CUBA: The Lifestyle, Cigars, Cuisine, Sailing

Since the U.S. embargo was lifted, you can bring your Cuban cigars home.

To celebrate, Captain Gino decided to go to Cuba ASAP. S

o what does Cuba have in store for you and him?

Let’s take a deeper look!

The Lifestyle

Recent comparisons between cities across the world show that it’s 13% cheaper to live in Havana, Cuba than it is to live in Miami, Florida.

It’s 36% cheaper than living in New York City.

Find your paradise in Güines, and you can enjoy a lifestyle that’s 48% cheaper than New York City. Alternatively, Santiago de Cuba is 28% cheaper.

Not too bad, you might say.

But what does Cuba have to offer that New York City or other locations in the U.S. or Europe can’t?

Well, many seek a more relaxed lifestyle. Western lifestyles are becoming more and more stressful, and the Caribbean offers one antidote – the laid-back attitude; sleepy, quiet beaches and a culture that focuses on people instead of money.



Fancy touring the Canarreos Archipelago? Ernest Hemingway spent three decades cruising around the Cuban keys in his fishing boat, “Pilar”, and wrote about the area in his novels “The Old Man and the Sea” and “Islands in the Stream”.

Fidel Castro also sailed around this area in his cabin cruiser, “Granma”.

The current in this region is averages at around half a knot, reaching a maximum of three knots on occasion. Here’s an itinerary you might enjoy:



Cienfuegos is an authorized port of entry and home to Marina Puertosol, where there are solid concrete berths, but only a few spaces for visiting yachts.

The anchorage has a good holding, and dinghies can be left of the beach beside the main marina office when you want to go ashore.

When anchoring, you get charged a fee but have bathroom facilities and security patrol at night.


Arrival fees are around 55 CUC (the Cuban Convertible Peso), and immigration fees are around 12 CUC per person, anchoring is 0.20 CUC per foot per day. At the marina, fees range from 0.55 CUC per foot per day for a vessel under 45ft in length, and 0.70 CUC for boat over 100 ft, but if you’re planning to stay for a while, there’s a discount. Water is metered and costs 5 CUC per cubic meter and electricity is 0.45 CUC per kwh.


Cayo Largo

This mangrove-covered tropical paradise is teeming with coral reefs and all-inclusive resorts.

Its beaches are white, and no one actually lives there so expect a few Italian tourists, some turtle nests and iguanas, flamingos and 80 degree heat.

The Marina Cayo Largo del Sur is located in the village at the north-east side of the island. Contact them for details through this site.

You can rent diving equipment at their International Diving Center for 15-20 CUC per day.



Cayo Rico

Anchor at Playa Sirena, and swim to shore! This is what it’ll look like:


Cayo Rosario

Anchor off of a beautiful, pristine beach and marvel at the calm. Here’s more information for sailors regarding the area and depths.

And you can get up to 50% off cruise and sailing tours right here, if that sort of thing takes your fancy.



Like many of the dishes in the Caribbean, there’s a lot of fritters and plantain involved, but Cuba’s cuisine is varied, wholesome and unique.


Malanga Fritters

Malanga is a root vegetable that’s similar to a yam in appearance and a potato in flavor, and when grated and formed into balls, it makes a delicious, crispy fritter. Dip them in Tamarindo Ketchup where they’re served at the roadside.


Ropa Vieja

This Latin comfort food is made with braised shredded flank, brisket or skirt steak cooked in a tasty tomato sauce base. It’s served over fluffy white rice, and makes an excellent hangover cure.


Pernil Relleno de Moros y Cristianos

No, don’t worry, you don’t have to kill anyone (neither a Moor nor a Christian) and stuff them into a hind leg (or pernil). These two traditional dishes are combined here – the black bean stew and rice goodness normally served alone gets stuffed into a succulent, savory pork shoulder and seasoned with sour orange, garlic and oregano. Hungry yet?

Check out the best last minute tour deals here.



If you like cigars, I bet you love Cuban cigars. The Cuban state makes so many different varieties, that the mind can boggle, but for $100, you can buy quite a few.

For example, you could take away a great Rafael Gonzalez Perla (or 20), a little cigar with great value. Alternatively, if you’re looking for an exceedingly traditional smoke, get yourself 5-8 Montecristo No. 2s.

For a large cigar, go for a Romeo y Juliet Churchill. You can buy 5-6 for $100.

Still keen to know more? Well we have a lot of love for the Caribbean.

Check out some of our other articles and videos here on, like our “Beers of the Caribbean” series!


Why Cuban Cigars Are “Smokin”! says CaptainGino

Captain Gino’s Beers of the Caribbean (Part 1)




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