I have stayed in the Telegrafo, Seville and Tropicoco which is at Playa de Este all which were decent and clean, I found the best rates were to be made over the internet thru Cuba-Junky's Hotel website.
I stay at a nice clean casa in Central Habana close to the Malecon and Central Park. Yola the daughter who runs the place speaks English and also is 7 months pregnant. I have seen young children staying there, one family yearly.
Address is Campanario #164 e/Animas y Virtudes, Centro Habana
Email: Mariabar_chb@gmail.com or firstname.lastname@example.org Enter into car port and walk by a '57 Chev. Belair
Hasta la victoria...siempre!
"Strange" city, too many differences between tourists and locals. It's necessary to go deep inside the Habanero's soul, otherwise the city could remain without fashion.
Plaza de la Revoluciòn is one of the largest squares in the world.
Walking through the little streets into the historical center, the cathedral square is one of the most interesting, just few steps away from the malecon and from "la bodeguita del medio".
"Playa Santa Maria"
Among the playas del este, playa Santa Maria is quite good: we were just in front of the hotel Tropicoco.
Hasta La Vista Baby
"This time we made it..."
In 1996 me and my guy were in Mexico - we wanted to hop over to Cuba but we ran out of time. We finally made it back. Hopping around the Caribbean, we spent a week in this amazing place. We met up with a friend, we made a new friend and we fulfilled a dream.
After arriving we werer picked up by my friend Sal who was already on vacation in Havana. This was her third visit so she had made some friends and Ulises turned out to be an excellent guide. A tip to travellers everywhere, if you can befriend a local, you will improve your visit 100% as our friend was able to take us to the real places to go and save us time, effort and money and make our visit perfect.
We stayed in a local womans house at Guanabo about 30 minutes drive from Havana. This meant that we were in a real house in a real town with real Cuban people. Everything about the place made me feel comfortable. Life is not a bowl of cherries here and it was sometimes difficult to get basics that we take for granted like milk. However, this was the most genuine most real place I've ever visited.
The house was 100 metres from the sea and we soon got into the habit of strolling down to put our feet in the sea after a long day sightseeing.
A little further along the coast was the Tropicoco Beach and Hotel which was a famous haunt of party people once upon a time.
"Following Che ..."
We had to find out something about the great legend of this country. Che Guevara is the personification of rebellion. a million tee shirts and posters testify to that - even though most of the people who buy them know nothing about the man.
We hired a car and with our friends made a road trip to Trinidad and Cienfuegos. WOW!!!! If you go to Cuba make the effort. As cool as Havana is, there is more to the island and you should have a look. Trinidad is a sleepy feeling town full of pastel coloured houses. It has a wonderful skyline and you can go up onto roof terraces and gaze over a sea of terracotta roof tiles while pickig out the spires of churches. It was here that we got our host very excited as we had arrived on 13th August, as my partner's passport was checked by our landlady, she became very excited and Gary was declared a lucky charm: - not only was it his birthday but it turned out that he shared it with none other than Fidel Castro himself.
Cienfuegos has the wonderful Spanish Colonial feel that you imagine in central and south American cities. Throw in a few antiquated cars and it made a very pretty picture. On the way back to Havana you must stop at the district border for the best Pina Colada in the country! Perfect end to a perfect little road trip.
kwanou's New Travelogue on Cuba
First we visited Cienfuegos, a beautiful colonial city.
Walking to the busstop at Santa Maria del Mar.
You could probably spend weeks exploring Havana; the city with the surrounding districts.
If you don't have much time, make sure you don't miss strolling around the oldest section: 'Habana Vieja'.
The old colonial houses are in desperate need of a paint job, but are still a beautiful sight, as are the famous oldtimers that you can see all over the place.
There is a cybercafé in the 'Capitol' in Havana, where you can surf and send e-mails. It costs $3 for half an hour and $5 for an hour.
We don't give much practical information on this page about restaurants, lodgings,... That is because you can find EVERYTHING in the 'Lonely Planet'.
The next day we went to the coulourful and friendly city Trinidad.
On our way to Pinar del Rio province, we stopped at Guama La Boca, to say hi to some crocodiles.
In Pinar del Rio, we first visited the city with the same name. We didn't really have time to see if it was a nice city or not: we were hassled so much by people wanting to be our guide, trying to sell us things, pretending we had a flat tire to be able to get in our car, pulling at our sleeves,... that after quickly seeing the tobacco museum (entrance 5$) and the Guayabita-liquor factory (entrance 1$) we RAN AWAY as fast as possible to find some peace and quiet,... which we found in Vinãles.
Wow! Such a beautiful landscape: the famous mogotes are what is left over from a the huge underground caves that existed millions of years ago. The roof of the caves collapsed and the pillars of stonger stone, were left standing. The red soil between the mogotes is very fertile and there are tobacco plantations everywhere. Go hiking and explore this one of a kind part of nature!
On our way back to Havana, we stopped at Soroa to see the waterfall and the orchidgarden.(Soroa is a nice place to stop by if you have some spare time and if it's on your way. It's only 7km off the main highway from Havana to Pinar del Rio.)
While we had the car, we had planned a day at the beach 'Maria la Gorda' which is supposed to be a pretty beach, great for snorkeling right of the coast. A lot of french tourists go there to snorkel and dive. But it was too windy and rainy for a beach day.
We also didn't go to the the biggest, most touristy beach at Varadero.
After we returned the car, we went to the 'Playas del Este'.
Playas del Este is a 9km stretch of beaches which begins at Bacuranao, 18km east of central Havana, and continues east through Tarara, El Megano, Santa Maria del Mar, Boca Ciega and Guanabo.
At Santa Maria del Mar, you will find the foreign tourists. It's the most expensive beach. At Boca Ciega, which is less expansive, you will find Cuban holidaymakers. Men and women in search of each other usaually find each other at the west end of El Megano.
We stayed at Guanabo, the beach where the local Cubans go and the least expensive. It's an unspoilt coconut-palmtree-beach wich we had almost all to ourselves. (You can only find a casa particular at Guanabo.)
You can take the bus from there to Havana and this costs about half a dollar one way. From the other beaches, tourists usually take a taxi to Havana, which, according to your bargaining skills, costs 12 to 24 dollars one way.
When we were at Guanabo, we visited some friends from Belgium at the Playa Santa Maria del Mar.
To go from Guanabo beach to Santa Maria del Mar, you can either walk (5km) or take a taxi ($2) or take the public bus for Havana ($0.5 per person) and walk from the busstop on the main road to the beach (1km).
At Playa Megano (right next to Playa Santa Maria del Mar), they were giving salsa initiation lessons at the Villa El Megano. As we already knew some salsa moves, we went to Hotel Tropicoco (Playa Santa Maria del Mar), where we took a private lesson to get some cuban style in our salsa. It was a very freindly woman (Her name sounded like Yanya but I don’t know how it’s written.) and the lessons cost $5 per person per hour. You don’t have to have a room there to take the lessons.
We found a friendly and inexpensive pizza and spaghetti place at Playa Megano ‘El Rinconcito’. (Near Villa Los Pinos.)
Tropicoco beach, Guanabo near Havana, Cuba
We have our vacation booked for July 14 to 24 and are looking for a place to go in Cuba. I would like to know what the weather is like as I do not like very muggy weather. Is it nice to go to the beach during July? We would like a nice beach and want a relaxing time. Any suggestions would be most appreciated.
Re: Summer Holidays
I don't know about the weather in July as we went in January and we had great perfect weather then. As the island is in a tropical zone, I'm assuming that the weather will be moderate and ideal throughout the year. Though, I'm not sure how hot & humid it gets in particular times of the year.
There are beaches all over Cuba. The most famous and touristy one is Varadero, which I'm sure you'll enjoy its white powdery beach if you do go there.
Goodluck & enjoy beautiful Cuba!
Re: Summer Holidays
As mentioned above, Varadero is a great beach both for swimming, lazing around on, and walking. The water is shallow and clear. You can go quite a long way out before it is up to your shoulders ... no sudden drop-offs! You might want to avoid the canal area - I seem to remember it's rocky and smelly in that location.
I've only been in the winter months; can't comment on July.
Re: Summer Holidays
Trying to predict the weather can be difficult because of local on the day variations.
This information should be used as a guide only.
Here is the average weather for Varadero for this time of year.
Enjoy your holiday.
High 86f / 30c
Low 70f / 21c
Re: Summer Holidays
It's hurricane season.
Re: Summer Holidays
Go to the Playas del Este outside of Havana, several good beaches, great on weekends when the Cubans come out to play. Stay at the Tropicoco and you are only 15 minutes by cab from Old Havana or each morning there is a free bus which comes back at about 2:00 pm. If it is rainy you will get muggy anywhere!