Snowbirding in Cuba

Fall 2003 CSANews Issue 48  |  Posted date : Apr 25, 2007.Back to list

Cuba's most important tourism company - Cubanacán - has developed a comprehensive proposal for your winter stay abroad.

Aimed to satisfy Canadian snowbirds, Cubanacán has remodeled and equipped more than 60 homes in Tarará Beach, just 20 minutes' drive east of Havana - the perfect long-stay community that offers you a richly rewarding lifestyle in an affordable and safe environment.

Also available are several condominiums offering one- and two-bedroom apartments, some situated in the same region as Tarará. You will share all the advantages of the services provided in this community, as well as others located in Havana at exceptional locations near the sea in the best sections of the city.

All homes are connected to the Internet to facilitate chatting with your relatives and friends, and the newly opened golf driving range in Tarará will help you keep your swing in top shape. Shuttle-bus service will take you to Havana and back, at no extra cost, five times a day.

The proximity to Cuba's capital gives you the opportunity of visiting a unique city that treasures fantastic architecture, museums and an interesting history of past and present times.

It is here in Havana where Nobel Prize winner Ernest Hemingway lived for more than 20 years, from 1939 on, and there are many places to visit related to this extraordinary man, whose love for life was as great as his talent as a writer.

Undoubtedly the most significant of these places is his home, originally called Finca La Vigía - now Hemingway Museum - which is located southeast of the City of Havana in the little rural town of San Francisco de Paula.

For a very reasonable fee, you can enjoy a guided tour that will take you through the house, where you will appreciate his books, hunting trophies and other personal belongings, just as he left them in 1961.

It is here that he wrote "The Old Man and the Sea," the novella that restored Hemingway's fame after the poorly received "Across the River and into the Trees," his first work after a decade of literary inactivity. The book tells a story of an old Cuban fisherman named Santiago, who finally catches a giant marlin after weeks of not catching anything; as he returns to the harbour, the sharks eat the fish lashed to his boat.

The model for Santiago was a Cuban fisherman named Gregorio Fuentes, who had served as the captain of Hemingway's boat Pilar from the late 1930s to 1960. Fuentes was also occasionally his tapster but, most of all, was Hemingway's faithful friend. Gregorio died in January 2002, at the age of 104.

At the museum, you will find the yacht in which Hemingway sailed the waters of the Caribbean while fishing for marlins, and even patrolled in search of German submarines during World War II.

This is a highly recommended excursion for those of us who regard Hemingway as one of the best writers in the English language, as well as a man committed to his ideals.
For an unforgettable evening, your best jaunt is Tropicana.

Opened in 1939 as a 300-seat restaurant with a modest live musical show, Tropicana soon became one of the most visited cabarets and casinos in America. Only world-class stars - both Cuban and foreign - performed on its "Under the Stars" stage.

The casino is now permanently closed, as gambling is banned in Cuba, but the cabaret has expanded its seating capacity to more than 1,000 and its excellence remains faithful to its tradition. In 1992, Tropicana received the Best-of-the-Best Five Star Diamond Award from the American Academy of the Restaurant Industry, as the best cabaret of the Americas.

You can purchase a wide variety of excursions, including Tropicana and Hemingway Museum, at the tourism bureau located in Tarará.

Cubanacán pledges to continue its efforts to meet all of your expectations for an extended stay in Cuba. Our main goal is to ensure your pleasure in becoming a resident of our communities every winter.