Hemingway in Cuba


One of the most exciting parts of our Cuban adventure was the visit to Hemingway’s plantation, Finca Vigca (tranlastion: Lookout Farm). OMG. It was a goosebump experience for me.

Located ten miles from Havana, in the village of San Francisco de Paula, Finca Vicga is where Hemingway wrote A Moveable Feast and Old Man and the Sea (inspired by a Cuban fisherman, I might add). I mean, Really. Does it get cooler than this?

Papa Hemingway (as he was so lovingly named) lived in Cuba for a longer period than he lived anywhere, from 1939 until 1960. When he left Cuba, he donated his house to the Cuban people. Finca Vigca is exactly as he left it. Seriously. Not one thing out of place. There are between 5000 & 6000 books here. I nearly had convulsions (the good kind!).

The Living Room

Papa’s Chair

Books everywhere, even in the bathroom!

Papa’s Office

Papa’s Typewriter. Because of a leg injury, he wrote standing up.  The book under the typewriter perfected the typing position for him. More goosebumps!

The Dining Room was the only place in the house where there were no books.

One of his shirts hanging in his closet, just as he left it.

Pilar, Hemingway’s beloved boat.

Back in Havana, El Floridita was a favorite haunt of Hemingway’s. It turned into a favorite haunt of ours whilst we were there as well.  Somethin’ ’bout those Daiquiri’s. I’m just sayin’….


Our trip to Cuba was certainly a life-changing one that I will always remember. I’m so grateful for this phenomenal trip put together by the oh so special Indagare. Wow. Wow. Wow.

You can’t get away from yourself by moving from one place to another.

– Ernest Hemingway

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  1. Joann Ward says

    How in the world did you get to go to Cuba? I've been wanting to go there for years. To my best understanding it's illegal for US citizens to go there. How did you manage this? I have come up with all kinds of schemes to try and go here without the $10K fine or the 3 years in prison.

    • says

      Hi Joann,
      It is legal to go to Cuba under a "Person-to-person cultural exchange" which means that you go to/see different cultural sites in Cuba. We went with a wonderful company called, Indagare. It was amazing!

  2. says

    This one was just fabulous, Hollye. I've been thinking a lot about Papa Hemingway because of the time he spent in Michigan where I'm living. Seeing his home in Cuba is wonderful. The books! The typewriter! The dining room! I have a book called "Writers' Houses" that your post reminds me of. Our space is important, and the locale too. Thank you for sharing this!

    • says

      Thanks so much, Maureen! The book you mentioned sounds amazing. You're so right that space is indeed very important to writing. I'm loving your blog and am so happy that you are following your passion!