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Moon Handbooks Cuba (Moon Cuba) Paperback – November, 2000


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Product Details

  • Series: Moon Cuba
  • Paperback: 670 pages
  • Publisher: Avalon Travel Publishing; 2 edition (November 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1566912091
  • ISBN-13: 978-1566912099
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 1.5 x 7.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,651,720 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Christopher P. Baker (1955-) was born and educated in Yorkshire, England, studied at universities in London and Liverpool, and has lived in California since 1980. He has since established himself as one of the world's leading travel writers & photographers and is considered the world's foremost authority on travel and tourism to Cuba and Costa Rica. He has authored and illustrated more than 30 books for such publishers as Dorling Kindersly, Frommers, Lonely Planet, Moon, and National Geographic, etc., including guidebooks, literary books, and his acclaimed coffee-table book, "Cuba Classics: A Celebration of Vintage American Automobiles." His writing & photography have appeared in more than 200 international publications, from National Geographic to Newsweek. His literary travelog "Mi Moto Fidel: Motorcycling Through Castro's Cuba," won both the Lowell Thomas Award as 'Travel Book of the Year,' and the North American Travel Journalist Association Grand Prize. In 2008, he won the prestigious Lowell Thomas Award 'Travel Journalist of the Year,' and has also been named 'Travel Journalist of the Year' by the Caribbean Tourism Organization (2005) and Jamaica Tourist Board (1998). He is a National Geographic resident expert on Cuba and Costa Rica, and leads trips to those countries for National Geographic Expeditions and other tour companies. He has been profiled in USA Today, and has appeared on numerous TV and radio shows, including NBC, Fox, CNN, and PBS. He posts twice-weekly blogs at www.moon.com/blogs/cuba-costa-rica and promotes himself through his website: www.christopherbaker.com

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Iggy Todd on May 20, 2001
Format: Paperback
Baker's "Cuba Handbook" is unbelievably detailed and comprehensive. And those attributes are at the root of what makes the book wonderful and a pain in the butt. For example, the first 200 to 300 pages of this book (in other words, the entire length of a typical guidebook) is devoted to geography, flora, fauna, and a very good primer on the history of Cuba -- information that is good for pre-travel reading, but not particularly useful when one is there.
The city of Havana takes up another 200 pages or so. Every detail of Havana is covered, from the most exhaulted buildings and museums, to the most trivial and mundane aspects of the city. But organization is sorely lacking. This is a book that is a daunting challenge in any respect to carry around with you (at 600+ pages, the book alone might tip the scales at airport check-in).
One thing we were unprepared for during the trip is the sheer volume of attractions compacted in Old Havana. While Baker cannot be faulted for devoting a good amount of space in the book to these dazzling places and describing their unique details, they are unbelievably difficult to find in the book because they are not organized in the same fashion typical of many guidebooks (i.e., numbered and cross-referenced on a map). Instead, Baker uses the bizarre tactic of organizing Old Havana attractions by street in a straight linear pattern, making it daunting to find his comments on a particular building or museum if one decides to just wonder around. In other words, Baker expects that even if you are staying in the middle of Obispo street, as we were, you should walk blindly through to where the street originates so that then, and only then, you can follow along with his narrative.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Laura Holzcroft on March 25, 2001
Format: Paperback
While traveling in Cuba, I had more than one traveler spot my book and then ask to borrow it. Chris Baker obviously knows Cuba quite well. Lonely Planet and Roughguide do not even come close to the thoroughness that he offers in the Cuba Handbook (our group was carrying a copy of each of these as well.) When the worst struck and all of my travel partner's belongings were stolen, the book was INVALUABLE - it contains a complete listing of all of the help services out there and ways to negotiate the Cuban police system and government offices.
A few critiques: in reality prices tended to be lower than reported in the book (a nice change!), the book did not address the "low income" traveler as much as I would have liked, the maps of Havana are not detailed enough. Guess I should have gotten the Havana Handbook too!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By "travler_mt" on March 4, 2003
Format: Paperback
This book is now 3 years old. The info is getting more outdated by the day. Casa particulares sites are easy to find. You pay an extra 10$ per day but you can make reservations on line with little trouble. The CPs are now taxed and regulated and easy to find by virtue of the blue and white triangles the display. His book on Havana isn't much better even though it is a new edition. Unless you're a technophobe, stick with the internet and print out what you need. The best part of both books are the maps for getting oneself oriented. I find out in two months how much updating they need as far as points of reference.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 31, 2000
Format: Paperback
I have been to Cuba many, many times. This is, without a doubt, the ultimate source on this wonderful land. It is honest about Cuba, its people and history, and avoids the smug "know it all" political correctness of the Lonely Planet guide. It is also far more detailed and insightful.
Cuba is challenging place to know and understand. There are multiple levels to it. This book allows the beginner and experienced Cuba traveler alike to dig deep in its enigmatic ways.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By fdoamerica on July 31, 2001
Format: Paperback
When I was in Havana, I brought this, and five other guide books on Cuba. The five star rating for these gudes goes to this prolific author Christopher Baker and his superb guide.
Christopher Baker is an accomplished "tell it like it is" writer. He has a flowing writing style that keeps you engaged even during the dryer parts of a guide book.
His condensed (38 pages) history of Cuba is one of the best I have yet read in any travel guide. Regarding his sections on Government, Economy, Society and the People, Christopher Baker's writing overshadows the other guides.
After using his guide to investigate, and select,accommodations, food and sights to see in Cuba, I found only one case where the information was not current and that was with a restaurant that had closed. His reviews of accommodations and restaurants were informative, selectively bias and up to date; these are the most important characteristics of a good guide book. He has included superb imbedded blocks of pertinent subjects (i.e., Earnest Hemingway, Chi Guevara, Fidel Castro, the Cuban missile crisis, the special period, sex & tourism etc.), good black & white photos, scores of side bar topics that are full of informative caveats, a good selection of maps and the beginning of web site and Internet addresses.
You owe it to yourself to get the best guide available before you visit Cuba: Get Cuba by Christopher Baker. Highly recommended
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