These are Jennifer’s tips from her trip to Cuba where she spent 4 days in Havana and 2 days in Vinales. Jennifer visited Cube to experience the culture, see the top sites and eat good food. Jennifer travelled with a few friends, aged between 30 and 42 and it was the first Cuba visit for all.
Any hotels, restaurants or activities especially awesome?
Restaurants: La Guarida was excellent, a must do, but reservations need to be made very far in advance. This was Fidel’s favorite restaurant and the top recommended restaurant. Most restaurants in Cuba are government owned so the food isn’t very good, but La Guarida is excellent.
Beaches: Santa Maria is 20 minutes from downtown and it was a beautiful, excellent beach. Some folks travel 2 hours for another well known beach (forget the name) but Santa Maria was just as good if not better. As soon as you arrive you can pay a very nominal fee for seating, and they’ll bring you menus to order drinks and fresh seafood.
Dislikes/things you would have done differently?
Vinales was slightly overrated. I would have preferred to go to Varadero.
Any other tips?
Stay at a casa, do not stay at a hotel. The hotels are too expensive. Casas are just as nice as hotels, but cheaper and with much better service. Convert US Dollars to Euros or Canadian money before going otherwise you are charged a 10% fee to convert US dollars in Cuba! Buy your visa on the plane, no need to buy it in advance. Typically costs anywhere between $50 and $100.
If you had one more day? One less day?
If I had one more day I would have gone to Varadero, if I had one less day I would have skipped Vinales.