Drive Along the Malecón With a Classic Car
Shop at the Craft and Souvenir Market
This is your one stop shop for souvenirs and handicrafts. You can buy art, clothing, jewelry, Cuban souvenirs, rum, and cigars. There are dozens of local vendors here, so you’ll have plenty to choose from. Make sure to haggle on everything you buy. It was more expensive than I thought, which I’m guessing is due to the increase of tourism. If you buy several items from one vendor, you’ll have more leverage to get a better deal. There’s also a currency exchange here to save you time.
Stay at a Casa Particular
This is essentially like a bed and breakfast, but is an experience in itself. I don’t think I’d ever want to go to Cuba and stay in a regular hotel after staying at a casa particular. Not only do you get to interact with the locals, but you get invaluable knowledge from them. They can help you book a taxi, tell you the best place to go for salsa dancing – they know it all! For an extra fee, your host can cook meals for you when you’re at home. This actually saves money and you get a taste of local Cuban cuisine.
Watch a Cannon Go Off
Every night at 9 PM, you can head down to the water to watch a cannon go off. It used to signify the end of the day, but now they do it as a tradition. They’re fired from the Fortress of San Carlos de Cabaña, also known as La Cabaña. It gets crowded, so get there early. It’s a mix of tourists and locals, which usually leads to music and dancing.
See the Cuban Missile Crisis Tunnel
The Cuban Missile Crisis was a 13-day period in 1962 involving a confrontation between the Soviet Union and the United States. The missiles were aimed right at the U.S. and ready to go, so luckily the two countries eventually came to an agreement. However, this led to other politics problems, such as the start of the embargo and the U.S. banning Cubans from coming to America for tourism purposes. You can go to a small museum to learn more about this time in history and see pictures from that period.
Stroll Around Plaza Vieja
This area was one of my favorite parts of Havana. It used to be the site of bull fights, executions, and fiestas, but it’s calmed down a bit. Now there are tons of outdoor restaurants and cafes to sit at to enjoy lunch at while you people watch.
Go Salsa Dancing
I’ve been wanting to take salsa lessons for awhile, so I was kicking myself when I went to a salsa dancing club in Cuba without any skills. I didn’t dare get on the dance floor because Cubans are some serious dancers. I was entranced by the skills of men and women of all different sizes and shapes. One of the best places to go for this is Jardine de 1830. You can order food and drinks, and the venue is outside and right on the water.
Head to the Beach
This is a little outside of Havana, but for a white, sandy beach that’s not too crowded, head to Playa Santa María. They serve food, drinks, and there’s even a masseuse on site if you want to really relax! The water is insanely blue here and the sunsets are beautiful. It gets hot, but there are umbrellas and lawn chairs you can rent.
When I was in Cuba, I spent a lot of time with my group talking about our brands. I’ve been wanting to do something more with mine lately. I love watching other travel videos and have always wanted to make my own. I kept putting it off, but when I was in Cuba I realized, “Why am I waiting around?”
Photography is one of my passions and I love bringing readers to each country I go through my pictures. Video allows me to show you each country in a different way. There’s a ton to learn about how to make videos and what to include, but I’ll keep studying other inspiring bloggers to see how they do it. Some of the ones I love include Ashley from Travel Lushes (who was in Cuba with me) and Nadine from Hey Nadine.
With that, I’m proud to present my first video from Cuba. Enjoy!
This post is in partnership with Fit Life Creation, but all opinions are my own. If you’re interested in joining future retreats (Brazil is next!), use the code “MARISSA” for 10% off.
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