I only had five days in Cuba. I decided to spend it all in Havana. I wish I had time to explore more of the country, but after this little taste, I will definitely be back! Below is a photo series from my short but impressionable time in Havana.
STREETS OF HAVANA
Walking the streets of Havana you’ll find many street musicians. Most of them are licensed by the state to perform in public. Some of the bigger groups have ‘managers’ that are around to collect tips from the crowd. Everyone I encountered was smiling and even posed for the camera. You get a great taste of the Cuban culture stopping, listening and supporting these artists.
Classic cars are EVERYWHERE in Havana. You will find the ‘tourist’ cars lined up in the center of town. You can rent one for $50 and they will take you on a joy ride for 2 hours. But you can also just flag one down on the street where the going rate is $5 to get you anywhere in the city and can also negotiate with them to take you for a tour.
Located in the older part of Havana is a bar where Ernest Hemmingway used to frequent. They are known for their daiquiris and each is made from scratch. The line starts forming about 30 minutes before opening and the place does get packed, so come early and be sure to get a photo with the bronze statue of Hemmingway at the end of the bar!
HAVANA CLUB RUM
Havana Rum museum is where you can learn about how they make their trademark rum. The tour leads you into different rooms to show how the product is distilled. It also showcases the history of the rum along with tastings including the 7-year old Havana Rum. At the end of the tour, you are offered a free drink which can be served as a mojito or with fresh sugar cane juice. I recommend the sugar cane juice as you’ll be getting mojitos everywhere else in the city!
PARTAGAS CIGAR FACTORY
A job at the cigar factory is a coveted job that the locals say is the best to have in the city. They produce ~20,000 cigars daily and along with their normal salary, according to our guide, they also get 5 cigars to take home. There are ~400 workers working in this multi-level factory. You start the tour with the leaf sorting room and move up to the rolling, cutting and packaging. The day I went they were making Montecristo. Well worth the tour!
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