Camaguey, Cuba, with it’s winding streets, designed to confuse pirates, now delight visitors.
About 4km from Camaguey’s historic centre, this large hotel was modern in 1975, today it’s structure and decor are showing their age and the amenities and cleanliness are indicative of a two star rating. The size is attractive to tour groups. The breakfast room fills up early and then a controlled line stands outside the doors; can be difficult if you have a early departure schedule.
The link above suggests a site on which to book. Check to see if restaurant is open for dinner or you will be faced with a trip into town.
Address: Central Highway, km 4½, Jayama, Camaguey
For more information visit this site (information site – not official).
SIGHTSEEING IN CAMAGUEY
GAP Adventures has a number of tour options for Cuba; the longest being their 15 day Colonial Tour. Many of the historical city centers are small so we encourage you to tour on your own by walking and/or using bicitaxis and cocotaxis. It can be more affordable, more flexible and more fun than an organized tour. Take a Lonely Planet guide book with you for detailed information about the sights to see.
The sculptures shown on this page are by Martha Jimenez; her studio can be seen on Carman Plaza.
Remember to take some time, tuck the guide book away, and just enjoy watching citizens going about their daily lives.
FOOD & DRINK IN CAMAGUEY
For decades Cuba has been criticized for its bland and unimaginative food. Other than street pizzas, Cubans tend to eat at home … mostly for economic reasons. When Cuba reopened it’s doors to tourist in 1997 and began allowing casa particulars (similar to B&Bs) visitors to this country had an opportunity to enjoy home cooked meals. Some of Cubas best and most reasonably priced meals can be enjoyed in casa particulars. For dinners and lunches the choice is usually chicken, pork, fish or vegetarian.
Breakfasts, Lunches & Dinners: In Vinales we had breakfast and dinners at Villa Basita which were tasty and always plentiful; so much so that we only had a light snack mid-day. After touring the island for three weeks we rated Basita’s chicken the best in Cuba.
Water: Drinking water in Cuba, for visitors, should be bottled. Most Cubans boil the water they use. At Villa Basita guests are treated to complimentary bottled water.
Drinks: Cuba is famous for it’s rum. Individual purchased drinks are tourist priced. Buying a bottles of rum and mix at a bar and mixing your own is common in Cuba. Beer brands ‘Bucanero’ and its lighter version ‘Cristal’ are the two most popular beer offered. A great people watching place with reasonably priced individual drinks in Vinales is a little bar with outside tables on the north-west corner across from church square.
Snacks: Pop, chips and cookies are luxury items and are sold in Cuban Convertible pesos (CUC$) – the “tourist pesos”. National pesos (CUP) which you can get at a Cadeca (change booth) – CUC$1 = 24 national pesos. You can buy local goods like street pizza for around 45¢ US, a fresh loaf of bread (approx 12¢), ice cream cone (approx 7¢) or a glass of sugar cane juice (approx 8¢).
GETTING AROUND CAMAGUEY
An easy, comfortable and inexpensive way to go between Havana and Vinales is by ViaZul Bus. These buses are equipped with toilet and air conditioning. Two trips per day book up ahead of time so make sure to buy your ticket at least the day before departure. The trip will take 3.5 – 4 hours and cost approximately CUC$12.