Our last day in Havana was filled with a big list of To Do’s, we had several spots we wanted to visit in Old Havana and we tried to maximize our time in order to enjoy those places. However, we ended up leaving the hotel room so late that we missed one of Richard’s first spots of interest, the Partagás cigar factory museum, by the time we arrived the factory tour was already closed (Friday, 11:50am) and only the factory shop was still open. So we decided to continue our walk towards the National Capitol Building, also known as “El Capitolio”, just a few blocks away from the cigar factory. We stopped for a few minutes by the entrance of Chinatown and Parque de la Fraternidad, delighting our eyes with the urban vibes of this beautiful old city. We were strongly recommended to grab some lunch at La Guarida restaurant, a unique experience Cuban restaurant in the middle of Central Havana. We took a cocotaxi, a rickshaw-type taxi, and the driver was incredibly friendly, we even took a polaroid picture with him at the end of the ride.
Can we please talk about la Guarida? This unique restaurant is located in the third floor of an old 4-story building. Actually, we were not sure if we were at the right place until some guys at the entrance told us to keep going upstairs. The building looks like an abandoned old mansion, with enough structure and original architecture to let your mind picture what this place must have been like 60 years ago. I guess we had the same face expression of being lost as everyone else who arrived… (Later on, we knew the wondering-face was part of finally finding this place as guests kept coming).
It’s located in Central Havana, a bit far from Old Havana if you’re thinking about walking there, we strongly suggest taking some kind of transportation (the cheapest, either a bike-taxi or coco taxi). There’s not much to do or see around, but if you’re thinking about having lunch or dinner, this restaurant is totally worth it. A great option to have a fancy dinner, by the way. We had to make a reservation the day before, and the concierge at the hotel told us that in the high season you might want to make reservations with at least two or three days in advance because it’s always booked. If you come after 6 p.m. and don’t have a reservation they have a bar on the rooftop that you can visit, which has an amazing view of Havana, just an incredible spot on its own. After having lunch, we went to the rooftop… And what do you do when you are in Havana in a rooftop terrace completely to yourself? You dance! <3 Our Dirty Dance moves were a bit rusted, though! <3
The second level of this old building looked like some kind of a classic ballroom taken out of a movie set, and of course the most natural thing to do was to start dancing like nobody was watching! In love with these pics <3 Back in the Old Havana! This time we were not letting a classic taxi go without taking some pictures! Quick tip: if you want to take pictures which involve people or their cars, ask them for permission first, and if you have some spare change that’d be even better. They will greatly appreciated. The driver was so friendly and grateful that he even let me get inside the car for some pics.
Even Richard was invited to get behind the wheel! <3 Of course, he couldn’t refuse this amazing opportunity besides being marine blue his favorite color! Watching kids playing in the streets is really common, something I thought it was a lovely thing to see. Right after cruising our way through the streets of Mercaderes, we headed to the famous Malecón, the roadway on the Havana Harbor to enjoy our last hours in this amazing place with live music, walking a few miles back to our hotel.