National Geographic's Erika Skogg shares highlights of recent trip to Havana

Posted: 17-Jun-15 13:41

Erika Skogg, travel writer and photographer with National Geographic, has recently returned from a 10-day trip to Cuba under a people-to-people licence. In a recent article, she talks about her time in Havana, with suggestions on where to go, what to do, and top tips for travellers planning to visit the Caribbean island.

National Geographic's Erika Skogg shares highlights of recent trip to Havana

Erika Skogg can usually be found guiding photography students on trips with National Geographic Expeditions, but the travel writer and photographer has recently returned from a trip to Cuba under a people-to-people licence.

Talking about her trip to Cuba in an article, Skogg shares her highlights of her trip to Havana, from where to go, to what to do.

Staying at the Hotel Parque Central, Skogg says that the city is like something from the 1950s and as she walked along the streets, she explained:

"The lovely locals, live cha-cha spilling out of cafes, and endless supply of fresh mojitos will make you glad you came".

For food, she recommends the private paladar (restaurant) La Guarida, which is located on the top floors of an old mansion that features colourful, crumbling decor and a delicious eggplant "cavier".

The Taller Experimental de Grafica (Graphical Experimental Workshop) is a warehouse near Cathedral Square in Old Havana where artists work on huge lithographic stones and large prints. Tourists can walk among the artists' tables and printing machines, whilst engaging with artists, before choosing a souvenir to take home.

When it comes to evening entertainment, Skogg says:

"Music is everywhere in Cuba. Almost every night in Habana Vieja (Old Havana), La Taberna hosts a two-hour show featuring a variety of singers and dancers (Buena Vista Social Club members have been known to sit in on sessions)."

For daytime activities, the writer recommends the Museum of Fine Arts which boasts an impressive collection of pieces dating pack to the Spanish Colonial period through to the present, and there's an entire wing dedicated to Cuban artists. Skogg concludes:

"On Saturday evenings, Havana's five-mile-long Malecon is packed with tourists and locals out enjoying their city. I spent a memorable night here with a group of musicians playing Cuban mambo on trombones as the sun sank into the ocean beyond."

General tourism and sun holidays to Cuba are still restricted for U.S travellers, but they can travel to the Caribbean island through people to people programmes organised by tour operators and charter companies in the U.S.


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