Just got back from the beautiful country of Cuba; the wife and I haven’t gone south for 7 years so we were well over due! We packed the bags, left the kids and took off.
No, I didn’t do any fishing!
Our destination was Playa Turquesa near Holguin, a very nice resort if you want to get away from the major partiers etc. The food was good and the cigars and beverages were as you would expect, outstanding! The resort is huge and very clean.
I really love the Cuban people. Even if you travel to this great country and your resort sucks, the locals will definitely leave a smile on your face.
We have now been to Veradero and Holguin and personally we would go back to Veradero (they’re both great though).
We did a jeep tour one day and it was great! We got our own jeep, drove through the country side as well as towns, went jet skiing, horseback riding, pulled on an ox-driven wagon, stopped at some local sites and had a spectacular lunch at a cliff side restaurant.
Just a few notes:
While at Pearson Airport in Toronto I thought I would ask about getting Cuban Peso’s. The lady at the exchange place recommended that I buy Euro dollars and take them to Cuba that way I will loose less of a percentage when there. Sounded good at the time so I changed a couple hundred bucks (209 Canadian got me 125 Euro) When I got to Cuba (exchange booth at the airport) I got about 150 Pesos. The other Canadians that did a straight exchange of 200 Canadian got over 180 Pesos. Somewhere along the line I took it for around 40 bucks; not a lot but that’s 4 nice Cohiba’s I didn’t get to puff. Luckily I didn’t cash the whole wad in Toronto. The moral is just bring your Canadian $ to Cuba and exchange it at your hotel. They have the best rates and it’s convenient.
Do not rent mopeds from Via at your resort. We rented one, drove to the town of Guardalavaca only to have it break down 15km from our resort. Due to the lack of communication with the locals we couldn’t get ahold of our hotel however we did manage to get a cab. Leisa took the cab back to the resort, the Via rental people sent 2 guys back to get the moped and left me there waiting for yet another cab. I returned to the resort and asked buddy for my money back… including cab fare! He only wanted to give me back the money for the moped. Luckily the 2 Gomaz’s that picked up the broken down moped gave me the key to give back to the resort. I kept the key in my room safe until El Cheapo would cough up at least a bit more. Ultimately (with the help of a local travel agent) I got 1 cab fare and the rental back from him and I swear he wanted to rip my little head off (this dude was one of the biggest Cubans I’ve ever seen… hands like a gorilla and arms like pillars!) The agent told me that he also doesn’t recommend renting from Via; too many bad stories.
Aside from these couple of minor experiences the rest of the trip was great. We met a bunch of people and they were all fantastic. I couldn’t believe the people that came up and asked if I was the fishing guy… there was even a guy from England who watches the show. If any of you are reading this, the pleasure was mine!
To the rest of the readers, if you’re thinking of going to Cuba… go!!!