Geocaching in Cuba

Posted by ads on Wednesday, 2019-12-11
Posted in [Geocaching][Unterwegs]

Geocaching in Cuba is not very common, which may be due to limited Internet offerings, and the partially poorly developed infrastructure. Most caches exist in and around major cities and well-known resorts (Havana, Cayo Santa María, Guardalavaca, Cardenas, Pinar del Río). There are also some caches in and around Guantánamo Bay, but these can only be reached from the local Naval Base. Not for tourists …

Geocaching Cuba Badge
Geocaching Cuba Badge

I only had the pleasure of visiting Havana, therefore I can not comment on the other caches in the country. Various caches in the city are either Earthcaches or Virtual Caches, which makes finding and logging easier. For regular caches I have discovered that they are either no longer to be found, because of missing maintenance - or that they are in areas which are constantly being observed by local people. Hotel areas, narrow streets ect. This makes it complicated to impossible to find and log these caches. When you’re alone, that is. A group might be able to provide some secrecy and privacy.

Due to the still relatively poor internet connection in Cuba (as of late 2019), it has paid off to have the cache data available offline. A normal smartphone is sufficient, you mayn not bring GPS devices (except for smartphones) to Cuba. For the offline routing I use OsmAnd+, which gets the maps from OpenStreetMap. That’s pretty accurate, and you can even change or add details in OSM yourself - the map material lives from everyone’s help. Together with the stored coordinates and the app at least finding the appropriate place was easy enough. Many of the caches require a photo along with the geocaching name. It helps to prepare a piece of paper beforehand and take it on the tour. Do not forget a pen!

Details such as images you have to either look up at home or in the hotel, if you are not in the lucky position to use a Cuban SIM card. Roaming is outrageously expensive. Geocaching apps like c:geo can store the caches on the mobile device, so you have all the data, description and last log entries available at all times. You can log the caches later at home.

All in all, found about half a dozen caches, as well as 3 DNF, on a total of 2 excursions.

Categories: [Geocaching] [Unterwegs]