Cuba--Havana and perhaps Trinidad--need help

Tips, stories, and questions about travel-related topics
Post Reply
Message
Author
User avatar
alan weinberg
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 10983
Joined: April 25th, 2009, 1:23 pm

Cuba--Havana and perhaps Trinidad--need help

#1 Post by alan weinberg » June 16th, 2013, 10:15 am

have a one week trip to Havana scheduled over NYE and one option is a 6 hr drive to Trinidad (city in Cuba), a day or so there, and a 6 hr drive back. Is this worth it? Or should the whole week be spent in Havana? Or just 4 days in Havana, the rest of the time in Miami? Thoughts?
alan
Last edited by alan weinberg on June 16th, 2013, 10:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Roberto Rogness
Posts: 18971
Joined: February 10th, 2009, 10:16 am
Location: Santa Monica, Rio de Janeiro

Cuba--Havana and perhaps Trinidad--need help

#2 Post by Roberto Rogness » June 16th, 2013, 10:20 am

Oh, I thought you meant Triniday & Tobago...never mind.
ITB Retail
É prohibido prohibir!

User avatar
alan weinberg
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 10983
Joined: April 25th, 2009, 1:23 pm

Cuba--Havana and perhaps Trinidad--need help

#3 Post by alan weinberg » June 20th, 2013, 8:35 am

bump

User avatar
Corey N.
Posts: 25812
Joined: November 18th, 2010, 8:36 pm
Location: Certainly NOT Orlando

Cuba--Havana and perhaps Trinidad--need help

#4 Post by Corey N. » June 20th, 2013, 8:42 am

Is it kosher to ask how you're going to Cuba given that, you know, there's an embargo and US residents are generally forbidden from traveling there?
Nøv¡¢k

User avatar
David K o l i n
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 15095
Joined: June 2nd, 2009, 5:29 pm
Location: ChiIl

Cuba--Havana and perhaps Trinidad--need help

#5 Post by David K o l i n » June 20th, 2013, 9:25 am

There is a general prohibition from spending money there, with lots of waivers and licenses for religious, cultural and other exchanges. We are considering 3 different options for this summer. It will be nice to go back.

I've never been to Trinidad, Alan (and haven't been on the island for 30+ years), but I think there are a lot of options better than Miami while you are there

http://www.tripadvisor.com/Tourism-g147 ... tions.html
“To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.” T. Roosevelt

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it." J. Goebbels (reprised by D Trump)

User avatar
alan weinberg
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 10983
Joined: April 25th, 2009, 1:23 pm

Cuba--Havana and perhaps Trinidad--need help

#6 Post by alan weinberg » June 22nd, 2013, 5:36 am

Corey N. wrote:Is it kosher to ask how you're going to Cuba given that, you know, there's an embargo and US residents are generally forbidden from traveling there?
permission granted from US gov't.
alan

User avatar
Anthony Hall
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 1558
Joined: October 19th, 2009, 4:28 am
Location: Australia / Meursault

Cuba--Havana and perhaps Trinidad--need help

#7 Post by Anthony Hall » June 22nd, 2013, 7:48 am

alan weinberg wrote:
Corey N. wrote:Is it kosher to ask how you're going to Cuba given that, you know, there's an embargo and US residents are generally forbidden from traveling there?
permission granted from US gov't.
alan
Alan is on special assignment to liberate any DRC from cuban cellars. He just can't talk about it.
I used to have a modest burgundyman url as a signature. Now if you want to learn about luxury winelover accomodation in Meursault you have to finish reading this much more promotional sentence and press the button with 3 W's in it.

User avatar
TimF
Posts: 4002
Joined: January 28th, 2009, 5:18 pm
Location: Chicagoland

Cuba--Havana and perhaps Trinidad--need help

#8 Post by TimF » June 22nd, 2013, 9:35 am

My college alumni group has a tour going in December. Wish the timing worked out so I could go.
Tim F@itsch

User avatar
alan weinberg
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 10983
Joined: April 25th, 2009, 1:23 pm

Cuba--Havana and perhaps Trinidad--need help

#9 Post by alan weinberg » December 22nd, 2013, 10:02 pm

leaving in a week. Any advice?

Julien Martel
Posts: 64
Joined: May 1st, 2010, 7:22 am
Location: Montreal

Cuba--Havana and perhaps Trinidad--need help

#10 Post by Julien Martel » December 26th, 2013, 10:48 am

I have been to Havana 6-7 years ago, while staying at an all-inclusive resort in Varadero. I would try to visit surrounding cities/areas, instead of spending one full week there. But it really depends on the goal of your trip (beach and relaxation vs cultural visits) and what type of traveler you are. Don't expect to eat well while in Cuba. Havana is fascinating and very safe. It's a must see.

User avatar
John Liotta
Posts: 4674
Joined: January 29th, 2009, 5:42 pm
Location: Atlanta, GA.

Cuba--Havana and perhaps Trinidad--need help

#11 Post by John Liotta » December 26th, 2013, 10:55 am

Fishing in Cuba is supposed to be great.

This has a lot of info:

http://www.cubalinda.com
Past- ITB Wine
Present- ITB Beer

User avatar
Paul Miller
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 4659
Joined: April 28th, 2010, 2:56 pm
Location: Chicago

Cuba--Havana and perhaps Trinidad--need help

#12 Post by Paul Miller » December 26th, 2013, 11:31 am

I went on a people-to-people exchange program a couple of years ago. Technically, you are not supposed to be having "fun" there, so fishing trips, beaches, etc could get you in trouble. A friend went on a cultural exchange trip (she runs a dance company and they went to perform). A couple of people tacked on two extra days and hit the beach. They spent a few extra hours with Immigration in Miami and missed their flight home, and paid a small fine (maybe $500). We were told to not bring swimsuits and not to go to the pool.

Our trip was about 8 days, and we stayed in Havana the whole time, but made day trips. The person leading the trip now includes Trinidad, but it is a hike to get there (airlines are unreliable, and roads suck - picture an interstate highway that feels like a rollercoaster). He thinks it is worth a couple of days. By the end, we were getting tired of Havana.

That said, it was a GREAT trip, and I HIGHLY recommend going. If anyone is interested, We went through this guy: http://ralphvelasco.com

How are you getting from Havana to Trinidad? What sort of program or license are you going on?

As a heads-up, wine is expensive. Beer is good and cheap. Rum is better and just as cheap. You will never drink better and cheaper than you will in Cuba. As long as you like beer and rum (or rum drinks), you'll be in an alcoholic's paradise.

For a great restaurant: http://www.laguarida.com/en/ But make a reservation in advance.

The Spanish Embassy had a cooking school there with a restaurant I would recommend.

And of course, the cigars. But buy them at a reputable place, such as the factory store. Don't buy them on the street.

They make a paste out of guava that is similar to quince. Try it with cheese.

When you arrive, find a liquor store (hotel probably has one, and also sells cigars). Get a bottle of Selecion de Maestro (rum) and keep it in your room for the week. As noted, you are not supposed to buy things or spend money, so consume it there. In fact there is very little that legally you can bring back with you.

That said, it is a GREAT trip. Most fun I have ever been on - seriously. If you are into photography, it is a dream trip. And I highly recommend Ralph and his trips to anyone interested, and particularly if you are a photographer.

If you have other questions, let me know. Post here or PM me.

Michael Bowden
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 4974
Joined: January 27th, 2009, 1:15 pm
Location: Atlanta, GA

Cuba--Havana and perhaps Trinidad--need help

#13 Post by Michael Bowden » December 26th, 2013, 2:37 pm

Paul Miller wrote:Get a bottle of Selecion de Maestro (rum)
Really great stuff....

Image
I'm taller than Zach Lang.

It's Michael.....not Mike, Mark, Mick, Mikey...get it? got it? good.

Good fries are better than great tater tots.

Julien Martel
Posts: 64
Joined: May 1st, 2010, 7:22 am
Location: Montreal

Cuba--Havana and perhaps Trinidad--need help

#14 Post by Julien Martel » December 26th, 2013, 4:41 pm

100% on board with Paul Miller for the cigars... You MUST buy from a reliable source. Never off the street. Not only you could be buying crap, but if a police officer sees you buying from someone not allowed to perform this transaction, you are as guilty as he is. I'm sure they would be thrilled to keep an American in prison for a few days.

The best place to source them... At the factory. I've visited one when in Havana. Amazing experience.

User avatar
Paul Miller
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 4659
Joined: April 28th, 2010, 2:56 pm
Location: Chicago

Cuba--Havana and perhaps Trinidad--need help

#15 Post by Paul Miller » December 26th, 2013, 5:06 pm

Julien Martel wrote: The best place to source them... At the factory. I've visited one when in Havana. Amazing experience.
A factory visit is a must.

One thing I wished that I did there was go to a baseball game. This was in today's paper: http://online.wsj.com/news/article_emai ... NjEyNDYyWj

User avatar
John Webber
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 890
Joined: February 26th, 2009, 8:40 am

Cuba--Havana and perhaps Trinidad--need help

#16 Post by John Webber » December 30th, 2013, 8:12 am

3 days in Havana is enough to see most things and get a good feel. From there, I would head to tobacco country etc. for a completely different experience.

User avatar
Paul Miller
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 4659
Joined: April 28th, 2010, 2:56 pm
Location: Chicago

Cuba--Havana and perhaps Trinidad--need help

#17 Post by Paul Miller » January 7th, 2014, 3:16 pm

The person we went through just published his plans for a 5-day trip this year

http://ralphvelasco.com/tours/cuba-peop ... vana-only/

He also has a longer one scheduled for June

User avatar
Ron Kramer
Posts: 7124
Joined: June 6th, 2009, 4:09 pm
Location: Near Boston

Cuba--Havana and perhaps Trinidad--need help

#18 Post by Ron Kramer » January 7th, 2014, 4:26 pm

A friend of mine (67) is a senior aged softball player. His team went to play their seniors and lost all five games but had a great time.

User avatar
Paul Miller
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 4659
Joined: April 28th, 2010, 2:56 pm
Location: Chicago

Cuba--Havana and perhaps Trinidad--need help

#19 Post by Paul Miller » January 10th, 2014, 9:07 am



Video of our guide riding through Havana.

User avatar
Paul Miller
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 4659
Joined: April 28th, 2010, 2:56 pm
Location: Chicago

Cuba--Havana and perhaps Trinidad--need help

#20 Post by Paul Miller » January 10th, 2014, 9:07 am

Alan, how was the trip?

User avatar
Paul Miller
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 4659
Joined: April 28th, 2010, 2:56 pm
Location: Chicago

Cuba--Havana and perhaps Trinidad--need help

#21 Post by Paul Miller » January 15th, 2014, 2:19 pm

Got a picture I took on vacation in Cuba published on CNN today. Not my best work, but hey. It is #13

http://www.cnn.com/2014/01/13/travel/cu ... ?hpt=hp_c3

User avatar
Neal.Mollen
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 30520
Joined: January 30th, 2009, 1:26 pm

Cuba--Havana and perhaps Trinidad--need help

#22 Post by Neal.Mollen » January 16th, 2014, 11:07 am

Fantastic, Paul! Congrats!
I don't have to speak; she defends me

A drunkard's dream if I ever did see one

User avatar
alan weinberg
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 10983
Joined: April 25th, 2009, 1:23 pm

Cuba--Havana and perhaps Trinidad--need help

#23 Post by alan weinberg » January 19th, 2014, 9:01 pm

Paul Miller wrote:Alan, how was the trip?
interesting, educational, fun, sad. Finally rid of the turista GI bug I brought back, but took 3 courses of antibiotics. So sorry for the poverty suffered by the sweet people of Cuba. Glad
to have gone, won't go again.

User avatar
Paul Miller
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 4659
Joined: April 28th, 2010, 2:56 pm
Location: Chicago

Cuba--Havana and perhaps Trinidad--need help

#24 Post by Paul Miller » January 20th, 2014, 7:53 am

Sorry to hear you got sick. Hope you are doing better. Hope this does not discourage others, because this is a trip I would highly recommend people doing before it is too late.

Post Reply

Return to “Travel Forum”