Gibara Things to Do
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Despite its name, Gibara's Parque Calixto Garcia is a town square rather than a park. It is one of the focal points of the town; a place to sit in the shade and watch the world go by at a leisurely pace.
At the centre of the square stands a Statue of Liberty that commemorates the Spanish-Cuban-American War. It looks quite similar to its New York counterpart; a robed female figure holding up a lit torch.
One side of the square is dominated by the Iglesia de San Fulgencio church. It looked particularly picturesque on the day that we visited; its faded white facade and red domes contrasting against the deep blue sky.
Another building houses the Natural History Museum, while the building facing the church from the other side of the square is a cigar factory. You can peek through the bars in the open windows and see rows of workers sitting at desks rolling cigars.
One corner of the square houses the El Caribe snack bar where you can get light snacks and cold Mayabe and Cacique beers.
There are trees and benches around the edge of the square, so you can enjoy a rest in the shade.
We visited Parque Calixto Garcia during a day trip to Gibara in November 2011.
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During a day trip to Gibara in November 2011, my girlfriend and I visited El Caribe cafeteria and bar for a drink and a bit of respite from the afternoon heat.
El Caribe is a basic snack bar, with a rather limited menu, located on the corner of Parque Calixto Garcia, opposite the cigar factory, in the heart of Gibara.
A dozen functional stools (basic wooden seats on metal poles) can be found lined up in front of a colourful pink bar. A bright mural adorns the wall behind the bar and there is a small hatch through to the kitchen where light snacks (sandwiches and pizza) are prepared.
This was the first place in Cuba where we encountered prices in Cuban Pesos (as opposed to Convertible Pesos). The cold can of Mayabe beer that I ordered cost 18 Cuban Pesos, but the barman was more than happy for me to pay for it with 1 Convertible Peso (equal to 25 Cuban Pesos) as I had no Cuban Pesos.
Emma had wanted a soft drink, but the bottles of Cola and fizzy orange only came in 1.5 litre bottles (25 Cuban Pesos / 1 GBP), which was far more than she wanted, so she did without and grabbed a drink from another place down the road.
As well as various cheese, meat and sausage sandwiches, the menu includes a variety of Cuban cigars at rock bottom prices - perhaps directly from the adjacent cigar factory? We didn't sample either the food or the cigars.