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“Horrible place!”
Review of Acuario Nacional

Acuario Nacional
Ranked #90 of 233 things to do in Havana
Attraction details
Switzerland
Level Contributor
32 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“Horrible place!”
Reviewed 2 June 2014

We first arrived there a day that was raining, so we thought that visiting the Aquarium will be a nice idea........ohhh we were so wrong.
First of all, the place is located close to Miramar, so we are speaking of the supposedly big aquarium in Habana. The entry cost is quite expensive, 10 CUC per preson, that for what they offer is really a joke. We got in, saw some people walking back from the back so decided to go there, we walked like 7 minutes and NOTHING, saw nothing except people sleeping around on the floor or on a room that was on the side, some really filthy bathrooms and nothing else, then we hit a construction site and as it was about to rain again, went back. I still thought at this point that we will be able to see something else, as I thought we took the wrong way, so went directly in the middle in front of the entrance and there we saw some few sea turtles that looked pretty bad, one had a huge eye infection, the eye was already hanging out of lthe socket and had lots of pus coming out from it, while other had some sort of skin infection on the neck. We like to dive, we've seen sea turtles before, but none like these poor animals there. The water was dirty and it was a quite small pool for so many turtles, plus obviously not cleaned at all. Further more, we saw some other fish (you could hardly see them as the tanks were really dirty, so you had to really concentrate to see them between the muddy waters. On top of that, they only have like 10 little tanks, and you have to walk through an underground way to see them, without light......and it stank of urine all the way, plus lots of cigarrettes butts and dirt, really bad. Later we arrived to the place were they supposedly keep the dolphins, but couldnt see them (probably better, because if they were in the same conditions as the rest, I would have probably cried there and then). And finally we walked to the end and saw the sealion and it was TERRIBLE, the animal was huge, and was placed in a little tiny pool, that didnt have more that 6 meters of diameter (less probably) so the poor sealion would bump against the walls and tried to swim somehow around, horrible.
We went back and I demanded my money back!, no way I was giving any money to these people, had a big discussion with the lady in charge there, she tried to play the card of the lack of founds and that the vets there thought that all the animals were good and that the sealion had more than enough space, but as I come from south america myself and can surely argue with her, I clearly expressed my dissapointment and told her that although my country is also poor, if in the zoo they cannot take care of any animal, those animals are donated to other places where they can be better looked after, and that is what they should do with those poor animals if they are not able to take proper care. Finally we got our money back and took a cab to NEVER ever go back to that horrible place.
I advice any person that has a little bit of love and respect for the sea world and the lovely sea animals that live on it, never ever to go to such a horrible place.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
13 Thank Pati-chueca
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Vienna, Austria
Level Contributor
71 reviews
30 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“Wonderful idea but seriously run down by the times (and neglect)”
Reviewed 11 January 2014

The Acuario is another example of the incredible energy they had right after the revolution, with a wonderful mix of education and entertainment that must have been really new to the majority of Cubans back then ("the masses"). After 50+ years though, it is still nice to savour but only under this aspect---because in fact the tanks and biotops are really too small, the concrete is crumbling, and the shows are charming (despite the loud music which simply goes with Cuba) but mainly due to their "improvised" feel. This goes for the underwater restaurant as well, where the cover charge of 5CUC shouldn't dispell you as they deduct them from your bill (= a shrimp cocktail and a beer)

Visited January 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank WernR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kinross, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
58 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
“Old worn but full of character”
Reviewed 20 November 2013

Come on give this place a break in your reviews. It's not Orlando and maybe does not have the same standards, but I really enjoyed my visit to this place. The displays were good, the ambience was great and it was great value. Interact with real cubans and enjoy the experience

Visited December 2012
Helpful?
2 Thank greg4bs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Norwich, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
16 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“October 2013”
Reviewed 25 October 2013

10CUC for tourists and Cuban pesos for locals. The T1 tourist open top bus stops right outside.YOU CANNOT SWIM WITH THE DOLPHINS HERE ANY MORE, ONLY AT VARADERO. Fortunately when walking around we noticed the entrance gate to the Dolphin pool was unlocked so we just walked in and had 15 minutes interacting with them. I was sorely tempted to just jump in with them. During the actual show (25 mins, all in Spanish) they said you could touch them afterwards for 3 CUC. I had my entrance fee back several times!!!!! The rest of the place was just about ok although the mens toilets were disgusting. I found the show quite entertaining and the Dolphins seemed to be well cared for although their pool was on the small side for 6 of them.

TIPS.
The snack bar on the right as you go in was cheapish and they sell large tubs of ice cream, drinks and a half decent pizza. The restaurant where you can see through the glass at the bottom of the pool was grubby and expensive. There is also a minimum per person consumption charge of 10 CUC. There are a couple of drinking fountains if you want to risk Cuban tap water. Best value is the snack kiosk near the toilets, 10 pesos for a very substantial ham roll but they only take pesos not CUCs.

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank Bill C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Miami, Florida
Level Contributor
51 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Could be much more better”
Reviewed 30 August 2013

Very expensive (for Cuban citizen) to only watch a 15 min (or less) show. Only the dolphins and the sea lions show, and very very short. I enjoy every show but they are very short.

I applaud the work of animal trainers and the animals, but I think the government should provide more attractions to the Aquarium. This is the biggest Aquarium in Cuba and is very poor.

However to kids can be an amazing experience.

***You should take an umbrella to avoid the burning sun when watching a show.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank lidyh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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