Today, I’ll take you to visit the top attractions in Miami (it’s not the same as Miami Beach we’ve talked about here and there). We paid for a guided tour which includes a bus stop and a 1h30 boat ride. The whole thing lasts 4 hours. For 40$ per person.
This travel diary exists both in video version on YouTube and in blog version. The blog version is obviously more detailed, because I haven’t had fun doing the voice-over yet 😀
Part 1: Travel Diary Part
2: Practical Tips
Part 1: Travel Diary
A bus comes to pick us up and drop us off in front of another big bus. We must be about forty. The bus is fully air-conditioned, with large windows. As we leave Miami Beach, we have to cross a bridge, pass in front of the moored cruise ships. Here is a very satisfying view of the skyline
We continue towards the South towards Biscayne, before stopping for a photo stop.
We are then dropped off at the Little Havana district, which is still very American, with its parallel streets. Since Cuba isn’t that far from Miami, there are a lot of Cuban immigrants in the area.
The music in the cafes reminds us of Cuba. Some stores are decorated like in Havana. We are taken to see the making of “Cuban” cigars with imported ingredients we don’t know where, but a guy sits there to roll the cigars Vinales style (see our travel diary in Cuba here), that you can buy for 5$ each
Other stores sell more famous brands (Cohiba, Romeo & Juliet), twice as expensive as in Cuba.
We have not yet had the time to do anything that we have to leave already, the disadvantage of the collective tours …
This stop isn’t part of the program, as the bus only passes in front quickly. But we went there another day, by ourselves (2,5$/person by bus on the way there).
This part of the city, home to ugly warehouses, was transformed by visionary developer Tony Goldman. By inviting renowned artists and having obtained the city’s permission to decorate the walls, the neighborhood became hyper trendy. Tourists from all over the world come to admire the murals, which change very often, you won’t see the same thing every time you visit.
If you go there, stop at Stefano Versace Gelato, it’s very expensive (if I remember correctly 8$ for 2 balls) but it’s very good.
Back to our guided tour, we are dropped off near Bayside Marketplace. It is necessary to wait 30 minutes before the departure of the boat so we take the opportunity to make the tour of the port and its stores. At the port, I see with horror about ten tarpons (which are at least 1m long). If you buy fish to feed them, be very careful with your hands, they are able to jump (too) high.
We then take a boat much too small compared to the number of people on site. Explanations are given in English and Spanish, and we made a tour of the different islands full of celebrity houses. I don’t remember which house belongs to whom, but there were Will Smith, Shakira, Rihanna etc.
The largest house belongs to the inventor of the… Viagra. How amazing!
This boat tour doesn’t impress me too much, let’s say that the (very beautiful) houses overlook a kind of marina, where many boats pass by. What is the advantage of being so close to the ocean when you can’t swim there? And what’s the point of paying millions of dollars for hundreds of tourists to take pictures of YOU all day long, when you enjoy YOUR pool and YOUR garden?
At the end of the tour, the threatening clouds arrive and it’s the rain that awaits us.
Part 2: Practical Tips
The tour was not expensive (40$/person) but unfortunately it did not stop in Wynwood, the main point of interest in Miami. I advise you not to pay for a tour like us.
Visit Little Havana + Wynwood yourself (by bus or by taking an Uber). You can pay the bus in cash but make the extra charge because the driver will not be able to give you change (2,5$/person one way on the bus)
Then go to Bayside Marketplace. Many boat companies are on site, and boats leave regularly. You can see the houses of celebrities by boat for $28/person (+ taxes). Just be sure to go there a few hours before sunset (sailing after sunset is prohibited).