We took at day out, caught the ferry, saw the 66 foot marble sculpture of Jesus then onto the impressive, steep walled castle, perched over a rocky cliff, with a tall lighouse, this is the fort called El Morro across the harbour from Havana city.
Our day started with a walk down to the ferry building to caught the local boat across to Casablanca. Easy enough, just make sure to get on the right ferry as there are 2 different ones leaving from the same place, look for the Casablanca sign. If you have local currency the trip will only cost a few pescos, we didn’t at the time, we gave the guy a 25c coin which paid for the both of us, so cheap! There are no seats but the trip is only around 10mins.
As soon as you get off the ferry go straight ahead and start climbing up the stairs. Takes around 15 to 20mins to get to there, fortunately there is a guy selling cold water at the top for $1 cuc. At the little drinks shop turn to your left and walk along the path amoungest the trees, no more climbing steps now. This route is under shelter, a short cut with great photo spots of the view along the way.
El Cristo Marble Sculpture of Jesus
At 66 foot tall this marble sculpture is pretty impressive. Doesn’t take long to take some photos then move on. As you leave don’t go down the road to your left, this will only take you back to the bottom, head forward down the road all the buses and vintage cars are coming from.
Ferry to Casablance on the left
Arriving at Casablanca
Massive Fort call El Morro & the light house
Our walk took us paste La Cabana the other fort here, we didn’t go in and saved this for the evening show. The place is deserted and most things closed during the day. It’s about a 200m walk in the hot sun, make sure you have lots of sunscreen on. There are plenty of taxis if you’ve run and out steam and don’t want to walk.
The enterance is a bit confusing, look for all the little craft shops then straight in front you’ll see a really small door way which looks like it leads you into the fort. There will be a guy waving you in. You’ll need to pay $6 cuc each to enter, after you’ve paid KEEP HOLD OF YOUR RECEIPT and head off down the tunnel like entry into the fort.
You’ll now walk past a great little cuban band, it’s here another lady will ask you to show your ticket which she then takes off you. Opposite the band is a very nice cool air con shop selling authentic cigars and rum.
Explore the fort extentively, make sure you go right upto the top where the signal house is, the 2 guys there are extremely helpful telling you all about their office and what they do. More great views of Havana city from here.
Walking up the stairs to the sculpture
Turn left at the shop get cold water here too
The light house at El Morro castle - closed
When I was reading up about this castle/fort it mentioned the light house which was a must visit just for the excellent views. When we got there the door was open so we walked up all the stairs. At the top there was a Cuban man trying to talk to us in spanish only for us not to understand a word. Fortunately there was another couple there who had done the exact same thing and just walked right on up. The lady spoke fluent spanish and english, she told us the man was saying the light house has been closed for the last 4 years but because he happened to be there we could have a look around. Wow, how special was that!
He was so accommodating, opening the side door for us to take a photo looking back at the two forts. Then showing us some little stairs to climb for a view out the broken windows of the ocean and Havana city. We got a very interesting run down of how the light worked, it’s operated by pully, every 6 hours this guy winds it up like a clock which then makes the light go round and round. Built in France the light dates back to 1845 and still works today, how amazing is that.
Impressive marble statue of Jesus
200m walk to castle and fort
We took the bus back to Havana City from the fort.
You don’t have to double back and get the ferry to Havana again - thank goodness, we didn’t really want to walk all that way. There is a bus stop on the main road just before the toll gates, you can see it from the fort if you look down towards the road. It’s about a 10min walk in the hot sun, but the buses come every 5 to 10mins, give the driver a 5c or 10c coin for both of you then squeeze in with all the locals. The trip only takes 5mins straight into the city.
Path up to the signal house
Walking around the castle
Looking inside the chapel
Close up of the chapel
The lighthouse at the fort
View looking back to the fort from the top of the lighthouse
More walking around the castle
Me showing how the manual wind up works to operate the lighthouse
Our sum up our walk to the Fort at El Morro & El Cristo Sculpture
If you do this day trip on your own it’ll only cost you $6 entry to the fort and a few cents for the ferry & bus. Plenty of walking so wear good shoes. It’s an excellent day out and well worth it.