How to spend 16 hours in Havana, Cuba
12:00 pm Finca Vigia (Lookout Farm) is a hilltop retreat [Ernest] Hemingway purchased in 1949, after seven years in the cramped confines of Hotel Ambos Mundos. Located 18km from the city in the suburbs of San Francisco de Paula on Carretera Central, it’s now a museo; tickets are $4. Though a public bus does pass by his property you can opt to hop in a classic ’52 Olds (about $40 from the Hotel Ambos Mundos) for safety, speed, and, well, cool factor.
You might want to heed this local’s warning: “If you get on the P9 bus, you will lose something. For sure.”
At Finca Vigia, look through the wide doors and windows at Papa Hemingway’s African trophies (water buffalo and antelope), claw foot tub, pickled lizards, and imposing library. This is where he completed The Old Man and The Sea and For Whom the Bell Tolls. Be sure to check out his old boat, El Pilar, dry-docked near the pool where Ava Gardner skinny-dipped. The dog cemetery honouring his beloved Black, Negrita, Linda, and Neron can be found under the shade of the poolside fig trees. Buy a mojito ($3) in the parking lot before heading back to Centro Havana.
—excerpted from How to spend 16 hours in Havana, Cuba