Camagüey, Cuba: A Mini-Guide For Travellers

Unless you’ve been travelling in Cuba, or researching a trip to the Caribbean island, you most likely have never even heard of Camagüey, which is known for its maze of alleyways, Spanish plazas, performing arts as well as various cathedrals.

After reading about exactly how the city was continuously attacked by pirates, as well as exactly how the labyrinth of streets is often compared to the medinas of Morocco, we were intrigued. We promptly placed Camagüey on our Cuban travel plan as well as are so delighted we did!

Here’s a mini-guide to show you the highlights, where to eat as well as where to sleep in Camagüey.

The Churches & Cathedrals

Camagüey is known as Cuba’s Catholic soul, which is promptly obvious when you show up in the city. There are numerous stunning churches as well as cathedrals, a lot of of which you’ll see just by wandering around, however if you’re checking out Camagüey anytime soon, make sure to check out these ones:

Sacred Heart of Jesus Cathedral (located in Parque Marti)

This gothic, triple-spired cathedral has a different style to a lot of other cathedrals in Cuba, it looks like it belongs in Europe!

Inglesia de Nuestra Señora de la Merced (located in Plaza de los Trabajadores)

This church dates from 1748 as well as has an active convent attached to it. With a 2 level arched interior, creepy catacombs as well as a solid-silver coffin, this is a must-see in Camagüey.

Inglesia de Nuestra Señora de la Soledad (located on the corner of Republica as well as Agramonte)

Many streets cause this little intersection, which has some great eating spots, hotels, as well as this beautiful, recently renovated church.

The Alleyways

Most of the Spanish colonial cities are created in a grid-like pattern. Camagüey’s streets however, are wonderfully abstract, with tangled alleyways leading to little plazas all over the city. exploring any type of of the back streets outside of the prominent squares will expose some fascinating gems.

You’ll discover friends as well as families having block parties, kids playing baseball, people sitting on steps enjoying the world go by, as well as vendors walking around selling various goods. Bring your video camera as well as explore.

A guy sits on his front step, taking a break from delivering goods.
The tangle of alleyways reveals fascinating sights.
The Plazas

Plazas are where people get together to mingle with friends, where kids run around playing, as well as where you’ll commonly discover online music as well as excellent eateries. Every city in Cuba (and every Spanish city), has plazas, as well as the ones discovered in Camagüey are lovely.

Plaza San Juan de Dios

This plaza is known as being Camagüey’s a lot of picturesque as well as lovely corner. There are various restaurants surrounding the square, however, we discovered them to be overpriced as well as not very good.

Plaza San Juan de Dios in the late afternoon.

Parque Ignacio Agramonte

This square is in the heart of the city and, due to its numerous trees as well as excellent seating, it’s a prominent location to spend the afternoon. If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to see a musical performance right here in the evening. The buildings surrounding this plaza are stunning as well as the place is perfect.

Symphony playing in Parque Ignacio Agramonte.

Plaza Del Carmen

This stunning plaza opens up at the end of a narrow pedestrian street which is lined with pastel-colored colonial homes. right here you’ll discover some sculptures, the Iglesia de Nuestra Señora del Carmen church, as well as classic Camagüey stylings.

Plaza del Carmen is a must-see! (photo by: AnyMouse1 on Flickr)

The restaurants as well as Bars

Contrary to belief, the food in Cuba isn’t awful! We had some excellent meals while in Camagüey, as well as as an added bonus, the food was very affordable. This city had the least expensive food as well as booze out of any type of of the cities we had been to so far in Cuba. We might spend the whole day eating and drinking, if we felt like it, as well as still have a big part of our Cuba budget plan left over for transport, home entertainment as well as other things.

La Isabella Restaurant

At first, you may be uncertain if this dark looking restaurant is really open, however when you push open the doors, you’ll be pleasantly surprised. located on theatre street, this little eatery keeps the theatrical feel to life by giving you the perception that you’re eating in a cinema – check out the director’s chairs, the clapperboards as well as the photos of actors on the walls.

The Italian style food right here is tasty, the portions are significant as well as the prices are good. A margarita pizza is $2.35, spaghetti bolognese is $2.60 as well as bottles of white wine are from $10.

Isabella restaurant was fun as well as very affordable.

La Cava restaurant & white wine Cellar

Located in the Parque Ignacio Agramonte, below the cafe Cuidad, you’ll discover this great area for lunch or dinner. The decoration right here is excellent as well as the service is professional. however the best part is that a bottle of white wine costs around $10, as well as tapas variety from $0.80 – $4.85. primary courses are between $2.85 – $18.50.

Don’t miss the white wine cellar restaurant!

Bodegon Don Cayetano

This restaurant is in a excellent place – just below the gorgeous Soledad Church on Calle República. Although the food is much more pricey than other restaurants, it’s a good place to come for a chilly beer as well as some appetizers. Also, there’s normally online music right here at night.

Pizzeria (Across from the intersection from the Soledad Church)

This restaurant is in a excellent location, as well as serves only beer as well as pizza. As a foreigner, you’ll be used the “CUC” menu, which lists whatever in higher prices than the regional “CUP” menu. The food is the same, however the prices aren’t – ask to see the regional menu.

This is the location to try the regional beer, Tinima, while in Camagüey. It may not win any type of awards for taste, however at $0.53 / bottle, you can’t go wrong!

Don’t fail to remember Your travel insurance coverage for Cuba!

You’ll requirement to have travel insurance coverage in buy to travel to Cuba. It’s really mandatory that all travellers have insurance, as well as you may or may not be asked to show proof of insurance coverage on arrival. To get a totally free quote from world Nomads, just go into your details below:

Where to sleep in Camaguey

Miriam House

Joaquin de Aguero No. 525

e/25 de Julio y Perucho Figueredo

(53) (32) 282120

This casa specific is located just north of the city center, about a 20 minute walk away. We always choose to stay outside of the hectic part of town, as well as are pleased we chose to stay right here during our travels in Camagüey. The walk to the city center is an satisfying one as well as it’s risk-free to walk house at night. However, you might always take a cycle taxi to as well as from the casa if you wanted.

The space at Miriam’s was great, as well as the breaky was huge.

Our space had significant windows (which let in a great deal of natural light), a big bed, tiled flooring, a refrigerator, air conditioning as well as an attached bathroom, with a bath tub! A table full of food was served each morning for breakfast, as well as although we didn’t discover Miriam herself to be the most outgoing person we had come across in Cuba, the space as well as place was one of our favourites.

Miriam home is offered on Airbnb. Click right here to indication up to Airbnb as well as get $35 off of your very first stay ?

For much more casa particulares in Camagüey, click right here to compare prices on Airbnb.

The Vibe

Despite what the guide books say, we discovered that there were far less touts in Camagüey. In fact, I don’t really recall being asked if I wanted a taxi, tour, meal, etc. during our stay. What a breath of fresh air that was, particularly coming from Trinidad where the hassle was insane.

Cyclo-taxi rides in Camaguey were an satisfying experience, with the appropriate (local) cost being quoted to us best away. We rode past people who waved at us as well as had some great chats with our drivers.

We were able to walk around uninterrupted as well as without feeling like a walking dollar sign. When we walked from our casa to the city center, people spoke with us (in their damaged English as well as our damaged Spanish) as well as were genuine. The city didn’t feel hectic, it was calm as well as relaxed.

Empty back-streets in this part of Camaguey…no hassle here!

Most cities have one central area which has the largest amount of “must-see’s”, but Camagüey is different.

Wandering from the center to the northern area of town, you’ll come across the Avenida de los Martires (Avenue of the Martyrs), which is a kilometer long street that is lined by old buildings with towering columned entrances! Heading towards the primary center, you’ll discover a kilometer long pedestrian-only street, Calle República. Walking from the center to the bus station, you’ll see numerous fascinating streets, unusual buildings as well as a large variety of shops.

Areas as well as buildings that weren’t even provided as “sights” in our guidebook, were must-sees in my mind. The cathedrals, the pedestrian-only walkways, the plazas, the appealing back-streets, the people as well as the restaurants were all fantastic! as well as on top of all of that, the costs in Camagüey were the lowest we had come across in all of Cuba.

No matter which street you select to take in Camagüey, you’ll discover lovely architecture, a friendly face as well as a fantastic restaurant.

We loved Camaguey!

The Lonely world guidebook talks about exactly how you’ll experience great deals of hassle in Camagüey as well as exactly how there’s a great possibility you’ll have your purse/bag snatched from you as you walk along the back streets. A WikiTravel writer said that “it has some lovely old churches, however is not truly a vacationer stop”. somebody on TripAdvisor said that “Camagüey is a dump of a town compared to others in Cuba”…

What?! After costs 3 nights in the city, we were left wanting more, as well as wished that we hadn’t booked our onward bus ticket so soon. If you have the chance to visit Camagüey, take it, you won’t be disappointed.

Traveller’s Notes:

To get to Camagüey from Trinidad, the Viazul bus costs 15 CUC ($15) as well as takes 5 hours.

Cycle taxis around the city expense 1 CUC. To go to the bus station, or to the northern part of the center, expect to pay 2 or 3 CUC.

To get from Camagüey to Trinidad, the Viazul only has one bus, leaving at 2:30 am. because this is a absurd hour to get up as well as travel, we suggest taking the Viazul to Sancti Spiritus city, as well as then hiring a taxi to take you the rest of the way to Trinidad. The expense is very similar as well as you can sleep in until a sensible hour. A bus to Sancti Spiritus is 10 CUC / person, as well as the personal taxi is 30 CUC / car. Our taxi was a 1948 Plymouth!

You can discover the Infotur office on the Theatre Street. It’s a wealth of information, as well as the people there speak English.

Wi-Fi is offered at the intersection of Calle Republica as well as Calle Agramonte, at the hotel Santa Maria, located across from the Inglesia de la Soledad Church.

For much more on Cuba, check out our articles:

Planning a trip to Cuba: To-Do listing before Travel

The utmost guide to Independent travel in Cuba

The utmost guide to Independent travel in Havana

Havana, Cuba – might This Be Our new much-loved City?

Finding the genuine Cuba in Vinales

Cuba With a splash of Spain: Experiencing the special Side of Cienfuegos

Trinidad, Cuba: split between a Tourist-Trap as well as a Treasure

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