“The best part of Cuba is the beautiful people”.
Cubans are why we visit Cuba, as well as their extraordinary landscapes and beaches. (Oh yes, the old façades too). But the culture is just wonderful, having so much fun with so little, dancing making music everywhere. And having a sweetened espresso out of a window while making conversation with the shopkeeper. Everyone wanted to chat with a foreigner, just to find out about life outside Cuba.
Viazul buses may not always be the best choice, because of the limited schedule. It also mandates that you print out your tickets instead of showing the screenshot, as we found out the hard way. The shared taxis are priced similarly, but gives you a chance to chat with the driver and sends you right to your casa (very useful in Havana as the Viazul station is far from the central area).
Food is good and reasonably priced! (Refer to my Trinidad post for more). And, if you are on a really tight budget there is always pizza with ham and cheese out of a window.
Having attractive cities on both east and west of Havana makes it difficult to cover everything efficiently. We only chose to go in one direction and skip the west. The travellers we met also did not dare to take the train known for its unreliability.
Air Cubana is a joke even amongst Cubans. Arrive early because overbooking is very common leaving you stranded for a few days. The airport has nothing to eat but ham and cheese baguettes (the staple food there) so arrive with a full stomach. Would also recommend buying the rum after check in at the airport as it is similarly priced as the city.
Most importantly, print out in hard copy every single air ticket and bus ticket before you go, especially your flight out of the destination country (ridiculous), or risk being denied a boarding pass.