Cuba - 7 day tour

Old Jun 2nd, 2010, 08:05 PM
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Cuba - 7 day tour


Myself and my friend are travelling to cuba for 7- 10 days - we're planning Havana for a few days and then Santiago de Cuba. Does anyone have any hotel/things to do/ places to see recommendations ?
kilmainham is offline  
Old Jun 3rd, 2010, 12:55 AM
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I can recommend NH Parque Central in Havana. Although it is a modern hotel, the location is very good being close to Old Havana plus the rooftop swimming pool with views are great. I would also recommend eating at a paladar,we ate at Vistamar in Miramar (an area which I would have liked time to explore a bit as it looked interesting). We also visited Ernest Hemingway's house (Finca Vigia) outside Havana which was very interesting (not as nice as his house in Key West though)- negotiated a price with a taxi outside the hotel and went. On the way back the driver stopped at a restaurant where there are photos of Ernest Hemingway and Castro on fishing expeditions on the wall (name excapes me) - we walked around this area. A visit to the Hotel Nacional is interesting as well, we walked there from the NH Parque central - a long walk but gave a chance to look at buildings and drink in various cafes/bars along the way (people like to chat!)

There is so much to see - Capitolio, Museum of the Revolution, markets, various squares and old churches, Opera House etc etc.

We loved our visit to Cuba and can't wait for the next trip.
Odin is offline  
Old Jun 23rd, 2010, 08:57 PM
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Thank you so much for the information. we're hoping to stay in the NH Parque Central. Did you travel outside Havana ? Do you have any recommendations?
kilmainham is offline  
Old Jun 24th, 2010, 05:10 AM
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It's been almost eight years since we were lucky enough to get a visa to travel to Cuba. We also stayed at NH Parque Central (although it had a slightly different name then). It was an ok hotel, but once you walked in the door, you could have been in any mid-level hotel in any city in the US. And the food was awful.

As I said, it's been years, but there were several smaller hotels in the Old City that looked really neat.

Have a wonderful trip.
JeanH is offline  
Old Jun 24th, 2010, 06:33 AM
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There is a new 5 star wing now called NH Parque Central Torre linked to the main hotel by tunnel. Of course 5 star is not quite 5 star in Cuba and it does not have the character of older hotels but I still think it's the place to stay. Breakfast buffet was very good, evening meals so-so but cocktails were very good.

We only travelled to Varadero & Finca Vigia. If we had more time we would have visited the local beaches of Havana instead of Varadero. Maybe next time.
Odin is offline  
Old Jun 26th, 2010, 12:09 PM
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Here's a link to a thread I wrote about touring Havana for another Cuba forum. Will give you some good ideas.

Touring Havana Itinarary

As to your plans. IMHO, on a short 7-10 day trip, trying to fit both Havana and Santiago de Cuba into one trip is pushing it a bit. They are 800 km apart, a 16 hour bus ride. So unless you're planning local domestic flights to get back and forth, I'd suggest Santiago for another trip.

Two areas that are very unique, and totally different are the Vinales Valley, about 2-1/2 hours west of Havana. Vinales offers spectacular natural scenery and unique geological formations called Magotes. There are severl cave systems you can visit, including La Cuevo del Indio, which you walk part way through, then take a boat ride on an underground river before coming out the other side of the mountain.

The other area is the colonial city of Trinidad, on Cuba's south coast. It's a UNESCO World Heritage Site (one of several in Cuba) that offers superb Spanish Colonial architecture and the town dates from the early 1500's. It's about a 6 hour bus ride from Havana.

Both Vinales and Trinidad I'd suggest as two night stays. Look at getting into what is called a Casa Particular, the Cuban version of a Bed and Breakfast. It's a great way to experience local culture and hospitality, and most offer dinners as well. So here's your chance for some good home-cooking, Cuban style.

You can check bus schedules within Cuba at the Viazul website.

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