One of the most stunning views (and dishes) in the city was from #LaGuarida . The set of the popular movie "Fresa y Chocolate" (Strawberry And Chocolate) turned into this incredible restaurant. It's just one of the many new privately owned restaurants in Cuba, offering exciting cuisine in atmospheric surroundings, and giving the economy a boost.
After an afternoon exploring the abandoned Gran Hotel y Balneario (photos to come), our driver took us to this remote Creole restaurant in the hills just below Matanzas. During this insane feast, the chef insisted I come into kitchen to inspect and select my lobster tail, a baby chicken hopped on the table and stole some of our rice, and the entire meal including tip cost under $35. It's safe to say I'm a fan of Creole cooking 🍤
1. Make sure to get a travel pass for the country. You will legally need this but can get at the last airport before Cuba (Miami most likely). Cost about $80-$100.
2. There are 12 reasons in traveling to Cuba of which we chose educational. Another is support for the Cuban people but hesitated on that being written down lol. Things changed recently but if you can get validated a itinerary of visits you are making there you might be okay. Research this of course.
3. You cannot in no way or form use your credit cards or bank cards there so bring all cash.
4. You can’t exchange cash before you get there because as no one carries Cuban money which is called CUC. You can also exchange dollars at the local banks and high end hotels with your passport. The dollar is not strong there so don’t be surprised if they take a nice chunk.
5. Nothing is free not even advice sometimes so be ready to shall out some money or negotiate. As a matter of fact: BE READY TO NEGOTIATE EVERYTHING.
6. Taxi service consist of Cubans regular vehicles, yellow taxi, bike chariots, horse chariot in some places, and old school cars. The old school are nice for a quick run around for $30-$40 or $80 for a two hour tour, but do not use them for a ride to the beach or quick trip around the corner as they will try and over charge you. Again, negotiate.
7. Beaches are beautiful. Went to Marazul beach but there is another beach about 2 hours away named Veradano. Roundtrip via the same taxi driver is possible and you don’t have to pay until they pick you up.
8. High end hotels are nice but you can book rooms on hotel.com, Air BnB, or booking.com and be in the mix of things. All was extremely affordable, clean, and safe.
9. Internet is tricky. Restaurants and wherever you stay will offer free WiFi if your dining or visiting the roof top however it’s extremely slow. If you post up in WiFi designated areas someone is always selling a WiFi card for $2 cuc/1 hour or $5 for 2 hours however be careful because once you activate that card on your phone you have to stay in that area to use it.
927 June, 2019
Fun Things to know about Cuba:
Having someone with you that learned Spanish is clutch. Their more fluent than they know it!!! Family of four can ride scooters and infants don’t need helmets.
ALOT of streets are better than Baltimore and DC streets; but then there’s still a lot of questionable streets.
Game of Thrones is big in Cuba. Caught the bartender on my rooftop hotel singing the theme.
Forts were amazing and although historic they still maintain a live tower to direct ships in.
Jesus is real as they have a really big Anglo-Saxon statue of Jesus.
Food is amazing.
People are extremely friendly.
There is an enormous amount of rooftops bars.
Mojitos and Pina Colada’s are everywhere. There are no Bloody Mary bars but you can definitely get funky and make it happen yourself!!! Cost of living is low however they make due with what they are paid and stay within means. A lot opportunities in Taxi, Rental property, and side hustling. Must be aggressive and witty to make money here.
A lot of young Cubans are fashion forward, females stay fly, and fellas keep a fresh funky cut.
Internet access started not long ago so American hip hop can be heard in the streets and bars. My neighbor said he prefers old Wiz Kalifa.
Art all across the city is amazing. Look at structures, art galleries, and outside art events.
417 June, 2019
Eating toast on my couch for dinner at 10pm and thinking back to a few weeks ago in Cuba where I ate tostones on the daily (not pictured) and enjoyed this delicious Cuban meal of moro and picadillo in Havana 🇨🇺