Friday, December 26, 2014

Tourists will pay a pretty peso to visit Cuba

Tourists will pay a pretty peso to visit Cuba
By Tara Palmeri December 25, 2014 | 11:11pm
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HAVANA — It may be the workers' paradise — but its prices would put even
Manhattan capitalists to shame.
American tourists hoping to score a cheap vacation by visiting Cuba
should think again, with visitors paying a premium for everything from
hotels to taxis to tacky revolution-themed trinkets.
Even souvenir snapshots with the Communist capital's own version of
Times Square's creepy costumed characters are pricey — running a minimum
$2 per character per photo.
For Cuba-loving celebs such as Jay Z and Beyoncé, the high prices are an
island breeze.
Their favorite place to stay is the five-star Hotel Saratoga in Havana,
which runs $306 per night for a single and $453 for a double.
But for the average Joe, the aging Hotel Nacional de Cuba — the one-time
center for Fidel Castro's revolution — still costs a pretty peso: $177 a
night for a single and $267 for two in a room.
Tourists looking to bring gifts home won't get any deals, either.
A T-shirt with revolutionary Che Guevara's face cost $10, while a wallet
with his mug ran $15 at one local market.
And if you want to take a break from the bustle of the city center,
catching a taxi ride to the nearest beach, Santa Maria, will set you
back for about $17.
Experiencing a bit of Castro's very own Cuba — that is, his cigars —
also doesn't come cheap.
Fidel's favorite smoke, the Cohiba Lanceros, runs $18 a pop.
Still, that's less expensive than the costliest of the famed Cohiba
brand, the Biheke, which costs $36 per cigar.
Leydi Gonzalez, a 37-year-old waitress who makes the equivalent of $5 US
per shift, was shocked to see The Post shell out $10 for a short cab
ride in town and $5 for a mojito.
"Oh, my God, so much money," she said.
Cubans don't haggle, and non-Spanish-speaking tourists get hit with the
highest prices.
The only cheap item in Cuba is the rum, where a bottle of Havana Club
could go for as little as $3.
President Obama last week announced that the US would re-establish
relations with Cuba and ease other travel restrictions.

Source: Tourists will pay a pretty peso to visit Cuba | New York Post -

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