Tag Archives: Cuba

Havana, Cuba

12 May

There might be some mixed feelings with people visiting Cuba.

I am well aware of the hardship the Cubans have gone, and still go through.  The pain, the struggle, not able to see family for a long time, not being able to go back to home.  Of course I don’t agree with any of these, and my heart goes out to them.  I completely understand why some do not agree with us going there but, here is the other side…  in no particular order.

* Curiosity – This is a place that was banned for years.  Forbidden, closed, that we only were able to see by what leaked through TV or by what our friends told us about it.  So, of course once we’re allowed to go, we would want to.  It’s human nature.

* History – So much has happened in Cuba, and all has been kept almost untouched.

* Travel in time – Again, since so little from the “outside” world has touched Cuba, it’s like they are stuck in time.  Something I appreciated, since a lot reminded me of my home Puerto Rico, and helped me imagine it as it might have been years ago, maybe during my Grandmother’s time.

* The People – Beautiful, friendly, hospitable, happy.  I loved talking to all I encounter, comparing our islands, our Spanish, our accents, our food…  It was a breath of fresh air to be around people with similar culture to mine.  I would not trade these conversations and smiles for anything.

* The Ocean – just like In PR, the ocean has a distinct smell of Home.

* The Food – This is always an important part in my trips.  We do have similar dishes but the condiments, names and preparation are somewhat different.  It’s great experiencing these and maybe even incorporate in the dishes I already know.

* The Music – Salsa is a must in Cuba.  Listen and dance it!

Instead of staying at a hotel, we opted for an AirBnb. close to El Malecón, we would walk to most places.


After seeing the house, and leaving all our things, we headed out and walked blocks until we found a bar.  The setting was interesting, like a church, with ocean view.

Out first drink, you guessed it, a Cuba Libre.  The breeze and the view were amazing, so we stayed for a second one.


With reservations for dinner that night, we went back to get ready.

The restaurant La Concordia has outside seating on the 3rd floor, giving this a “rooftop” vibe.  LEDs that change color are placed on each table.  Great for a date or any type of gathering.


Saturday was my favorite day.  We started with a city tour in antique cars, which they call “Máquinas”.  Convertible, 1950 – 1960s cars, colorful and absolutely beautiful.



Several stops, plus conversation with the drivers/ tour guides, give you a good amount of information of the island, history, and culture.


Walking tour was next, which took us to “Plaza de Armas”, some Plazas, what would be considered “downtown”.  Also got to see where Hemingway drank “


Rum tour was interesting, and ended with a shot.  And while we waited for our driver, we were at the bar enjoying some live Salsa music and dancing.  What can be better than that?


A quick stop at Sloppy Joes and then off to dinner.

Dinner was a treat!  We went to  where they do Dinner and a Show with members of the Buena Vista Social Club.

The highlight here is the show…  Song after song, with incredible voices and entertaining personalities.  They make you dance, laugh, and even go on stage!  They include everyone in the audience, even singing part of songs from the countries visiting that night.​​

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Still dancing with all the songs stuck in our heads, we found a promoter who guided us to different clubs around the area.  My favorite of the night was Cafe Tin Tin.   Live music, good drinks, dance space.  Real fun!


Next morning, and last day.  We decided to walk around one last time to take in all the beautiful views one last time.


Our AirBnb hosts were there to see us off, not without a hug first and wishing us safe travels and to come back soon.

Cuba is beautiful, so are the people…  So much to see and do… So happy I got the opportunity to experience it.

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