Impressions of the trip to Cuba
When the going gets cold, everyone wants one – the sun, the sea, palm trees. A dream, a fairy tale. In December, the tourist season starts in Cuba. Not hot, not stuffy, warm and cozy. Cubans do not know what to freeze. It is in this beautiful country and our way was paved.
Impressions of the trip to Cuba – Cuba offers to his friendliness and idleness. On the island are very fond of tourists. Native speakers of English and French will be very comfortable here. Local youth especially loves to practice English outside of school time. So do not be surprised if someone first wish a happy weekend, and then will ask questions about your nationality.
Millions of tourists arrive every year to Cuba for vacation. The journey takes about 12 hours. Given the 8-hour time difference in Varadero airport plane arrives early in the morning. So there is a little more time to rest and go on a journey towards a new.
The plane issued to fill the immigration card and a map of the imported technical equipment. Import quadrocopters the island is strictly prohibited, at customs they may select.
Cuba has two currencies in use: Convertible (CUC) and non-convertible (CUP) pesos. 1 CUC = 25 CUP. To communicate better to bring the euro, as in operations with dollars Cuban bank takes a commission. The airport and the hotel immediately changed to a cookie (CUC), non-convertible pesos will not offer. All prices are for tourists only in the cookies, the Cubans do not even think to name the amount in pesos.
The island is divided into 16 provinces. The starting point of our journey was the city of Varadero to Icacos peninsula, famous for its resorts in the province of Matanzas. Most tourists who come on holiday with their families, it is stopped in Varadero. Hotels located along the Atlantic Ocean, surprising cleanliness of its beaches. White sand, clear water, always well-groomed area.
Throughout the trip we stayed at the hotel chain IBEROSTAR Hotels & Resort. Each hotel is perfect for a relaxing family holiday. There is a private beach with a bar, swimming pools, tennis courts, spa. Hotel chain also provides services for weddings and honeymoons.
In fifteen minutes you can reach the city center from almost any hotel. This can be done by taxi or a double-decker tour bus. The second option is suitable if you want to explore the entire city entirely: a bus ticket purchased for a day, and costs 5 CUC. From 9 am to 10 pm bus makes stops at each hotel.
Cubans themselves move on bicycles, motorbikes, vintage cars and horse carts. Bike hire can be taken in the hotels themselves.
One of the attractions of the city of Varadero is Varadero Golf Club. The vast territory of the 18-hole occupies almost 40 hectares right next to the ocean. A great place for lovers of this sport or just beginners.
After a good game you can eat in the restaurant of the club house Xanadu Mansion overlooking the ocean or take a break from the heat in the lobby.
On the ground floor there is a restaurant on the second – the hotel room, and the third – a bar, which offer a magnificent view of the ocean on one side and the other of the island. The bartender will prepare any drinks, and live music will make your stay in this lovely place even nicer.
One of the favorite places of visits by tourists is also the restaurant Casa de Al. At the entrance to the stand of the Spanish and English languages, it is reported that during the “dry law” the house of Al Capone used to store illegal alcohol. Before the entrance to the restaurant is a copy of the gangster car.
It gets dark quickly in Cuba. At 5 o’clock in the evening sun, as a rule, it goes beyond the horizon. It wakes up the other side of the city. Residents and visitors love to visit Varadero Beatles Bar. On the small stage are local rock musicians, performing all your favorite songs. Entrance to a bar with free hour of the day, you can enjoy live music from ten o’clock in the evening until one o’clock. Where you can just sit and watch the show, but you can dance. All visitors and the bar staff are very friendly.
If there is still time to Varadero, you must visit the tour jeep safari Cuban (Jeep Safari Yumuri day tour), which costs about 80 CUC. Tour 7 8:00 deliver many bright emotions that this day will want to repeat again.
The day starts with the fact that at 8 am to the hotel guide arrives with jeeps, and if in the group there are drivers provide independent control of the machine. Driven column a few SUVs on rural roads, through thickets, puddles directly to the next entertainment – riding on boats. The Office is also independent. The duration of half an hour. After a refreshing walk along the river all over again sit behind the wheel of his jeep and go to the beach with coral reefs where you can swim with a mask.
Be sure to carry lunch in a cave Saturno about 20 meters deep with fresh clear water. The water itself is not cold: from + 20 ° C to + 23 ° C. A few minutes in cool water will help to relax after a splendid first half of the day.
And the last stop of this fascinating tour is a coffee plantation La Dionisia. It will tell you how coffee is grown, how it is brewed and how to drink. Conduct a short tour of the plantation. They will show the tree of wishes – Seibu. Ride horses on foot.
Then we went to the capital of Cuba – Havana (La Habana). The shortest way from Varadero to Havana lies across the valley Yumuri at the highest bridge on the island – Bacunayagua. Where you can stop, go up to the observation deck and enjoy the scenic views. Since the way to the capital is not close, about 150 km, you want to be treated with this cup of Cuban coffee or quench your thirst with cool water at a local bar.
In Havana, noisy, yes. But life here is in full swing. In the city a lot of students. People come here to study, on trips, at the weekend. When you find yourself in Havana, the mood immediately improved, regardless of fatigue after a long journey.
The city was built at the beginning of the XVI century by the Spanish. The architecture of that time still preserved in Old Havana. If you walk around this part of town, there is everything neat and tidy tourists. Bright, lively, interesting. But if you go even on the border of Old Havana, for example, on the other side of the Capitol, you can get acquainted with gavantsami and their lives. An entirely different view of the city.
From overflowing emotions can be lost. The streets are not similar to each other, each house is unique. But that’s the problem – there are too many colors at once to remember the right place. Therefore, be sure to take along a map.
Impressions of the trip to Cuba! Central Boulevard El Prado is incredibly beautiful. It starts from the embankment, crossed half of the old town, passes the Capitol and ends in a small community of America Park.
To get into the spirit of Havana, you need to walk through the historic district. The path begins with Malecon promenade from the Plaza de Armas. There is a small chapel, El Templete, the fortress Castillo de la Real Fuerza, which now houses the Maritime Museum, and Palace of Captain-Generals (Palacio de los Capitanes Generales), which is building today is completely made available to the city museum.
A five minute walk to the north is St. Christopher Cathedral (Catedral de San Cristobal de La Habana) at Cathedral Square (Plaza de la Catedral). Along the perimeter of the square there are cafes. In addition, you can buy souvenirs at the colorful Cuban women and take pictures with them. Of course, not for nothing.
Visit the famous bar “Bodeguita del Medio”, where it is believed, was invented drink “mojito”, we were not fortunate enough. In Havana, we were on the last day of mourning for the death of Fidel Castro. But this bar is required to attend. In the evening you can go to the show “Tropicana”, which is held in Havana in 1939. Amazing dancing, colorful costumes, Cuban songs – all this admiration. On view in any case can not come in shorts or jeans. Men are not necessarily need to wear pants and preferably a shirt, and women are bound to come in dresses. Cubans do not like to neglect their customs.
Cuba, of course, all at once synonymous with the revolution, Ernesto Che Guevara, Fidel Castro. Here I agree. Cubans like themselves, when foreigners are discussing with them their favorite characters. With Cuba’s history is available at the Revolution Square (Plaza de la Revolution).
In the middle of the square stands the memorial to national hero Jose Marti. On the facade of the Ministry of the Armed Revolutionary Forces placed a bas-relief of Che Guevara, and on the building of the Ministry of Communications – Camilo Cienfuegos.
Special attention should be paid, of course, the local cars. Retro style is always relevant. And do not notice the beauty of this is impossible.
On the way from Havana in the eastern part of the island, we stayed in several cities. Of course, each of them needs to be given more time, at least a day.
Be sure to visit the city of Pinar del Río – Province known for tobacco production. Here it is located the farm and factory. At the site will tell, how is the real Cuban cigars, and even show the whole process.
At first glance it may seem that the job easy enough, but it is the quality indicates how diligent worker. Here you can buy a cigar. The average cost of a cigar – from 7 to 10 CUC. Cigar stranding machine can cost from 3,5 CUC.
In the province of Pinar del Rio is a beautiful valley of Vinales (Valle de Viñales), surrounded by the mountains of Sierra de los Organos. The valley is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Here is placed the camp of fugitive slaves El Palenque, which is called the Cimarron (in Spanish – “wild” or “runaway”). To get to the camp, you need to go through the cave, the output from which tourists will play a small representation in the form of dance Cimarron life.
On the way to the Caribbean should first look in the small town of Cienfuegos, founded by French immigrants. In the city you can go to the theater named after British actor-comedian Terry Thomas in the square José Martí: a small room, good acoustics and fascinating spirit of the XIX century. Here you can spend your time in a small park, where there is access to the Internet by Wi-Fi, to admire the Cathedral, walk along the boulevard “Bulevar Santa Isabel”, which leads directly to the sea coast, and buy souvenirs.
While in Cienfuegos, you can also visit at Palacio de Valle. At the beginning of the XX century, the palace was built by Italian architect Alfredo Colli. The architect used several styles at once, making the palace and it seems so unusual. Now the museum is located here, a restaurant and bar. You can also climb to the observation deck and enjoy the view of the city and the sea.
Next way is through Trinidad, which is a half hour drive from Cienfuegos. A small provincial town museum fascinates with its cobbled streets. After sunset, Trinidadians and tourists meet in the center of the city, to spend time together. Live music almost every institution.
In the central part of Cuba is the city of Santa Clara. This place is famous for the battle that was decisive in the fight against rebels led by Ernesto Che Guevara during the 1959 revolution. In the west, the city erected a memorial to Che Guevara, and the ashes buried in the mausoleum of the Comandante together with other national heroes. The mausoleum itself is a small museum and you can go free. However, inside it is forbidden to photograph, so the bags and cameras have to leave at the entrance. Caretaker of the museum kindly see to things.
Another place for a complete family holiday – three islands connected to each other and to the island of Cuba dam 48 km: Cayo Las Brujas, Cayo Ensenachos and Cayo Santa Maria. On all the islands of white beaches and azure water. Located on a large area, reminiscent of parks where you can hide from the midday sun in the shade of trees, and in the evening stroll through the well-kept paths. In fact, these three islands are a big tourist complex.
All the beaches are clean and shining white sands. The water is incredibly clear and warm – about 24 ° C. The sun does not bake too, hiding under the beach umbrellas, but for the convenience of guests and provided umbrellas and sunbeds. Each beach has a bar with drinks and waiters go, who can all be ordered to myself not to go with the already “lived-in” places. Presence of sharks should not be afraid. On a stranded they do not swim. The danger at a meeting with jellyfish employees of hotels and entertainment centers warn in advance.
On these islands there are no cities with such a history as Havana or Santa Clara. Recreation provides a complete stay on site. However, you can go to the small village Ls Dunas and La Estrella. There is a gift shop, restaurants and bars, it is possible to go bowling.
From entertainment for a large company, perhaps best – tour “on a catamaran Sunset”, during which allocated half an hour of snorkeling. These few minutes to enjoy plenty of marine life, and with a mask and snorkel is not always convenient to swim. But the fascinating view of the bottom of coral and fish of different sizes. Sam can watch the sunset on the way to the ship San Pasqual.
The vessel ran aground here in 1933, emerged from the San Francisco, California, to put the copper. The ship was rebuilt to the hotel. But recently it has become again a ship with a little history.
Sunset is also very nice to meet on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, where most of the rest goes to the beach. It takes only a few minutes of this beautiful spectacle. However, it should be reserved by means from mosquitoes, because a long stay near the water is fraught encounter with insects. The water stays warm, even at night, so one of the favorite activities of tourists was swimming after sunset.
Our trip took 12 days, and that was too small to view all of Cuba. But we visited the most prominent provincial towns of Cuba, in Havana and inimitable on the island of Cayo Santa Maria. The program itself has been very rich and interesting. So Cuba is to go for a vacation. Impressions of the trip to Cuba.