After our stay in Matanzas, we planned to go to Havana for five days before ending our Cuba stay in Varadero. We figured out the bus system, which is cheap and easy to figure out (Viazul), but at the bus station there were enterprising Cubans offering the trip in their own vehicles for essentially the same cost. So we rode in style in the back of a 1950’s Chevy station wagon.
In Havana we stayed in two places; first a Casa Particular (with Rosita y Ramon – they are sweet and make a great breakfast) and then at the Hotel Lincoln – a bit of a dilapidated old hotel but that still carries some of the charm it boasted in it’s heyday.
Havana is a spectacular city. Some of our favourite highlights?
- The 8 kilometer Malecon along Havana’s harbour. On extremely windy days some areas of the Malecon would be showered with waves of seawater – it was neat to see little Cuban boys enjoying the natural-made waterpark.
- Habana Vieja (Old Havana) with all the beautifully restored colourful old buildings. Several times during out stay we would find a square and sit and have a cerveza to soak up the atmosphere, people watch and relax in the sweltering heat. Old Havana does get busy with tourists bussed in from resorts – the mix of tourists and locals makes for great entertainment.
- The Museo de Revolucion. The building is the former Presidential Palace and has bullet holes from the revolution. Lots of history of the revolution, showcasing bloodied uniforms and with a room dedicated to Che Guevara and Camilo Cienfuegos.
- The Plaza de la Revolucion. The famous Che Guevara image is here, as well as a statue of Jose Marti in front of a tall tower.
Havana is a must-see city, especially to start to get the feel of the ‘real’ Cuba. It’s worth staying for more than one day in the capital.