Categories
Transport

Havana to Varadero: A Beautiful Day Trip

If you are visiting Cuba and you are staying in Havana it is very likely that you also want to enjoy some beach, and what better place than Varadero, that is why in this post we will show you how to make a beautiful day trip from Havana to Varadero.

Is it worth visiting Varadero?

Now, you may wonder, is it worth traveling to Varadero from Havana to enjoy a sunny day and a beach? And the answer is: No, there are several beaches in Havana, where you can surely enjoy the sun’s rays, bathe in the ocean and get a nice tan. But, if your question were: Is it worth traveling to Varadero to enjoy one of the most beautiful beaches in the world? So, in this case, the answer would be a resounding YES.

In addition to the dissimilar attractions that you can find in Varadero, such as Josone Park, Ambrosio Cave, or souvenir markets, the biggest attraction of the archipelago is undoubtedly its beautiful beach, whose waters are crystal clear Caribbean blue and the sand as white as flour, it is not surprising that Varadero beach has been selected as the second-best in the world, according to TripAdvisor.

How to go from Havana to Varadero?

There are several ways to go from Havana to Varadero, either by land, air or even sea, but in this post, I will talk only about the most viable, which is the land route.

To get to Varadero from Havana I advise you to do it either by taxi or bus, each one has its advantages and disadvantages, but as a summary, it should be noted that the main differences are in the price, comfort, and duration of the trip.

While the bus trip costs approximately $ 10 USD per person and it should be booked online several days in advance, traveling to Varadero from Havana by taxi costs around $ 120 CUC for up to 4 passengers and can be paid on-site the same day of the Transfer.

The team of Havana 60 Classic Cars Tours has a complete article where they describe with great precision all the details of how to go from Havana to Varadero in 2020, where they include, among other valuable information, bus pick-up location, departure itinerary of the buses, in addition, they have made an analysis of the hidden prices that the bus option has and of course, they also offer personalized Transfer and Tours Service to Varadero from Havana in Classic and Modern Cars.

What places to visit in Varadero

Varadero is a beautiful city, everything is so clean and well cared for that it leaves the context of Cuban reality, but not precisely because of this it is no longer an authentic Cuban city.

If you have decided to stay more than one day in Varadero and want to know several places of interest, in addition to its beautiful beaches, we recommend you not to miss some of the following:

Josone Park:

This is a beautiful place where you can come to find peace, the park is located near 54th Street and 1stt. Avenue, and besides having a lake that offers you a peaceful boat ride, there is also a great variety of bars and restaurants with an exquisite culinary selection, such as “El Dante” or “La Gruta”.

“Cueva de Ambrosio” and “Los Musulmanes”

It is a complex of several caves located one very close to the other. The Ambrosio cave, which is more than 200 years old, has been inhabited several times by Indians, pirates, and slaves and within its impressive galleries, you can find several pictographs that tell the story of the time.

For its part of the Cave of the Muslims, although quite similar in the number of galleries, this tells the story of a group of Cuban smugglers who called themselves The Muslims and they used the cave as a hiding place. In this cave, you can also find the remains of a prehistoric animal, as well as the place of an aboriginal burial.

Varadero Dolphinarium:

A dolphinarium is a wonderful place if you are traveling with the whole family, as both adults and children will surely enjoy direct contact with dolphins. And it is that in addition to the show, which is still amazing and in a very strange way to awaken in us a happiness and joy of the almost unparalleled moment, you can also have the opportunity to approach these beautiful creatures and make direct contact, to get a photo that is sure to be among your favorites and the most shared of all your social networks.

Categories
Alojamiento

Donde y como alojarte en La Habana, Casas Particulares, la mejor opcion!

La Habana es una ciudad bastante grande, y el hospedaje como parte vital de la programación de viaje, tiene muchas opciones para elegir, entre las cuales se encuentran los alojamientos en casas o apartamentos de particulares, quienes ofrecen muy buenas condiciones de acomodamiento, seguridad y precio.

Con una ganancia ocasional, y es el de estar en contacto más personal con su gente y cultura. Este detalle permite sentirse en plena confianza de hacer preguntas y despejar dudas sobre sitios de interés, y de cómo aprovechar los tiempos para explorar la hermosa arquitectura cubana, restaurantes, museos, paseos, etc.

Al tratarse directamente con los dueños de estos alojamientos se facilita negociar, regatear o pedir rebaja en sus precios, que en definitivamente son muy bajos. Aunque se debe manejar el tema con prudencia teniendo en cuenta que ellos deben cancelar impuestos al gobierno.

Al ingresar como huésped, debes presentar tu pasaporte y firmar tu registro en un libro de control que manejan en cada lugar.

El tema de la alimentación depende de tus gustos personales o requerimientos de dieta, está la alternativa de negociar con ellos algunas comidas, sino que todas, pero se recomienda aclarar bien qué tipo de alimentación es la ofrecida, tú decides.

Existen muchas opciones de casas, apartamentos y habitaciones particulares,  Para reservar se debe tener en cuenta que sean casas de renta legales las cuales se identifican por tener un logo azul en la puerta, que dice “Arrendador divisa”,  ya que son lugares con experiencia en el servicio.

Por lo general siempre hay disponibilidad, pero en el caso contrario el mismo propietario  puede aconsejar o referenciar a qué otro lugar te puedes dirigir.

Este servicio se ha hecho tan popular debido al sistema de voz a voz que se ha extendido a nivel mundial y entre los turistas con objetivos tan claros como lo son visitar sitios tan ricos en historia y cultura del Caribe.

En cuanto al detalle más importante, la seguridad, no hay nada que temer, todos los sitios en oferta son totalmente seguros, cada habitación cuenta con su propio cerrojo, e incluso algunos cuentan con caja de seguridad.

Otra garantía de la seguridad que hay en la ciudad, es que incluso puedes cancelar al llegar al sitio elegido.

La moneda que se utiliza para extranjeros es el CUC, es más o menos el equivalente al Dólar, siendo ésta la más aceptada en la isla.


 

 Podemos decir con certeza que:

  • Si vas por La Habana no tendrás problemas en conseguir alojamiento.
  • Existen muchas opciones de hospedaje, casas, apartamentos y habitaciones.
  • Precios muy cómodos y accesibles para todos.
  • Es importante evaluar el incluir o no la alimentación.
  • En cuanto a la seguridad no hay que preocuparse.
  • No por ser económico el hospedaje en casas particulares, es de menor calidad los recintos, siendo en su gran mayoría muy  cómodos y aseados para cubrir muy bien sus requerimientos.
  • Incluir o no la alimentación es una alternativa.
  • Lo mejor serás atendido por su propietario, que siempre es un ser cálido y amable.
Categories
Accommodation

Where and how to stay in Havana, Casas Particulares, the best choice!

Havana is a fairly large city, and accommodation as a vital part of travel programming has many options to choose from, including accommodation in private homes (casas particulares) or apartments, which offer very good conditions of accommodation, security, and price.

With an occasional gain, and is to be in more personal contact with their people and culture.

This detail allows you to feel confident asking questions and clearing doubts about places of interest, and how to take advantage of the time to explore the beautiful Cuban architecture, restaurants, museums, walks, etc.
Walking the streets of Havana

By dealing directly with the owners of these accommodations it is easier to negotiate, bargain or ask for a reduction in their prices, which are definitely very low.

Although the issue should be handled with caution considering that they must pay taxes to the government. Upon entering as a guest, you must present your passport and sign your registration in a control book that they handle in each place.

The subject of food depends on your personal tastes or diet requirements, there is the alternative of negotiating with them some meals, but it is recommended to clarify well what type of food is offered, is up to you.

There are many options for houses, apartments and private rooms.

To book you must take into account that they are legal rent houses which are identified by having a blue logo on the door, which says “Arrendador divisa “, as they are legal places with experience in the service.

Arrendador Divisa logo

Usually, there is always availability, but if they don’t have a room available, the owner can advise or reference another nice place like this to stay.

This service has become so popular due to the voice-to-voice system that has spread worldwide and among tourists with clear objectives such as visiting sites so rich in Caribbean history and culture.

In terms of the most important detail, security, there is nothing to fear, all the places on offer are completely safe, each room has its own lock, and even some have a safe.

Another guarantee of security in the city is that you can even cancel when you arrive at the chosen site.

The currency mostly used by foreigners is the CUC, it is more or less the equivalent to the Dollar, being this the most accepted one in the island.
CUC Cuban Currency

We can certainly state that:

  • If you go through Havana, you will not have problems getting accommodation.
  • There are many lodging options, houses, apartments and rooms.
  • Very comfortable and accessible prices for everyone.
  • It is important to evaluate whether or not to include food.
  • Regarding security, there is no need to worry.
  • Not for being cheap the lodging in particular houses, is of lower quality, being in its great majority very comfortable and neat to cover your requirements very well.
  • Including the food or not is an alternative.
  • The best part, you will be attended by its owner, who is always a warm and friendly person.
Categories
Currency

The Currency in Cuba and the Currency Exchange

Currently in Cuba, there is a duality of currency. The official currencies are the Cuban Pesos (CUP) and the Cuban Convertible Pesos (CUC). Although making a bit of history, monetary duality arose in the era of the Neo-Republic in Cuba. By 1914 when the Cuban peso began to coexist with the US dollar. Until in 1948, with the creation of the National Bank of Cuba, Cuban peso was established as a single currency.

In the early 1990s, there was a strong deterioration of the Cuban economy, as a result of the fall of the socialist camp and the sharp upsurge of the special period. The value of the Cuban peso was devalued and the dollar began to circulate, which was quoted at very high rates, up to 150 Cuban pesos. It was then that in December 2004, the dollar was out of circulation by a decision of the government, although it was not banned, its role was assumed by the CUC, also called “chavito”, whose unit has since been bought 25 Cuban pesos.

As part of the economic reforms implemented after Raul Castro took power, the unification of the Cuban Peso with the convertible peso was announced on December 20, 2013, in order to leave a single currency as legal tender, an aspect that has not yet been resolved In the country although some steps have been taken.

The CUC convertible peso is the main currency used by tourists although it is also used by Cubans to make purchases at stores operating at CUC, which is quoted at parity of one dollar, CUC in Cuba is set at a fixed rate of US $ 1 = 1CUC, so the value of the CUC is approximately US $ 1.03 because Cuban banks will always carry a commission of around 3% when they give CUC, either by exchanging cash, checks Travel, or using a credit card at an ATM or a withdrawal of funds in advance. The rate is set by the Cuban government and is subject to change at any time. It is important to note that the change from US dollars to convertible pesos is subject to a 10% tax; While the exchange to other currencies such as Euros, pounds or Canadian dollars are free of that tax.

The Cuban Peso – CUP or National Currency is commonly used by Cubans to pay for state services, has a value of approximately 1CUC = 24CUP and in the case of foreign visitors can also be used if they so wish, it is worth noting that In most shops in Cuba the CUC is accepted at a rate of around 24CUP = 1CUC.

Money change in Cuba: There are many exchange offices (CADECAS) spread throughout Cuba. Its function is simply to exchange money, it can be done both from foreign currency to CUC, and from CUC to National Currency (CUP), although its rates are higher than those of the bank, are more accessible to people.

Other places where you can exchange money:

In the Banco de Cuba it is possible to carry out currency exchange in a safe and easy access and the exchange rate applied is the most generous, although it has as a difference that banks can not exchange money for national currency. If you want National Currency, you have to use a CADECA.

Most hotels in Cuba have small change offices near the reception.
Anyone can use it so they are not reserved only for hotel guests, although in this case, the changes are less favorable. For example, if you are exchanging $ 100 USD you could get 87 CUC, or even 84 CUC from a hotel CADECA according to your luxury category. This rate also applies to exchange offices located at airports.

Credit Cards: Although the Cuban economy works mainly with cash, credit and debit cards are accepted, and you can pay with them at resorts and ATMs. The most common are Visa and Mastercard. In this regard, it is important to keep in mind that when you want to withdraw money from a cashier using a credit card the amount to withdraw first will be converted into US dollars and then a 3% surcharge will apply. For example, if you want to withdraw 100 CUC, your account will be charged 103 USD.

It is important to note that credit or debit cards issued in the United States of America are not allowed in Cuba. And they do not work in the ATMs, nor in any business.

If you decide to make a trip to Cuba with cash the best exchange can be obtained in the banks and CADECA. It may be more convenient to carry Canadian dollars, euros, sterling pounds or Swiss francs, whose type of Change does not include the tax applied to the US dollar.

To know the exchange rate in Cuba of the Cuban peso against other currencies, you can visit the website of the Central Bank of Cuba.