Thursday, 15 September 2011

Cuba




If you lived in Cuba in the 1950’s and had a time travelling device to fast forward to today, you will never tell the difference because of its vintage beauty.
We started the trip by visiting the Old Havana, probably the most picturesque city in Latin America. You will fall in love with the city; its brick road peppered with vintage cars that lead up to huge wooden doors of stores that sell old books alongside Che Guevarra merchandises, gives you a feel of the 1950s that's still present in the city.


Here are some photos taken in Old Havana:
Inside the Morro Castle

After Visiting Morro Castle we hed down to Plaza de Armas, also located in Old Havana.
The Most Exciting  place to see in Old Havana. During the day the square is frequented by second hand booksellers, and at night entertainers, street performers, and restaurant bars to celebrate the night away.
Plaza de Armas
Havana Club. Here you can buy T-shirts, Rum, Postcards and everything about Havana.
The Rum Museum also located inside the Havana Club.
After Visiting some of the Sites of Old Havana, we ate our lunch at one of the most famous restaurant bars in Havana, 'El Floridita bar'. The Bar is famous for having been one of the favourite hangouts of Ernest Hemingway in Havana.

Statue of  Ernest Hemingway
Yes, I'm part of a local band.
After lunch, we went to the other side of Havana, 'Modern Havana'. We visited the Revolution Square or Plaza de Revolucion, where many political rallies take place.

Che Guevarra
Fidel Castro
We continued to one of the main highlights of our tour, we witnessed the historical  “Canonazo Ceremony” where in 18th century firing the cannon signals the closing down of the harbor doors.


The cannon firing became a tourist display, a re-enaction of the ritual of the Spanish times. They fire not an actual canon ball, but to recreate the sound like firing a real canon ball, this happens every 9pm. I like how the Cubans entertain their audience, they create anticipation and excitement to the crowd.
Marching slowly to the top of the wall, getting ready for the Ceremony.

On the 2nd day of our trip. We went to Vinalles another city in Cuba.

We visited the famous Tobacco Factory - Partagas where Cuba makes the most finest Cigars and make their tobaccos.
After the tabacco factory, we visited the Mural of Pre-history paintings reproduced on the ancient rocks of the island with a size of 39 feet high x 59 feet wide in the cliffs of Vinales.



Then we continued  our tour to Cueva del Indio and experienced a boat ride on the underground  river.



A short 15 minute boat ride, but the experience is a lifetime full of lasting memories.

After spending almost the whole day in Vinales, we head back to our hotel in Havana to prepare for the Tropicana Show.


The best part of my stay in Cuba is watching and experiencing The Tropicana show! This is a must see when in Cuba for its famous cabaret and show of sensual latin music and dance.


They also have a dress code. You must be wearing formal attire, anything other than that they won't allow you to get inside. The show is also pricey, entrance with cocktail and dinner will cost  about $85.00 not including taking pictures. There is also a fee for taking pictures, bringing a camera inside will cost you $5.00 and if you have a video cam $15.00.



Everyone gets a free Cigar








The show was fantastic, an unforgettable experience.

After seeing the sights and sounds of what Havana has to offer, we head to Varadero.
Its like there Boracay of the Philippines.  We stayed at the luxury Iberostar Laguna Azul Resort, one of the most elegant and largest resort areas in the Caribbean. 

They have a saying when you stay in this resort 'Everything is FREE, except the ladies'
Yes its true, everything is free. Experience Unlimited food and drinks. They also have tons of things to do besides going to the beach. The staff do well during the day to entertain the people, they perform magic acts and ask random people to participate. They also have small bands on from time to time. and of course who can forget the discos.
Varadero Beach



Nice Magic trick. Watch the red ball.



Night life

After a night of fun of entertainment, we decided to spend our last day in the old city of Havana for last minute shopping and a tour that we missed out.


We went inside the Faro Castillo del Morro or the Lighthouse of Cuba its located inside the Fortress. Inside the fortress You can also find  pictures of Che Guevarra, archives of books and Old weapons.





Here we are again in Old Havana. For last minute shopping.

1950's Buicks, Fords and Pontiacs peppered the streets of Cuba.

Old streets of havana. the Cathedral Square
What to buy:
1. The Famous Cuban Cigars - Cuban cigars are very expensive you can buy it in the store. If your entering US territory, immigration might confiscate it. So keep it in your check-in luggage.
2. Che Guevarra Merchandise - Che guevarra T-shirts, Caps, Postcards and other items are being sold everywhere.
3. Musical Instruments - For $15 you can get a bargain to get the whole set
BONGOS                             CLAVES                        GUIRO                         MARACAS
4. Magnets
5. Paintings
6. 2nd hand books


Fun Facts i picked up:

  • Tourists in Cuba are the vacation haven for Canadians and Europeans
  • Cuba is famous around the world for making top quality Cigars
  • In my opinion they make the best Pinacoladas
  • Crime rate is very low and is considered one of the safest countries in latin america.
  • Old Havana is declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO.
  • One of the main transportation of the locals is Hitchhiking.

Join us on our next tour to Cuba on April 17, 2012, please visit our company’s website at www.tourorganizers.com and add us on Facebook. www.facebook.com/tourorganizers
or contact me at (632)5248867, darell_ordonez@yahoo.com.  Hope you can join me on my next adventure!


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