Being a first timer in Cuba, We didn’t make plans to stay overnight in Havana( we wanted to be familiar first with the area and maybe on our next visit we will stay right in the heart of Havana).Instead we decided to just go for a day trip which they offer at the hotel. They have so much activities to do and less hassle to book on your own outside the resorts. Prices are very affordable, surely if you’re planning on staying for a week or so which most people does, you’re never gonna run out of activities to do ( they have a night tour in Havana which includes some samba club, they also have safari adventures, which we were supposed to do but ran out of time. They also have snorkelling, catamaran and Island hopping) . You can book it either thru sunwing.ca or just when you arrive at your hotel, which I recommend more than booking online because you can ask for a better deal and discounts when you’re getting two or more activities. ( Don’t forget to ask for discount!ok?) they also have brochures and people from the travel agency to help you.
We left Varadero around 8am. We were picked up by our Tour Guide Ricardo with our tour bus. On our way he explained most of the history of Cuba, mostly about Varadero and Havana (we also got lectured why americans weren’t allowed in Cuba but hey starting next year americans are allowed to do businesses over in Cuba, which surely will help the economy) . He was talking the whole time during our trip, now thats a hard job! I’m a talker myself but I can’t go on for hours like he does. The trip from Varadero to Havana is about 2 hours and half.
The view on our way was beautiful, endless beachside water on my side. I love road trips. I find it very therapeutic.
I took a nap for an hour or so and when I woke up we finally reached Old Havana.
It was around 11:30 am when we reached our first destination, Our lunch venue was at Los Doce Apostoles at the foot of El Morro, Where they sell cigars and rums to take home to your loved ones back home or for your own consumption( which most people did.ha!).
For a moment I felt like I was actually in Spain. People chattering in Spanish. the warmth of the sunshine on my face, that seaside smell.
After lunch we headed to El Morro.
Believe it or not I got this sunglasses from Dollarama for $1. You’ll be surprised what you can find in that store!
Dress: Forever 21 Bag: Carla Sta.Cruz
From above El Morro, you could see the Old Havana from the other side.
From here, We were greeted by a local band who was singing something in Spanish about me because I was recording them the whole time. lol ( press play to feel the experience)
After El Morro, we went to Old Havana to start our day tour.
Our bus stopped to this famous hotel with Che Guevara’s face. located at Plaza de la Revolución
Where you can find a lot of the tourist buses as well as the famous car’s from 1950’s , which unbelievably still in good condition used by the locals. ( most of this car was from the Era of Che Guevara and Fidel Ramos, they never imported anything after from the U.S. you can actually feel like you were back in 50’s having everything stuck since then.)
After the Plaza, We headed to the inner streets of Old Havana, We also did money exchange here which is better than the rate in our hotel, so keep that in mind next time you’re visiting.
You could see how much french influence they have thru the construction and design of their buildings. Everywhere you look its beautiful.
Following our tour guide Ricardo, ( not really) I wasn’t paying much attention to what he was saying that I forgot where I was, thats right I am in the middle of a tour inside a museum, which we weren’t allowed to take photos, I don’t know why but the guard said we had to pay to take photos. I still did but I made sure I didn’t get caught. ( ok kids don’t copy this act!)
After the tour inside the museum. We were greeted by street vendors selling from anything knick knacks to portraits of Che Guevara, books and old style cameras.
and lots of Autobiography of Che Guevara
Strolling around Old Havana, we encountered a lot of foreign street food.
This one is one for US $1 a piece, a coconut meat coated with fried sugar. looks tempting.
A taxi pedicab. I see these a lot in Asia too.
Fresh coconut juice with a Man dancing Samba on the side. Mostly everyone were dancing on the street near a place/restaurants playing samba music.
After being curious on their street food looking for which one I should try. I settled for a local ice cream served on a coconut shell for only US$1
I picked the coco glaze.
It was a really big serving, good for two-three people.
I also seen and met some of the locals.
People you only see on a travel magazines.
We made our last stop at St.Francis Square.
where I met few local little boys playing football.
and two fortune teller chikas.
It was definitely a beautiful experience coming down to Havana, Maybe on our next visit we will go and stay for few days in Havana. We left Havana around 5pm. Boy I was sleeping all the way till we reached our resort around 7pm. After that we enjoyed our dinner at the buffet area. Had a few drinks and went to bed early.
I still have two more days left for Cuba.