Getting married in Cuba 4 weeks today.
Replies: 6 - Last Post: May 29, 2012 5:21 PM Last Post By: PorAcaPorAlla
May 26, 2012 4:51 AM
Getting married in Cuba 4 weeks today.Hey there everyone first time visit onto this forum and just wondered if anyone could post advice/tips for myself and our party of 16. We are due to arrive at Playa Pesquero 4 weeks today and my fiancee and me are getting married after 9 days at the resort. All of us are coming from Scotland and are stocking up on sun cream and insect repellent :) but with anything as big as a wedding I'm worried that things won't go smoothly and alot of people have helped pay for this so I just want to tap into people's knowledge of the country and maybe the area to try make sure we all have an amazing holiday.
May 26, 2012 7:13 AM
1Part of the beauty of the Cuban culture is that things almost never go smoothly or on schedule and everyone just accepts it.
You have 4 weeks for you, your fiancee and your guests to become adapted to the way Cuba works. You cannot change it but you can learn to love it for what it is.
May 26, 2012 9:45 AM
May 26, 2012 1:48 PM
May 27, 2012 5:03 PM
4Jambo, Gaviota Playa Pesquero is a huge resort (over 900 rooms) with several restaurants, three pools, and of course, a pretty beach. There are a host of on-site activities available, and if you don't mind paying extra, lots of tours on offer. Of those, the one I would recommend most highly is a trip to Cayo Saieta, which can be made either by catamaran or by helicopter. Cayo Saieta is a quite wild offshore island once used as a hunting reserve for high-level military officials, now a wildlife preserve where zebra, buffalo, and antelope roam freely. If you go by catamaran, there will be a stop at a reef that's great for snorkelling, and you'll have lunch on one of the island's lovely little beaches--quite different from the beach at your hotel.
Playa Pesquero is, incidentally, in a rural area; the only thing nearby being two other resorts farther along the same beach. What's probably NOT worth doing is a trip into the nearest town, Guardalavaca, as this is not a real Cuban town, but rather, a made-for-resort type strip, and not a very interesting one at that. A better option would be to rent a car for a day and drive to Holguin, just to hang out in the park of that pleasant provincial capital, watch all the bici-cabs wheeling by, maybe climb the zillion steps to the top of the Loma de la Cruz, and of course, see the monument to Che Guevara--a fascinating artistic concept even if you're not a Guevara fan.
Depending on how adventurous you are, you might also want to drive your rental car on to the next provincial capital down the road, Bayamo, which is approximately 2 hours from Playa Pesquero. Or even go all the way up into the Sierra Maestra and from there hike up the mountainside to the Comandancia de la Plata, where the rebels had their headquarters during the Revolutioary War. You really couldn't do this as a day trip, though. It would require picking up your rental car early in the morning and driving straight to Santo Domingo (about 4 hours from Playa Pesquero). The trip hike would take the afternoon, and then you'd want to overnight in one of the rustic cottages at Villa Santo Domingo, and return to Playa Pesquero next day. If you left right after breakfast, you could easily spend several hours in Bayamo, maybe have lunch there, before continuing on to Playa Pesquero.
Of course, if you are not the nature-loving type, or perhaps I should say, if you would prefer to do an overnight tour away from your hotel in an urban area, then the logical thing would be a trip to Santiago. The city is only two or three hours from Playa Pesquero, but it seems to be that trying to go there, see the place, and get back the same day would not be worthwhile, since you'd barely have time for more than lunch and a walk about the main square. If you're going to go to the trouble of going to Santiago, make it a more meaningful experience by, perhaps, overnighting in a casa particular (Cuba's version of our B&B), and going to some of the music venues. Or if you're into cabaret-type entertainment, there's the Tropicana, which predates the Havana Tropicana and is said to be even better. I'm pretty sure your hotel will have tours to Santiago, although if you go on a tour you will almost certainly be put up in a hotel and miss out on the experience of staying in a casa with a Cuban family.
I'm sure you know that Playa Pesquero is about 800 km from Havana, which is to say, much too far away to visit (unless you fly).
May 27, 2012 5:24 PM
5Jorge, while going to TripAdvisor and reading what other guests have had to say about Playa Pesquero is good advice, I think that perhaps more posters to this branch than you realize have stayed at resorts, perhaps even the one where the OP plans to stay. If you look more closely at who is posting what, I think you will see that only two or three of the frequent TT posters make disparaging remarks about visitors who choose to stay in an A-1 resort. The rest of us don't because we have stayed in resorts ourselves, once or several times, and have usually enjoyed them for what they are.
PorAcaPorAlla, you offer good advice for someone planning independent travel in Cuba, but inasmuch as the OP appears to have booked an all-inclusive package/wedding at the beach resort of Playa Pesquero, I doubt s/he will have much use (on this trip) for casa room rentals or places to stay on other beaches. And while all the towns and cities you recommend are interesting, not one of them is within easy driving distance of the resort at Playa Pesquero where s/he is staying.
Bobmichaels, I think the OP meant he would be going to Cuba in four weeks, not that he will have four weeks in-country. He did say how long he would have, but I'm guessing that they are probably on a 14-day package. Your advice to relax and learn to live with the unexpected is about the best anyone could give anyone preparing for a trip to Cuba.
May 29, 2012 5:21 PM
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