Cuba, it is probably the weirdest country I ever visited, and even though I left already, I still need to figure out some things. But was it worth to visit the country?
I would say yes. It was a unique country, and it was good to see and to learn. There are some beautiful places to see, and the lack of the internet made me appreciate the time even more. However, there are many strange things, and I would definitely not recommend going as a Solo Backpacker. It’s not Backpacker budget-friendly, and you could feel extremely lonely. There are no Hostels, and the lack of the internet to connect with other people makes it hard to enjoy the stay solo. I traveled with my girlfriend, and so we could enjoy the time away from our phones, and we always had someone to talk to and also share the cost.
It isn’t cheap at all
Especially food and transport are costly in Cuba. There are significant food shortages for the population in Cuba, and therefore the prices of food rise. In addition to that, tourists can only eat out in tourist restaurants because most other restaurants don’t except the tourist money. These restaurants are a lot more expensive. Between 10 and 20 USD are reasonable for a meal. If you consider that the salary of a Cuban citizen is between 40 and 60 USD a month, these prices are ridiculous. Also, transportation from city to city and taxis are incredibly overpriced. For a 5-hour bus ride, you need to pay 25 USD and another 10 USD for the taxi in Havana. Compared to this, the accommodations are moderately priced. There are hundreds of Casa Particular, which are basically homestays, and a lot of them can be found on Airbnb. They are cheap and mostly very good. They also offer a full breakfast with fruits, bread, eggs, cheese, jam, coffee, and juice for only 5 USD.
What to do and visit?
There are many things to do in Cuba, from a classic car tour in Havana to horse riding in Vinales. Everything comes at a price, but these things are worth doing. Vinales is beautiful in the middle of nature, and the beach near Trinidad is also perfect for relaxing with blue water and not overly touristic.
On the other hand, there are many things which absolutely don’t work and which are a big pain in the ass. Some most present examples are the situation with the internet and the money. There is no mobile internet, people need to buy wifi cards, and they can only be used in some hotels and parks. It is necessary to stand in line for one hour only to get 3 hours of wifi and then you need to sit in a park to use it. Same with the money – there are two currencies, one for locals and one for tourists. Changing cash is always connected to losses, and the queues are incredibly long — more on that topic in my next post.
In general, I had a good time. This is also because I spend the time with my girlfriend, solo, it would probably be a different story. We enjoyed Vinales the most, especially walking through nature, and horse riding were some favorite moments. Even though it is sometimes harder to get along, then in other countries where you can google most things, we got along pretty well in the end. But it needs some preparation before flying. Cuba isn’t the most adventurous destination like Southeast Asia, but it is so different from any other countries I ever traveled to, and so it was worth a visit.
- Total countries I visited until now: 44
- Planes: 37
- Busses: 66
- Trains: 23
- Boats: 27
- Km driving: 8000
- KM driving with my Tuktuk: 2000
- Km running: 4552