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Trip to Havana

Moncton, Canada
6 posts
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Trip to Havana

Hi,

A group of us are going to Varadero in March. I was thinking since it's pretty close to Havana that a trip there would be a good idea? But I have some questions I was hoping you guys could help me with? Thanks in advance! :)

1. We are staying at Iberostar Laguna Azul. Do these resorts offer a standard Havana trip excursion? I know that some resorts organize some excursions? If so, how much $$ is it would you say? Is it also a big group thing where everyone sticks together, on a bus maybe also? etc?

2. I heard that you can also hire a taxi? What would it cost for a taxi there and back? And I understand that you can hire them for the entire day?? & they can sometimes double as a tour guide also?? Any thoughts, advice or experiences with this would be great?

3. I am interested very much in the history of Cuba... just finished reading like 4-5 books & biographies on Cuba... Do these tours take you to historic sites in Havana that have to do with the revolution, Fidel or Che? Or is it more just site seeing beautiful scenery, etc? Any ideas where to go or things to see with regards to this would be greatly appreciated also!!

Scotland, UK
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1,990 posts
17 reviews
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1. Re: Trip to Havana

I would recommend a visit to the Museum of the Revolution - very interesting. I don't believe that this is a stop for any of the bus tours (I'm sure someone else will be able to confirm). You should also be aware if hiring a taxi for a Havana trip that you are approx 2 hours away from Havana - so around 4 hours of your day will be taken up by getting to and from Havana.

Canada
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243 posts
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2. Re: Trip to Havana

1) yes they will pick you up right at the ILA. There are 3 options for the ILA for Havana day trips

2)def an option and the one I'd do if I were to do it again. I have head different prices maybe others can help you better than I can.

3)You will hear Che's name probably 1.5 quadrapizzilion times on the trip and yes you see mostly historic sites and current govt bldgs and plenty of museums.

Moncton, Canada
6 posts
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3. Re: Trip to Havana

OK thanks for the info and recommendation! I will keep the Museum of the Revolution in mind!

Any other suggestions or tips on Havana? What about Varadero city? Any interesting places to see there with regard to the history of the revolution?

Pembroke, Canada
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151 posts
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4. Re: Trip to Havana

My husband and I spent a lovely day in Havana, I was so excited to go! I did not want to do the bus trip from the hotel, so I did a lot of research, and we decided to hire a taxi to go to Havana, then a tour guide. I was poking around the Havana forum, and found what seemed to be a reputable tour guide by the name of Jorge. He had glowing reviews from several people, so I decided to e-mail him, and I am very glad I did. Jorge arranged for a taxi to pick us up from the hotel at 8am. Almost 1 hour from the hotel on the main highway to Havana, you cross a huge bridge at the Yumuri Valley, where we had a pit stop for the washroom, and to take some photos - great view there. There is also a store where you can purchase souvenirs and food. Then on to Havana, where I wanted to visit the fort, and there is a lighthouse you can climb. Awesome views of Havana across the harbour. We spent 1 hour there, and the taxi driver waited for us. He delivered us safely to old Havana, and our tour guide for the day, Alex. From here we did a walking tour of old Havana, and had a nice lunch. There is so much history here, and Alex was full of knowledge. I knew we would not be able to see everything in one day, so the museums will have to wait until the next trip. We were done about 3:30, and the same taxi driver picked us up and took us back to the hotel, Sandals in Varadaro, arriving back in time for supper at 5:30. The cost was $90CUC each way for the taxi, plus $10CUC for him to wait for us at the lighthouse. (about 10CUC to get into the fort and climb the lighthouse) The guide was $10CUC per hour while in Havana, and worth every penny. I was able to see everything I wanted, plus more. You can reach Jorge at: jorgeguide2004@yahoo.es He is very good at e-mailing you back with plans and prices, just tell him what you want to see. I was very satisfied with our trip, and would highly recommend Jorge. I was glad he took care of everything, and I did not have to worry. Have fun!!!

London, Canada
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2,188 posts
272 reviews
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5. Re: Trip to Havana

was looking at this tour....

Colonial Havana - Visit the most famous city in the Caribbean and the heart of Cuba. This tour covers both the Colonial and modern Havana. Free time for shopping. Lunch included. Adult 67 CUC

Anyone know what time we get back to our hotel? We would do this, but heard some tours get back like 2am or so, and don't want that (think those are the ones with the Tropicana show? We just want see the city etc and get back to our resort around 7pm or so? Any tours do that?

Airdrie, Canada
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34 posts
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6. Re: Trip to Havana

Hi, My husband & I are hoping to go to Havana as well and were considering hiring a cab/tour guide on our own instead of the big group tour thing. However we would like to tour a cigar factory and were wondering if we could arrange this through a personal guide (such as Jorge..mentioned previously) or if it is only offered through the major tour operators? Also how long is the tour with the bus including the cigar factory? any ideas?

Thanks.

Toronto, Canada
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637 posts
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7. Re: Trip to Havana

Bonesaw, it depends on your hotel, but we were the second last drop off on this tour, and were back at the hotel by 8:30pm.

Scotland, UK
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8. Re: Trip to Havana

Another suggestion in Havana - there is a museum in the Jose Marti Tower in Revolution Square, and you can also take a lift to the top of the tower for amazing views across the city.

Red Deer, Alberta...
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9. Re: Trip to Havana

We have taken the tour to Havana twice and it was nicer the first time. The second time, everyone seemed to be more interested in visiting with the other travellers. It took over an hour and a half for lunch and when you don't have much time...it was way too long! We have heard that you can talk with the tour guide in your hotel and find out of the bus is full or not. If there are seats available they will let you come for around $40 each (just for the bus ride in and back). They will drop you off at the same place everyone else gets dropped and tell you where to meet them at the end of the day and what time. The "tourist" area in Havana is quite small actually and this would be easy to do. We are going again in February and are going to try this out. The actual day in Havana is not that long so we want every minute we can muster to be touring, not standing around waiting for other people to catch up or finish their lunch, or finish their coffee, etc. We saw different things on both trips so would like to go back and see some of it again.

Canada
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10. Re: Trip to Havana

You say you are traveling with a group. How many? I would suggest getting a van, maybe grab few fellow travelers from your resort if you need to. Smaller groups are much easier to manage and you will get a lot more out of your trip. Do the research and get an idea of what you want to see and do and you should be able to plan a very nice day for about the same price as the packaged resort trip. Havana is way too big to attempt to experience in one day. You need to focus on your particular interests.

Edited: 27 January 2011, 20:21