El Presidente

The Ultimate Visiting Cuba Thread.

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Yes, I agree. The view from the top is amazing (on the odd time when it's open). My wife and I visited there back in early 2008 I think it was, when she was pregnant with our son. As much as that area is "propaganda central", with the communications building, and the giant Che facade on the one building, it's still actually very much a sight (and/or site, LOL) to behold.

EDIT - and Nino, can't believe you haven't visited the Necropolis before! Awesome spot. The ornateness and the art deco throughout is amazing. A bit of a creepy feeling, being what the place is, but some amazing history and cultural relevance there. That Necropolis was/is in my top 5 must visit spots in Havana's main area (along with the Capital Building, Parque Central area, cigar factory visits, and Malecon & Forts). Glad to see you went there, and that you enjoyed it. It's wonderful to see that even in a personal country like Cuba, it's easy to still find spots that amaze and surprise you each time. Very cool.

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Yes, I agree. The view from the top is amazing (on the odd time when it's open). My wife and I visited there back in early 2008 I think it was, when she was pregnant with our son. As much as that area is "propaganda central", with the communications building, and the giant Che facade on the one building, it's still actually very much a sight (and/or site, LOL) to behold.

EDIT - and Nino, can't believe you haven't visited the Necropolis before! Awesome spot. The ornateness and the art deco throughout is amazing. A bit of a creepy feeling, being what the place is, but some amazing history and cultural relevance there. That Necropolis was/is in my top 5 must visit spots in Havana's main area (along with the Capital Building, Parque Central area, cigar factory visits, and Malecon & Forts). Glad to see you went there, and that you enjoyed it. It's wonderful to see that even in a personal country like Cuba, it's easy to still find spots that amaze and surprise you each time. Very cool.

The view from the top is amazing - as you can see from my pictures.

As for the Colon Necropolis, Keith, so many places, so little time ... hard to get me off my "living room" once there.

But not only did I visit Colon this time but I got a special tour led by Miguel Brown, the sub-director there plus a professional guide ..

Now, Miguel Brown was former Director at H.Upmann and El Laguito ... from Cigars to Ashes :-)

Happens often lately in HAV - people getting upgraded downwards, like Eusebio Leal Spengler, the "Boss" of Habana Vieja - he's been appointed Ambassador to the Vatican. Nice move :-)

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OK, Keith, here's my Necropolis trip report :- ))

A fitting post this Easter week-end.

Every time I passed this immense cemetery during my earlier Havana trips I was intrigued and wanted to spend a few hours visiting it.

It always looked to me more attractive, open-aired and less narrow and claustrophobic than the Recoleta cemetery in Buenos Aires that I have visited a few times.

This time I decided to visit it and, learning that an old friend from the cigar industry, Sr. Miguel Brown, former director of H.Upmann and El Laguito was now in charge of the necropolis as a sub-director, made the visit even more attractive.

I met up with him in his office and arranged the visit.

On the day of my visit I had the pleasant privilege of not only being welcomed by Miguel but to have him and a professional guide lead me through the fascinating necropolis and show and explain its main tombs and architectural features.

I will certainly return for a longer tour of the more far corners of this impressive historical place.
Here some details about the necropolis :

It covers 56 ha with 222 blocks, 24,5 km of avenues and streets and 35.000 square metres of tree and green areas.

The average yearly foreign visitors number ca. 160.000.

The name Cristobal Colon was proposed in 1854 as it was then thought that the remains of the Admiral wer4e buried in the Cathedral of Havana after being returned from Santo Domingo.

The foundation date is Oct. 30-th 1871.

It was declared a National monument in 1987.

The document archive is specially important having a treasure of documents and more than 720 burial and protocol books preserved since 1868.

Highly recommended visit for a half day.

Nino


For many more pictures see :

http://flyingcigar.d...lon-necropolis/

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After the Festival it all went quiet again - thank god.

So I took a little tour with Horst, a German friend to Cojimar and Guanabo.

Could have been a nice day at the beach but it was too cool and windy ...

For more pictures :

http://flyingcigar.de/startseite/havana-cojimar-and-guanabo/

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OK, I have only been once, but this is also a combo rating from my wife's intel

1. Your favourite Hotel (nominate the city it is in) N/A - stay in casa's

2. Your favourite Casa Particular Fernando and his wife at Casa 205 Ave 1ra entre 2 y 4, Miramar

3. Your favourite Place for breakfast used to be Pan de Paris, now Dulcinea approx at 7th and 24th, miramar, next to Dos Gardenias

4 Your favourite Paladar or Govt restaurant for lunch

5. Your favourite Paladar or Govt restaurant for dinner easy, El Aljibe

6. Your favourite Bars

7. Your favourite Nightclub (anything before midnight doesn't count!).

8. Favourite places to purchase cigars 5ta y 16, Nacional, Mehlia Cohiba

9. Favourite place to enjoy cigars 5ta y 16, terrace at Nacional

10. Must sees during a stay. Habana Vieja

Let's make it a great resource! If you can suggest any other categories please do so!

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With the XVI Festival del Habano coming up I get many enquiries and requests for information on where to stay, where to eat, where to buy cigars in Havana.

So here is a FAQ Guide to Havana compiled by "Lexvero" a cigar friend in Sweden and member here on FOH from information we exchanged via pm and mails while he was preparing his trip to Cuba :

http://flyingcigar.de/startseite/visiting-havana-faq-about-hotels-casas-and-cigars-2/

Enjoy.

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With the XVI Festival del Habano coming up I get many enquiries and requests for information on where to stay, where to eat, where to buy cigars in Havana.

So here is a FAQ Guide to Havana compiled by "Lexvero" a cigar friend in Sweden and member here on FOH from information we exchanged via pm and mails while he was preparing his trip to Cuba :

http://flyingcigar.d...s-and-cigars-2/

Enjoy.

outstanding, Nino.

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Casa Particular Marisol - Miramar, Playa, Havana

I've been staying in this neighbourhood for a few years now and have known Sra. Marisol for as long.

Always a pleasure to meet her and talk while she’d walk the dog on Calle 70.
She used to clean the Casa next door where I used to stay but after some hard work she is able to run her own private Casa now, Casa Marisol.

The location is fantastic, Nr 907 on 70- St btw. 9-th & 11-th, Miramar, Playa, walking distance from the Melia Habana, the Miramar business centre, the Panorama hotel, across the Parque Monte Barreto, one minute away from Sergio's, Havana's newest Italian Pasta heaven, one minute away from Cafe Song, a 24-hr Paladar and Breakfast place.

All embassies are around the corner as are the best Paladares, El Aljibe restaurant and 5-ta y 16 Casa del Habano. Club Habana is 10 minutes away as is central Havana.

Her accommodation is a spotlessly clean 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom first floor with a terrace, kitchen, etc, she serves breakfast and meals if wished and her daughter can provide transportation while in Havana - a basic but very affordable place and a great host in Sra. Marisol.

If you contact or stay with her, give Marisol a big hug from me - you will enjoy the stay with a Cuban family !

Nino

Casa Particular Marisol

Calle 70 No. 907 e/ 9 y 11

Miramar, Playa

Tlf. 209 5164 Mobile : 5296 7799

http://flyingcigar.de/startseite/casa-particular-marisol-miramar-playa-havana/

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I'm hoping to spend 5-6 days in Cuba next month. Unfortunately I'll most likely be a solo traveller. Would a hotel be the best option I take it, so as to hopefully socialize with some other people???

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I'm going back to Cuba in September for my 50th and can anyone update their Havana restaurant recommendations or anything that i must do or see.

We are taking some friends with us so i would like to show them some things off the regular tourist trail.

Also any rollers that are on the must visit list ? I will be going to the Villenova, Melia Habana and to see Enrique Mons.

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Here's a recent list of rollers that was put together. See credits below.

Roller || Address || Notes
  • Alejandro Gonzalez Arias || Hotel Comodoro Cigar Shop at 3ra Ave. & Calle 84, Playa || Replaced Santos. Word is good on his sticks.
  • Leopoldina Gutierrez aka 'La China' || Partagas LCDH at Calle Industria #520, Centro Habana || Great personality, excellent roller. Get whatever you can. She can't roll as much as she used to.
  • Yolanda Medina || Hotel Melia Habana LCDH at 3ra Ave. between Calle 76 & 80, Playa || Classy lady. Piramides are her signature roll. Blends are on the sweet side.
  • Maria || Quinta y 16 LCDH at 5ta Ave. and Calle 16, Miramar || Unknown to me.
  • Jorge Lopez || Club Havana LCDH at 5ta Ave. between Calle 188-192, Playa || Worth the visit for his Monsdales alone. His new Robusto Largo is also a winner.
  • Reynaldo Gonzalez & Jorge || Conde de Villanueva LCDH at Mercaderes #202 corner of Lamparilla, Habana Vieja || Another master roller. Known for rolling monster sized cigars. Full bodied blends.
  • Juanita Ramos Guerra || Hotel Melia Cohiba LCDH, at Paseo Ave. between Calle 1 & 3, Vedado || Ask about her Elefantes. Short, chubby cigars, packed with flavour.
  • Milagro Morales || Hotel Nacional LCDH at Calle 21 & O, Vedado || Unknown to me, but a stop for a smoke here is a must.
  • Arnaldo Alfonso Ibanez || Hotel Palco LCDH at 146 Ave. between Calle 11 & 13, Playa|| Great old guy. Can do it all. I like his shaggy foot Lanceros myself.
  • Cueto || El Morro Castle. La Habana del Este, Havana, Cuba || Roller of the world's longest cigar (268.4 ft Guinness record).
Credits:
* List: Matteo Speranza for Cigar Inspector
* Notes:My own.
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Can anyone give some suggestions of everyday items at home that would make good gifts that I can take. I'm thinking of items that are difficult to get in Cuba.

My first thoughts are fishing tackle (hooks lures etc) and nail polish, perfumes etc

If you are staying at a casa, call them and ask them if there is anything in particular they need. Also you can't go wrong with basic necessities like toothpaste, toothbrushes, soap, shampoo, clothes, for the kids toys, candy.

We Cubans are very appreciative and they will be happy with whatever you bring. Wish you a great trip.

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Great post thank you In a Cubenborn going back to my country for the first time in 48 years. I'm going this December and I look forward to visiting my homeland and of course smoking lots of cigars. If anyone has suggestions for an ex pat like me going to Cuba for the first time let me know Por favor

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