At Gay Homestays, travelling is our passion. Last week Sophie from the Gay Homestays team came back from her holiday in Cuba, and we wanted to share her amazing experiences there with you.
Sophie spent 6 days in Havana – a really lively city known of course for its rum, cigars, 1950s cars and great music from talented street bands on almost every street corner. Calle Obispo and the Havana Vieja (Old Havana) are the most touristy regions of Cuba, but not in the same way other places are – because Cuba is a communist country, there are no McDonalds or Starbucks anywhere to be seen, which made a refreshing change.
For eating and drinking you can’t beat the little patio bars and cafés in Havana Vieja – cobbled streets and historic plazas, caged birds and lucious plants are everywhere making the little terraces an inviting break for a very refreshing Cristal beer (local Cuban beer) and possibly a cigar! Cuba is not renowned for its culinary delights but here you will find a selection of reasonably good grilled chicken, pork and fish which seem to be the staple here.
Another area Sophie explored was the malécon (beach front) – a huge swathe of pavement running alongside the coast that becomes an alternative hang out at night for people to meet and swig rum straight from the bottle and play music It’s known as a popular gay hangout too, but there are not many clubs or bars nearby so if you go – remember to bring your own bottle!! After 6 days in Havana, they took a taxi for the 5 hour journey to one of the Cays – Cayo Ensenachos. The taxi had no rear seatbelts and as the one motorway in Cuba is full of potholes aswell as horse drive carriages be prepared for an interesting, if a little tense, ride. Cayo Ensenachos is a beautiful and secluded island that can be reached from the mainland by the 40km of causeway that has been built in the shallow waters. The Cayo itself is beautiful with the white sands, palm trees and turquoise waters I have always dreamed of lying on, cocktail in hand. We stayed in an all inclusive resort there but you can take a ticket and visit the beaches for the day.
Sophie says she loved Cuba for many things, the weather, the beaches, the music, the people. However, don’t go there with European expectations of standards – if you have a 3 star hotel it will unlikely match a 3 star in Europe. I think you need to be a little flexible and open minded to experience and enjoy Cuba.