Road trip: from Havana to Holguin
2 weeks | October 2015 (low season)| road trip | with partner
Travel guides: lonely planet Cuba and the rough guide Cuba
Car rental: cuba-cars – you should book in advanced cause rental cars are limited in Cuba. When on site to rent the car you should check the car and the spare tire before you leave.
Domestic flight: Holguin to Havana with Cubana de Aviacon. Better book it before you leave for Cuba (limited wireless lan and the prices go up). We booked directly on the Cubana website it is the cheapest way.
casa particular: you can try to book online (I didn’t receive any answers)
we didn’t book any in advance, but because the situation is changing tremendously at the moment I would advice you to do so.Be prepared that wireless Lan is rare in Cuba.
We spend here 2 nights: A busy, grid city, we didn’t get a connection to it. Since distances are long in the cuban capital, I would recommend to stay in a casa particulares in the old town of Havana.
Things to do in Havana
# eat some pasta at “Wandas“ that’s in the old city and have a nice conversation with the owner of the place
# visit the Museum of the Revolution (around 1.5 hours)
# take the “Hop On Hop Off bus” (price: 10 €)
# have a drink (or two) in the old center hotel „Ambos Mundos„
# Visit the Cigar factory. Best time to go is early there in the morning – and buy the tickets beforehand in the hotel.
Parque Nacional Cienaga de Zapata
Good for bird watching, visit the natural preserve center, there are guides who offer a private tour (around 20 € for 2 to 3 hours)
Bahia de Cochinos
It’s a very good spot for snorkeling
Playa Giron (one night)
Is good for an overnight stay, because there are many casa particulares.
Really nice was the empty beach: Playa Coco – just ask the locals to get there.
Is a city on the southern coast of Cuba. Sadly it was just„another grid city“ in our eyes – so we didn’t connected with this city either.
La Boca is 15 minutes south from Playa Ancon (one night), you find lots of nice casa particulares. Playa Ancon itself is a nice beach but not a super highlight.
Stunning waterfall, you can swim there and it is a beautiful natural area (entrance around 10 €). The nature you see is gorgeous but be careful: it is a looong journey up on the top of the mountain and be ready with a car that has enough power!
Is a town in the northern coastal region of the island. It is agood place to stay overnight, we stayed here one night, in the village you find a lot casas.
Playa la Herradura
We spend here 2 nights: If you are looking for lonely white beaches: there you will find them. In the small village you find a few casa particulares and fish restaurants but not many other tourists. But it is a long drive getting there!
W spend here 3 nights: A touristic place with nice white beaches, therefore you’ll find a lot of all inclusive resorts. It is a very good place for snorkeling: best in front of the Club Amigo Atlantico. At the Guardalavaca beach is a diving center: I made my first diving there 3 hours “first dive trip” 30 €; diving 2 trips 60 €.
so what am I thinking about this trip?
The beaches are beautiful and the nature enchanting.
The traveling was exciting but very exhausting, cause the streets are old and driving carefully is important. So for 30 kilometers you can drive for more than one hour.
The Cubans are very helpful and relaxed people. The idea of the casa particulares makes it easy to find a place to sleep.
We didn’t book our casas in advance, but Cuban tourism is changing so I think and read it’s gets more and more necessary to book it early enough. The same situations you have with the rental cars- they are limited and, we were actually lucky to get one two weeks before we departed to Cuba.
The food in Cuba is nothing special – sure also and because of the political situation (embargo) in the country: the range of products is very very limited.
Overall it was an interesting trip, but – because of the bad infrastructure and limited food options – there also with some “minus”points on the pros and cons list too.