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Havana, Cuba (Center on Interactive Map)

Map of Havana, Cuba

Map of Havana, Cuba

Che Broken Down Car
Cuban Emerald (Riccordia ricordii) Red-legged Thrush (Turdus plumbeus) Cuban Blackbird (Ptiloxena atroviolacea)

Neighborhood in Havana



1/25/2024: After a short stay in Miami, we flew to Havana under the license "Support for the Cuban people". The government of the United States has made it difficult for its citizens to travel to Cuba, and there are all kinds of documentation requirements and so forth. As American citizens, we are required to document for 5 years our transactions in Cuba to prove that we did not do business with Cuban government entities. We are also not allowed to bring Cuban rum or tobacco into the United States. For this reason, I always buy Cuban rum when I travel outside the US (for consumption in those foreign countries).

I will document all of this right here for all eternity (at least as long as this website lasts) so that future generations can look back and see how wonderful and free and moronic the United States was in 2024.

On our first day arriving in Cuba, we arrived at the Havana airport. We arranged a taxi ride to a Casa Particular (we are not allowed to stay in hotels) in Havana. We continued to support the Cuban people by buying a mediocre pizza at a shop near our accommodation. We bought tickets to a music show where we also bought some drinks and some popcorn. Later, we bought some more drinks in our Casa Particular. The Cuban people did not seem to know or care about our government's restrictions, and they were all very friendly.

1/26/2024: Today, we continued our "Support for the Cuban people" by riding in a collectivo taxi (some ancient car from the 1950s) to visit a park near our Casa Particular. After we were finished with the park, we found it impossible to get transport back to the Casa Particular. There is a huge shortage of transportation options in the country. So, we had to walk for about an hour to get back to the more interesting part of town.

We took a taxi to Old Havana where we were mildly hassled by a bunch of touts. We had a drink in La Florida which is famous because Ernest Hemmingway went there. We walked around for awhile, and then we ate some food in a local restaurant.

That restaurant had some "Coca Cola" imported from Mexico, but it was not a tasty version of Coca Cola at all. Rather, Coca Cola has changed its formulation in many countries to replace tasty sugar and/or high fructose corn syrup with the toxic chemical known as "sucralose". They disguise this abomination by putting it in the familiar can labeled "original taste" or "sabor original" in Spanish. There is some small print about "reduced sugar". When you drink this swill, it does taste similar to original coke for a minute, but then something happens with the sucralose, and your mouth is suddenly filled with the wonderfully bitter taste of soap. This soapy taste lasts about 50 times longer than the original sweetness. There is nothing you can do to wash this disgusting flavor from your mouth. This is truly awful, and this beverage is not worth drinking for any reason, you are better off drinking sea water.
To be fair, this sucralose nonsense is also present in almost all of the sodas that they sell in Cuba and some other countries, but at least those other sodas do not use deceptive marketing to sell their undrinkable product.

We continued our support for the Cuban people by taking a private taxi in a beaten down Lada back to our neighborhood where we watched some musicians play in a bar. Then, we walked back to our Casa Particular to have a few more beverages.

1/27/2024: On our final day in Havana, we continued our "Support for the Cuban people" by having breakfast in our Casa Particular. Then we got a collectivo taxi to go to Vinales. The taxi arrived nearly an hour late, it was some ancient Ford station wagon from approximately 1950 with very uncomfortable seats.

Next Visit (Vinales: 1/27/2024)

Species Recorded (25)

Birds ( 24 )

Frigatebirds ( Fregatidae )
Magnificent Frigatebird - Fregata magnificens

Herons ( Ardeidae )
Western Cattle Egret - Bubulcus ibis
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron - Nyctanassa violacea

New World Vultures ( Cathartidae )
Turkey Vulture - Cathartes aura

Rails, Gallinules, and Allies ( Rallidae )
Common Gallinule - Gallinula galeata

Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers ( Laridae )
Laughing Gull - Leucophaeus atricilla

Pigeons and Doves ( Columbidae )
Rock Pigeon - Columba livia
Common Ground-Dove - Columbina passerina
Eurasian Collared-Dove - Streptopelia decaocto
Mourning Dove - Zenaida macroura

New World Parrots ( Psittacidae )
Cuban Parrot - Amazona leucocephala

Swifts ( Apodidae )
Antillean Palm-Swift - Tachornis phoenicobia

Hummingbirds ( Trochilidae )
Cuban Emerald - Riccordia ricordii

Piculets and Woodpeckers ( Picidae )
West Indian Woodpecker - Melanerpes superciliaris
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker - Sphyrapicus varius

Thrushes and Allies ( Turdidae )
Red-legged Thrush - Turdus plumbeus

Mockingbirds, Thrashers, and Allies ( Mimidae )
Northern Mockingbird - Mimus polyglottos

Wood-warblers ( Parulidae )
Common Yellowthroat - Geothlypis trichas
Northern Parula - Setophaga americana
Palm Warbler - Setophaga palmarum

American Blackbirds and Orioles ( Icteridae )
Cuban Oriole - Icterus melanopsis
Cuban Blackbird - Ptiloxena atroviolacea
Greater Antillean Grackle - Quiscalus niger

Old World Sparrows ( Passeridae )
House Sparrow - Passer domesticus


North America


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