E-MAIL Get yours in most hotels, many Internet offices now 200 hundred locations in Cuba. Internet debit cards available from Etecsa and usable in other locations on the island - in 30 days max. Anyway, most connected casa owners will let you use their computer to get your messages with limited bandwidth : messages only, not the Web.
GO WEST : MOUNTAINS, VALLEYS & CAYOS
Road map to Soroa, Las Terrazas, Cayo Jutias, Cayo Levisa, Cabo San Antonio, Maria La Gorda Here
GO EAST, TO THE BEACHES
The famous Beaches del Este await where most Habaneros flock in summer Here in Guanabo
GAY TOUR GUIDE
English-speaking Cuban University student offers tours : "This is not an escort service (...) my parents would kill me." Yunior's page here GAY BARS Cafetería 23 y P Calle 23, corner P; San Lázaro No. 8A San Lázaro No. 8A, between Prado & Cárcel.
CANADIAN CULTURE FAQ
How to organize an art event, make a donation, an internship or studies. Check it out here, eh ?
URBAN FARMING EXPERTISE
Who can I contact about urban farming in Cuba ? Answer on this havanatimes.org column here
HAVANA IN THE 30'S ?
Wot ? You wasn't even born ! Check this video.
HOW CUBA SURVIVED THE PEAK OIL CRISIS
A revealing 53-minute video about the involuntary (Russia dumped Cuba) eco agriculture advances of Cuba making true the old adage : Necessity is the Mother of Invention and The Power of Community. LINK : YouTube
In Cuba, the game of baseball (beisbol or pelota) is still played the old-fashioned way and that is better, according to aficionado Peter Bjarkman Wall Street Journal video. See Bjarkman's web site > here <
Mariela Castro Espin leading 400-strong parade holding an Obama sign saying "give me five now" (refering to the Cuban Five) in May 2012
Conga in support of gay rights
on the streets of La Habana taking place every month of May since 2009. The organizer of the event is Mariela Castro, niece of Fidel, daughter of Raul and Sierra Maestra combatiente Vilma Espin and GM of Cenesex (sex information institution). Link to video excerpt. Homophobia Is the Problem, Not Gays Link to AP article quoting Mariela Castro on her father's stance here
One million music and peace aficionados
overflowed the Plaza de la Revolucion for the Paz sin Fronteras concert on September 21 2009 : Silvio Rodríguez and Los Van Van, Porto Rican merengue star Olga Tañon, Spanish crooner Miguel Bosé, New York latin-funk group Yerba Buena and hip-hop trio Orishas among others. Video excerpt on click.
MAIN AREAS Habana Vieja (Plaza de Armas, Plaza Vieja, Plaza San Francisco), Centro Habana (Barrio Chino, Capitolio, Malecon, Prado), Vedado (Cementerio de Colon, La Rampa, Malecon, Nuevo Vedado, Plaza de la Revolución) and west, beyond the Almendares river : Miramar/Playa (Convention Centre, Marina Hemingway, Atabey, Barlovento, Bélen, Buenavista, Cubanacán, Flores, Kohly, Nautico, Siboney). OTHER MUNICIPIOS & REPARTOS East of town, across the bay : Regla, Casablanca, Cojímar, Guanabacoa, Habana del Este (Alamar, Antonio Guiteras, Celimar, Ciudad Panamericano, Tarará) ; Further east : Playas del Este (Boca Ciega, El Megano, Guanabo, Santa Maria del Mar, Santa Maria Loma) ; West, across the Almendares river : Marianao (Ciudad Libertad, La Paz, Pogolotti, Zamora) ; South : Parque Lenin (Arroyo Naranjo, Boyeros, Calabazar, El Globo, Fontanar, and José Marti airport in Rancho Boyeros) including the Botanical Gardens (Jardin Botanico Celia Sanchez Manduley), neighbouring Parque Lenin as well as Parque Zoologico and Expo Cuba (Trade Fairgrounds) See our page here.
DISTANCIAS HAVANA IS BEEG Aeropuerto José Martí, 15 km (15-20cuc fare to centre)
Artemisa, 60 Road map
Cojimar, 10 Our section here
Las Terrazas, 40 Road map Our page here
Mariel, 45 Road map
Playa Baracoa, 27 Our section here
Playas del Este, Guanabo, 25 Our page here
San Antonio de Los Baños, 35
Santa Maria del Rosario, 19
Soroa, 65 Road map Our page here
Surgidero de Batabanó, 56 (ferry to Isla de la Juventud, Isle of Youth, Isle of Pines - Nueva Gerona) Island road map Our page here
¡Alerta!, an exhibition of posters taking place in Habana Vieja in Spring 2013. Title reminds older Habaneros of their state of mind during the 1961 Bahia de Cochinos (Bay of pigs) invasion by Cuban exiles looking to take more US dollars out of Cuba.
"Bus travel in Havana is generally a bitch, but for visitors who speak Spanish, I suggest taking at least one to eavesdrop : there is probably no more effective way to take the pulse of the population than to listen to a busload of Habaneros quibble and kvetch." Click for large bus route map. Conner Gorry who has lived in New York and San Francisco before settling here in her blog > Here is Havana
Scene from Chico and Rita, by Oscar-winning director Fernando Trueba and designer Javier Mariscal. The Oscar-nominated feature length animation was "shot" entirely in Havana, as well as New York, Las Vegas, Hollywood and Paris in the late 1940s and early '50s. An homage to Bebo Valdes (1918-2013), father of musician Chucho Valdés.
HAVANA'S LARGE OPEN SPACES Parque Lenin (645 hectares, amusement park Parque Mariposa, horse and rowboat rentals, lake, restaurants, rodeos) borders the Botanical Gardens (600 hectares, 4,000 species, 140,000 plants), the Zoological Park (500 hectares, 145,000 trees from 75 varieties) and Expo Cuba (fairgrounds on 48 hectares, 34 pavillons), Club de Golf de La Habana (18 holes (2 x 9), BBQ, restaurant, bar, swimming pool).
Parque Lenin is located 15 km south of the Plaza de la Revolucion : a 15-20cuc taxi ride or take the 174 bus to Vibora and connect to the 88 guagua. Google Map here
TIP # 3 MONEDA NACIONAL ::: PRIVATE TAXIS ::: JALOPIES "Get around in private taxis. 6,000 choferes in Havana have applied for the freelance license; 2,000 have been granted. For 10 pesos cubanos (about 0.40 USD), you can hail endearing jalopies (Pontiacs, Capone-era Dodges and other ‘Yank tanks’) between Playa and Vedado or Habana Vieja, out to Miramar or Marianao.
"Longer routes from Habana Vieja out to the Playas del Este (Guanabo) beaches for example will run double (0.80 USD). To grab one, just stick out your arm parallel to the ground and ask the driver if he’s going to where you need to be.
"It helps to be on the right thoroughfare : 23 or Línea in Vedado, San Lázaro or Neptuno in Centro Habana, Avenida 31 or 41 in Playa, Calle 51 in Marianao, or 3ra Avenida in Miramar.Now they can subcontract driving duties. Drivers are now young, restless, and reckless. I’m not the only one who lets these wild child choferes continue on their way, opting to wait for an older, more seasoned driver who cares at least for his car, if not his clients."
Eight international Nobel Prize laureates have written to the U.S. Attorney General calling for freedom for the Cuban Five
BURBS & BARRIOS El Rincón (16-18 Dec, San Lazaro pilgrimage, 26 km distance; San Francisco de Paula (Museo Hemingway), 13; Guanabacoa (Museo, Jewish Cemetery), 6; Santa Maria del Rosario (Catedral de los Campos, Casa de la Cultura, Manuel Mendive mural), 19; San Antonio de Los Baños (Museo del Humor, Galeria Abela, Film & TV School EICTV "one of the best schools in the world", Hotel Las Yagrumas, 34
PROVINCIAL CAPITALS Artemisa, 60
Ciego de Avila, 439
Las Tunas, 673
Pinar del Rio, 172
Sancti Spiritus, 364
San José de las Lajas, 35
Santa Clara, 278
Lonely Planet's Top Dozen Things To Do, See & Taste out of a list of 412
shamelessly copy-pasted [albeit with direct links] from the LP web site here.
OUR SUGGESTIONS IN THE FOUR MAIN HABANA AREAS
Dance like nobody's watching. Love like you've never been hurt. Sing like nobody's listening...
Click above to open section.
ERNESTO GARCIA (7) 861-2753 CARY y NILO (7) 862-7109 EL MIRADOR (7) 870-0937 SAMUEL y ALBERTO (7) 863-2075 CASA RAYMOND (7) 863-5107 ARAMIS (7) 879-8292 CASA ROSA (7) 860-3319 EVORA y MANUEL (7) 861-7932 MARITZA (7) 878-7109 MERCEDES FERRER (7) 863-8122 BOTELLO (7) 867-9987 BLANCA MARGARITA (7) 866-7113
IHOVANNA y GERARDO (7) 863-6005 YOYI ALVAREZ (7) 863-5533 ROSA VILLAMIL ALLENDE (7) 873-6746 JORGE LEON (7) 870-7723 VIKY (7) 863-8923 ZEILA (7) 862-5492
MARIA ELENA (7) 863-0119 MARTA (7) 878-5038 M'ALOJA (7) 879-1784 ALINA y VICENTE (7) 863-6257 DANIEL y FINA (7)870-0945 JORGE SILVIO (7) 879-0789
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MERCY (7) 203-6735 CECILIA RUIZ (7) 209-1137 GUSTAVO GARCIA (7) 207-3646 DINORA PARRA CABRERA (7) 209-5853 VICTOR (7) 207-3159
BOOK BY PHONE • From Canada and the USA : 011 53 followed by 7 (for La Habana) and phone number.
• From Europe, Great Britain, Scandinavia and Mexico : 00 53 followed by 7 (for La Habana) and phone number.
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ANGELA MUNIZ RUBIO (7) 879-6851 MERCEDES GONZALEZ (7) 832-5846 MIRTHA y JORGE (7) 878-2837 MADELEINE SILVA (7) 832-7480 LETICIA (7) 873-3470 CARMEN SUAREZ (7) 870-0664 ELVIRA GOMEZ (7) 830-4682 ELENA TARAJANO (7) 832-0495 LOS FAROLES (7) 883-7377
ANA ELIA y MARY (7) 878-3604 GEORGINA PORTILLA (7) 878-3604 LUIS ALBERTO y MILY (7) 836-3954 CALLE 13 (7) 860-0848 CASAHABANA (7) 833-1438 ORALIA (7) 878-4574 JORGE GOMEZ (7) 641-6673 FLORA ROCA (7) 833-9151 MARIBEL (7) 879-3119 ZOE Y VICTOR (7) 831-4092
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CHEZ NOUS (7) 862-6287 CASONA DE OBRAPIA (7) 862-8285 L'AUBERGE DE RAQUEL (7) 867-5026 RAMON y MARITZA (7) 862-3303 COLONIAL 1715 (7) 864-4914 DOS LEONES (7) 860-3987 CASA JUANITA (7) 863-0382 CASA HABANA (7) 861-0253 HABANA LOURDES (7) 867-9329 ELIZABETH y SAUL (7) 866-2106 PABLO y LYDIA (7) 861-2111 PABLO y NORMA (7) 863-1279 CASA VITRALES (7) 866-2607 LUIS BATISTA (7) 863-0622 LAMPARILLA(7) 862-8285 CALLE CUBA (7) 862-7144
OLGA (7) 867-4561
NOEMIS (7) 862-3809 MANOLO (7) 866-9702 CASA CUBA (7) 864-1614 MARTHA e ISRAEL (7) 862-0948 MARTA y TULA(7) 866-2022 JOSÉ ENRIQUÉ (7) 867-1497 BARBARA HERRERA (7) 864-2214 DALIA GROSS (7) 867-3994 BELKIS y JEIVER(7) 861-1378 MARIBEL CABALLERO (7) 862-3548 DANIA CASTILLO (7) 861-0915 MARLY ECHEMENDIA (7) 860-2707 SERGIO y MIRIAM (7) 860-8192 HOSTAL LEONEL (7) 860-0191 CONVENTO SANTA CLARA (7) 861-3335 CONVENTO SANTA BRIGIDA (7) 861-4315 CASA MAURA (7) 864-3923 VILLA PARAISO (7) 860-1788
HEED THE HINTS IN THIS FINE PRINT :::Make sure that in your first email or phone call you specify that you want to book a room in that particular casa and that you will reconfirm your booking on arrival in Cuba. Unless you only want a room in any house which may be of the same quality, not the specific casa you booked through photos on these websites ::: So as to not abandon expecting owners with empty rooms, reconfirm (or call ahead to cancel) your booking by phone as soon as you can after arriving in Cuba ::: Please write or phone a casa owner to cancel a booking. As late as it may seem, it allows them a chance to rebook. ::: Children under the age of 16 may share a bedroom with adults for free. Specify the child's age when booking. ::: Since October 2010, maximum bedroom capacity is not limited to two adults::: Also, large casas are not limited to renting only two bedrooms per night. ::: At the end of the casa name, the V signals the casa was suggested by travelers or owners but not verified by the website staff. If you try it and like it, write us about it. ::: Unless otherwise mentioned, the average room rates and service prices are : 20-25cuc per bedroom per night [up to 40+ for 4 in a room]; breakfasts 3-5cuc, dinners 7-10cuc. ::: Any casa particular anywhere in Cuba must have a hot water shower, otherwise it cannot have a permit to rent ::: Please share your Complaints, comments & suggestions webmaster [@]cubacasas.net
Unsollicited and shamefully un-capitalistic propaganda A Cubacasas.net suggestion
Unsollicited advertising Conner Gorry moved to Cuba from the USA in 2002; she blogs from La Habana.
Unsollicited advertising A Cubacasas.net suggestion
Es Cuba is a poignant and passionate travel memoir about falling in love with a country and with one of its compañeros.
A seasoned traveler and a discerning observer, the author Lea Aschkenas never strays from her acute awareness that there is no way to separate her foreignness (intensified by U.S.-Cuba relations) from the complex mix of emotionsdevotion and rejection, enrapture and apprehensionthat she develops toward the country and its people.