The women in Havana are the sexiest in Cuba. These Latinas of the Caribbean, garner mixed reviews. While most men agree they are cute, many write them off as being too transactional. In their article we will discuss the unique dating factors related to Cuban women at play in Havana.
Once you touch down in Havana, you’ll most likely instantly notice something different if you’re coming from the U.S., Europe, or any other developed first world country. The island of Cuba has been mostly closed off from society for the past decades – leaving the general infrastructure outdated, streets filled with cars dating back to as early as ’20’s, and their culture still fully intact. With a population over 11 million, and with a stretch of 760 mi/1223 km from coast to coast, Cuba boasts vast landscapes and much left to be explored. The capital will provide the beginner traveler to Cuba all they need to immerse themselves in the culture, and discover what this island has to offer.
The Masculine Traveler Rating Guide
Attractiveness of local women: 2.5/5
Receptiveness to Daygame approach: 4/5
Receptiveness to Nightgame approach: 3.5/5
English Levels: 2.5/5
The temperature throughout the year is generally warm, and can reach an average comfortable temperature of 80F/26C. The rainy season is considered to occur from May to October, and the dry season from November through April. Cold fronts do occur in the dry season, and temperature swings are common. Keep in mind hurricane season does affect this region of the world, occurring normally from June-November.
Old Havana (Habana Vieja) – Many sights and attractions here, just have a walk as the area is not so large and you will run in to many museums, and buildings with great architecture.
The Malecón – Great spot to have a walk by the water, and chat with locals. This is especially busy in the afternoon and evening hours, and is a spot where the younger crowd likes to hang out.
El Capitolio – Built after The White House, and currently being remodeled for Parliament to make their move back inside.
Obispo Street – Popular street, with hotels and restaurants. Here you will also find the tourists.
Castillo de los Tres Reyes del Morro
Gran Teatro de La Habana
Plaza de la Revolucion (Jose Marti Memorial)
Museo de la Revolucion
Vadedo Neighborhood – Lot’s of locals hanging around on the street and outside of their homes. Beautiful old homes, and architecture, with a great glimpse in to local life.
Playas del Este – Located just outside of Havana city center, a beach where locals go to drink, hang out and enjoy the weather.
Miramar – Upscale neighborhood, west of the city center.
Cuba presents some interesting logistics to keep in mind, when compared with other countries. The below will help guide you through what you need to know to have a smooth trip:
Your best bet in Havana is to try and find a casa via AirBnB. Hotels with western standards are quite expensive, and you’re looking to pay in the 400-600 USD per night for a centrally located hotel in Old Havana. AirBnB offers many great cases, for much cheaper, to give you the feel of living more so like a local. Generally, a nice casa with high standards can be had for 60-80 USD per night, and even cheaper if you negotiate. The casa owners will normally greet you upon arrival, and be there in the case of any questions. It’s normal that they will also come and cook you breakfast and dinner, for a small additional fee ranging from 5-10 CUC per person.
Another advantage of booking a casa is that hotels will not allow you to bring back local guests, unless they are registered. This will be a huge issue, and normally won’t fly. The casa owner usually will live off-site, so this will not permit as big of an issue. To my knowledge, it’s also required that the casa owner registers these guests, and may be in trouble of caught. Keep this in mind before bringing anyone back.
If you book a casa early enough, you may be able to find a solid place located in or near Old Havana. I was under the impression from my searches that not many casas exist in this case, and if you’re dead set on being in the center, you should stick with booking a hotel. If not, consider looking at Vedado. This is roughly a 7-15 minute taxi ride depending on where exactly you stay, and will generally run you about 6-10 CUC per each ride. A taxi is easy to find, and you can take any newer or older vehicle, as long as they’re clearly marked with a “taxi” sign.Tip: If you’re a US citizen and don’t have access to a foreign credit card, AirBnB is a great option since you can book directly as like with any other property. If you wish to book directly via a hotel’s website, you will most likely be required to have a foreign card on hand, as they will not accept any credit cards issues by US banks.
The food probably won’t be what you are used to back home. Overall, the food quality is of lower quality, and it can be hard to find a decent meal. I’d recommend having the casa cook for you if possible, as the quality is restaurants is generally ok to decent. It can also be difficult to find normal food stuffs in stores. Once you step in to a local store, you will see what I mean. Huge lines outside, or even inside, and maybe a choice of 30-50 products total which won’t look so appetizing.
Upon arrival, I couldn’t even find a place to sell me a bottle of water and after a few hours of searching I stumbled in to a late night gas station and loaded up from there. If you find water or other products you will use, stock up on it in case you have trouble getting a hold of more. There is a general shortage of many products still in Cuba.
It’s also not recommended to drink tap water. Use bottled water for brushing your teeth, and be careful when dining out. Most restaurants that are foreigner friendly, and hotels for that matter, will boil their water prior to providing it out for consumption. Unless you are in a top notch hotel or on a resort in another part of the country, I personally wouldn’t take the chance of ruining my trip.
Cuba operates on two currencies, The Cuban Peso (CUP) and The Cuban Convertible Peso (CUP). The CUC is used by tourists, whereas the CUC will be used by locals. During your trip, you will only need to mostly worry about CUC. If you take a taxi, buy a SIM card off a local, or visit a local market then you may wind up with a few CUP in your pocket. That’s fine, as you can generally spend it without an issue.
At the time of writing this article, you will not be able to use a US debit or credit card in Cuba. If you wish to withdraw money from the ATM, you will need a foreign card.
There is a 3% fee on credit card transactions.
There is a 10% fee on converting USD to CUC. Convert your USD to EUR prior to leaving the US, and exchange EUR to CUC in Cuba.
Lines to exchange money can be extremely long, both at the airport and in the city. If you need money quick, it’s best to do it at a hotel, even if you may lose a slight amount on the transaction. In the best case, be sure to exchange a small amount prior to arriving in Cuba so that you can hit the ground running and grab a taxi from the airport. This will certainly save you some time.
Cuba does not have access to free WiFi in public places, including hotels or casas. In order to connect to the internet, you will need to buy a card with a username and password. You have a few options to do so:
- Find a store with the “ETECSA” logo or find an official ETECSA shop. You will find one located about half-way down the street on Obispo. Expect long lines, and a wait to get inside and purchase a card. The price at the time of writing is 1,50 CUC for 1 hour of connection.
- Generally when you’re walking through a WiFi area or park, and locals notice you are a tourist/gringo, they will come up to you and try to sell you a card to get connected to the internet. It’s a bit comical, as it almost feels like you’re trying to snag a few grabs of weed from the local dealer, but in reality you’re just trying to get connected to the outer world for a few minutes.Don’t pay more than 3 CUC for a card from one of them. Also, be sure to make sure the password is not yet scratched off from the card prior to purchasing.
- Walk in to the lobby of your hotel, or any hotel, and ask to buy an internet card. Hotels normally sell them from between 2 CUC up to 5 CUC.
The average person in Havana might make roughly anywhere between $10-30 per month, up to $100 depending on what activities they engage in. This means normal items can be quite cheap, if purchased with CUP. Places will often have separate prices – one for Cubans and one for foreigners. Below is what you can expect to pay in Havana:
Breakfast (1 person) – $5-7
Dinner (mid-range 1 person – entree) – $5-7
Liquor (higher-end bar/club) – 1 Mojito/Cuba Libre ($5)
Beer (higher-end bar/club) – ($1.50)
Cigarettes – $1
Chicken (2.2lbs. / 1kg) – $0.50
Cheese (2.2lbs / 1kg) – $0.50
Assorted Fruits (2.2lbs / 1kg) – $0.10-0.30
During my few day experience in Havana, I generally found English levels to be quite low. Even local hosts who were within the 20-30 year old age range and were managing properties (casas) were unable to communicate in English, only a few words along with mostly Spanish and some hand gestures. Half of the taxi drivers speak pretty decent English, and your best chance of finding a quick answer to a question would be either of the following two options:
- Download the Spanish language pack on Google Translate and have this ready in case you need a quick translation. Whip this out, translate from English to Spanish and show this to whom you want to ask the question..
- Pop in to a local hotel and ask the receptionist or the doorman, as they generally will speak good to excellent English.
Additionally, it’s great to learn some common Spanish words to help communication go a bit smoother once you hit the ground. I’ve used Pimsleur for three other languages, and Spanish was the fourth. This is a great starting point for learning to hear and get a feel for the language, and should be substituted with other applications such as Duolingo, Memrise, and Lingvist.
Cuban women vary from lighter skinned to quite dark. If you’re in to darker skinned women, you’re surely in luck. In Havana itself, I would say the majority of women were more so on the darker side, whereas compared to women in Holguin pand down South are on the lighter-skinned side. To echo what Dantes found in his report, women seem to lack proper make-up and styles can be quite outdated in Havana, but this is simply due to the low salaries that you will find on the island as a whole. You will rarely spot a girl dressed up in the newer fashion styles, and most likely she’s one of the girls who makes trips back and forth between the states for work and family purposes.
To keep it short, the women are nothing spectacular when compared to the rest of Latin America.
Due to the absence of internet at the click of a button, online dating can be rough. Although this may be the case, internet usage is ever increasing and the government is lessening restrictions on access for locals. Check out LatinAmericanCupid.com for a viable option for pipelining prior to your visit.
During my trip, I noticed that the highest concentration of decent looking women occurred during the early morning around 7 and 8AM – standing at bus stops, attempting to hitch hike from the side of the road or grabbing a cab most likely to university of their work places. In the afternoon and evening, they simply seem to disappear. Even if you spend time in more residential areas, you won’t see much walking around.
In general, your best bet would be to check out The Malecón area during the afternoon and evening. This is a gathering spot for locals, and you’ll often find groups here meeting as well as single girls sitting by themselves glaring off in to the vast distance, leaving great opportunity for an approach. Additionally, another option would be to hang around Old Havana and to try and chat up and women as they’re working or passing by.
Keep in mind that if you don’t blend in yourself as a Cuban, you will most likely be stopped and checked by the police if you are accompanying a local women. The police are very strict in this regard in an attempt to crack down on prostitution, and it can present an issue for foreigners wishing to visit and indulge.
Havana offers a few bars and clubs to check out, but you won’t find much in terms of local women. Overall, I’d rank the nightlife as quite weak. As mentioned above, low salaries permit local women from affording to go out and visit such establishments. You’ll often find a combination of a Cuban and tourist sausage fests, along with a sprinkle of tourist women from Germany, Scandinavia, France, Canada, USA and the likes. If you find a Cuban women chatting you up on the street or in the bar, without a doubt she’s most likely a pro. Nonetheless, the below places are worth a look on Friday and Saturday nights:
Casa de la Musica de Centro
If you’re coming to Havana, plan to take in the culture and enjoy what is truly a living time capsule. Havana offers a glimpse in to Cuban life, and is a great jumping off point to explore other parts of the island. Don’t come to Havana or Cuba just for the Cuban women, but rather to experience something unique that you won’t find on any other walk of the earth.