Havana- Since there is a lot of (nostalgic) hype regarding Cuba, even from formal traveling publications that should know better, here is a quick, real, down to earth guide to surviving it. First and crucial: do not attempt to go during the summer; you will fry alive. Be ready for anything: the air conditioning on your hotel dying, elevators not working, places closed when advertised as open... anything. This is understandable given the US blockade on them for decades, and the result is very rough for locals and travelers. If you are planning on a day out with several stops that include museums, make sure your concierge actually speaks with them and confirms they are open. Don't trust that they "are supposed to be". Be aware that there are two currency systems: one for the locals and one for tourists, and prices, say, for the same ride can vary wildly for no reason from one day to the next. The quality of the food can also go from one side of the spectrum to the other, as their supplies are limited (try Atelier, behind the Meliá Hotel). Bring stomach remedies or learn where to get them there. Be ready for some very particular bathroom situations. Most important: stay cool and enjoy the people: they are Cuba's true natural treasure. If everything else fails, take refuge in the air conditioned La Floridita and have a couple of daiquiris. Everything will seem better afterwards, and they were Ernest Hemingway 's favorite.
Happy Small Detours!