My German friend Tim and I decided to finally go to the beach! It only took me two weeks to finally leave La Habana. Tim is traveling around the world and on a tight budget like myself so we decided to take the bus. We both had been to scared to ride it alone, him because he speaks no Spanish and me because they pack people on there like sardines.
Our bus ride was very pleasant and people were very helpful as far as which bus to take and where to get off. I would highly recommend riding the bus if you speak a little Spanish. It’s only one Cuban peso for two people which is about .05 cents. Much less expensive than a taxi which is $25 CUC each way.
Thursday was the day after Hurricane Matthew had hit Cuba. While the hurricane didn’t directly hit La Habana the weather there had still been affected by it. The winds were strong and the waves big.
One of the women who works at my casa paticular met us there with her son. The weather wasn’t particularly nice but it was nice to get out of the city. We went to the beach Santa Maria which is about a 45 minute bus ride outside of the city.
You can purchase food on the beach for a hearty price but if you just walk off the beach you will find many cafeterias with inexpensive food. Cafeterias are for Cubans and restaurants are for tourists. We each got a huge lunch for about $1 CUC and it was delicious.
After the beach we decided to ride the bus to Coppelia. I had been raving about the delicious and inexpensive ice cream I had had there the day earlier. The bus took about an hour and a half to get there from the beach and when we got off the bus it started pouring.
When we finally got to Coppelia soaked they asked us if we were paying with CUC, the tourist money or CUP, Cuban national money. Neither of us had national money on us so they stuck us in a separate part of the restaurant. I had misunderstood the price of the ice cream thinking it was .40 cents however it was $4 CUC. We got to the beach and back plus lunch for less than our ice cream.
If you go to Coppelia make sure you go with a Cuban and bring CUP. In my opinion the ice cream and experience is worth $4 CUC however for other budget travelers it may not be.