A Singaporean Journey to Havana Cuba: Cuban Rum!

On our last day in Havana Cuba, we headed out in search of the breakfast place, Cafe Yaquelin as recommended by our host, Lucia. However, when we arrived close the area, we were not able to find it. After circling the block for 10 minutes, we decided to have breakfast at this cafe…

Cafe Del Angel (Fumero Jacqueline)
Cafe Del Angel (Fumero Jacqueline)
Menu of Cafe Del Angel (Fumero Jacqueline)
Menu of Cafe Del Angel (Fumero Jacqueline)

On second thought, this might be the place. There’s the word “Jacqueline” which is similar to “Yaquelin” and there’s “cafe”. There’s also a small little alfresco square where you can hang out

Dining at Cafe Del Angel (Fumero Jacqueline)
Dining at Cafe Del Angel (Fumero Jacqueline)

The prices at Cafe Del Angel (Fumero Jacqueline) however, were not as competitive as 5 Esquinas Trattoria. We did say that 5 Esquinas was the most value-for-money breakfast in Cuba right? Nonetheless, if you enjoy sitting in a public square and watching the daily lives of the locals (and tourists), this would be a good place to start of the day…

Coffee for breakfast in Havana
Coffee for breakfast in Havana

American Breakfast for 6 CUC

Cubano sandwich for 5.8 CUC
Cubano sandwich for 5.8 CUC

While we were enjoying breakfast, we saw a lady opening her door and started to put out souvenirs in front of her house. She has converted her porch area into a little souvenir shop – very entrepreneurial! Then there was a father saying goodbye to her daughter and wife as he rode off on his scooter to work. As we left, we managed to catch a shot of a gentlemen on the street level, speaking to a woman on her balcony. Kampung living in the city!

Life in Havana Cuba
Life in Havana Cuba

After the relaxing breakfast, we circled back to our apartment and were ready to leave. Lucia and husband were right on time to pick us up as well. The ride from the apartment to the airport was 25 CUC. Along the way, we learnt from Lucia that life in Cuba’s really tough. Firstly, we were shocked to learn that doctors only earn 65 CUC…A MONTH! WHAT?! Although it did not seem like it, she also told us that people were out to “trampa” each other, even among locals. ALL THE TIME! (she exclaimed) We thought to ourselves, how could this be? This was contradictory to the amazing time that we had in Havana. Well, there’s an underlying problem with the opening of Cuba to the world. Prices rise, food become scarce (because of the higher prices that tourists are willing to dish out) and as a result, locals have to find means to feed themselves. This usually means taking on more jobs or selling stuff at a much higher price. The term “trampa” translates to trap. Lucia was telling us that if an item is usually sold for 1 CUC, they would try to sell (even among the locals) for 2 CUC, to “trap” each other.

Just as we’re about to leave, she told us about how AirBnB failed to pay her for the last rental. Since there’s no “credito” in Cuba, we as consumers can pay AirBnB via credit cards but AirBnB will in turn pay the locals in cash through local agents. Sometimes, these local agents may just take the money. So, if AirBnB is reading this, help small owners like Lucia to get paid. So that we may be able to enjoy such wonderful hospitality in the future.

What to buy in Havana Jose Marti International Airport Cuba?

Inside Havana Jose Marti International Airport
Inside Havana Jose Marti International Airport

After you get through the customs at the airport, you may find yourself with some spare CUC. Here, you’ll be able to do some duty free shopping. We spent our last CUCs on a small bottle of Cuban Rum (Havana Club – 7.50 CUC), coffee powder (2.5 CUC) and a Cuban sandwich (4 CUC)…

Cuban Rum, Cuban Sandwich and Cuban Coffee
Cuban Rum, Cuban Sandwich and Cuban Coffee

We don’t usually drink rum. But we’ve got to say that Cuban rum is really quite good! The bottle even comes with a dispenser so that you can pour out the rum just like a bartender. We brought the rum to Cancun and finished it in 2 days…that says alot for beer fans (go Tiger Beer!) like ourselves.

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A Singaporean Journey to Havana Cuba: Cuban Rum

So if you’re thinking of what to buy when you leave Cuba, Cuban rum is definitely a good choice. Enjoy your next trip to Havana, Cuba everyone!

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2 Comments on A Singaporean Journey to Havana Cuba: Cuban Rum!

  1. Hello Kate & Tom

    Thank you for writing this blog on Havana. I read it with so much excitements LOl .. A long time Canadian friend suggests we visit one the those all inclusive package in Varadero Cuba, with a day trip to Havana city. It will be a long journey for me, will first meet him in Eastern Canada, rest for 1-2 days then will make our way to Cuba! Well at least that’s the plan for now LOL, we will see to it when time is nearer.

    He visited Cuba 6-7 years ago, before he left Havana, he said locals were asking him to leave his toothpaste, shampoo .. basic essentials, as these items were expensive and not easy to get. I wonder if it is still the same now.

    You mentioned in your blog that there were many tourists, were there many Asians?

    Thank you again for the many insights of Havana! Wish you both all the best.

    Cheers! Joanne

    • Hey Joanne!

      Thanks for dropping by! Happy to share our experiences and help plan for yours as well! Do let us know how it’s like in Varadero Cuba. We did some all-inclusives in Jamaica (a hop away) and those were great and inexpensive.

      As for visitors, there were slightly more Europeans/US visitors but there were many Asians (esp. Chinese) as well.

      Happy Travels ahead!

      Tom & Kate,

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