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Posted April 22, 2003 by publisher in Cuba Vacation

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Maria Karagianis is a freelance writer and founding executive director of Discovering Justice, a Boston nonprofit whose mission is to teach about democracy. She lives in Milton.


Traveling to Cuba from the United States legally means going with a sanctioned tour group. Some operators:

Center for Cuban Studies
124 W. 23rd St.
NY, NY 10011

Weeklong trips $2,300-$2,600, including air fare, lodging, and some meals. Specialty trips geared toward performing arts, visual arts, architecture, and other interests cost more.

Marazul Tours
8324 SW 40 St.
Miami, FL 33155

Arranges charter trips.

ADS Ventures
1540 Monument St.
Concord, MA 01742

Arranges cultural tours of one to two weeks, including air fare, lodging, travel license, travel within Cuba, and some meals for $3,000 to $3,500.


Museo de la Revolucion
Calle Refugio 1, Centro

This white marble confection was the dictator Fulgencio Batista’s Palacio Presidencial when students attacked it in 1957. Contains photographs of tortured revolutionaries and traces liberation struggles from colonial times.

The tank outside was used in the Bay of Pigs invasion.

Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes
Calle Trocadero, e/Av. De la Belgica y Calle Agramonte

Havana’s fine arts museum is in two buildings, one an exciting Cuban collection, the other an international collection.

Real Fabrica de Tabacos Partagas

Industria No 520

One of Havana’s oldest cigar factories and its most famous, founded in 1845. Factory tours take place at 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. every weekday. Admission is $10 to enter and watch 400 workers handroll cigars. There is also a bar where visitors can sample a cigar.


Hotel Santa Isabelle
Plaza de Armas
Calle Baratillo 9, La Habana Vieja
Fax: 011-53-7-33-8391

Beautiful, with a wonderful restaurant and courtyard; 17 rooms, 10 suites, $100 to $150 per night.

Hotel Habana Libre
Calle 23 (La Rampa) y Calle L, Vedado
Fax: 011-53-7-33-3141

547 rooms, starting at $150 a night.

El Nacional
Calle O y Calle 21, Vedado
011-53-7-33-3564 through

Great harbor, city views; 434 rooms, 16 suites, starting at $150 per night.

Hotel Florida
Calle Obispo 252
La Habana Vieja

A noble mansion with 21 rooms, 4 suites, $75-$125.


El Aljibe
7th Avenue, between 24th and 26th

A well-known restaurant in Havana’s Miramar neighborhood, serving traditional Cuban food. Entrees are about $10 each; full meals about $15.

La Guarida
Concordia 418
Between Garbasio and Escobar

In Central Havana, highly recommended. Entrees $15-$20.


Palacio de la Salsa
Hotel Riviera, Paseo and Malecon

Top salsa musicians like Los Van Van and Isaac Delgado perform regularly here. Arrive early or make reservations in person. Open 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. daily.

Cabaret Turquino
Hotel Habana Libre
Opens nightly at 10:30. Superb views and you can order dinner.

  1. Follow up post #1 added on November 20, 2004 by bob accornero

    Please give me all available information regarding cigar factory tours. Thank You, Bob Accornero

  2. Follow up post #2 added on July 09, 2006 by Primoz Frelih

    Hello, i would like to recomend this Casa particular:


    .. a nice place to stay in Havana.

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