Cuba - need loads of advice
Replies: 8 - Last Post: Nov 21, 2012 4:11 PM Last Post By: dmacarthur
Nov 21, 2012 6:52 AM
Cuba - need loads of adviceMy husbands 40th isn't till next Oct but would love to surprise him with a trip to Cuba following year. I am literally doing my research now to find out about things and might be able to get some help here. Initally I was going to go for South America but seemed more hassle to plan and with World Cup in 2014 flights from London/France will probably be sky high. Hopefully world cup year won't affect Cuban prices. Would be planning on going Spring 2014 for about 10 days from Dublin torn between doing a two holiday centre beach resort/Havana or just stay in Havana hotel. Tips on bars, hotels, good travel agent, prices weather would be appreciated. A lot of people on different forums want to go before Castro dies but for me that is not an option have to wait until 2014 I'm sure it will be ok fingers crossed
Nov 21, 2012 8:17 AM
1Really we need more information to give sensible advice - what do you two like ? Personally, I would hate to spend any time in a beach resort. I could happily spend 10 days in Havana. Or perhaps a week in Havana a few days in Viñales ?
Weather gets progressively hotter from January to July; around June, it starts getting a little wetter (but not much). Canadian high season usually lasts until about Easter, so prices ease off a little after that.
What sort of budget do you have for accommodation - do you want top end ? The better service is usually in those hotels with some foreign involvement (a foreign operator or manager).
Nov 21, 2012 8:50 AM
2A lot of people on different forums want to go before Castro dies but for me that is not an option have to wait until 2014 I'm sure it will be ok fingers crossed
I did not really know that the they had set a date for that.
Havana 10 days is a very good option, you may dance, drink, sing, speak Spanish and let your hair down and criss cross through all the cultural events.
Forward planning is half the joy of travelling, but things are changing and improving in Havana on a grand scale, so I would recommend putting off detailed planning. If you do wait till June or July 2014 there is also a chance that your husband might see the soccer cup transferred on wide screen in a Havana aircondintioned cinema, like the habaneros did in 2010.
Nov 21, 2012 9:04 AM
Nov 21, 2012 11:17 AM
4Yes - but a lot of people want to say that they visited Cuba before he went.
Nov 21, 2012 2:26 PM
Nov 21, 2012 2:42 PM
6Mischoc, since this trip is to be a birthday gift for your husband, you might want to let us know how you think HE might like to spend his time. If he's the kind of guy who would be just as happy hanging on the beach and/or lounging around the pool with a drink in his hand, and maybe every few days jumping on an air-conditioned tour bus for one of the excursions offered by the hotel, then you might want to consider a Varadero resort. Varadero is a little over two hours from Havana so it's easy to do a day trip to the capital from there--and not so easy to do that from other Cuban resorts. If you do opt for a resort, your best resource is probably a website like tripadvisor.com which describes the various resorts and provides client critiques of food, service, etc. And there is a recent guide book, CUBA'S BEST BEACHES, available in the US on amazon.com but may or may not be available in Ireland.
However, if your husband the kind of guy who likes to roam around foreign countries,with a general itinerary but more or less playing it by ear, then you probably would want to minimize your stay at a beach resort, maybe just spending the night of your arrival there (if you happen to be flying into Varadero), and the night before your departure, to rest up before/after the real adventure of Cuba.
With ten days, I think you would miss a lot if you try to do more than HAVANVA, VINALES which is 3 hours by bus to the west, and TRINIDAD which is 6 hours to the southeast. If you want to do a couple of nights at a cottage on the beach on an offshore island, there's one called CAYO LEVISA which is about halfway between Vinales and Havana--and you can easily get there from either place in one or two hours. If your hubby has an interest in Che Guevara, then you could work in a stop (not overnight, just an afternoon) in SANTA CLARA on your way to or from Trinidad. I'm not suggesting you hit all of those places on a ten-day trip; just recommending that you don't try to do more than that. And only that much if you are the kind of travelers who like to move from place to place rather than kicking back at just one or two places.
Meanwhile, for the planning stage you're in now, this will help:
1. A map of the island to get a sense of where different places are in relation to each other.
2. Check the www.viazul.com website to see what the bus schedules/travel times are between places.
3. Consider whether you want to stay in a resort, hotel in the city, or casas particulares (Cuba's version of our B&Bs)
If you opt for the last-mentioned, then take a look at www.cubacasas.net and www.cubajunky.com Both websites have detailed information about casas in all of the places you might want to stay, as well as a wealth of other info. Casa rooms, incidentally, run about 25 or 30 CUC/night for a couple. Breakfast is about 4 CUC/per person, dinner 6 to 10, depending on what you ask your casa host to prepare (lobster and shrimp being at the high end). If you don't speak Spanish, then you might want to look for a casa that advertises that somebody in the family speaks English.
Nov 21, 2012 2:48 PM
7"And there is a recent guide book, CUBA'S BEST BEACHES, available in the US on amazon.com but may or may not be available in Ireland. "
As a generalisation anything on amazon is available anywhere in the world!
Nov 21, 2012 4:11 PM
Reserva Provincial Esteros del IberáBook now
(4 star Hotel)
From US$240.00 per night
(1 star Hotel)
From US$8.67 per night
Puerto MadrynBook now
(0 star Hotel)
From US$15.23 per night