Travelling to Cuba/Canuck style.


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Well I have started doing my research and would like a "noobie" guide of planning a trip to Cuba.

Plan on going sometime in the next 3 months to break this cold snap.

It's going to be just the wife and myself and after looking at all these travel websites I'm lost.

Where do I start ,where do I go ,what do I want to see ,what don't I want to see. What should I budget for?

Looking at going for 7-10 days.

I know a lot of these are travel agent questions , but I know a lot have first hand experiences which I think would help a fella out a lot.

Thanks

Scott

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Same as Shlomo, I too prefer to spend a week on the beach in Varadero. The wife and I are going down for 10 days at the start of April. This will be our second time, both time we stayed at the Sandals, it's nice as its adults only...

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I agree with Shlomo.....i like Varadero, you have it all there, especially when travelling with family. Something to consider is 3 nights in Havana then a week in Varadero, many tour companies offer blended trips such as this.

I know the hardcore will say Havana is the only place to go, but considering you're going with your wife, she may not be cigars 24/7.

Last time I went with my wife in July we stayed at the Melia Las Americas in Varadero. I loved it, there was a LCDH (went twice a day), golf course and beach a 2 minute walk from our room. Cuban 5 star and adults only, loved it.

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I only went the one time and it was to Havana. Mind you, it was the Partagas Festival week so there was a lot of action, people to meet etc. Havana is a great city to explore. If you're taking the wife, maybe go to Varadero and take a day trip into Havana. Hit some of the LCDH's, get custom rolls, chat with the rollers, have a drink and a smoke at the back of the Hotel Nacionale. If you're going for 10 days and the price is right, stay in Havana for a couple of nights or plan two day trips. Either way, you're going to have fun and enjoy plenty of cigars and rum. :)

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First trip to Cuba and with the wife = 2 options: stay in Varadero or do a split trip.

As people have said previously, depends on what you want to do. If relaxing, hitting the beach is in your itinerary, stay in Varadero and do a couple of nights in Havana.

My first trip with the family was at Sirenas las Sirenas in Varadero. Great beach. Good for the kids. Nice staff.

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Great tips this is exactly what I was looking for .

Yeah the wife isn't into the cigars at all, but she will probably drink more rum than me. I just have to convince her to go now, she said I should go with a friend. I laughed the last trip I went on with friends was to Vegas without her . I still don't here the end of that.

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I went to Cuba a few times and a couple time with the girlfriend. Varadero is like everyone said, beach, sun, volleyball and relaxation. We did a split trip last time, 4 days in Varadero and 3 in Havana. Since then, there is no way I or She will back to Varadero. Havana is, imho, an amazing city, restaurants, museums, music, cigars, history, people....even without the cigars activities it is a great city.

I guess it all depends on what kind of trip you guys want to do. If you never been to Havana I would suggest to go and at least spend a night there.

I hope it helps and feel free to ask questions!

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If you decide to go the Havana route, I would highly recommend the Parque Central. The staff and service are second to none. I stay there when I bring my family to Havana. At the time, my son was just turning 1. They made sure that my wife and I had everything we needed to take care of him.

The views from the rooftop pool are spectacular as well.

My second choice would be the Saratoga.

For smoking cigars and having a guys weekend. The National.

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If you decide to go the Havana route, I would highly recommend the Parque Central. The staff and service are second to none. I stay there when I bring my family to Havana. At the time, my son was just turning 1. They made sure that my wife and I had everything we needed to take care of him.

The views from the rooftop pool are spectacular as well.

My second choice would be the Saratoga.

For smoking cigars and having a guys weekend. The National.

+1 Parque Centrale.

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I'm curious. Why not?

Because it is not the kind of trip I (we) want to take anymore. There is so much to see, eat and smoke in Havana Frank. Simply not worthy in my mind. You can do the same thing in Havana as you would do in Varadero. Don't get me wrong, I went to Vara a few times and it was good but after I went to the big city...no turning back for me lolspotlight.gif

Also, from past experiences sometimes the clientele in the all inclusive resorts are pretty good at ruining you relaxing time pod.gif

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Because it is not the kind of trip I (we) want to take anymore. There is so much to see, eat and smoke in Havana Frank. Simply not worthy in my mind. You can do the same thing in Havana as you would do in Varadero. Don't get me wrong, I went to Vara a few times and it was good but after I went to the big city...no turning back for me lolspotlight.gif

Also, from past experiences sometimes the clientele in the all inclusive resorts are pretty good at ruining you relaxing time pod.gif

Thanks for the perspective Simon. My woman is open to going to Varadero in the future. The only thing that has held us back was being able to get gluten free food for her on the resort. Many of the Mexican resorts we go to cater to that. I loved Havana and would go back in an instant. As for your "clientele" comments. I imagine cheaper resorts in Cuba, like Mexico, tend to attract a different breed of traveler that I'd rather not mix with. snooty.gif:P I've come across that too many times. I'm not a big fan of obnoxious drunks that pass out by the pool and wake up there the next morning ready to go again. :rolleyes::lol:

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Dont know what kind of travel your up for, but we enjoyed the casa particulares alot when we were there last year. The casas is private homes that rent out a room or two. they can cook for you as well (really well). We rented a little korean car and went to see a few cities on our own, but I guess it would be cheaper to hire a car and driver for each distance.

We had a casa particular recommended in trinidad, where they hooked us up with another and so on - was an excellent to see Cuba and to meet locals in their homes. We still talk fondly of some of the people there that hosted us a few nights.

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We (wife and I) just did our first Cuba trip a couple weeks back. We stayed at the Paradisus Varadero and upgraded to Royal Service. It was an incredible and very relaxing vacation. I highly recommend Varadero and this resort.

We also did a day trip to Havana in a 52 Chevy which was speactacular! Such a beautiful city. Having seen both now, our next trip will be 7 days in Varadero and 3 in Havana. My wife was skeptical (thought I only wanted to go for the cigars!) But she quickly feel in love with the country and the beaches. I'm pretty confident you will not regret a trip to Cuba! Cigars, great rum, spectacular coffee and warm people...what is not to like! Happy planning Bro!

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Like others have said, what kind of trip do you want? Do you guys like to walk around and see cultural/historic sites and architecture? Do you like the idea of beaches and all-inclusive? Do you want to see a few cities/areas? Are you foodies?

Trinidad is a city I definitely want to visit and hoped to when I went there last month but I simply did not have the time. I was by myself so I didn't make it a priority because Havana was too much fun during the Partagas Festival. If you like a little adventure, you might want to check out staying there 2-3 nights as the city is such a quaint and picturesque Cuban city with beaches not too far away where you can do a day trip there if you like as well.

I strongly +1 Troels recommendation of staying in a Casa Particulares if want to see more of the real Cuba and meet some locals... saving a lot of money is just an added bonus. A lot of places make outstanding home cooked meals and you can get local knowledge/perspective talking to the owners. If you or wife are people that complain about hotels that aren't the cleanest, don't have this amenity etc, then a Casa might not be your thing. You have to have an open mind when staying in a Casa and know not everything will be perfect.

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Breezes at Jibacoa is popular as its midway between Varadero and Havana.

Easy to pick up an official taxi or one run by a local for a day trip into Havana. Its 45 minutes each way.

If you have a look over on botl, one if their members has produced a Google map of Havana with hotels, restaurants and the cigar shops and rollers marked.

I've stayed in Jibacoa twice and I stayed in Varadero once and my next trip will be exclusively Havana and further west into vinales

Sent from my GT-N8010 using Tapatalk 2

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We went from havanna to a resort South of trinidad, then to a casa in trinidad, to a casa in playa giron, casa in viñales ( from where we did daytrip to cayo jutias - see recent post from Nino and el Prez) and back to havanna. All in 17 days, wich was still relaxed. Pm me if you need info on any of those places.

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For a first-time visit, I'd go with Varadero. Only 3.5hr flight from Toronto, and about a 1.5hr drive to Havana. And there's 3 or 4 good LCDHs right in Varadero. And the one thing you'll have in Varadero that you won't in Havana: LONG BEACHES. The beach going along the top of the Varadero penninsula there is gorgeous.

I'd stay at a resort in Varadero, do day trips into town, check out the market, LCDHs, etc... then rent a cab driver (that speaks English) that does tours for a full day and go into Havana. Or take the bus to Havana to a hotel, check in, stay the night, and get the hotel to get you a reputable tour guide (with cigar factories and LCDHs on the list of things to do of course!)

For a first time trip to Cuba, going straight into Havana and staying there may be a bit overwhelming. It's a gorgeous city, but is very large and is very urban.

But if you can spend 4-5 days in Varadero then 4-5 in Havana, and maybe do a day trip down to Pinar del Rio while you're in Havana, that would be great too.

Post your photos when you get back! :D

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Hello, I hope you don't mind me hi-jacking your tread but I too am going down to Cuba this spring. I thought there just a couple of LCDH's in Varadero, One on 31 calle and 63.

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Hello, I hope you don't mind me hi-jacking your tread but I too am going down to Cuba this spring. I thought there just a couple of LCDH's in Varadero, One on 31 calle and 63.

There are three LCDH in Varadero plus a La Casa del Tobacco.

Use the link to search locations in Cuba for addresses.

http://www.lacasadelhabano.com/web/index.php/en/franchises/search-franchises

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Thanks for the link. so hard to map the locations on google maps... I think i found them all. Do they carry the same stock? Will I need to shop around for what I'm looking for?

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I would say bring a list of what you want and take a look at the stores first. If there is some older vintage or discontinued stuff. Pick it up right away.

We saw some vintage stuff that was in Havana and by the time we were done lunch, it was gone....

Yup. Like locusts we were!!!!! :buddies::mob::devil2:

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