Sunday, June 20, 2021

Things To Do in Cuba

North AmericaCubaThings To Do in Cuba
  • Stroll Havana’s Malecon in the early evening and soak up Havana’s culture. Watch out for prostitutes, as mentioned above; they are plentiful in this area, especially in the sections where rich white male tourists are known to hang out.
  • If you have the money (usually about $60 or the equivalent in euros), go to the Tropicana, a former mafia hangout run by the state. The Tropicana is located, as it always has been, in the heart of a strategically located area with a narrow street inside the city, behind the trees, and since the entrance fee is far too high for the average Cuban to afford, the people who go there are almost all international tourists. The club has kept its old traditions: Table service, lavish costumes, dazzling lights, wardrobe, etc. Real (but rather small) cigars are also available and can be smoked in the room, even near the stage. The Tropicana is so well maintained that it feels like it did back then (apart from the modern stage technology and the lack of a dress code), and as long as you can forgive yourself that most Cubans can’t afford to do what you do, and the people who work there couldn’t be there if they weren’t employed there, your evening is sure to be very enjoyable.
  • See an Afro-Cuban dance show in the neighbourhood, which exists in almost every neighbourhood.
  • Check out the local music that exists in almost every neighbourhood.
  • Go to the clubs, which all play Cuban reggae and Cuban rap, but also more traditional Cuban music with modern lyrics.
  • Go to the beaches – but be careful not to be wooed, as in Jamaica, by prostitutes and hustlers, male and female.
  • Don’t stay in a resort unless you want to experience the local culture. You will probably get bored and things around you will seem fake, garish and exaggerated.
  • Go to the countryside and talk to the farmers. Check out the local markets. There are two types of markets: state-run markets, which offer food at very low prices and for which Cubans keep ration books (and where you probably can’t shop because you don’t have your own ration book), and for-profit markets, where farmers sell their produce directly, which are of course a bit more expensive.
  • Visit some small towns. Every Cuban small town pretty much follows the same pattern: a central park with its Jose Marti tribute, the local cultural centre, the one or two (or none) casa particulares and the municipal museum. The museums are usually small buildings containing artefacts that cover the entire history of the area (from the indigenous population before Columbus to Castro’s revolution and beyond).
  • Expect to hear a lot of Carlos Santana through the windows at odd hours of the day.
  • Drink plenty of fresh fruit juice, which flows like water in Cuba because of the abundance of fresh fruit.
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