There was no way that I could go to Miami for a second time and not visit the historical town of Little Havana. It is named after Havana, the capitol of Cuba and is the place where many Cuban exiles (and others) have called home. I’ve always wanted to learn more about the Cuban culture and ever since I watched ‘Celia,’ a mini-series documenting the life of La Reina de la Sala (The Queen of Salsa), Celia Cruz, I’ve become even more intrigued. Check out the series if you get a chance. It’s on Neflix. Anyway, the closest I’ll probably get to Cuba is by visiting Little Havana, so I booked a cultural walking and food tour through Viator.
We met our tour guide Annalise at 10am at the Bay of Pigs Memorial in Little Havana. On this 3 hour tour, we strolled down calle ocho (8th Street) taking in the sights, sounds and tasty dishes. Surprisingly enough, we learned that only about 30% of Little Havana is actually Cuban. The remainder of its inhabitants are from Central American nations like Venezuela.
Bay of Pigs Memorial
Sugarcane Water from Los Pinarenos Fruteria
Calle Ocho Walk of Fame
Domino Park~ Some serious game playing goes on here in Domino Park!
Tower Theater~ Spanish films and English films (with Spanish subtitles) are shown here.
Azucar! If you are familiar with Celia Cruz’s music, then you’d know this is her signature phrase she would scream out while performing– Azucar!!! (Sugar) A painting of the singer is located on the inside.
Ball & Chain~ Est. 1930 One of the only places in Miami where white and black musicians were allowed to play together.
Trying some Cuban coffee! Strong is an understatement!
We broke around 1pm for lunch! Our guide Annalise ordered Tostones (Fried Plantains), Medianoche (Cuban ham Sandwich) w/ fries, masitas (pork topped with onions), and rice and beans. This food was amazing! I was grateful to have a tour guide because the only things I’d be able to order would be a glass of water! Ha!
Do we have on the same outfit?? #bishstolemylook #whoworeitbetter lol
But seriously, if you are considering doing a tour of Little Havana, I would suggest booking with an actual tour guide. I initially wanted to do a self-guided tour, but the bonus of having a tour guide is having someone break down the history, has knowledge of the neighborhood and also knows the language. It was well worth the money and as a first-time customer on Viator, I was given a 10% discount.
Just a heads up… our tour was cancelled and had to be re-scheduled for another day. This happens when not enough people are booked for that particular day. Luckily, we were able to push it up to another day but we had something already scheduled for that afternoon, so needless to say, we were short on time. In the future, I would try to make this the only thing I have lined up so that I have more time to explore other places and purchase souvenirs. Also, wear comfy shoes and keep an umbrella handy. This tour takes place rain or shine and we were lucky enough to have both.
This tour was a success! There was soo much that we saw that didn’t make it to this post but I hope you enjoyed! Have you ever done a walking tour with a tour guide? Self-guided more your thing? How was that?
– A Black Girl About Town