Bloggers’ Guide to Cuba

Bloggers’ Guide to Cuba

In October last year, I came across a photo on instagram that a fellow blogger, Hayet Rida, had posted saying that she wanted to go to Cuba. In my random Dinah way, I commented on the photo and said that I wanted to go too! Within minutes, we were DM’ing each other planning to go to Cuba at the beginning of 2017. Before long, we had convinced two other friend’s to join us on this trip and spent a good part of the holiday planning for it. As fate would have it, Hayet would not join me on this trip for circumstances beyond her control. For a split second I considered not going but the flights and airbnb were booked. This turned out to be one of my best trips ever! It was lit on epic levels. I definitely found the best travel buddies in Chinny (enmaandi.com) and Chante ( everythingcurvyandchic.com)

It hasn’t been two days since I got back from my trip to Cuba and I already want to go back! What an awesome experience! Havana, Cuba is basically a blogger’s paradise with its vibrant colors, colorful culture and beautiful people. I am in the middle of writing an extensive travel guide to Cuba because the questions I have received following my trip have been many. But in the meantime, I did want to offer up a blog post with the most photogenic spots to take photos in Cuba.

Streets of Old Havana

What’s not to love about the vintage Spanish architecture in this city?

old havana cubastreets of old havana

Malecón, Havana

12km of options to choose from on this wall lining the city of Havana. You are bound to catch a vintage car or two. And if you are especially lucky, you might get serenaded by a Cuban band.malecon cubamalecon havana cubamalecon havana cuba

Playa de Santa Maria

Blue water, sunshine and a breeze to make those Instagram photos pop! Bonus is that it’s only a 25 minute taxi ride from central Havana.

playa de santa mariaplaya de santa mariaplaya de santa maria

Hotel Inglaterra

Beautiful architecture and countless vintage car options to choose from outside the hotel.

hotel inglaterrahavana cuba , hotel ingleterra

La Guarida – Make Sure You Go To The Rooftop!

This was a lucky accident. We had had lunch here (not great food BTW) , when someone told us to walk upstairs. Quite the hike up 5 flights of stairs but totally worth it! Oh, and hold on to your hats. It is super windy.

la guarida cubala guarida cubala guarida cuba

Streets of Central Havana

The buildings are more run down here but totally gives that authentic Havana vibe to your photos. Just rent a vintage car for 160 CUC and you are set.

central havanacentral havanacentral havanahavana cuba

Plaza de la Revolución

So much history here! You have to get a shot here. Plus side is lots of vintage car tours stop here so you get to shoot several vintage cars at once.

Plaza de la Revolución

Vinales Tobacco Farm

My favorite travel experience ever was learning how Cuban cigars are made … and smoking one.

vinales cuba

Viñales Caves

Probably best to go during the week so you dont have to wait forever in line. But how cute is this ox?! And the cave itself is beautiful inside

vinales caves cubavinales cuba

Viñales Market

This wasnt planned but everything was cheap and this photo op, duh?!

vinales cubavinales cubavinales cubavinales cuba

Mercado de Artesania

Situated in a big portside warehouse, you don’t want to miss this indoor market. It’s a beautiful place to wander around, admire the art and maybe buy something. It’s so colorful! One of the artists chased me down and took my picture for his art. He told me to come back and buy it. So if you happen to come across a lifesize photo of me, do me a solid and get it for me will ya? If you want cheap art, make sure to stop here.Just remember to ask for the tax papers if you plan to take the art out of the country. Dont be like us and get caught at the airport with no cash and owing 5CUC in taxes 😐

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For the longest time, Americans weren’t allowed to visit Cuba so it is truly a hidden gem that several Americans have not been privy to. It is still a guarded jewel that does require some research to visit if you have an American passport. Despite the obvious difficulties like language barrier, the fact that you cannot use bank cards there or the fact that you feel like you entered a time warp, it is TOTALLY worth it to visit. If this post hasn’t wet your appetite yet, read this post where I break down everything you need to know to get your butt to Cuba. I’m still sad that Hayet and I didn’t get to go to Cuba together. But do stay tuned, we have a “make up” trip next month that promises to be awesome. More on that later.

For now its adiós ( from my shamefully limited Spanish vocabulary)

Photos of me by the talented Chinny from the blog duo Enmaandi

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19 Comments

  1. Lebene
    February 26, 2017 / 1:31 PM

    Wonderful read for a lazy Sunday afternoon Dinah. Loved it with all its colour and enthusiasm.

    • Dinah
      February 27, 2017 / 4:25 PM

      aww thank you Lebene! More to come. 🙂

  2. Ese
    February 19, 2017 / 1:08 PM

    Your blog is Uber colorful. I’ll be a better follower lol

    • Dinah
      February 20, 2017 / 9:59 AM

      Yes! I decided to stop trying to curb my colorful side. I love color so why not?

      • Toya
        February 21, 2017 / 4:18 PM

        Hi, I love your blog regarding your trip to Cuba. Beautiful pictures!!! I want to visit but I’m curious to know if there were a lot of stray cats 😬 especially at restaurants? If so, do they come up to you? I visited Greece & had a bad experience with cats. Thank you!!!

        • Dinah
          February 23, 2017 / 6:50 PM

          Oh my gosh i was hoping someone would ask me that. Haha. Incidentally there are alot of random dogs and cats in Cuba. The cats are not super friendly. In fact they don’t come up to you unless you offer them food. The dogs are way friendlier. But all the stays in Cuba are super cautious. I think in general if you don’t motion to them, you will be fine.

  3. Nicola
    February 18, 2017 / 9:45 AM

    Love! Can’t wait for the second post with more details!

    • Dinah
      February 20, 2017 / 10:01 AM

      Working on it! I have so much information to share and then it was 65 degree weather in new york yesterday… totally got sidetracked. 😊

  4. Terry
    February 18, 2017 / 9:20 AM

    Definitely adding ox riding to my bucket list. Beautiful pics. Waiting for the detailed post. #operationhavana2018

    • Dinah
      February 18, 2017 / 9:22 AM

      Yas! Gosh you will have the best time. Ox riding was a bit overrated. Kinda like how horse riding rates in my book. Lol. But hey, i never pass up a photo op

  5. Gigi
    February 18, 2017 / 8:21 AM

    The pictures you took are “out of this world!” I can’t believe u actually smoked a cigar you are officially a “bad ass” lol I posed with a cigar before but wasn’t daring enough to light it. And that bull Dee, oh Gawd!!! No more fake bull on Wall Street lol I can’t wait to read the next post my hubby and I are curious about Cuba!!! Thanks for sharing you will be saving us some time on research 🙂

    • Dinah
      February 18, 2017 / 9:24 AM

      Oh my gosh. It was such a gentle giant that bull. I am currently working on the next post. We took over a thousand photos in cuba so the hardest part is curating the best ones to post. But I should have it up later today followed by another one with a 5 day itinerary with airbnb, flight details and daily activities. Stay tuned, I can totally see you in Cuba

      • Gigi
        February 18, 2017 / 2:37 PM

        Yay! How about the food? The Cuban restaurants in Nyc have been pretty good … how was it there?

        • Dinah
          February 20, 2017 / 10:01 AM

          Im sad to say that the food is bland. Super bland. Like no salt type of bland. Definitely wasnt a fan. You would have to go to a bougie place that caters to foreigners to get spicey food. I was so dissapointed because the Cuban joint in new york is my favorite!

  6. Mim
    February 17, 2017 / 8:27 PM

    The pictures came out more glorious than expected and everyone looks fabulous and i totally coined that term- blogger’s paradise- haha!!! Damn if I knew that beach was so close I would have gone except I ran out of cash 😣

    • Dinah
      February 17, 2017 / 9:33 PM

      Haha, you ABSOLUTELY did coin that term. And you were so right. It truly was. Gosh the first few days we were practically giving money away. By the last day, come and see us bargaining like crazy. I really do regret not having more cash at the end for art.

  7. Hayet Rida
    February 17, 2017 / 6:51 PM

    You and this darn ox!

    • Dinah
      February 17, 2017 / 9:33 PM

      lol. it was so gentle!

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