Carnival in Guantanamo is like no other Carnival in Cuba.The event takes place at about five different venues around the city all day until four in the morning. Some venues were the standard beer gardens, food kiosks and music and dance presentations. The live music were the most crowded venues but there was no schedule of which performers were playing where and when. People seemed to hang around and take their chances while there were terribly long breaks between acts. The food was the typical offerings that I had seen in so many other street events: pork sandwiches, "pizzas", spaghetti, popcorn, ice cream. However, there was also some Chinese food (a la Cubana) available which was unusual.
Even more unusual were the kid zones! They had tricycles, scooters and pony rides. The most striking were the Cuban midway rides. I think it's due to the American Embargo but I'm not sure that the Cubans have had to fashion their own copies of popular midway rides that we find here in Canada.
Myself and my friends were the only ones in the crowds of thousands who were not Cuban. Despite this fact I never felt a moment's worth of fear for my life or my money. We waded through the crowds without incident despite the warnings of the family. True, I had removed my jewelry and placed my wallet in my front pocket as precautions against possible pickpockets.
The event is over in three days but the stages and rides remain up as the celebrations continue the next day at the same venues in the same manner but for a differnet celebration whose name I can't remember.
Dress Code: casual... very.
Two venues exist for floor shows in the spirit of (but not on the same scale) the Tropicana. Although the first one sounds like it's downtown Guantanamo neither of them are located in the central core but a taxi will take you there for $2 and then there is a $2 admission fee to contend with. However for the price it's well worth the effort!
The base had a bowling alley, where you could buy Heineken beer for 25-cents... I thought that was cool. Other than that, there is no night life.
P.S.: Never get drunk and argumentative with the Shore Patrol... they're looking for any excuse to mace you and throw you in the brig.
cheap beer. Nowhere else can you get so wasted on a pocket full of quarters.