who wanted my sneakers then and there.The wind changed and closed the beach for 2 days.The pool was drained for repairs. The bar served me a glass of wine I saw be removed from another table. Another drink had cigar ashes in it.
Breakfast was steamed weiners everyday. Butter is available at breakfast but not at the other meals.
Toilet seats are a rarity. My room reaked of mildew
and the one I was moved to was no better. At check out our luggage was put in a secure room off the lobby. Imagine my surprise to find the door wide open.Who needs washroom attendants to hoard the toilet paper and demand a tip.Mosquitos are huge and vicious.There are no potato chips anywhere.Hospitality is non existant. Don't waste your money in Cuba. Especially at the Tryp Siesta
also known as Puntarena and Paradiso.

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