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 Hemingway Marina (Havana) - Shore Services

Communications

See Cuba Communications for details on buying minutes etc..

Wi-Fi hotspots near the marina include Obispo Old Havana (relatively stable but very popular so some overload will occur) and La Linea (opposite Hotel Libre/ Coppellia - more stable).

It is easy to find other hot spots, just look for crowds of young Cubans.

There is Wi-Fi available at the Acuario Hotel in the marina. Costs June 2015 were half an hour for 2.50 cuc and 1 hr for 4.50 cuc.

Internet is available in the resort hotels, $6 an hour usually.

Banks

If you have US dollars on arrival you may well be able to get these changed for local CUC at the chandlery in the marina (next to the dockmasters office) or at Hotel Acuario.

Hotel Acuario has an ATM in its lobby (for non-US cards).

The Jaimanitas Cadeca - Casa de Cambio is the closest 'bank' to the marina and most convenient, however, it doesn't always have money.
How to get there: At the end of the marina canal, turn right for the main marina entrance. Outside, turn left towards Jaimanitas and over a bridge. At the "Bienvenidos A Jaimanitas" sign there is a triple intersection. Take the far right road, down the side of the bright blue building. The first bank you pass on your left does not change money. Keep going a little further and you'll see the bank on the right with checked flooring in front. Wait outside until the guard permits you to enter.

The closest bank is in Santa Fe, however, there is always a huge line. If you have non-US credit cards, diagonally across the street from the bank is an ATM that dispenses CUC. These can then be changed at the Cadeca for Cuban pesos.

No ATMs in Cuba currently work with US cards.

The Banco Metropolitano is located further down 5th Ave. Take the $1 tourist bus who will drop you off right outside if you ask the driver.

Laundry

There is a girl in the snack bar who does laundry.

Provisions

It is advisable to head to Cuba very well stocked up as the majority of goods are hard to find or unavailable. Load up with bottled, canned and dried goods. Items that are just not available in Cuba are: milk, butter, good bread, potatoes. Sugar and coffee are in very short supply. Rice and beans are rationed. Good cheese is not available.

Frozen chicken and pork are available in Cuba, as is fresh produce in season.

On Saturday mornings there is a big market with a huge range of Cuban vegetable and fruit.

Toiletries are luxury items in Cuba. Stock up at home with soap, toilet roll, toothpaste, toothbrushes, disposable razors, clothes powder, shampoo & conditioner, pain relief, cough-syrup, antihistamine creams, antiseptic creams, mosquito smoke coils and repellent, plasters etc.

Beer and rum is available everywhere and is cheap. Wine and fizzy drinks are not.

There are some state run shops at marina Hemingway and some local shops within walking distance where you can get essentials such as bread, eggs, vegetables and pork. Turn left outside the marina, walk along the main road for ½ mile, over a bridge and turn left at the first crossroad. 400 metres along the street, there’s a junction with the shops.

Transport & Travel

From Marina Hemingway there is a shuttle bus for 1cuc from the marina to the "Playa" from where you can get the double decker tourist bus to Old Havana for 5cuc. Both are hop-on hop-off and tickets are valid all day.

There are also local buses into Havana from the bus stop on the main road just east of the marina. These local buses can get very over crowded, however are ideal if you are looking for a bit of local colour!

To explore within the city once your get tired of walking, you can take a taxi, a horse-drawn carriage, a bicycle powered bicitaxi, or an egg-like 3 wheeled motorbike called a coco-taxi.

The Havana Hop-on off bus (CUC 10 pp.) does a 45-minute tour through Havana visiting all the major tourist attractions with an explanation of places of interest. Final stop at Parque Central Old Havana. Every 20 minutes at any stop (with some flexibility).

You can get a taxi into Old Havana for $20. Be sure to negotiate and agree your fare before getting into the taxi.

Medical/Health

Centro Internacional Oftamologico
Havana
Tel:011 53 7 325 554
Internation medical clinic.
Luis Diaz Soto Naval Hospital
Avenida Monumental y Carretera del Asilo , Havana
Tel:5307 974 251
Decompression chamber.

Activities

Marina Hemingway is a good place to go to see the west side of the island. There’s a travel agency in the Hotel Acuaria, who will arrange bus trips for you at a reasonable cost. It cost us $15 each for a one way ride to Vinales.

Attractions

As you step off the bus in Old Havana it is likely you will be approached by local touts offering to show you around. If you prefer to do things on your own, they are normally very polite and will not bother you further.

The AA Explorer Guide to Cuba, by Fred Mawer, has some very good self-guided tours around the old city. However simply following your nose can also be very rewarding.

Taller Experimental de Grafica
Just off the west side of the Plaza de la Catedral, this is a working printmaking studio with a tiny upstairs gallery selling work of upcoming Cuban printmakers at very affordable prices.

Museum of Revolution
Located in the former presidential palace. Be sure to go out back and see the 1943-built 60ft cabin cruiser Granma, which carried Fidel Castro, Che Guevara and their group from Mexico to Cuba in 1956 to begin the revolution.

Vintage Presidential Train Car
At the corner of Calle Oficios and Churrusca, this is fitted out like a Belle Epoque gentlemen's yacht. The tour is free, however you are expected to tip the guide.

Club Nautico Internacional
Located just east of Plaza de Armas, this boat-like building once the former Club Nautico Internacional, is worth a stop. Take a drink on the upper deck and relax watching the port activities.

Ferry to Casablanca or Regla
Small ferries leave from Muelle Luz, just south of the big Customs pier, and go across to Casablanca or Regla. Be prepared for a security check and standing room only. Worth it just for the close look at the harbour.

Restaurants & Bars

Private restaurants are now very popular (Paladars) and a good meal can be found for a few dollars.

The popular Friday night BBQ at the Yacht Club is a good deal for 5 cuc.

For late night parties the Cova now opens nightly as a discotheque from 10pm. Sun-Thurs, entrance is free, Fri & Sat it's 3cuc ... busier during the week.

Lucecita Complex (Avenida 15 between Calle 182 and Calle 184 in Siboney), 2.5 miles from Marina Hemingway, part of an art school complex and decorated with sculptures and murals. Specialise in Cuban style charcoal grill, good value.

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Feb 07, 2017 12:28 PM

From Cuba Land & Sea Facebook Page:
Hazard warning for canal #1 in Marina Hemingway ⚠️

If avoidable don't use the turning basin at the bottom of canal #1.
There is a sunken sailboat lying on its side at the height of the rent-a-car place with its mast towards the channel centre - marked with a white fender. When passing, keeping to starboard you should be ok.
There is an abandoned ketch moored on the other side.

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Nov 16, 2015 04:35 PM

Berthing tip from Cruising Cuba Facebook page:
To be closest to the marina store, showers and laundry ask for the north side of canal #2 or the south side of canal #1. If its really busy or if you request it the marina will also put vessels on the south side of canal #2, which means either a very long walk to the facilities or you can launch your dinghy to cross the canal.

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Jul 07, 2015 08:57 PM

Update posted on Sailing and Cruising Cuba Facebook page:
A little update from Marina Hemingway. Quite a number of improvements were made for the Hemingway Billfishing competition. Firstly they moved all the abandoned boats out of channel 2, making more berths available. In conjunction 6 new power/ water torrets were installed on the east side of C2 and the whole west side of C1 now also has water and electricity. Capacity has so been increased by nearly 50 slips. There now is a new bus service available to cruisers, they don't want us to use the hotel bus anymore, that takes you for 1cuc from the marina to "Playa" from where you can then get the double decker tourist bus to Old Havana for 5cuc. Both are hop-on hop-off and tickets are valid all day.
There now is wifi available at the Acuario Hotel, half hour for 2.50 cuc and 1 hr for 4.50 cuc, the day I tested it worked very good ...
As far as entertainment is concerned the popular Friday night BBQ at the Yacht Club is still on and a good deal for 5 cuc. For late night parties the Cova now opens nightly as a discotheque from 10pm. Sun-Thurs entrance is free, Fri & Sat it's 3cuc ... busier during the week.

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