Following “Papa” through his Havana haunts

Devotes of Ernest Hemingway can walk in his footsteps on a trail that runs through Havana, into the suburbs, and through the northern islands.


His home – Finca Vigia – in a Havana suburb, looks just as he left it, complete with the original Life magazines, eyeglasses on the nightstand by his bed, and a Picasso bas-relief that he purchased in 1969 for 150 French Francs. Many of the conquests from his African safaris adorn the walls.


Although tourists cannot go inside the home, knowledgeable guides informed us about the details of each room, as we looked through the open doors and windows. We can see why this site is closed during a rainstorm, as the open windows leave the interior very exposed to the elements. (One guest bemoaned that the heat and humidity will wreck this history … but the guide noted that there were no funds to install A/C or heaters.)


We sampled the “wares” at his favorite watering holes – for example, daiquiris (double rum, no sugar) at El Floradita.

As described in Islands in the Stream, (which Jan read on this trip), his likeness is positioned at the bar “in a corner with his back to the bar so he could see who was entering”. (Note the pic of Fidel over his shoulder.)

As part of our "research" into his Havana habits, we enjoyed the mojitos at La Bodegita del Medio, another favorite haunt. (Leslie noted that this was part of the "cocktail beat".) We met these CPAs from Guadalajara who invited us to visit them in Mexico next time we’re in town!  If you’re wondering where Jan’s hat is … she left it at the hotel!


In his own words, Papa describes his "fav " beverages:


Since Hemingway also lived in Ketchum, Idaho, we feel somewhat of a bond with “Papa”. Prior to this trip, we paid respects to his grave, which is just down the street our vacation house. So, Papa thanks for letting us peer into your life. You left quite a legacy!


2 thoughts on “Following “Papa” through his Havana haunts

  1. Paula

    Cudos to the crack reporting and publishing team at Partners in Adventure for their insights into Cuba pre American influence. I'm sure it was hard work tasting all the food, drinking ALL those mojitos, and seeing all the sights. Am I correct in assuming that the most popular automobile color in Cuba is bright pink?


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