Brendan Sainsbury

Brendan is a British freelance writer based in British Columbia, Canada. In between penning offbeat travel stories for the likes of Africa Geographic, he has hitchhiked across Mozambique, taught English in Thailand, dug latrines in Angola, and worked as an adventure travel guide in Spain and Morocco. Brendan first 'discovered' Cuba in 1997 after throwing in a career running health and fitness clubs in central London. Fascinated by the country's exotic mix of melodious trova (poetic singing...

Toward Trinidad

Heading east toward Trinidad, postcard views of the Escambray Mountains loom ever closer. At Villa Guajimico the road tracks southeast undulating scenically between the mountains and sea for 30km. Hacienda La Vega on the main road approximately 8km east of Villa Guajimico is a small Palmares restaurant adjacent to a hacienda surrounded by fruit trees. It's a shady and tranquil spot that is well worth a lunchtime stopover. You can hire horses here and scamper down to a nearby beach called Caleta...

Town Center

Dinos Pizza (Map p260 Calle 31 No 5418 btwn Avs 54 & 56 noon-3pm & 6pm-midnight) Living up to its reputation for reliable, tasty food, this place has pizzas starting at CUC 4 (with toppings such as mushrooms, black olives or sausage additional) and lasagna at CUC 7. The big salads, bruschetta and soups make this a good vegetarian option. Paladar flch (Map p260 Av 38 btwn Avs Callles 41 & 43) At the time of writing, Cienfuegos' only operating paladar was situated near the pediatric...

Rabies

Rabies is a viral infection of the brain and spinal cord that is almost always fatal. The rabies virus is carried in the saliva of infected animals and is typically transmitted through an animal bite, though contamination of any break in the skin with infected saliva may result in rabies. Rabies occurs in several of the Caribbean islands, including Cuba. Most cases in Cuba are related to bites from dogs, bats and wild animals, especially the small Indian mongoose. The rabies vaccine is safe,...

Before You Go

Since most vaccines don't produce immunity until at least two weeks after they're given, visit a physician four to eight weeks before departure. Ask your doctor for an International Certificate of Vaccination (otherwise known as the 'yellow booklet'), which will list all the vaccinations you've received. This is mandatory for countries that require proof of yellow fever vaccination upon entry. Cuba doesn't require yellow fever vaccination, but it's a good idea to carry your yellow booklet...