• Cuba Travel



This is our latest edition and they are listed in descending order, from the biggest scams in Cuba to not so bad. You’ve been warned!

  1. El Callejon de Hamel. The island’s number one tourist trap, its entire premise is to get you into the jineteros (hustlers) paradise that it is, and the only Cubans you will run into there are professional hustlers!

  2. Cigars on the street. Don’t even think about buying them, ever!

  3. Any first edition Hemingway book. It is not real, don’t bother to look closely, and no, that’s not Hemingway’s signature!

  4. La Manzana de Gomez. This is Havana’s newest shopping center with accompanying Hotel Kempinski located in the heart of Old Havana. Ridiculous prices for items you could get anywhere else in the world for a fraction of the price.

  5. Coco taxi rides. If the driver of one of these death traps identifies you as a tourist, you will end up paying ten times more than a local.

  6. The bars El Floridita and La Bodeguita del Medio. They both sell some of the most expensive drinks on the island and they are usually weak! These two bars are packed with foreigners, and Cuban hustlers. They may have been great in the mid-twentieth century when Hemingway was hanging-out at both, but their time has come and gone, so pop in, take a photo, and go get a real drink somewhere else! There are countless great private bars in Old Havana, like La Farmacia, or restaurants with great bars like Al Carbon, Il Rustico, and O’Reilly 304.

  7. Music CD’s on the streets of Old Havana.

  8. Dinning at any government restaurant. They are not all terrible, but none is truly good, and with so many great private restaurants all over the city, why bother!

  9. Wi-Fi. Good luck with the Wi-Fi anywhere, it’s slow, usually difficult to connect to, and a waste of money. Try to disconnect when you’re in Cuba.

  10. Carriage rides around Old Havana. These are not Central Park carriages, the horses are mistreated and look it, stay away!

By Frank Gonzalez

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