All tourism in Cuba is political
Published: 15/02/2017

Like it or not the Cuban political regime, it is impossible not to have contact with it when visiting the country. It's a fact that the population does not talk much about politics - they talk more about economics than anything - but as the tourist goes on to discover that everything belongs to the government and how things are organized there, politics is present all the time .

But the truth is that it does not matter at all, especially if you do not agree with the country's regime. It will not do any diference during your visit. If you are one of those that like it, you will have the opportunity to be in touch with the history, characters and fundamental places to the country's past.

We spent only one week in Cuba and found it to be not enough time to know everything we wanted. We visited the cities of Havana, Vinã Del Mar, Vinãles, Trininad, Santa Clara and Varadero. Our whole stay was arranged by Cubalinda and everything went super well. We chose to stay in family houses to have a richer experience, and the agency took care of everything for us. We strongly recommend their work.

The city has an incredible atmosphere: it seems that every day is a celebration and the population in general is quite cheerful. The weather is hot (we visited the island in December, winter for them, but temperatures went up from 30 ° C every day), as well as music and smiles. With the exception of the employees at Jose Marti airport in Havana, all the Cubans we met were very friendly.

Havana is full of historic buildings, charming streets, restaurants and the famous Malecón, the waterfront promenade, which really is very beautiful and must be visited. Walking the streets of the city is easy and you do not need maps all the time. What's interesting is discovering known spots such as the Capitol, England and Florida hotels, some hidden churches and a few craft shops. Incidentally, this is basically all the trade existing in the country: craft stores.

Most restaurants are super-touristic, especially since Cubans are not financially able to eat out - prices are too high for the local population. One tip: avoid the famous Bodeguita Del Medio, world famous for the period that the writer Ernest Hemingway passed in Havana. Besides being very crowded, prices are twice as high as anywhere else in the city.

It is worth just passing by and taking a photo. If you like beer, it is worth visiting the town's only brewpub, called Old Timber Store and El Tabaco. The beer was nothing much, but at least it is produced there in the space itself and is served super fresh. In the Museum of Revolution there are objects of all kinds, newspaper clippings and images telling the story of Fidel Castro and his companions. The most surprising is the Granma, the yacht used by the revolutionaries to travel from Mexico to Cuba in 1956, initiating the revolution.

The city we limes the most . It reminds many historical cities of Brazil, such as Ouro Preto and Parati, but with a very own charm. The city basically lives on tourism and is very crowded - at least on the days we were there. Just like Havana - in fact, like in the whole country - there is music everywhere and many restaurants for tourists.

Another common thing: the craft shops with wooden products and many clothes, especially hats and the famous guayberas, the traditional Cuban shirts with four pockets in the front. We stayed in a family home and we were extremely well treated by all.

Despite the general simplicity, they made sure of serving a hearty breakfast with breads, cold cuts, eggs, fruit and arepas, a fried chocolate pastry covered with honey, a delight. At all times they asked if everything was okay and they helped us with everything we needed.

After seeing the city, which is quite small, there was time left to go to the beach. Ancón is about 30 minutes drive from the center of Trinidad. There is the perfect picture of a Caribbean beach: blue water, incredibly blue, no waves, white sand and no cloud in the sky. It makes you want to stay there forever.

The beach was not very crowded and there are kiosks that rent chairs and sell drinks and food. One tip: go in the late afternoon to watch a wonderful sunset having a drink, whatever it is. The image will never come out of your head again.

It was not our main objective, but everyone commented that we should include Varadero in our trip . If regret would kill. . . Of course it is interesting to stay on the beach doing nothing, but that is not Cuba.

The city is full of luxury hotels and resorts. Not that this is a problem, but it is not the reality of the country and we believe there are other more interesting beaches in the Caribbean to see, so if you go to Cuba, invest your time in getting to know the historical and important cities.

We stayed in an all inclusive hotel, something we did not like very much, but that's okay. What is most impressive is the abundance of food. In the rest of the country, restaurants have few options on the menu, but there they have everything : assorted meats, salads, cheeses, breads, ice cream, cakes, fruits and so on.

It is a huge contradiction to go to a roadside government restaurant, for example, where there are only two types of sandwiches, and to come to Varadero and come across the abundance and variety of food that is offered to tourists.

The only thing worth going to Varadero was diving into the corals. What a wonderful experience! The place where we went is full of coral formations and it is not necessary to take a boat, since it is about 100 meters from the beach. Everyone could swim to get there. In addition to the corals themselves, the water is totally transparent and there is a huge diversity of fish. It is well worth diving if you are in town.


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