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Moon Cuba (Moon Handbooks) Paperback – October 30, 2006


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Product Details

  • Series: Moon Handbooks
  • Paperback: 750 pages
  • Publisher: Avalon Travel Publishing; 4th edition (October 30, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1566918022
  • ISBN-13: 978-1566918022
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.4 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #249,589 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Christopher P. Baker was born and raised in Yorkshire, England. He received a B.A. in geography from University College, London, and masters degrees in Latin American studies from Liverpool University and in education from the Institute of Education, London University.

He began his writing career in 1978 as contributing editor on Latin America for Land & Liberty, a London-based political journal. In 1980 he received a Scripps-Howard Foundation Scholarship in Journalism to attend the University of California, Berkeley.

Since 1983, Christopher has made his living as a professional travel writer, photographer, lecturer, and tour guide, and is acclaimed for his specialist knowledge of Cuba and Costa Rica, about which he has written 10 books. He has contributed to more than 150 publications worldwide, including Caribbean Travel & Life, Maxim, National Geographic Traveler, The Robb Report, and the Los Angeles Times. Christopher has been profiled in USA Today; appears frequently on radio and television talk shows and as a guest-lecturer aboard cruise ships; and has been privileged to address such organizations as the National Press Club, the World Affairs Council, and the National Geographic Society. He is a National Geographic Resident Expert and currently escorts cruise-tours of Costa Rica and Panama for National Geographic Expeditions.

His many books include Moon Costa Rica and Mi Moto Fidel: Motorcycling Through Castro's Cuba, winner of both the 2002 Lowell Thomas Award for Best Travel Book and the North American Travel Journalist Association's Grand Prize. His other awards include the prestigious Lowell Thomas Travel Journalist of the Year from the Society of American Travel Writers in 2008, and the Caribbean Tourism Organization in 2005.
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Good recommendations and lots of background information.
Buero Buero
Of those guidebooks the Lonely Planet guidebook (Sainsbury, 4th ed.) is the best.
Thomas D. Kehoe
A great beginning read for planning a trip over the next few months.
Ms. Fibs

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

59 of 60 people found the following review helpful By Thomas D. Kehoe on January 26, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've been to Cuba seven times. I met my wife on the second trip. 99% of tourists never leave the resorts, except for an excursion to Habana Viejo (Havana's old city). Most of the guidebooks are for those people, presenting only the places that tourists go. Of those guidebooks the Lonely Planet guidebook (Sainsbury, 4th ed.) is the best.

Only one guidebook covers every pueblito on the island. My 4th edition of the Christopher Baker's Moon Handbook is falling apart from too much use. I'm ordering the 5th edition for my trip in a few weeks. The Moon guide is not only complete, it is a pleasure to read. Baker is a fine writer. The photos and maps are excellent too. The history of Cuba in the back is better than some of the history books I've read. If you want to go to Cuba's less popular national parks (i.e., not Vinales or Topos de Collantes) you'll have to get Baker's guidebook, as this is the only book that covers the undeveloped national parks.

I liked Baker's guidebook so much that I read "Mi Moto Fidel," his book about writing the first edition of the Moon guidebook. My only complaint about the Moon guidebook is that it makes me want to take six months and see all the amazing places he describes. Also, my wife and Cuban in-laws are continually shocked at the out of the way places I want to see. They just want to go to a resort and lie by the pool (they weren't allowed to enter resorts until a couple years ago, so this is a dream to them). I want to go see something the Baker found -- an American fighter-bomber that was shot down in the Bay of Pigs invasion, miles down a rugged trail; or hire an ornithologist to go into a swamp to see a bee hummingbird (the world's smallest bird); or hire a guide to explore the Gran Caverna de San Tomas, Cuba's biggest cave.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By S. Mueller on May 12, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I heard this author interviewed recently by Rick Steves and his unbridled enthusiasm for Cuba (as it is today) really tempted me to go. His book gives advice about places to see if you only have a limited time (and, as tourists, we only have limited time) and the considerations for Americans about how to go legally are very practical. The book has web sites to use to reserve the required first 3 nights in Cuba and tips on where to stay, what the currency is, and all the things you'd want to know about any first-world country ... and he adds honest comments about the poor infrastructure and the poverty in the country.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By FredJohnston1981 on January 10, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
WARNING! MOST OF THE OTHER REVIEWS YOU SEE HERE ARE FOR AN OLDER 2006 EDITION OF THE BOOK!!! My review is for the 2010 edition.

SMALLER THAN BEFORE: Previous reviewers gushed about its detail (especially in comparison with LP). I was a bit puzzled initially, until an owner of a casa particular showed me the 2006 edition, which was massive in comparison. It is now much humbler-sized and thus skimpier in the details.

SURPRISINGLY OUTDATED: Though it's listed as being published in Nov 2010, information was not always up to date. (I was in Cuba Dec 2010-Jan 2011.) No surprise, since it's written by one man, and it takes probably a year (or more) to thoroughly research the sizeable island of Cuba. (Other guidebooks suffer from the same.) Nonetheless it is still (at least in Jan 2011) the most up-to-date book.

DOESN'T HELP TO SAVE MONEY: Christopher Baker is also a man of somewhat expensive tastes. True, anyone on a shoestring budget shouldn't be going to Cuba which is very expensive. Nonetheless, it is astounding to read his claim that "There is very little that you will need pesos for."
e.g. food: The book never mentions where you can find panaderias, decent street pizzas/batidos/sandwiches, fruit and vegetable markets, etc. In Havana especially one can save a lot of money by going to these places. True, these are all very limited in variety and of dubious quality (more so outside of Havana), but sometimes it's OK, especially considering how much you can save. e.g. A large loaf of bread is 3 pesos, and a "small" avocado (at least as big as the biggest ones you can find in the US and much sweeter) is 7 pesos - that's a meal for 40 cents CUC. Compare this with any paladar where a meal costs usually 5-10 CUC at least.
e.g.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Hammockman on March 8, 2007
Format: Paperback
I've literally been around the world backpacking with Lonely Planet guides and like them a lot for budget travel. This is my first experience with Moon and I like this one better. I also ordered the Lonely Planet Cuba guide at the same time and they were released in October and November, '06 so they're comparable in that sense. The Moon is a little heavier which is a consideration if you're traveling light, but that's not insurmountable.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Patricia J. Schwarz on January 19, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an even-handed, up-to-date guide book that provides an excellent, concise summary of Cuba's history. Baker describes the many good things about the country and covers the futility of the US embargo. However, he does not hesitate to mention Cuba's shortcomings. Having just returned from two weeks in Cuba, we were glad Baker's book prepared us well for what to expect.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Mr. J. Baillie on May 26, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This up to date and concise travel guide covers absolutely everything you would need to know about Cuba- the poeple,economy,goverenment,where to go ,what to see and how to do everything and what not to do.Unbelievably complete in every way.Forget Fodors or Frommers-this is all you will need.

J Baillie, USA.
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