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Old 03-19-2017, 11:37 AM   #1
Pizza
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Default What's to see in Cuba?

Hi Folks, so I'm going to Cuba for a full week and although we're doing the all inclusive on a Varadero resort, I'm wondering what kind of must sees does Cuba have?

Not interested in the night life or shopping.
Would be open to taking a small plane and flying out to other parts of cuba for a night or two


Thanks
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Old 03-19-2017, 11:48 AM   #2
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We did the Havana trip from Varadero with these classic convertible cars. That was a great time. Cigar factory, rum distellery. Other sites. Was a great time.
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Old 03-19-2017, 12:01 PM   #3
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The catamaran trips will take you to some of the best snorkeling I've ever seen (but I've never been to Hawaii). Also, you can make a day of it and go to this small forested island near there where they'll set up a fire and do some great bbq on the beach.

And Havana is a must see IMHO. Before the Americans take it over.
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Old 03-19-2017, 12:01 PM   #4
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Crap loads of Americans.
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Old 03-19-2017, 02:54 PM   #5
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I would definitely do a tour of Havana. It's a very interesting and unique city. I've known people who went to other parts to the country, but their focus was more hiking and such. Don't know anything about flying to other parts of the island.
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Old 03-19-2017, 02:54 PM   #6
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Day trip to Havana is worth it. Fly on a local Cuban plane? Have you seen the automobiles there?
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Old 03-19-2017, 03:44 PM   #7
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I think the tv show Departures did an episode or two in Cuba. Perhaps tracking that down ( I think it's on Netflix) may give you a few off the beaten path ideas for things to do.
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Old 03-19-2017, 03:59 PM   #8
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I like Havana a lot. It is a very unique city
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Old 03-19-2017, 06:56 PM   #9
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Go into Varadero town for dinner and then go to the Beatles club for a great rock show... Which is mostly non beatles music. Great time, cheap beer. For a few bucks more than a standard bus tour, you can ask the maitre D to get you a personal trip to Havana.. You'll see more, see what you want and won't get pestered by locals wanting money.
When in Havana go to The Hotel Ambos Mundo where Ernest Hemingway lived.

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Old 03-19-2017, 09:00 PM   #10
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I just came back last week after about 6 years of not going and it's changing pretty quickly (Varadero). Specifically that strip downtown. Personally, not out of pretentiousness or anything, but I seen that Beatles bar, which was loud American music. Sure it was crowded, but I'm not really there for that as I can get that at any local Canadian or American place. Calle 62 is pretty good as you'll see some locals and dancing (and damn are they good). I didn't do a resort this time, and stayed at an AirBNB's in Varadero, Havana and Vinales and I'd recommend all three towns/cities. Varadero beach is still the best one I've been around the world (though now they're really manicuring it), old Havana for a night is good to see a place stuck in a time warp, and Vinales for the outdoor life (caving, cigar rolling, hiking, horseback riding, etc). All in all, for relaxing and a good drink, Varadero will do it for you. American's everywhere aside from Varadero. They're the good ones who want to be less ignorant, so they're alright.
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Old 03-20-2017, 03:23 PM   #11
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Thanks all, would definitely look into the catamaran snorkeling and day trips to Havana

Im guessing i'll need to pack a few hundred Cuban Pesos as they wont take any other currency?

Also, any restrictions bringing back Cuban cigars?
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Old 03-20-2017, 03:27 PM   #12
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You don't bring any money, as you can't change it anywhere but in Cuba. They have a weird currency thing, the CUC for tourists, and the Peso for Cubans.
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Old 03-20-2017, 03:33 PM   #13
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Vinales is pretty cool.



There is also pretty good scuba diving around the island.

Trinidad is a colonial city that is good to see.

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Old 03-20-2017, 04:42 PM   #14
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We had our honeymoon in Varadero about 7 years ago, and may even end up going back later this year for some beach & sun.

My biggest tip would be to arrange private transport to Havana, or book a package that includes a hotel room for the night. Havana is stunningly beautiful city and I wish I'd seen more of it... but man did I regret doing the bus tour from our resort. You're being shuffled on/off the bus from landmark to landmark, and as soon as you step off the bus there's street peddlers pushing bouquet of flowers & other trinkets in your face.

I don't feel this was a reflection of Cuba as a whole, or particularly the people, just the nature of stepping off a big air conditioned bus at a tourist site screams "Money to be made here" in a pretty obvious way.

But having said that, the farmers/flea market we visited in Havana was fantastic, sadly the cigar factories were closed when we were there, but I'd still love to do a tour of one.

The single best Mojito I've ever had was at a beachside dive in Varadero, the older bar tender took his sweet time making it... but man it was worth the wait.

Also the rum, drink all of it, but especially the Havana Club Anejo Especial.
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Old 03-20-2017, 04:47 PM   #15
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Yup, agree on the private booking to Havana, we will be looking into that. Last time we paid for the bus as transport, but didn't do the tour. So we got dropped off, did our own thing, and met at the bus for the return.
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