[Mon 20 May, 19:38]
PST (Gumly Gumly -17)
Cuba - (6 replies)

I am planning on traveling in Cuba for the month of July and part of August. I usually travel alone and have little difficulties meeting people. After reading this forum, I am a bit concerned because I blond woman in my late twenties. I am fluent in Spanish so I will have no problems getting around but meeting up with others like myself beforehand might be useful. If anyone is interested in meeting (especially women)please get in touch with me.
Muchas Gracias


[Thu 23 May, 16:53]
PST (Gumly Gumly -17)
1. resemble you

i just went for 2 weeks alone. it is a bit difficult to meet up with other tourists if you are doing as i did and avoided tourist areas. If you stay in casas it is more difficult to hook up too I think. Beware in Havana of helpful male cubans. alot of them are scammers. nice and not at all dangerous, but totally insincere. sanish fluency certainly helps!. my suggestion is to get out of havana. once out in el campo, the scene completely changes. people are friendly and helpful and trustworthy. Try meeting some cubans online before your trip. write me if you would like the email of one of my personal friends in Havana and one in Santa Clara. both 100% trustworthy helpful,wonderful guys!


[Mon 27 May, 00:32]
PST (Gumly Gumly -17)
2. going solo

I've just spent 2 weeks travelling alone in Cuba, and i'm a 25 yo, fair-skinned chick. I was hassled a LOT. Literally every 10 metres somebody was trying to talk to me - and in my experience they were all scammers. It is an amazing place, but I would have had a much better time if I was with someone else. It being low season made it difficult to meet many other travellers, so hopefully you will have had some luck fnding others going.


[Mon 27 May, 17:54]
PST (Gumly Gumly -17)
3. March/April is low season?

I saw enough tourists - Havana is not quite overrun, but I did not notice far fewer in March or April than in November or December. The planes were just as full. You shouldnt have too much trouble finding other gringas around Habana Vieja or Coppelia, either.

I am a male, but about your age, and I always travel alone. I am never "hassled" - not like I was in Turkey or Morocco, and not any worse than Guatemala. Cuba feels much much safer than those places, BTW. Its certainly much friendlier, but all the caveats are still in order.

When people write about scammers, I often wonder: "What Cuba did they visit?" I am pestered/confronted/beggared more in Boston - by spangers and junkies, some quite aggressive, than I am in Havana. Compared to many "Third-World" destinations, Cuba is very low-key for hassling. That's almost a consensus, I'd add.

Its all about saying "No," (on the rare occasion) and moving right along.

I am much more wary of anticuban trolls that disseminate false information on Thorntree, that anonymous internet thing. The Miami mafia has put big bucks into their internet warfare (propaganda) against Cuba - AND AGAINST ITS TOURISM, notably - so suspicion of 'scaremongering posts' is entirely reasonable. Registration eliminated it, mostly.

Not long ago, we had a 'Bill_from_Toronto' (who was almost certainly a woman in Miami) plying her swiss-cheese story: "I was ripped off in Havana! What should I do?" (That troll was exposed & disappeared - poof!) I am still waiting for her to post as 'Brenda_from_BC': "I was raped in Cuba! The police called me a puta!" or some ugly variation thereof. Thats how low the Miami Cubans will go...

Also not long ago, a poster named "gypsyken" returned from Cuba, and posted that none of the anonymous 'scaremongering warnings' he read here proved anywhere close to accurate. Most of us would agree.

The mis/disinformation would be laughable, if it werent so f*cking manipulative. Your number one 'Cuba' precaution: dont believe everything you read on the internet.

If you want info from an internet community that's arguably more reliable& experienced, I'd suggest you try:

"El Torro"

[Tue 28 May, 21:47]
PST (Gumly Gumly -17)
4. going solo

number 1 - you're a bloke. am not exaggerating when i say i was hassled constantly as a woman. perhaps that's the difference. i have also widely travelled and found it far worse in terms of having every bloke on the street calling out than anywhere else including guatemala. most just hiss and yell, which is cool as you can just ignore them. but when they chase after you, grab your arm or ask for the time (a big favorite) they're hard to shake. i stayed in pretty touristy areas (habana, santiago, baracoa, camaguey) and i'm sure there are far fewer scammers in less touristy places. that said, i am certainly not saying don't go - let alone scaremongering. it's beautiful and fascinating, and for every scammer is a genuine smile. just don't expect it to be hassle free. have a great trip jen!


[Thu 30 May, 10:46]
PST (Gumly Gumly -17)
5. I am a female . . .

and although, yes, you are hassled constantly, particularly in Havana, a simple "No gracias" is enough to get people to leave you alone. It's not like Morocco or Turkey where the blokes often won't get the message and either follow or get arsey with you.


[Thu 30 May, 12:29]
PST (Gumly Gumly -17)
6. just returned

may is evedently a low season and I had very little problems. i just learned that when a guy in havana hisses at you hiss back. they think that it is funny and they just leave you alone. also i am careful not to dress like a tourist i wear scruffy jeans or cut off shorts (not real short), flip flop type shoes and a tank top. this helps alot! ignoring completely is MUCH better move than trying to be polite.
But as i said before, i had NO problems in the interior! I hitchhiked all through granma province and had nothing but the best people helping catch rides and buying me lunch and inviting me to their house etc. I think alot of it has to do with your attitude. I also told everyone that I was Venezuelan. they love venezuela and everyone wanted to hear the news from their sister country. although i look like barbie, they believed my mostly. if your spanish is good.... no problem. Like i said .... what you project is very important. .... if yo ulook like a lost puppie carrying around your guide book or your copy of the bolivian diary in english then your in for a hassle... dress modestly, try to fit in. they will ignore you.
have fun, be brave!

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