The number of times Cody and I have been to Cuba combined. Holguin, Guardalavaca, and Varadero, but never to Havana.
We decided our tenth time must include a visit to Cuba’s capital city, major port, and province; Havana.
Welcome to Havana
Although we booked an all inclusive holiday in Varadero, we spent two days and one night in this charming old city. We were greeted by colourful boulevards, Spanish colonial architecture, a mobile car museum, delicious mojito’s, and beautiful people.
As soon as we arrived, we rushed to our hostel- Casa Pa Mochileros to drop off our bags, and were back out on the streets in a matter of minutes.
Unlike Varadero, Havana’s vibe is authentic and real. The energy of Havana is infectious, and the city legendary. We covered a lot in twenty four hours.
Our first stop was for some Cuban food, as the food at our resort in Varadero certainly left something to be desired. We managed to find some vegan friendly food for an excellent price.
Such a nice change from resort food
We devoured black beans, rice, salad, fried yucca, sweet potato, and potato chips and people watched for a while.
While strolling the alleyways, we were invited into a typical Cuban home where we were welcomed to view the home owners Santeria shrine.
Santeria is an African-Caribbean religion influenced by Catholicism; and although we are not big fans of religion, we definitely love a lot of the kitsch that comes with it.
Cody and his great find 🙂
Moments before being invited in, I spotted an interesting looking amulet on someone’s doorway with one eye, and a tongue with a dagger through it.Cody LOVED it, and this woman happened to be selling these amulets, so of course we bought one.
This is where the Mojito was invented…..Mmmmmmm Mojitos
After our purchase, we said our gracias’ and hasta luego’s, and followed our ears to the music in the distance. The music led us to one of Havana’s most famous bars; El Bodeguita Bar-the birthplace of the mojito.
The small bar was crowded with people enjoying the live band stuffed in the corner, and eagerly waiting for their mojito’s lined up at the bar.
El Bodeguita was buzzing and overflowing to the streets where people were lighting Cuban cigars and enjoying the cool rain coming down.
This moment truly felt like authentic Havana, or at least what you see of it in the movies- but we know there is so much more to it than mojito’s and cigars.
No matter where you go in Havana, there is always live music
It is the people that make Havana and the rest of Cuba.
Cubans don’t have a lot, life is a struggle-but they are very warm, and always have a smile to offer.
Once we returned to our hostel, we chatted with our new amigo Maurice. Maurice is an artist and designer, and also helps to run Casa Pa Mochileros Hostel in New Havana.
He is a bright mind with so many ideas on how to connect with people from around the world and create community.
Us with Yasser and Maurice
The next morning we went for breakfast with Maurice and Yasser- the other half of Casa Pa Mochileros. We talked about the state of Cuba, it’s people, and making change over vegan pizza and strong Cuban coffee.
We really enjoyed our time in Havana, and wish we could have stayed longer. Good thing there’s always next time!
A special Gracias to Hostelclub.com for finding us a great place to stay during our time in Havana!