• America,  Country Guides,  Cuba,  During the World Tour,  TDM,  Tips,  Top Destinations

    Cuba in 27 days: Itinerary, assessment, guide (budget, transportation, accommodation, Internet, practical advice)

    We finished our world tour by Cuba. What a good decision! Cuba is one of our 5 countries, so authentic, beautiful, extraordinary. Discover our itinerary, budget and practical advice. Itinerary In 27 days, we could have pushed your trip to Santiago, but we prefer to stay in each city for a long time, being very tired after 11 months of moping. Healthy travelers will be able to do the same itinerary as us in 14-18 days. Here is our itinerary, but if we had to do it again, we would have done it in the following order (see the picture on the left) Havana => Matanzas (by train) => Varadero…

  • America,  Country Guides,  Cuba,  During the World Tour,  TDM,  Tips

    How to get around in Cuba? Bus Viazul, Transtur, cabs, collective cabs, routes, fares & schedules Viazul

    I asked myself a lot of questions before my trip to Cuba. I hope that the information provided below, in the form of Questions/Answers, will help you organize your trip. Following the feedback from my friends who have recently been to Cuba (2020), this information is always up to date. Yes, things are moving slowly in Cuba. In one sentence: don’t worry, transportation in Cuba is very, very easy. Part 1: Regional Transportation There are two bus companies that tourists take: Viazul, a state bus company; and Transtur, whose reservations are made through Cubanacan agencies (or hotels belonging to this group). Both companies are reliable, on time, and the buses…

  • America,  Cuba,  During the World Tour,  TDM,  Tips

    Our addresses of special casas in Cuba: Havana, Cienfuegos, Vinales, Varadero, Playa Giron, Playa Larga, Trinidad, Matanzas

    Here are the addresses of our special casas in Cuba. We do not recommend them all, so please read the “our opinion” section at the bottom of each casa. To learn more about casas particulares, how to find them, how it works, read our guide here. Havana: CASA CRISTO 461 Address : Calle Teniente Rey (Brasil) , Number 461, Entre Calles: Cristo y Bernaza Habana Vieja, CubaPropietario:Nancy y FidelTelefono:(+53) 7 8628227Movil: (+53) 5 249 5549Price :35CUC/night, doubleroomPossiblereservationvia :http://www.casahavanaparticular.com/havana-casa-particular-old-havana-habana-vieja-cristo-461.htmPaiement on site. Our opinion: Central location, hot water, nice view from our private balcony. English speaking owner. But owner not very friendly (or shy?). We have to ring every time to enter.…

  • America,  Cuba,  During the World Tour,  TDM,  Tips

    The 14 most popular scams in Cuba

    Cuba is among the top 5 of our favorite countries around the world. However, with the economic difficulties linked to the American embargo, the locals see tourists as a gold mine. In all the countries we went to, we paid the “tourist price” willingly. But where we usually pay 1.5, 2 or 3 times more, it isn’t uncommon in Cuba to pay 10 or 20 times more than the local rate. Even for “rich Europeans”, this quickly represents substantial amounts. Fortunately, Cuba has other charms to compensate for the inconveniences Here I will list the most popular “scams” in Cuba (some of them aren’t really “scams” but things to watch…

  • America,  Cuba,  During the World Tour,  TDM,  Tips

    Money, currency, exchange offices, budget: everything you need to know before going to Cuba

    What currencies should I take before going to Cuba? The euro, the pound sterling, the Canadian dollar… but not the US dollar which suffers a 10% penalty when exchanging. Americans are still hated here. Besides, American tourists say they are Canadian. Are credit/debit cards accepted? Yes in some restaurants, especially in Havana, but not in the special casas that will represent a big part of your budget in Cuba. Distributors are more and more numerous, especially in Havana. The exchange rate for distributors is the same as that applied in exchange offices. I withdrew money once in Cuba (and had a heart attack because the screen stayed unchanged for 20…

  • America,  Cuba,  During the World Tour,  TDM

    Internet access in Cuba, getting connected, phone card and other telecommunication info

    Internet in Cuba … ahhhhh you feel projected back to the time of AOL, where you had to save every minute, where you downloaded your email, logged out, wrote the answer, and reconnected just to send it. What you need to know is : (1) Forget 3G, it doesn’t exist ! Update 2020: yes there is! 3G exists and even 4G, but only locals have access to it for the moment(2) forget about unlimited Internet(3) be patient There are three ways to connect to Cuba : (1) Go to a hotel and pay for a 4.5 CUC/h wired connection at the business center at that hotel(2) Buy a 1.5CUC/h Wi-Fi…

  • America,  Cuba,  During the World Tour,  TDM,  Tips

    How do I find and book a Casa Particular in Cuba?

    How to find accommodation in Cuba? If the hotels exist, they aren’t numerous and are very expensive On a trip to Cuba, it is best, like everyone else, to go to special casas, which are like hotels, but run by private individuals. For the moment, apart from hotels and special casas, the government does not allow other types of accommodation (couchsurfing, home exchange etc.) There is no site that lists all the casas in Cuba. To find good casas, you can : Buy the Lonely Planet guide for Cuba Go to TripAdvisor and look at the top rated accommodations in the city Read blogs/travel diaries of other travelers. Among others,…

  • America,  Cuba,  During the World Tour,  TDM,  Tips

    Where to eat in Cuba: state restaurants, private restaurants or casas

    Having lived in Vietnam at the time of communism, when every family had a food book, I thought that in Cuba we also risked starving to death. But no! I offer you this guide in the form of Questions/Answers to reassure even the most greedy among you. Will I starve to death? Gone are the days when each person is entitled to x bananas and x apples. If food is still not plentiful, it can be bought at the supermarket or on the street, where vegetable vendors park their carts full of fruit/salad/onions. Cuba now has the right to import food and medicine. One can even drink Coca-Cola imported from…

  • America,  Argentina,  Bolivia,  Brazil,  Chile,  Cuba,  Our Itinerary,  Paraguay,  Peru,  TDM,  Tips,  Uruguay

    5 months in South America & Cuba: Itinerary & Transportation (Argentina, Chile, Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay, Brazil, Cuba)

    Update May 2017: Here is the latest version of our itinerary in South America, Cuba & the Caribbean. All that lasted 5 months… I found transportation a bit complicated to understand in South America, some border crossings are recently impossible (especially Los Antiguos – Chile Chico), I had to tear out a lot of hair to establish this itinerary. There are many land border crossings, especially between Chile and Argentina, make sure you have enough blank pages in your passport. Click on the button at the top left of the map below to access the list of destinations. CHILE Easter Island(round-the-world ticket) Santiago (round-the-world ticket) Punta Arenas (plane 160€/person) ARGENTINA…

  • America,  Cuba,  TDM,  Travel Journal

    Varadero and Matanzas (Cuba): the most beautiful beach in the world

    I am part of a travelers group on Facebook, and on this group, we can read, too often, “don’t go to Varadero, it’s too touristy”. Luckily I did not listen to this bad advice. It’s in Varadero where I could enjoy the most beautiful beach in the world ! ! Part 1: Travel Diary Part 2: Practical Tips Part 1: Travel Diary Day 1: Boca de Camarioca Our bus Viazul Trinidad -> Varadero leaves at 7am, hence our presence at the terminal from 6:15am to do the check-in (no check-in -> our tickets will be resold to other tourists at 6:30am). After a forced lunch break at 11am, we arrive…