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The Rough Guide to Cuba
 
 

The Rough Guide to Cuba [Kindle Edition]

Fiona McAuslan , Matthew Norman
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £13.99
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Product Description

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The popular image of Cuba as a tourist destination has fluctuated wildly over the years, and there is no question that this fascinating corner of the globe has enjoyed visitors of wildly disparate expectations -- from the hedonistic revellers of pre-Revolutionary Cuba (when it was essentially America's playground) to the many travellers who have visited for ideological reasons, seeing Fidel Castro (however controversial a figure) as a symbol of opposition to American global hegemony. As this guide demonstrates, a more balanced view of this remarkable country may be achieved. And of the many tourist guides to Cuba over the years, travellers who know their stuff will realise that the Rough Guide to Cuba is most likely to give a clear, authoritative and enthusiastic vision, recording all of Cuba's glories without drawing a veil over its less savoury aspects. Despite the country’s isolation from the West in general and its hostile relation to the US, Cuba has undoubtedly emerged (in the last 50 years or so) as one of the principal tourist destinations in the Caribbean. And Cuba has never lost its image as the home of sun, salsa and rum, along with an engagingly laid-back attitude that quickly communicates itself to visitors.

This is one of the more ambitious guides (as befits the subject), coming in at over 600 pages, and the range of information here is truly impressive. And what a range of fascinating destinations Cuba offers, from its sultry beaches to its lively, noisy entertainment venues. If you’ve long nourished a taste for all things Latin, it's probably time to pick up this guide and head for Cuba. And whatever your attitude to Fidel Castro -- pro or con -- it hardly matters; you're hardly likely to run into him on the sun-baked streets. --Barry Forshaw

Amazon Review

The popular image of Cuba as a tourist destination has fluctuated wildly over the years, and there is no question that this fascinating corner of the globe has enjoyed visitors of wildly disparate expectations -- from the hedonistic revellers of pre-Revolutionary Cuba (when it was essentially America's playground) to the many travellers who have visited for ideological reasons, seeing Fidel Castro (however controversial a figure) as a symbol of opposition to American global hegemony. As this guide demonstrates, a more balanced view of this remarkable country may be achieved. And of the many tourist guides to Cuba over the years, travellers who know their stuff will realise that the Rough Guide to Cuba is most likely to give a clear, authoritative and enthusiastic vision, recording all of Cuba's glories without drawing a veil over its less savoury aspects. Despite the country’s isolation from the West in general and its hostile relation to the US, Cuba has undoubtedly emerged (in the last 50 years or so) as one of the principal tourist destinations in the Caribbean. And Cuba has never lost its image as the home of sun, salsa and rum, along with an engagingly laid-back attitude that quickly communicates itself to visitors.

This is one of the more ambitious guides (as befits the subject), coming in at over 600 pages, and the range of information here is truly impressive. And what a range of fascinating destinations Cuba offers, from its sultry beaches to its lively, noisy entertainment venues. If you’ve long nourished a taste for all things Latin, it's probably time to pick up this guide and head for Cuba. And whatever your attitude to Fidel Castro -- pro or con -- it hardly matters; you're hardly likely to run into him on the sun-baked streets. --Barry Forshaw


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 5596 KB
  • Print Length: 552 pages
  • Publisher: Rough Guides; 5 edition (1 Sep 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0066DGZ8Q
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #277,390 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Matt Norman has been writing and working on travel guides to Cuba and the Dominican Republic since 1998. He lived in Havana from 1995 to 1996. He now lives in south London.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
51 of 51 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I've just used this book to help me in my travels round Cuba and while it's not perfect, it was invaluable. The potted histories and local insights are all as well written as you would expect from the Rough Guides.
The book's usefulness is, admittedly, limited by the rapidly changing nature of much of Cuba. Paladars (the privately run restaurants) open and close all the time, musicians spring up here and there and then vanish again apparently without warning. And such seems to be the way of things in Cuba at the moment - all part of the charm. You just have to go with the flow and sometimes you strike gold, other times you find that the gold has moved on.
This guide contains accurate maps (better than many tourist maps available in Cuba - one good reason to buy it) and fair assessments of the more stable attractions such as museums, hotels etc, and that's about as good as you can hope for in a rapidly changing country.
To my knowledge the Rough Guide is currently a more recent edition than offered by its main competitors which in my opinion is a big selling point, given the changing nature of Cuba. If you're going, I recommend it. Don't rely solely on local maps and guidebooks which aren't plentiful and also tend to be slanted to emphasise what the Cubans think we tourists want to see and what they want to show off.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as other Rough Guides 20 April 2008
Format:Paperback
We used this guide to travel around Cuba independently for two weeks. It's not as good as other Rough Guides we've used in the past (Kenya, Egypt).

While it isn't particularly bad, there are a few issues:

The maps of Havana are worse and smaller than in the previous (2005) edition of the guide, and there's no map of the area between Centro Habana and Vedado - you have to flick between two maps and there are no street names on the overlapping area. We ended up carrying the DK Eyewitness travel guide for Cuba just to have a half-decent map.

The writer(s) seemed to get bored of Cuba and there's a thread of cynicism and sarcasm that, while generating a smile at first, does become very tedious as it threads throughout the whole book.

Also, there are no bus timetables included.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Rough Guide not quite up to usual standard 3 Sep 2003
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This guide book is not as reliable as others in this normally excellent series. It tends to over-rate some of the sights - such as the comically old-fashioned Camilo-Che room in the Museum of the Revolution, and the restaurant recommendations are often wayward. The text often contradicts itself, and among the unmissable recommendations at the beginning of the book there are sights which are hardly remarkable.
This being said it is the most thorough guide book for Cuba, and is awash with listings.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really, Really Useful and Up-to-Date 9 Nov 2007
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
We have just returned from a 2-week holiday in Cuba - including Havana, Santiago,Trindad, Camaguey and Guardalavaca. The book is a bit unwieldy to carry around but is bang up-to-date. We used it for example to find "paladares" in which to eat. It is informative, contains an amazing amount of detail and is very thoroughly researched. And the advice about what to do - and what not to do ( or avoid) is spot on. A great buy.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
By C. Frost VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Having read the other (very mixed) views on here I have to say I found the Rough Guide to Cuba one of the best country guides I've used.

As has been mentionned by another reviewer, the authors often have a slightly cynicical view of Cuban facilities and destinations, and upon reading it before we went it made me wonder if the place was going to be pretty awful, as usually Rungh Guides are so enthusiastic. Now I've visited the country, I would give the exact same advice as the authors - and I loved the place.

I think that rather than falling into the typical trap of being so enthusiastic about everything that the reader doesn't know which are the best places to visit and panics that they can't see it all, these authors are very genuine about which museums etc are a waste of time and which are worth seeing. I found that if the author said something was good we also found it was worth seeing. In regard of any of the other negatives they talk about, I think you need to be aware that Cuba is not some glossy holiday resort - it is a very poor country where people do not have the same attitudes as we do, so you will be very disappointed if you aren't aware of this before you go.

I think this is the reason for the lack of timetables for buses and trains - as everything runs on "Cuban time" I think it would be pointless to publish one, as we were told that buses could come "30 minutes either way of when they're meant to"... basically you have to go to a bus stop and one will turn up within an hour or so!

The part I found most informative (both before my trip and for consulting during our holiday) was the history section at the back.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My guide round Cuba 18 Nov 2010
By Jabu
Format:Paperback
I travelled round Cuba for 2 weeks and found the guide invaluable. In a country where public transport is tricky to navigate, the book offered pretty up-to-date information and options.
The most useful recommendation was a lovely woman who owned a Casa Particular in Centro Habana. She was full when we arrived so got her son in law to put us up. It was right in the middle of "real" Havana and I happily spent time just being part of life there. Her recommendations kept coming, with CP to stay in Trinidad and Santiago - both of which were the most beautiful colonial houses and owned by the loveliest people.
Places to eat were spot on, especially if you learn to love the ubiquitous "delicious black beans". Things change so fast in Cuba that sometimes we found some things had moved on or ceased to exist - like a salsa dance studio - but some chat with the local Cubans soon found an alternative place or experience. In short, the book was a great guide, starting point and crutch, the rest of Cuba soon unfolds through the people...
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive guide
Incredibly useful guide to a Country where you really do need this information to get around. Very accurate descriptions. Highly recommended.
Published 10 months ago by AndyCL
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent travel guide for Cuba
This guide is excellent and we used in extensively as we travelled throughout Cuba. It did not let us down, was accurate and very helpful. As well as interesting.
Published 15 months ago by P De Silva
5.0 out of 5 stars Helped us out a lot
on our trip last year...pointed us to some great places to eat in Havana... you must go to la Guarida... Read more
Published on 7 Jun 2012 by Mrs Kerry Dunn
3.0 out of 5 stars Rough Guide to Cuba
We found this to be slightly less helpful than the Lonely Planet guide, but the two together gave us a more complete picture of the places we were visiting
Published on 23 Feb 2012 by charleyfarley99
3.0 out of 5 stars Very out of date info
I really wonder what constitutes a Lonley Planet or Rough Guide being 'New and updated' as it doesn't seem to involve any checking of information. Read more
Published on 28 Nov 2011 by Splat
4.0 out of 5 stars Rough Guide to Cuba
A useful and helpful book which helped us enjoy our holiday in Cuba. Some of the prices for meals are a bit out of date though. Read more
Published on 27 May 2011 by Colliewobbles
5.0 out of 5 stars LOVE THIS BOOK
Don't leave for Cuba without this book!
On my recent trip I found this book invaluable. When planning my trip it provided excellent overviews of each region to help me and my... Read more
Published on 10 May 2011 by KateMad
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly Good
I usually find with guide books that I waste half my time looking for restaurants etc which sound great but just don't exist anymore. Read more
Published on 16 Mar 2011 by Jim Sherwood
5.0 out of 5 stars Top guide
As always, Rough guides are spot on, they not only introduce you to a city or country but also help you make decisions. Read more
Published on 31 Jan 2011 by Kat
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't leave home without it!
Just got back from a month travelling around Cuba with the new edition of the Rough Guide to Cuba and found it absolutely invaluable. Read more
Published on 3 Oct 2010 by The Gateshead Globetrotter
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