Every Saturday evening, Pedro Pérez is cordoned off for a street party, while every Friday and Saturday night, local youth gather at Plaza Pedro Agustín Pérez to hear live bands perform. Fiesta a la Guantanamera, in early December, highlights traditional music and dance, as does the Festival Nacional de Changüí in mid-December.
The Casa de la Trova (Pedro Pérez, esq. Flor Crombet, no tel., daily 9 a.m.–midnight, CUC1 entrance) is a great spot to hear traditional music performed live. Watch for performances by Orquestra Revé, a local (and world-famous) exponent of son-changüí (an antecedent of son).
The British West Indian Welfare Center (Serafín Sánchez #663, e/ Paseo y Narciso López, tel. 021/32-5297) hosts music and dance sessions featuring changüí.
Tumba Francesa (Serafín Sánchez #715, e/ Jesús del Sol y Narciso López, Tues., Thurs., and Sat. 9:30 a.m.–1 p.m.) is a great place to hear the music and dance styles evolved by Haitians.
The Dirección Provincial de Cultura de Guantánamo (Calixto García #806, e/ Aguilera y Prado, tel. 021/33-3210, milene [at] gtmo [dot] cult [dot] cu) arranges music and dance events.
Beer? La Ruina (Calixto García, e/ Crombet y Gulo, tel. 021/92-9565, daily 9 a.m.–1 a.m., free) is the place to sip suds in a colonial structure run bodega-style with wooden benches.
El Bulevar sprouted several bars in 2009, such as the simple 24-hour La Reyna (for rum) and Havana Club (Sun.–Thurs. 10 a.m.–midnight, Fri.–Sat. until 2 a.m.), the in-spot, but also a hangout for jineteros and jineteras.
There’s now even a Piano Bar Cerca de Ti (Pedro Pérez, esq. Emilio Giro, tel. 021/32-8191), with a pianist (Sat.–Sun. 9 p.m.–midnight).
If titillation is your thing, head to Cabaret Hanoi (tel. 021/38-2901, CUC1), four kilometers northeast of town, where a cabaret espectáculo is followed by a disco (Sat.–Sun. 10 p.m.).
The Hotel Guantánamo (Calle 13, e/ Ahogado y Oeste, tel. 021/38-1015, CUC5) also has disco nightly (8 p.m.–1 a.m.).
The modish Modibar Estilos (Maceo y 5 del Prado, tel. 021/35-1314) has a catwalk—a venue for a small cabaret (Sat.–Sun. 10 p.m.), “bodyart” show (Fri. 10 p.m.), and other nightly events.
Movies are shown at the cinema and adjoining Video Bar La Esquina del Cine (2 pesos), on the southeast corner of Parque Martí.
© Christopher P. Baker from Moon Cuba, 5th Edition