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Coco Cabs in Havana

7 Local Things to See and Do on the Streets of Havana

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Meandering down the streets near El Capitale.

1 | Look for the balconies. It’s easy to walk through Havana and be completely transfixed on what’s in front of you: intriguing alleyways and vintage cars cranking pass kids playing soccer. It’s there so much to take in. But look up and you’ll peeks of life above ground-level: women hang-drying laundry, old men sticking their heads out for huffs of cigars, and grandmothers cooking up what I imagine to be amazing pots of arroz con pollo.

Look up. Balconies with people above us.

Looking at me, looking at her.

Paintings line the streets of Habana Vieja.

2 | Find art, art and more art. From paintings on the streets of Habana Vieja, to political graffiti stenciled on old buildings, to modern galleries, Havana has an amazing art scene.

Anthony getting fan drawings.

“The Hulk,” Anthony was by far the local favorite among old ladies and enthusiatic girls. This was a fan portrait he got from an artist on our first day.

Cuban hero revolutionary leaders Julio Antonio Mella, Camilo Cienfuegos and Che Guevara painted on a wall in Havana, Cuba

A wall tagged with the faces of Cuban revolutionary leaders: Julio Antonio Mella, Camilo Cienfuegos and Che Guevara. Politics are a huge part of everyday Cuban life and conversation.

One of my favorite places to people-watch in Havana, the Paseo del Prado ( or just Prado) during sunset.

3 | Take a stroll though Paseo del Prado. Back in the day, the Prado was one of the wealthiest streets in Havana. The Capitolio and Parque Central are on one end of it, and during sunset, these buildings are picture-perfect.

Paseo del Prado leads to old-school luxury hotels and the Parque Central.

Pose provided by “Mama Sita” Maria.

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4| Try a meal at a very local restaurant. Places like these are government-owned, cheap, and meant for workers. The menu is a fantastic “eff-you” to foreigners (aka they do not cater to tourists, which I love.) There were only 2 things on the menu: chicken or pork. #keepingitreal

Architecture in Havana

5 | Check out the architecture. Since the days of Christopher Columbus, Cuba has been the center of invading cultures, and political and social movements. Havana’s facades are an assortment of all these influences. This building in particular is a one of my favorite examples of Moorish/ Arab influence. #artnerd.

"La Artista" Nina, catching birds on the corner of Cuba Street... in Cuba.

6 | Find “Cuba” in Cuba. Everytime I walk pass Cuba Street, the foreigner in me can’t help but take a picture of it.  Pictured: “La Artista” Nina.

Coco Cabs in Havana

7 | Pose with a coco cab. They’re meant for tourists, but seriously, can you resist? They’re probably one of the cutest forms of transportation I’ve ever seen.

 

Things to expect in Trinidad, Cuba

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In Trinidad, Cuba, You’ll Find Salsa, Cowboys, and Colors

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In Cuba, it’s not uncommon to do car shares. Michel from our crew sat in the front of the taxi, while we picked up two more passengers who were also headed in the direction we were going.

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I’d just dozed off into a hazy dream when I realized the car had stopped. “What happened?” I asked? One of the passenger’s luggage had fallen on the roof of the car. Hello Cuba. 

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5 hours later, we arrived in colorful, spectacular Trinidad with all our luggage in tact.

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Trinidad is a UNESCO World Heritage city. It reeks of color and other pieces of charm things like horse-drawn carriages. 

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A lot of waiting around. Patience is a virtue.

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We finally got to our casa particular.

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… and got to see views like this. 

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Our casa was situated above a little banana plantation. Amy was our Cover Girl.

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Dorks.

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Trinidad is small and intimate. But it’s full of music and flavor.

Cuba_Trinidad_City2Stroll aroun

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Snacking on fresh stuff like this.

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Pork Roast

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Right in the middle of town is Casa de la Música one of two main bars with live music from dusk until late.

Map&Move travel tour in Havana, Cuba

See Who’s Coming to Cuba, Jan 2016

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Meet the crew coming on our Cuba trip this New Year’s Eve!

Amy H. | Dallas, Texas

“I like adventures where you wander until you are tired. And then you eat.”

Jenn L. | NYC, New York

“I design stuff and lead Map&Move trips. Oh, and I love cheesecake and getting lost in new cities.”

KarMan P. | Brussels, Belgium

Favorite quote: “I didn’t strive for success, I strive to do something artistically important.”- D. Bowie

Michel L. | Mexico City, Mexico

Favorite quote: “Smile my friend, you’re way too ugly, too old, and too boring to look like that… ” – Logan Rainer

Jorge O. | Mexico City, Mexico

Music nerd and tech guy.

Philo D. | Brussels, Belgium

Fun Fact: I speak 5 languages.