Cuba restricts our way of travelling

January 22, 2007  
Topics: Cuba

We arrived to Cuba last Thursday. This country is strange – has two currencies, has police control everywhere and the cars with governmental licence plate dominates the streets.

The first 3 nights we stayed in the trimaran, but the day before yesterday we decided to take a train to the furthest possible destination in the East – Guantanamo city. Here we managed to camp with our tent in the sugar cane fields. Tuesday morning we got a ride from government people, which gave us a ride until Baracoa – another 150 km away. Unfortunately, they forced us to pay 18usd for the ride (30usd was initial price).

Several people recommended Baracoa as none touristic and beautiful place, but in the first hours here we understood that this place is already full of tourism.

Foreigners can only stay in hotels overnight. Without hotel reviews at hand we prefer the only other form of accommodation available: people’s houses. Some Cubans own a license to host travelers for about 15 USD/2 person/night. It is not possible to stay in other private houses and apartments, moreover there are no places for camping. Hitch-hiking is not easy either. First there are hardly cars. Second, locals are not allowed to have foreigners inside the car. So most of the people will not risk to give a lift to travellers, as there are lots of police check-points on the roads. And even you will be lucky to get a lift, the driver will expect some money from you, as local hitch-hikers do pay for the rides. Public transport system is terrible here.

So, the situation in Cuba makes it difficult for us to travel in the way we want. It is possible that we will not stay in this country very long.

Augustas and Katja