The city of Havana is approximately 2 hours west of Varadero. Havana is designated as a UNESCO world heritage site and one of the oldest cities in the Americas and is undergoing a restoration. The city reminded me of Cartagena, Colombia another walled coastal city. We booked a day trip through our hotel. I believe it would be preferable to spend a few days in Havana in order to properly explore and see the museums, but we did not have the luxury of time on this time so our focus was a walking tour of old Havana.
About 15 years ago, I purchased a copy of Patricia Schultz's "1000 Places to see before you Die", I wouldn't consider the guide my authoritative road map, but I do check off the places I have been and those I hope to visit. I have always enjoyed the literary wanderlust destinations. She has included "Hemingway's Hangouts" in her list. We popped into the Floridita, one of Hemingway's favourite spots. There is a bronze statue of Ernest by the bar (next to a framed photo of Fidel and Hemingway). About 20 years ago, I had the chance to visit Hemingway's home in Key West, Florida - about 90 miles away. I would have loved to explore more of Hemingway's Cuba, but time did not permit. PBS has also aired a number of specials about his connections to Cuba.
flickr album should you care to peek. Thanks for stopping by!