Cuba
Cuba

Discover travel destinations of travelers writing a travel journal on FindPenguins.

Top 10 Travel Destinations Cuba

Show all

337 travelers at this place

  • Day14

    In Search of Che Guevara

    March 15 in Cuba ⋅ ☀️ 26 °C

    After three days in Trinidad, we were really starting to feel at home in the place. The streets that had looked so confusing when we arrived, now felt familiar. My home for the three nights had been the magnificent casa particulaire owned by Carlos and Jenny Amenidides. They really had welcomed us and proven to be exceptional hosts.

    We bade our final farewell after breakfast and walked our luggage back to the waiting bus. Our destination for the day was the famous city of Santa Clara - the place where the image of Che Guevera is everywhere. But before we could begin the day;'s ride we had a tortuous bus transfer up high into the mountains.

    Anyone who thinks that Cuba is all flat, has no idea what they are talking about. The driver had to use all his skill to negotiate the narrow roads and the tight switchbacks. At times the gradients were so steep that I was worried that the bus would not be able to struggle to the top of the next climb. The roof of the bus regularly bashed on the low overhanging branches.

    At one spectacular vantage point we stopped to climb to the top of a viewing platform where we could see all the way back to Trinidad and the Caribbean Sea beyond. It was an ideal spot for another group photo.

    Then it was back in the bus for another 30 minutes of serious climbing. I was certainly glad we didn't have to ride THAT section ! Eventually the bus stopped and we were told to get ready to ride. I looked ahead at the next section of road and noted that it went straight uphill. Lee had told us that the day's ride would be a DOWNHILL ride, but once again he had lied.

    For the next two hours we alternated between long fast descents and steep climbs. Although the climbs were not long, some of them were very steep. I am happy to admit that one two occasions I got off and walked to the top.

    The scenery that we were riding through was probably the prettiest of the ride so far. Not only did we have regular views down to the lowlands, but we passed through a succession of small villages where the locals greeted us cheerfully as we passed by. Numerous horse drawn carts carried all sorts of goods back and forth.

    The road itself was sometimes unsealed and sometimes bitumen. The poor condition of the road reminded me of some of the mountain roads we had ridden in Bhutan.

    At one point I could hear happy singing coming from a small house and I stopped to listen. It did not take long to realise that it was a church gathering. The people sang and clapped with obvious joy and the harmonies were beautiful. Several young children wandered in and out, waving and smiling at me. It really was a wonderful glimpse of local life.

    I stopped outside the church for 20 minutes or so until the rest of the riders joined me and we continued together. As we descended, the heat that we had experienced each afternoon steadily built up. Apparently there has been very little rain and this shows in the dry and dusty conditions we have seen everywhere.

    Eventually we reached the sizeable city of Manicuragua, where I met a T intersection. I thought it would be good to film some of the street life. In the process I did not notice that our riders had stopped by the side of the road. I kept going through the town, before finally realising that I was alone. It was a slightly scary feeling and I had to turn around and retrace my route until I found the rest of the group.

    A short distance later we finished the ride and loaded the bikes into the bus. We then had a short drive to Santa Clara, the famous location where Che Guevara successfully waged a guerrilla war against the Battista regime. The image of Che is now everywhere and a huge mausoleum has been built in the revolution square to house his remains. This has become a place of pilgrimage for those who think that Che was some sort of superhuman.

    We visited the memorial where we had to walk in silence past his remains, before finally checking into our lovely hotel. It has been another long day.

    I should also add that word of the outside world is slowly reaching us. I can assure you that we are all well and healthy and have plenty of food and toilet paper. The biggest worry is that our flights and travel plans over the next couple of weeks may be impacted. Interesting times indeed.

    Pictures to follow .
    Read more

  • Day7

    On our Bikes in Havana

    March 8 in Cuba ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

    It's now almost a week since I left Melbourne. The long journey to Cuba took me first to Vancouver, then to Toronto, before arriving in Havana two days ago. Although it has been nice to have some time to explore and soak up the history at the Hotel Nacional, of course the real reason for coming all this way was to ride bicycles. And today that is what we did.

    In our previous adventures we have been treated to some pretty large and impressive buses, but I can honestly say that our bus in Cuba is by far the biggest we have ever had. I am not sure if they did not understand the difference between 16 and 60 when they made the bus allocation as I am sure the bus could easily hold the larger number.

    The bus is actually so large that all our bikes can easily be accommodated in the huge lower storage compartments. We have now met all the support staff that will be accompanying us for the next 16 days. Apart from the youthful Lee (our main guide), we also have a bus driver (Coco) and a bike mechanic (Titi). The bikes themselves are TREK brand mountain bikes equipped with semi slick tyres.

    We began the day at 8 am with an obligatory group photo (or series of photos) in front of the hotel, followed by a short drive in the bus to the place where we would be fitting and testing the bikes. My first impression was very favourable, The bike was relatively light and easy to ride and soon we were snaking our way on the streets of Havana.

    It was something of a relief to find that the streets were almost devoid of traffic. Maybe that was because it was not only a Sunday morning, but daylight savings had only just started that morning meaning that many people may have not put their clocks forward and were still happily home in bed.

    Although the traffic was light, the wind certainly was not. In fact it was blowing a gale all day. Our cycling route took us along the coastline towards the old part of Havana. This also meant that we were heading into the wind for about 80% of the ride. We hoped that this onslaught would not become a daily feature of the weather here.

    The roads were liberally spotted with potholes of various sizes, but were probably in better condition than I had expected. During the course of the morning we stopped at a succession of historically significant locations, while Lee explained their history to us. Because I have a limited capacity to store vast amounts of this type of information, I contented myself with just looking at the buildings, rather than trying to remember all the place names and dates. One theme that did keep repeating is that the history of Cuba and Havana in particular, dates back over 500 years. The city is liberally dotted with ancient buildings that have made it a World Heritage Site.

    When our cycling was complete we adjourned for lunch in a cafe which was apparently one of the favourite haunts of Ernest Hemingway who did much of his writing in Cuba. The afternoon was spent in a walking tour of the old city, however the wind was now blowing so hard that it was hard to stand upright.

    Tomorrow's ride will take us on a much longer foray into the Cuban countryside.
    Read more

  • Day6

    The Night Plane to Havana

    March 7 in Cuba ⋅ 🌙 21 °C

    Today was always going to be a bit messy. The problem was that my flight from Toronto to Havana was not due to leave till around 8.30 pm in the evening. "So what ?", you may well ask. The complicating factor was that I was supposed to be checking out of my apartment at 10 am in the morning, so what was I going to do with all those spare hours ?

    The singularly unhelpful concierge had already told me that there was nowhere I could leave my luggage. At least I thought I could spend a couple of hours sitting in the lobby before my taxi arrived to take me to the airport. That was about as much of a plan I had been able to come up with.

    Unlike the beautiful blue skies of the previous day, I awoke to a leaden cloud cover. On closer look I could see that there were intermittent flurries of snow falling. It was quite spellbinding to watch.

    After making myself my final breakfast in Toronto, I sat by the window and spent some time watching the falling snow gradually build up on the branches of the trees. Although I was supposed to check out at 10 am, there was no point in being too early. I needed to steal every hour I could.

    By 11 am I thought that I could stretch the matter no further, collected my luggage and made my way down to the foyer. I found a quiet corner, opened my computer and started watching a movie. It did not take long for my favourite concierge to come over and ask what I thought I was doing. Of course I told him I was waiting for my taxi. Since no one else needed my seat, I could not see that there was a problem. Of course I was wrong.

    "This is not a hotel", he repeated his now familiar refrain. "You will have to go". While I could have been confrontational and reminded him that it WAS snowing outside, I really had had enough of the pathetic little weasel. He obviously thought that being a concierge was only a step or two below being the Prime Minister, so I decided to pack my stuff as slowly as I possibly could and then roll my way out of the building for the very last time.

    Fortunately there was a very warm shopping centre just across the road, so that is where I went. I purchased a coffee, found a spare table and made it my home. My taxi was due at 1 pm, but did not arrive till 1.30 pm. I had spent the missing thirty minutes waiting in the doorway, while the cold was slowly permeating into every corner of my body. We just don't know what cold is in Australia, but I should have been grateful it was only about -3 C. Last year at this time it was apparently -26 C.

    Alex and I continued our discussions about the cricket all the way to the airport. I completed the self check in without incident and made my way through security and immigration. Another very long wait at the departure gate. Outside the snow was still falling. The time passed slowly. I continued watching my movie.

    The time for boarding finally arrived and we all jammed into the modest plane. There was not a spare seat in sight, but it was only a rather modest three and a half hours, so I did not really care.

    I was seated by a window which gave me a great view of the never ending succession of brightly lit cities we passed over as we flew over the eastern states of the USA. The night was crystal clear, without a single cloud to obscure the view. In some ways there is something cosy and comforting about a night flight. At times I dozed. By almost midnight we started descending into Havana Airport and another adventure was about to begin.

    As I retrieved my bag from the jammed overhead lockers, I noticed that my luggage label had somehow gone missing. I suppose I should be grateful if that was the only thing that went missing - I still had that anxious time of waiting to see if my main luggage would appear on the carousel.

    Back in Australia we had all paid significant money to the Cuban Consulate for a visa to enter their country. You can imagine my surprise when the hostess walked around the plane, handing out blank tourist visa forms and telling us to fill them in ourselves ! It looked like we all may have wasted $100, but it would not have been worth the risk.

    In spite of preliminary fears about the difficulties of entering the country, the immigration process was quick and easy. I was soon reunited with my luggage and went out the exit door into the unfamiliar world of Cuba. I had been told that a driver would be waiting for me (even though it was now about 12.30 in the morning).

    Once again the arrangements went perfectly and soon I was being whisked along in the back seat of a comfortable taxi. Even at this late hour there were plenty of cars on the road and plenty of people wandering the streets. The temperature was a comfortable 22 C. It did not take long to see the old cars that Cuba is famous for. It was like being at some sort of a retro car show. Obviously they just never get junked, they just keep rolling along.

    Our home for the next few days is the huge and very imposing Hotel Nacional de Cuba. This vast place was the place of choice for the rich and famous back in its heyday of the 30s and 40s. Even all these years later, it is still an impressive place. The foyer is massive and filled with colonial character. There was even a working lift !

    I was relieved to discover that my allocated room was clean, huge and had fully working air conditioning. I think I will enjoy my time here, but my first thought was to head for the bed and finally get some sleep.
    Read more

  • Day105

    Santa Clara (Kuba)

    January 4, 2019 in Cuba ⋅ ⛅ 29 °C

    Santa Clara ist vor allem bekannt für das Grab und die Geschichte von Che Guevara, wobei sich hier natürlich alles um die Revolution und die Herren Che Guevara und Fidel Castro dreht.

    Wir hatten eine wundervolle Unterkunft hier und eine alkoholreiche Nacht, gutes Essen und viel Musik. Die Größe der Stadt ist vergleichbar mit Havana, hat aber wesentlich mehr Geschichte.

    Nun geht es aver wirklich an den Strand nach Varadero, um die Seele baumeln zu lassen. Allerdings genieße ich schon die letzten 8 Tage die Ruhe ohne Internet und Informationen, das wird sich auf Kuba wohl nicht so schnell ändern.
    Read more

  • Day12

    Badespaß am Playa Ancón

    February 17 in Cuba ⋅ ☀️ 27 °C

    Heute war unser zweiter und vermutlich letzter Strandtag in Kuba 🏖🌅 Ein bisschen Ruhe brauchen wir beide nach all diesen aufregenden Tagen, auch weil wir uns beide seit etwa einer Woche mit einer hartnäckigen Erkältung herumärgern die uns nachts, dank der Hustenanfälle, wachhält.. ich sag nur CORONA!
    Frühstück gab es mal wieder in der Casa, es gab sogar Butter und Cornflakes und so eine Art flache Teigfladen - Pancakes? Das ist neu! Aber leider keine Milch.
    Eigentlich wollten wir dann mit dem Rad zum etwa 15 km entfernten Strand fahren, die waren aber aus. Deswegen entschieden wir uns dann für die "Luxusvariante" und fuhren für je 10 CUC mit dem Taxi.
    Der Strand war diesmal deutlich voller und touristischer als der letzte und das Wasser leider recht algig. Trotzdem hatten wir einen super entspannten Tag und konnten die blasengeschundenen Füße mal ausruhen. Pünktlich zum Sonnenuntergang ging es dann zurück nach Trinidad. Heute ist unser letzter Abend, den verbringen wir entspannt auf der Dachterasse unserer Casa und lassen das uns umgebende Stadtgewimmel mit den vielen Gerüchen und Geräuschen auf uns wirken 😌🌌
    Zum Abendbrot gibt es ein echtes Sparhighlight: staubtrockenes, pappiges und nicht sättigendes Baguette mit insgesamt unter uns aufzuteileneden 2 Scheiben Käse und 4 kleinen Hotelbutterpackungen sowie 4 Tomatenscheiben und 1 ungebießbaren Boulette 😂 wir müssen die ganze Zeit über die absurde Situation lachen, sehen es aber auch nicht ein, woanders was essen zu gehen - eindeutig zuviel Sonne hier in Kuba (schickt Essen!!!)
    Read more

  • Day5

    Viñales

    February 10 in Cuba ⋅ ⛅ 27 °C

    Heute gibt es ein frühes Erwachen - etwa halbsechs am Morgen bricht hier in der ländlichen Kleinstadt der Tag an.. die geschätzten 300 Hähne fangen an ununterbrochen zu krähen und ziehen das bis etwa 7 Uhr durch. Wir versuchen noch die letzten Stunden Schlaf zu erhaschen, aber dieser Gesang wird uns wohl die nächsten Tage begleiten 🐔 dann gibt es leckeren Cafè von Cristina (gemeinsam mit Elisier unsere lieben Gastgeber) und ein Frühstück to go, denn um 9 startet heute unsere geplante Wandertour im Tal von Vinales.
    Mit einem typisch kubanischen Auto, welches gefühlt nur noch durch den Willen des Besitzers zusammengehalten wird, fahren wir ohne Anschnalle und umhüllt von Abgasen Richtung Berge. Unser Fahrer ist ein ebenso typischer Kubaner um die 60, der zwar nur noch 3 Zähne hat, aber dafür umso mehr Lebensfreude. Er dreht die spanische Musik im Radio laut auf und tanzt am Steuer mit.. nebenbei ruft er noch hübschen jungen Frauen Komplimente aus dem Fenster zu und irgendwie schafft er es auch noch auf die Straße zu achten.
    Am Ziel angekommen bekommen wir beide noch eine Blume geschenkt und weg ist er. Wir warten auf unseren Reiseführer - der lustigerweise Rainer heißt, aber ein geborener Vinalenser ist. Uns begleiten eine 6köpfige deutsche Reisegruppe von befreundeten Individualtouristen um die 50-60 Jahre. Das folgende Wandern verbindet und so werden wir nicht nur auf einen Kaffe eingeladen und im Anschluss nach Hause gebracht (unser Fahrer ist nicht wieder gekommen) sondern wir bekommen auch nützliche Reisetips zu Costa Rica - sowie etwa eine Insel mit Hippiekommune wo man außer Tabak wohl alles zu rauchen bekommt 🤣 alles klar!
    Rainer führt uns mit viel Herz und Verstand durch das wunderschöne Tal - schon jetzt sicher unser Highlight des Kubaaufenthaltes - und erzählt über die hier vorkommenden Pflanzen und Tiere. Dann machen wir noch einen Stopp bei einem lokalen Tabakfarmer, der uns in die Geheimnisse des Zigarrenherstellens einweiht. Natürlich muss auch hier wieder eine geraucht werden. Die "natürliche" Zigarre schmeckt aber laut Aljona viel besser als die industriell hergestellte aus Havana.
    Zurück in Vinales geht es dann in der Stadt bummeln und die Seele baumeln lassen, bevor wir den Abend mit Obst und Brot auf dem Balkon im Schaukelstuhl ausklingen lassen.
    Read more

  • Day581

    Auf den Spuren des Zuckers - Trinidad

    February 20, 2019 in Cuba ⋅ ☀️ 29 °C

    Wir reisen durch die Zeit. 505 Jahre zurück in das süße Städtchen Trinidad. Pferdegetrabe auf holprigem Kopfsteinpflaster bildet die Geräuschkulisse; sonnengelbe Herrenhäuser und grünbewachsene Innenhöfe den Augenschmaus.

    Die für den Zuckerrohranbau und damit auch für die zahlreichen Arbeitssklaven aus Afrika, bekannte Stadt bietet vor allem das, viel Geschichte. Gegessen wird im alten, ehemaligen Gefängnis, besichtigt wird der Sklaventurm und gefeiert wird in einer urigen Höhlendisko.

    Leider muss Papa ein paar Gänge runterschalten. Nierensteine im Urlaub braucht man nun wirklich nicht ausprobieren. Aber so konnten wir uns auchmal davon überzeugen, dass die kubanische Krankenversorgung top ist.

    Quick fact:

    Kubaner und Touristen sollen sich, wenn es nach der kubanischen Polizei geht, besser nicht anfreunden. So baten mich meine neuen kubanischen Bekannten, die Disco mit Abstand zu ihnen zu verlassen, damit sie keinen Ärger bekommen. Danach konnte man sich wieder mischen. "Immer winken und lächeln" das Credo der hiesigen Jugend bei allgegenwärtiger Staatskontrolle.
    Read more

  • Day573

    Havanna II

    February 12, 2019 in Cuba ⋅ ⛅ 28 °C

    Und wie sollen für Havanna 6 Fotos ausreichen :)

    Die Altstadt so wunderschön, mit Gassen in denen die Menschen Schlange stehen um Brot zu kaufen, die Autos aber nur vereinzelt unterwegs sind. Ein historischer Briefkasten an Palästen aus dem 18. Jahrhundert noch aktiv genutzt wird und es auf dem zweitgrößten Friedhof Amerikas ein Denkmal für die Feuerwehr gibt.

    Schön, dass wir jetzt hier sind. Die Aufbruchstimmung ist merklich wahrnehmbar. Überall wird gebaut oder ausgebessert, neue Geschäfte entstehen und erste internationale Marken halten Einzug. Zwar gibt es noch keine Coca Cola, aber Mango oder Adidas durften schon rein.
    Read more

  • Day2

    Havana

    February 7 in Cuba ⋅ ☁️ 23 °C

    Der erste Tag in Havana. Wir sind gestern nur noch müde ins Bett gefallen und zum Glück ohne Jetleg erwacht. Wir schlafen in einem sehr süßen Apartement bei Carola, die uns mit ihrer Schwester in Empfang genommen hat. Sie spricht kaum Englisch und wir kaum Spanisch und doch war alles klar und herzlich- so habe ich mir das vorgestellt. Heute erkunden wir die Stadt. Der erste Eindruck ist schonmal seh positiv. Ein sehr charmantes Flair liegt in der Luft, alles sehr farbenfroh und verfallen und doch mit viel Seele. Wenn man durch die engen Gassen schlendert sieht man bunte Farben und Oldtimer soweit das Auge reicht. Und doch ist es eine geteilte Welt - das Havana der Einheimischen und das der Touristen. Mitunter ein beklemmendes Gefühl. So gibt es diverse kleine Läden in den Eingangstüren der Häuser, die aber nur den Einwohnern zu gehören scheinen. Tritt man auf eine sogenannte Sehenswürdigkeit treten dann plötzlich wie aus dem Boden gestampft Cafés und Restaurants im europäischen Stil zu Tage die nur allzu gern ihre Karte an uns antragen. Anstrengend.
    Da hätte es mich doch eher interessiert wo der Typ mit den 2 toten Hühnern und 1 Schildkröte den wir auf dem Weg sahen hingeht.
    Zum Mittag erstmal in eine Bar um endlich Internet zu haben - der Suchtdruck steigt. Daher erstmal einen Mojito und Caipi bestellt und schon jetzt betrunken 😅 Heute Abend haben wir eine Kneipentour mit einem Einheimischen gebucht.. wird bestimmt lustig.
    Deutschland vermissen wir nicht, aber es sind halt auch erst 24 h 😬 und genug deutsche laufen hier auch rum..
    Read more

  • Day3

    Havana

    February 8 in Cuba ⋅ ⛅ 24 °C

    Heute war ein später Start angesagt - genauer gesagt sind wir um 12 aus dem Bett gekrochen, nachdem wir gestern Nacht erst um 4 nach Hause gekommen sind. Wir hatten einen super Abend mit Bar Hopping, der dann im Club endete. Es gab viele kubanische Drinks zu probieren und natürlich tolle Musik zum Tanzen. Zudem hat Aljona ihre erste kubanische Zigarre geraucht - hmm naja muss man mal gemacht haben, aber lecker war es wohl nicht.
    Dann sind wir nachts halbvier betrunken durch die dunklen Gassen Havanas zurückgeschlendert.. wir fühlen uns schon wie zu Hause und nicht eine Minute unsicher.
    Nach dem Katerfrühstück (Pizza) stand dann heute Bildung auf dem Tagesprogramm - Revolutionsmuseum. Das war leider eher enttäuschend - viel Propaganda und wenig historische Hintergründe. Haben uns danach mit dem Reiseführer hingesetzt und sind jetzt deutlich schlauer! Nun geht es noch nach Chinatown und dann müssen wir die Weiterreise organisieren. Geplant ist Vinales.. mal sehen ob alles klappt. 😁
    Read more

You might also know this place by the following names:

Republic of Cuba, Kuba, Cuba, ኩባ, كوبا, Куба, কিউবা, ཁྱུའུ་བ།, ཀིའུ་སྦ, Kuba nutome, Κούβα, Kubo, Kuuba, کوبا, Kubaa, Cúba, ક્યુબા, Yn Choobey, Kyuba, קובה, क्यूबा, Kiba, Կուբա, Kúba, キューバ共和国, კუბა, Kiumba, គុយបា, ಕ್ಯೂಬಾ, 쿠바, کووبا, ຄິວບາ, Kiobà, ക്യൂബ, ကျူးဘား, Kiuba, क्युबा, କ୍ୱିବା, کیوبا, Cubba, Kubäa, කියුබාව, Kubë, கியூபா, క్యూబా, คิวบา, Kiupa, Küba, Cu-ba, Kubeän, Orílẹ́ède Kúbà, 古巴, i-Cuba

Join us:

FindPenguins for iOSFindPenguins for Android

Sign up now