Way to the country point Cuba
There are certainly many ways to Cuba. We chose the convenient, easy route of a non-stop flight. It started in Frankfurt/Main and after 10.40 hours flight time in a comfortable 767 we landed in Havana/Cuba. The receipt of the suitcase felt like it took longer than the flight. Here we experienced real chaos, which we had already expected a bit in the country. With two suitcase output belts, it always fluctuated where the suitcases from Germany arrived - mixed with Mexican or American flights.
Our destination in the port of Havana was the MSC Armonia, one of the smaller cruise ships. Here we should live for 14 days and sail through the Caribbean. For Havana/Cuba, the ship was our floating hotel, so to speak.
We had a direct stay in Havana/Cuba at the beginning, but also a longer stay during the cruise. So there were a few days here to look for caches, but also to get to know the country and its people. We even had time for a trip to the Vinales valley - and we didn't regret that either.
Caching prospects in the city of Havana
The cacher in Havana does not expect any special highlights of cache containers, there is no high cache density. But the sightseeing, especially in the old town of Havana, is not neglected. Here, too, some caches lead - as so often - to places that one would not have seen without geocaching. Others are hidden in the well-known sights that you would have visited anyway.
For a country point Cuba it's over, power trails are missing here. However, there are already some caches to be found along the coastal road.
In Havana we limited ourselves to the old town and the inner city on the first day of the cache. Even here you can find some traditionals (we decided on five traditionals in the middle of the city), but also 2 earth caches and a virtual.
On another day we treated ourselves to a bus ticket for a hip-on hop-off bus for 10 CUC (just under 10 EUR) per person. The goal of the day was mainly the graveyard with Earth-Cache and Virtual. Overall, however, 3 earth caches, the virtual and a few more traditionals were visited.
We found it a very good yield for a foreign city with a daily average temperature of over 30°C and our sightseeing plans. Far more than we would have thought. In addition, it is not the quantity that matters, but also the experiences that one associates with these caches.
As a crusader (or as a visitor to the old town) you can get the country point Cuba very well with the earth cache "San Francisco de Asis, Havana" (GC53KP8). The church cannot be overlooked, is located in an exposed place and also offers the first beautiful photo motifs. The three questions revolve around the sandstone from which the church is built. You will be directed into a small alley on the long side of the church and you will find the answers here. The owner asks that the answers be sent at the same time as the log. This understandable wish means that we will only log the caches of the trip from home.
On the second day of our geocaching in Havana we visited three more earth caches. Each of them was definitely worth a visit. You can still read about the Earth-Cache Necorpolis (GC4QV47) at the point to the second largest cemetery in Latin America.
If you visit the old town of Havana, you will automatically find yourself in front of the Capitol. As one would expect from the name, the building is also presented. The Virtual “Havana – El Capitolio” (GC7B717) only requires a photo from the cacher with the Capitol as a background for oneself or – if you are photo shy – with a piece of paper with cacher name. We find absolutely feasible log conditions! As you can already see from the GC number, you can also read in the listing that this Virtual is part of the new series of Virtual gifts from 2018. In any case, a suitable place was chosen for it.
This also applies to the second virtual that we found in Havana. It also belongs to the series of limited virtuals awarded between August 2017 and August 2018. The "Virtual Reward: La Milagrosa" led us - like an Earth cache - to the cemetery in Havana. Again, only one photo with a tuned grave/figure in the background is the log requirement.
Both virtuals were placed here in Havana/Cuba by US cachers. This is not necessarily a matter of course here. We were often presented or told about the "difficulties" in dealing with the USA or its president. It's nice that there don't seem to be these "limits" when it comes to geocaching.
There is not much to report about the traditionals. You will miss special cache hiding places here. Our first traditional was the "Luz de Luna" (GC7FHN8). What this has to do with moonlight (that's how we would translate the name) has not been revealed to us. Nevertheless, we won't forget the cache any time soon... Because of the excitement and heat, we had packed water bottles, but no pen. Great, caching without a pen…. Our purchase attempts in the old town were also unsuccessful. So, search first. Maybe there is a possibility... On site we stood at 32°C in a small street in the old town of Havana, on which side of the street the cache could be was not clearly recognizable. First we searched in the shade. But that wasn't possible here without being Muggle-free - there was life here. We were also observed by a Cuban from a window on the first floor... Oh dear, country dot with earth cache, where you don't necessarily know whether what we're interpreting there will be accepted... We would have preferred a traditional find to be clear. The hint spoke of a pipe - there were a few of them on the wall of the house... When we decided to cross the alley towards the sun on the other side of the street, the Cuban at the window came to life. He waved at us violently, called out a barely understandable "geocaching?" and pointed to a yellow pipe. We must have looked very surprised. Didn't we expect someone here to be so knowledgeable about geocaching. Until a few months ago, the use of GPS devices was still forbidden here! With one hand we were able to pull the bag with a log strip out of the hole in the wall and were very happy! Since we still had the problem with the pen, we chose to flee to the front and thanked the first Cuban on site with a handshake, who, with his cheerful, friendly manner, introduced us to more contact with the locals. And of course he lent us a pen too! It's these little experiences that won't make us forget this tradition anytime soon.
On a third day in Havana, we treated ourselves to a trip (not cheap) to the Vinales Valley, Cuba. The bus takes about 2.5 hours here. We always enjoy such trips because you can get a diverse impression of the country. On this day we "only" visited four caches, one of which was an Earth cache (GC2CPW5). This is a world natural heritage site that is unique in the world: in Halong Bay in Hanoi/Vietnam. We were at this place with cacher trips in January of this year and actually still had some photos saved on our smartphones. In fact - even for us inexperienced stone selectors for earth caches it was clearly visible that this is the same karst rock. There's always something new to learn! If you ever want to travel to world natural or world heritage sites with cacher trips, leave your email address here and never miss a trip again: LINK
The bus tour took us through a beautiful landscape with an easy-to-understand Cuban who really enjoyed his job and explained a lot to us. Nature changed right on the outskirts of Havana. All in all very, very green here. The flora reminded us a bit of Brazil. We visited – okay, classic touristy…. – a tobacco farmer who introduced us to the art of rolling tobacco leaves and told us very authentically about cultivation and harvest. All in all, every cent or peso was worth it for this trip. Highly recommended!
Caching in Havana/Cuba does not bring the highlights of cache hiding places and not the huge amount of cans. But it brings nice contact with locals and shows spots you wouldn't have found without geocaching. And geocaching in Havana also takes the cacher on a sightseeing tour of the sights. Definitely a possible travel destination in July. All in all, caching in Havana is a lot of fun!