Wednesday, 19 July 2017


A Trip Through the Real Cuba is written by Mary and Jack, our wonderful guests who stayed with us in our network of casa particulares throughout Cuba in February 2017. 

by Mary & Jack

Cuba Trip
Cuba Trip February 2017


Our first casa particular (Casa Maruchi) in Havana provided a large bedroom in a second-floor apartment, facing the ocean, which we shared with Maru, Aida and their friendly dog. After settling in and a walk around the Vedado neighborhood, we enjoyed a delicious Cuban supper prepared by our Cuban hostesses, then early to bed. Breakfast the next day was as excellent as it was generous - the coffee in Cuba was especially good throughout our visit. 

Casa in Cuba
Casa Maruchi Havana

The apartment was not far from the Riviera Hotel and the huge 500-room Melia Cohiba Hotel in Havana, in which we found a Transtur agent...and bought our bus tickets to Viñales for three days later. We also boarded the Hop-on-hop-off bus outside the Riviera, bought our day’s ticket - an easy way to get to and from our apartment while seeing the sights of the process.

Things to do in Havana
Havana Bus Tour

Things to do in Havana
Fortress 1577 Havana Cuba

Music Havana
Ladies String Orchestra Havana


Our comfortable three-hour bus ride through the Cuban countryside, ended at the bus station in Viñales, where we were met by our hosts Randy and Dayna. We taxied to their home, by far the most comfortable of our casas. Newly built by Randy, an industrial engineer and furnished by Dayna, this young couple was working hard showcase Viñales with first class accommodation for foreign visitors. Their separate cottage featured tile floors and bathroom, double beds, a fridge with beer and water and a rooftop patio. Dayna served us a delicious Cuban supper and helped arrange a guided tour of the local attractions in for the next day.

Viñales Cuba
Enjoying the Terrace Casa Randy & Dayna

Casa Viñales Cuba
Casa Randy & Dayna Viñales Cuba

Our day consisted of a visit to to the caves and a boat ride among stalactites and stalagmites, a tobacco plantation, Botanical Garden and excellent seafood lunch (El Campanero). Finding it a bit too hot for the climb up the hill,  Mary asked a young fellow (Alexander) on a horse-drawn cart if he would take us back to our casa in Viñales, and he was happy to do so for a couple of CUCs. There are many such vehicles in Cuba, some used as taxis but most as the family car would be used in Canada - the structure consists of a robust frame and axle, with bearings, car wheels and tires and the shafts that connect to the horse. It is quite a comfortable ride considering the condition of the roads in Cuba, which are often cobblestone. The small Cuban horses seemed well taken care of, and lively in spite of the temperature, a hot 32℃. We had a nice picnic supper on the roof, read books and retired early.

Transport in Cuba
Cuban Transport

To find out more about their Cuban adventures, check out "A Trip Through the Real Cuba 2" by Mary & Jack.

Experience the Real Cuba would like to thank Mary and Jack for booking their Cuba trip with us and for sharing their Cuban adventures on the Experience the Real Cuba blog.

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