Cuba, Featured, La Havana, Travel
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From Little Havana to Havana, Cuba

(DISCLAIMER: To all my Cuban-Americans friends, this is not a political post and has nothing to do with my personal opinion regarding the revolution and its history. This post just narrates what I saw, did and listened from locals during my short-visit to Cuba)

Introduction

Over the past six years, I’ve heard multiple stories of Cuba from my Cuban-Americans friends living in Miami. Each story, whether positive or negative, is what triggered my curiosity.

I always wanted to see with my own eyes how locals live in the present. I once heard: “Cuba was the Paris of the Caribbean”, and from my experience I 100% agree with this statement. Havana is as beautiful as any major city in Europe!

The revolution indeed changed a lot and it's sad to see how locals live with some sort of “limitation” in life. In Cuba, you can dream big but your dreams will most likely be shattered. To make a difference in this world, you must find a way to get yourself out the island. If not, you will live with what the government gives you and tells you to do.

From what I heard from various locals, the revolution worked positively for some people but the vast majority disagrees with the Cuban government and how it works.  At the end, it’s all about perspective…

Here’s what I saw and learned during my short visit to La Havana, Cuba:

My friend, Susy, is getting married next year and wanted to celebrate her bachelorette party in Cuba. We were a big group of ten girls ready to explore and experience everything Cuba had to offer! This weekend getaway was special because we got to throw my friend Susy the party she wanted and visit a country for the first time.

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Since we were a big group, we decided to rent a house located in Syboney via Airbnb.com. Syboney was (and still is) La Havana’s most exclusive area where the rich lived before the revolution. The vast majority of the house owners in this area flea the country leaving all their possessions behind. Now, the government owns these properties for accommodation purposes for international government officials and ambassadors.

As soon as I opened the door, I could tell this was the property of a rich upper class cuban family. An eight-room home with pool, luxury pottery, large art pieces, high-end cutlery and a white Yamaha grand-piano helped me support my speculation.

On our first day, we plan to tour the city of Havana. Three vehicles from 1940’s were right outside our front floor ready for our adventure! In Cuba, most people still ride these vintage cars and is now one of the main tourist attractions in the island.

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Most people assume that these cars are 1940’s original. Truth is, all the vintage cars have had a motor update and interior renovation. There are some original cars still, but it’s very expensive to acquire the original pieces for maintenance. For this reason, the car you see in this picture is “just the outside”. (No wonder they still turn on! haha)

Top Attractions

1. La Habana Vieja (Old Havana)

2. Havana's Cathredral

3. Plaza de la Revolución

4. Monumento Jose Marti

5. La Bodeguita Del Medio

6. El Capitolio

7. Plaza Vieja (Old Square)

8. El Malecón

9. La Corona Cigar Factory

10. Cuba and it's Street Art

And some other treasures I captured walking around the street of Havana:

22 Comments

  1. Wow what a fun party! Looks like a dream destination. I’ve always wanted to visit Cuba, mostly out of curiosity for the culture.

  2. So interesting to get a peek in to Cuba! You do a good job of capturing some of the intriguing aspects of this old city. I would love to visit some time.

  3. I’ve been to Cuba several years ago (as a Canadian, it’s not a problem) but we were in a different part of the country. I look forward to seeing Havana, I’ve heard from many sources that it’s a beautiful city with beautiful people. Your post supports that.

    • Mariella says

      Hello Theresa – Yes, I have many Canadian friends that spent their summers in Varadero! a beautiful place to go every summer haha

  4. It looks gorgeous. I’ve been dying to visit for the longest time. Hopefully, I’ll make it there someday soon. Thanks for sharing.

    • Mariella says

      Hi Jenn – you should definitely visit! Its such an amazing place with lots of history to learn. 🙂

  5. What a fun mini adventure! I hope to make it to Cuba in the near future! Great write up!

  6. Rosi C. says

    Cuba is a beautiful place. I learned a lot there about people, culture and people. These are all the places I saw plus John Lennon park and Chinatown. cool pics

    • Mariella says

      Hi Rosi – Same, I learned a lot during my visit. Thank you! 🙂

  7. OMG what a freaking cool idea for a bachelorette party! Now I’m sad I just did the old Vegas standby 🙁 Everything looks amazing – I would really love to visit someday soon!

    • Mariella says

      Thank you Megan 🙂 Yes, at first I didn’t know what to expect for a bachelorette party, but I totally recommend Cuba ! We had an amazing time.

  8. Loved your photo essay and id bit of history here. I learned something, I hope to visit with my boyfriend before Trump takes that Freedom away.
    WE will definitely AirBNB. How much was the big house you rented?

    • Mariella says

      HI Alice! Thank you. Cuba is such an amazing place that its worth visiting at least once 🙂 I cant remember how much it was exactly for renting the house, but it was very affordable and the location was great.

  9. Loved looking at all of your colorful photos! How fun that your group did a bachelorette party there. I’d love to visit someday!

  10. I love reading posts about Cuba! It’s my dream destination. Going there for bachelorette party seems like a fabulous idea! I bet you girls had a wonderful time 🙂

  11. What an interesting look into your time in Cuba! I absolutely adore the vintage cars. This looks like the perfect way to spend a bachelorette weekend!

    • Mariella says

      Hi Megan! Thank you for your comment. Everything about Cuba was great 🙂 You should definitely add this destination to your bucket list haha Safe travels. xoxo – Mariella

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