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Property

Trinidad

Trinidad – This is Core Cuba for me, just as Kyoto is Core Japan. I wandered through its colorful streets without stopping. I started walking with the famous Lonely Planet recommended route in the evening. There are trains from the 1800s south of the city. Since the American-made steam train was out of order, we went to Valle de los Ingenios by a Russian-made gasoline-powered train. Security guard Jose both told about the broken steam train and allowed to take pictures. The train ride to the valley is ideal for train fans.

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The train stopped at two places in the valley. At the first stop, Manaca Iznaga, there is a very tall tower built to watch over the slaves working in the sugar cane fields. At the top of the tower, a breathtaking view of the vast valley awaited us. The other stop is Guachinango, where a house converted into a colonial-era restaurant is located. It was a nice stop for a walk around the house, horseback riding, and a snack. I spent the next day in Playa Ancón, it has a long coastline. I said I don’t want to seem dissatisfied about this, but I wasn’t too hit with the sea.

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It is good to take a break on the beaches while walking, and to spend a quiet day reading a book. Hiking I chose the 7 km route to Caburni Waterfall (Salto del Caburni) in the Topes de Collantes national park. The route starts right from the parking lot next to the Kurhotel. After the walk, you should drink coffee at Casa Museo del Café. Take a look at Trinidad from the mirador point, returning from the national park. Security – Tourism is a very important source of income as the country is very poor. Since it is forbidden to touch and harm the tourist, I was able to walk around the streets of Cuba very easily, provided that I was a little careful.

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The only concern of Cubans is to make money by selling a few things.
Internet – Internet in Cuba is very limited but available. It is possible to buy 2CUC internet packages for half an hour or 10CUC for 5 hours from the telecommunication company Etecsa. I easily found the available wireless internet networks in the most central squares of cities or in front of large hotels by seeing a lot of people looking at their phones. As far as I can see, Cubans mostly use the internet for video chat. Also, I haven’t seen the long queues in front of payphones for a long time. Talking is important in Cuba.

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Viazul – Intercity bus company, punctual but aircon too cold. I bought some of my bus tickets online before I went and took the printout with me. I didn’t have to worry about waiting in line or finding a man for a shared taxi. It was only necessary to check-in on the bus half an hour before the bus departure.
Casa particular – This form of accommodation, where Cubans open their rooms to tourists, is quite intimate. It was a good opportunity for me to get to know Cubans better.

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Taxi colectivo – Shared taxis are very common among many major destinations. The price is the same as the bus ticket, it just needs to be filled and it is not clear which type of vehicle you will go with. Cash – I haven’t seen many POS machines outside of Havana. That’s why I converted the Euros I brought with me to CUC and some of them to CUP Pesos at the airport. With pesos, I was able to take advantage of the cheap prices in places where Cubans shop. Namely, 1 Euro is approximately 1.09 CUC. It is translated as 1 CUC=25CUP in the bank. In supermarkets or restaurants where locals go, sometimes 2 currencies are included in the price list from these values, then the peso makes no difference.

But when I bought vegetables and fruits on the road, and had breakfast at the breakfast kiosks where the locals go, I was able to benefit from very reasonable prices because only pesos were used. For example, I paid 7 pesos (I paid 7/25 Euros) for a sundae at the ice cream parlor where the locals go. Help – Bring your unused or shrinking clothes in your suitcase and share them with Cubans. Meeting the needs of little Cubans such as pens and notebooks is also very welcome. Smart apps – I downloaded triposo for offline guide and maps.me apps to my phone before I went, it was very useful since there was almost no internet.

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But when I bought vegetables and fruits on the road, and had breakfast at the breakfast kiosks where the locals go, I was able to benefit from very reasonable prices because only pesos were used. For example, I paid 7 pesos (I paid 7/25 Euros) for a sundae at the ice cream parlor where the locals go. Help – Bring your unused or shrinking clothes in your suitcase and share them with Cubans. Meeting the needs of little Cubans such as pens and notebooks is also very welcome. Smart apps – I downloaded triposo for offline guide and maps.me apps to my phone before I went, it was very useful since there was almost no internet.