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Cayo Blanco

One of the things I liked most in Varadero was our Cayo Blanco trip. It cost us 59 Euro/pers. Cayo Blanco is an uninhabited island not far from Varadero. It is a sort of dream island with its turquoise waters, white sandy beach with palm trees. The morning of the trip we got up excited and ready for sunbathing and fun, but the weather played a trick on us. It’s raining! Hmmm! what could we do?! So we postponed the trip for the next day. The next day a bus took us to the Chapelin Marina, where we boarded a comfortable and very welcoming catamaran. I haven’t lingered too long in the port and sailed pretty fast for our adventure. The first stop was for snorkeling (equipment included in the same price) where we didn’t t see much. Maybe another time of year the fauna is more abundant, but now…

Varadero

We were supposed to stay for four days in Varadero, but we only managed to stay for one day here. We used the rest of them to discover Cuban places like Trinidad, Santa Clara, Cienfuegos and Cayo Blanco. As soon as you enter the Varadero Peninsula through the huge checkpoint, you enter a different world made of 20 km of beaches and resorts just for tourists. The story of Varadero begins in 1887 when ten rich families have obtained approval to build holiday homes here. Immediately, hotels began to be built and the 20 kilometers of the peninsula turned into a tourist area, especially for American tourists. Between the 30’s and 50’s, the world millionaires chose Varadero for spending their holidays turning it into an elite paradise. And it is understandable. We talk about 20 km of white beaches, turquoise waters, palm trees guarding the roads and caves. After the…

Cienfuegos , The perl of the South

Cienfuegos, also named the pearl of the South, is the smallest province in Cuba, but the third as importance. The small town is centered on the main square, Jose Marti, where there are the most beautiful examples of architecture of the city, also included in UNESCO. The Southern Pearl was inhabited by Native Americans when it was discovered by Columbus in 1494. Later, the city was built by French immigrants from Bordeaux and Louisiana. It was originally called the Fernandina in honor of King Ferdinand VII of Spain and local Native American chief. Today it is named after Captain Jose Cienfuegos. The city is very intuitive and it is easy to walk around without getting lost. It is small and quiet but you don’t have much to do except walking around. The most pleasant street is Paseo de Prado. Here you see families sitting on porches listening to the radio…

Trinidad de Cuba

Trinidad de Cuba is one of the cities I looked forward to seeing. I had read many wonderful things about it. We even planned to stay here for a couple days to enjoy the place, but we couldn’t rent a car so we were forced to book a tour from a travel agency. The tour included the visit of 3 cities. (Santa Clara, Trinidad, and Cienfuegos) and the cost was 93 Euro. At the end of the day, it proved to be a better choice than renting a car. We left the hotel very early in the morning, we visited Santa Clara and then we arrived around noon in Trinidad and the first stop was at a restaurant (lunch was included in the tour price). Santa Ana restaurant was originally a Spanish prison converted into a restaurant. The food was good, although there weren’t many options to choose from, but…

Santa Clara

Once we arrived in Varadero we were not too tempted to stay 4 days at the beach. We wanted to see as much of Cuba as we possibly could. So we went to a rental office to rent a car and make a road trip, although the roads in Cuba are very challenging. It was hard to find the guy from rental office since he was never in the office, but when at last was there, he quickly shattered our dream. – We don’t have an available car. – Okay. Because we want it for tomorrow. Can we make a reservation? – That is not possible. But you can come tomorrow and ask again. – Well? Don’t you know when you’ll have an available car? Calmly, he just raised his shoulder. Ok. There are many rental centers. We’ll find the car. How hard can it be?! Very hard! We weren’t…

Vinales and the tobacco plantations

If you go to Cuba you must see how a cigar is being made. And the best place to do that is in the tobacco growing area. We talk about the western part of the island which is filled with natural beauty like coral reefs, caves, waterfalls, coffee plantations, but the most important resources are the tobacco plantations which are said to have the best tobacco leaves in the world. With only one day available, we chose a trip organized by a travel agency, but the area can be accessed in several ways. How to get in Vinales? Trip organized by a travel agency – it is a good option when you don’t have much time or don’t know the area. You can rent a car – gives you freedom. You can visit what you want and can linger all you want, but you must have an idea about the…

Havana

The sun rises late in Havana. It’s November and the Tornado season has just ended. I have pulled aside the curtain and through the window, I could see the majestic Malecon and National Hotel Anxiously we begin our walk in Havana starting from Hotel National, the pearl of the 50’s. In its glory days, this hotel was visited by the most important world personalities from actors to kings.  Even Mafia conferences were held here. Americans built it to offer luxury, entertainment, and gambling. Now it is owned by the state and they try to revitalize this symbol that was once the pearl of Havana. My boys are captivated by the classic cars, and to be frank, It’s difficult not to be. It’s like a step back in time. Immediately we arrived at Malecon, an 8 km promenade surrounding Havana. Nowadays this avenue seems like a mirage emerged from another world…

Cuba after Fidel Castro’s death

To understand what is going on in this country, you should know its history and the events that led to the way Cuba is today. The island was originally inhabited by Amerindians and after the arrival of Christopher Columbus, Cuba became a Spanish colony for the next 200 years. During all this time, Cuba has transformed itself into one of the largest exporters of sugar, tobacco and slave markets in the world. The colonial houses, that we can see today, were built that time. Spanish occupation ended in 1898 with the end of the Spanish-American War. Cuba gained independence in 1902, followed by a period of economic development, tourism and it was also a sexual paradise for many Americans. A kind of Las Vegas of the Latin America. Many Americans moved their businesses here, because of favorable laws. They were the ones who brought the famous cars from the 60’s, which…

20 things you should know before traveling to Cuba

The largest island in the Caribbean, Cuba feeds itself with the energy of every aspect of its culture: music, dance, history, classic cars and of course Che Guevara. From the first moment you step off the plane, till the moment you take off, you will enjoy a unique experience and this is for sure. But before traveling to Cuba you should know a few things: You need a visa The formalities for obtaining it are not that difficult. If you travel through an agency, they will take care of that, or you can go to the Cuban Embassy with plane tickets, passport, insurance will get a Tarjeta Turistica. You must have medical insurance Medical insurance is mandatory for Cuba. Inform your bank of you departure Your bank may consider your transactions in Cuba fraudulent transactions and block your card. Better inform them in advance. Travel with as little baggage as…

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