Key Post: Holidays in Cuba - any advice?

Discussion in 'Overseas Travel,Holidays,Hotels & Airlines' started by sueellen, Dec 5, 2002.

  1. sueellen

    sueellen Guest

    Sorry, posted this assways last time round..

    Hubby and I want to go on hols early next year (prob. March) and he is v. keen to go to Cuba. He wants to go "before Castro dies" - as if he was going to meet us off our flight or something...! Anyway, was wondering if anyone here been to Cuba and has any insight/ recommendations to offer? And any idea if early Spring is a good time to go there? Hasta luego!

    Titled edited by ClubMan.
  2. Smurf

    Smurf Guest


    You can travel in Cuba all year round the weather is essentially the, warm

    I would recommend a short stay in Havana.....avoiding package holidays..........go south ---travel to Trinidad (its in Cuba) (UNESCO) world heritage site beautiful..........Baracoa....the most unspoilt beautiful place in Cuba........

    It is a very safe country..The people outside of the tourist areas in Havana are wonderful.

    If you are a Foodie......sorry the food in Cuba is repeatitive..chicken, rice, fried banana.... We went to some of the best resturants and still the food is mediocre..............

    It is a facination history...e.g. no milk available as all goes to children and mums

    Travel on the Toursis air conditioned coaches AVOID VARADERO, if you want a true experience...stay in local people houses approx $20 a night for a couple

    Self-drive CAR HIRE is a hassle

    hope this is helpful....GO Enjoy..loose weight stay away from packaged holidays

    let the rum, sun, music, sway you away
  3. LC

    LC Guest

    Muchas Gracias, Smurf!

    Thanks for your reply - I'll definitely look into this now! Interesting comments re: Varaderos - we really don't want a resort type experience, so sound advice there. Can I ask how you went about staying in family homes - we'd be really interested in doing this, but clueless as to how you sort this out (just pitch up from the airport, bags in hand, and ask around?) And who did you fly with? Sorry, this is turning into the 60-Second-Quiz, minus Larry Gogan :) Thanks again for your help!
  4. PMU

    PMU Guest

    Holidays in Cuba - any advice? Don't go

    Don't go. Cuba is nothing but an evil dictatorship, and by gong there you are bringing hard currency to to support it.
    The the internationlly respected and independent organisation Human Rights Watch says:
    Over the past forty years, Cuba has developed a highly effective machinery of repression. The denial of basic civil and political rights is written into Cuban law. In the name of legality, armed security forces, aided by state-controlled mass organizations, silence dissent with heavy prison terms, threats of prosecution, harassment, or exile. Cuba uses these tools to restrict severely the exercise of fundamental human rights of expression, association, and assembly. The conditions in Cuba's prisons are inhuman, and political prisoners suffer additional degrading treatment and torture. In recent years, Cuba has added new repressive laws and continued prosecuting nonviolent dissidents while shrugging off international appeals for reform and placating visiting dignitaries with occasional releases of political prisoners.
  5. rookie

    rookie Guest

    Cuba - Wonderful Island

    I agree with Smurf , Cuba is a wonderful island for a holiday. The food is limited because they have rationing now - the fall of the Soviet Union has caused a 'special period' for the Cubans. If you go , bring items like soap (rationed to twice a year June & Dec for Cubans) which you can give to your guides or chamber maids - preferable outside Havanna where they have less access to tourists.
    Also bring Time magazine or the Economist to share - anything which gives international news. Castro controls the local radio and TV.
    Yes visits Trinidad , its beautiful, and try and get inside some of the houses. The Casa Musica there is great fun at night . Another great place for the Casa Musica is Camaguey, but you've really got to know how to salsa if you hit the dance floor !
    Try to get down to Santo Domingo and Naquery and Santiago de Cuba as well .
    The Cuban people have a difficult time at present with the rationing, both clothes and food, so a little help means a lot to them.
    Havanna is a great place to explore and do wander around the old hotels - its as if time stood still for 40 years.
  6. darag

    darag Guest

    Re: Cuba - Wonderful Island

    Learn a bit of Spanish before you go. English is
    not very widespread so it will make a big

    Try to stay in a "casa particular" - they're much
    better value than hotels and you get to live with
    Cubans. Many of the hotels are foreign owned
    and charge appropriately and unless you go top
    of the range, the quality is often disappointing.

    In Havana (and maybe elsewhere), beware the
    hustlers. They'll spot you a mile off and will try
    to sell you "cheap" cigars (almost impossible to
    smoke and in reality made from the floor
    sweepings but packaged in a big name box) or
    try to drag you along to have a "special" meal in
    a restaurant where you pay twice the going rate
    and they get a backhander. Be nice but firm.
    Until you're used to them they can be hard to
    shake off but don't let them put you off Cubans
    in general who are generally very nice. In
    general (because it's a police state), it's a very
    safe country.

    If in Havana, have a drink in the bar of the Hotel
    National and enjoy the pictures of previous
    guests such as Frank Sinatra, Sam Giancana, etc.
    Also, try cheap(ish) day trips to the Santa Maria
    beaches to experience the palm tree, tropical
    paradise side of Cuba. The old town in Havana is
    really beautiful and lovely to wander about in.
    There are plenty of museums, etc. to visit in
    Havana but I wasn't greatly impressed by many
    of them except (in an unintended way) the
    museum of the revolution or whatever it was
    called which is fascinating with it's glass cases
    containing the stuff like the nail clippings and
    used socks belonging to famous revolutionaries.

    By the way, nobody will know anything about
    Ireland. In fact the average Cuban's knowledge
    of the rest of the world is shockingly limited.