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Holiday in Cuba tips

welshcake

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  • Added on: September 10th, 2006
Hi

My boyfriend and I are planning a holiday in Cuba for 2 weeks in January or February 2007. Been working very hard of late and after a relaxing holiday, so we're getting a package deal, probably 2 centre with 4 nights in Havana and 10 in Varadero. I know Varadero isn't exactly 'real Cuba' but like I explained we want to be able to relax and don't fancy the hassle of internal flights that you need to take to go to one of the other resorts. The other reason is that we'd like to spend about half of the time we're in Varadero going off on sightseeing excursions. Normally we'd try to do this independently, but I've been told trying to hire a car in Cuba is not worth the hassle.

Any don't miss places in that area of Cuba? Any other tips on holidaying in Cuba at all?

UnspecifiedGender

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  • Added on: September 12th, 2006
Varadero has a beautiful beach all around. But it is a resort town. On that note, though, you'll be hassled less there than Havana, by far.

Varadero has a Viazul bus station and has transfers to Trinadad (& Havana) in case you get bored and don't want to rent/hire a car .

Asia

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  • Added on: October 22nd, 2006
many tourists rent a car in Cuba- you can tell by the color of the license, although i prefered public transportaion than renting. people around us said that the renting process is simple and that they found it very convenient to be able to move on their own.

Kathsmee

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  • Added on: November 17th, 2006
I had a similar two week break in Cuba this February. Havana is fantastic but busy and tiring after a few days. Varadero has lovely beached but is sooooo touristy its rediculous and 10 days there would have driven me crazy!!

we actually travelled around the country quite a lot in two weeks which i guess you won't want to do but i would really really recommend you take a trip out to Vinales and the surrounding area for a few days from Havana as it is so lovely and relaxing and far more 'real cuba' than Varadero. incidentally it might be quite difficult to explore much from Varadero without a car and i don't really know where you woudl go from there in a day trip - not much in the immediate area.

Vinales then...

it is a small town about 5 hours bus from Havana, whihc are very easy, cheap, comfortable and frequent. it is surrounded by gorgeous scenary for wandering around in and has a couple of gorgous hotels to stay at. the link below is to a hotel we visited for a day, hotel Los Jazmines, and i would have loved to stay in!

http://www.cubastartravel.com/en/hotels/nature_hotels/hotels_losjazmines.htm

but the most fantastic place in that area is Caye Levisa, a tiny island off cuba with about 20 beach huts right on the beach and a small restaurant/bar and dive shop. it is a proper desert island paradise and i can't think of anything more relaxing. we stayed for two days but could have stayed a week! you can go on a day trip i think from Havana or Vinales but you don't get as much time there and it is best in the evenings when all the day trippers have left. you can arrange this through websites (sorry I can't remember which ones, we booked in Havana) before or when you get to Havana i guess but i would so recommend that you forfeit a couple of nights in Varedero for this beutiful island for a really relaxing break. there is no-one there, nothing to do except swin, sunbathe maybe dive/snorkle - its bliss!

http://www.cubahotelreservation.com/hotel.asp?hotel_code=SCTHORCLevisa

(i'm not recommending the links but they just had good images of what i was trying to describe, i'd do your own search)

in Havana itself... I would definately recommend the Bacadi, Havana Club and Cigar factory tours but would perhaps miss the Batista's palace/revolutionary museum as it didn't make too much sense in English in some places and even as a history buff and very interested in that type of thing i got a bit bored half way around.

i have lots of other pictures and info if you need any, just let me know. I'm not quite technical enought to post them anywhere yet i'm afraid!

have a great time tho - i'm very jealous, i'd go back in a hearbeat!
http://blogs.bootsnall.com/Kathsmee/

mina olen

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  • Added on: November 27th, 2006
quote:
Originally posted by Kathsmee:
...would perhaps miss the Batista's palace/revolutionary museum as it didn't make too much sense in English in some places and even as a history buff and very interested in that type of thing i got a bit bored half way around.


That place was funny to me. "Here we have the laundry bag Fidel carried through the Sierra Maestre, and this is the dinged-up tin cup his comrade used to drink water at such-and-such obscure location on this-or-that semi-noteworthy occassion" lmao! Never seen such a random self-important collection.

But I think I would've felt like I'd missed out if I hadnt gone. Just the fact that the building is modeled after the U.S. White House makes it interesting to me.

Re: beaches --- A lot of local people go to Playa del Este. It's close to Havana. Can be kind of crowded and you have to navigate yourself there, but free and fun and not tourists-only (zzzz).


I'm also jealous *el sigh*
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WriterJosh

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  • Added on: December 3rd, 2006
Hiring a car isn't really that difficult. The procedure was fairly smooth for me and no scams were attempted. Getting around is a bit iffy, though, as the signage is terrible. That said, the signage going to Trinidad is far better than average, and that's strictly to serve the tourists trying to drive there from Varadero and Havana. There are tourist buses from Varadero to places like Havana and Trinidad. I'm sure your hotel can set you up with one of those.

I'd recommend a couple days in Trinidad, as the area is quite beautiful with mountains, nice beaches, and the town is charming as well. Okay, it's touristy but a town like that in any country on earth would have lots of tourists. Worth a couple of days as a break from Varadero.
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