Havana is the capital of Cuba and, although there are several restrictions to cross Cuban borders, it is a city worth to struggle for a visit.
Cuba is regarded as a tropical paradise in the Caribbean, full of white sandy beaches and turquoise warm sea waters. Therefore, Varadero, the Cayos and a few resorts in Holguin’s surroundings are, naturally, the most likely towns to lay down in the beach for a certain time period.
On the one hand, this may look attractive since hotels are not, generally, over-priced and the majority travels with all-inclusive vacation packages, which means they have nothing to worry about throughout those days.
On the other hand, in order to enjoy what has already been paid, you may end up locked up inside the resorts’ facilities, instead of visiting dozens of picturesque cities along Cuba’s coast line. And La Habana requires a top spot in your to-do’s list.
The first time we went to Cuba, Fidel Castro was still in charge. The country seemed remote and mysterious as only random highly selected information was available and tourism was not even close to today’s numbers.
In addition, we decided to undergo a day trip to Havana during our two-week vacations in Varadero and while returning to the resort, we wished we could have stayed longer in the exciting capital city.
Here are listed some reasons why you should book at least a three-night – two full days – stay in Havana:
It takes more than three hours in transportation
Assuming that the majority of Havana day trips depart from Varadero, the distance between both cities is approximately 150 km (92 miles), which may take nearly two hours driving per way.
The city has a lot more to do than you think
For those who might think the capital city of the Caribbean’s largest island is small and easy to walk around and hit all touristic sights, I’m sorry to tell you how wrong you are.
It’s not just La Bodeguita del Medio and the Plaza de la Revolución. In fact, the city holds historic places worth a visit. Hotel Nacional, the Cathedral and hotel Ambos Mundos, where the American Nobel laureate Ernest Hemingway lived, are only some of the many places to see.
La Habana Vieja, which is the oldest part of Havana, may require a full day walking and exploring its colorful streets and superb central plazas. In future posts, we will unveil Havana’s top attractions as well as a complete guide for an unforgettable experience in Cuba’s capital city.
Sunset in El Malecón
El Malecón is one of La Habana’s main roads. Along the shore, it offers a pleasant time during the last few minutes of sunlight, and of course, you should not miss it. This is an extra reason of why you should stay for more than one day, since, most of the times, buses return to resorts before dinner time.
Distances between touristic sights
If you are planning to walk rather than picking up public transports beware of distances between main sights in Havana, since some places are not in the city center, e.g. Plaza de la Revolución.
However, getting to places by yourself is, definitely, a much more enthusiastic way of exploring a city. Havana has a unique atmosphere and only walking in the streets or chatting with locals you will discover beautiful spots that may not come in your guide.
Thus, once again, it takes time, which means a day trip would not be enough.
Nightlife and Tropicana
The world-famous cabaret show in Tropicana is a must-do in Cuba’s capital city and is one more reason so that you consider a longer stay in Havana, since the show only starts at 10 p.m.
It does not really matter whether you are a fan of doing typical touristic activities or not, but a CocoTaxi ride is mandatory. Would you take a tuk-tuk ride in Southeast Asia? Then, why not in Havana? It is a brilliant and cheap way to tour some districts of the city, but in order to have enough time, a day trip to Havana can be a short stay to let you try it.
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