This strategic defensive point also offers sweeping, unobstructed views of Havana Vieja Old Havana across the bay and the Caribbean to the north.
Castro has softened his stance on gay rights, but the rest of Cuba is still catching up
Just head to the ferry terminal in Havana Vieja and hop on one of the awaiting ferries. Some of them will head directly across the bay to the landing at Casablanca. However some will first head away from the castle and stop at la Regla for about 20 minutes. You are required to get off the boat, though there is an old church nearby that you can visit if the mood strikes you. If not, simply circle back into the terminal and wait. Though in Havana I found it harder to tell the different more on that here.
Finding gay Havana
Here are a few of my favorites:. Restaurante La Luz — mentioned above, this place offers up simple and cheap meals. I have no idea if this is a state-run place or not, but it worked well for me. This photo of La Luz is courtesy of TripAdvisor. A tiny restaurant and cocktail bar, which is constantly packed from dinner onwards. The decor is vintage eclectic and the vibe is chill.
However, if you want to escape the crowds, they are open for lunch. The food and drinks, though pricey by local standards, are quite good. In fact, they roast and grind their own coffee in-house. As with any popular spot in any city, the seating can be a bit tight at times, but the food, coffee, general atmosphere and decor more than make up for that. The drinks are good, the food is great and the music — as with everywhere in Cuba — will make you want to dance, no matter how tired you are.
Cerveceria Plaza Vieja — there are many beer halls throughout Cuba, most of which appear to be state-run.
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Annual Report Strategic Plan Partners Supporters. But ask some of the slightly older crowd about gay life and they frown. Cuban women can be particularly outspoken about their dislike of homosexuality, yet they will happily show you pictures of their friends on their cellphones and ask you to guess which are the real women and which the travestis.
On La Rampa, you might experience a bewildering moment looking at all the attractive, fashionable young people and wonder which ones are gay.
Gay Havana: exploring the Cuban capital's classic cars & beautiful boys
Those are the straight ones out for an evening of fun. The gay boys will approach you only once they see you looking around. If you say chicos, they will smile and offer their services. I tell them I just want to ask some questions. He would be taken away in handcuffs and fined, he tells me. For soliciting. Then I looked up and saw two police officers heading toward me. I continued walking. He answered with one word: Another night, he and his cruising buddy took me around trying to find a happening gay bar.
We tried several places, all filled with straight couples. Even without the fight for queer rights, life in Cuba is not enviable. They will ask if you are activo or pasivo. Top or bottom. Or the coy Cuban version of versatile: Eddie lives in a small apartment with his sister and brother, as well as his mother and her boyfriend.
He is pessimistic when it comes to his future in Cuba. Obviously, gay life goes on.
All the boys assure me that Las Vegas Bar operates as an openly gay bar in Havana. Tourists go there to meet the locals. A couple of drag queens and some lesbians were hanging around outside, looking defiant and ready for trouble. I felt the lure of the forbidden, what it was like entering your first gay bar.