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Other towns/cities to visit apart from Havana?

Reading, UK
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Other towns/cities to visit apart from Havana?

We're going to Varadero on 4th July, not long now!

We've got two weeks booked and hope to spend a weekend in Havana. Just wondering if there are any other near(ish) places worth a visit? Might consider one other overnight stay but preferably somewhere we could get to and from within a day.

Newton Aycliffe...
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1. Re: Other towns/cities to visit apart from Havana?

You may wish to consider visiting Trinidad or possibly Santa Clara but the distances involved are not conducive to day visits. Santa Clara is 113 miles away and Trinidad 163 miles.

Reading, UK
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2. Re: Other towns/cities to visit apart from Havana?

Well we might be up for having another overnight stay - hoping for two nights in Havana so going somewhere else for another overnight gives us time for a few day adventures as well as some beach time! If you had to pick between the two, which would you choose and why?

Thanks,

Sian

Newton Aycliffe...
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3. Re: Other towns/cities to visit apart from Havana?

Well if you were thinking of overnighting in Havana for two nights, I would then consider visiting Vinales, 117 miles away. Incidentally I would put Trinidad way ahead of Santa Clara for a visit.

Panama City, Panama
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4. Re: Other towns/cities to visit apart from Havana?

Vinales gives you something different.

If you don't want to go as far, there are some nice places in the hills between Havana and Pinar del Rio - Las Terrazas, Soroa.

There are a lot of places to visit in and around Havana too - Casablanca, Rio Almendares.

Edited: 22 June 2014, 10:14
Reading, UK
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5. Re: Other towns/cities to visit apart from Havana?

I think Santa Clara/Trinidad might be better for us. I don't know if it will actually work out but I was hoping to get on the Hershey train back from Havana for at least part of the way, so we will be going in the opposite direction to Vinales!

I will do some investigating, thanks for the tip.

It would be good to find some day trips a bit closer to Varadero too, we'd prefer to avoid excursions where possible. I had a look on TA/rough guides etc but there is just so much stuff to do I am having trouble deciding! Any recommendations or things to avoid would be great.

Reading, UK
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6. Re: Other towns/cities to visit apart from Havana?

Missed your suggestion! Think the Hershey train goes to Casablanca? I hear the timings can be quite erratic so depending on how it goes we thought we could get off there and then maybe taxi back to Varadero with the driver suggesting stops en route.

I don't think 2 weeks is enough time there is so much it would be good to do!

Edited: 22 June 2014, 10:20
Reading, UK
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7. Re: Other towns/cities to visit apart from Havana?

I suppose another alternative, if West of Havana has the best places to go, would be to do one three or four night trip, start out in Pinar del Rio and work back to Havana then Varadero.

Burlington, Canada
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8. Re: Other towns/cities to visit apart from Havana?

Sian, I think you would do well to research an itinerary that involves traveling what is affectionately referred to as the "the gingo trail" in Cuba. It's the triangular route of Habana, Pinar del Río/Viñales, and Trinidad. However I think you'll need to dedicate much more time to account for travel. If you can manage allotting more time, I'm positive you won't be disappointed.

Terry

Panama City, Panama
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9. Re: Other towns/cities to visit apart from Havana?

It's up to you. I suggested west of Havana because the hills there have some places to visit. (The hills south east of Havana have not been developed). But if you want to stay on the eastern side of Havana, there are other things.

Yes the Hershey train starts from Casablanca on the east side of Havana Bay and runs to Matanzas. I recommend taking the ferry across the bay to Casablanca. Yes, the train does have a reputation for problems - so don't be in a rush and don't rely on the last train of the day.

I have never been there, but some spoke well of visiting Cardenas - much more of a normal Cuban town.

Edited: 22 June 2014, 12:44
Nova Scotia
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10. Re: Other towns/cities to visit apart from Havana?

Cardenas is only about a 20-25 minute drive from Varadero..,Matanzas is about a 40 or so minute drive from Varadero and there is a bus that goes there 3? times a day I believe,10 CUC there and back.

There is also the little town of Santa Marta just across the bridge at the entrance to the Varadero Peninsula.

Edited: 22 June 2014, 13:12