Our goal: Find a country that can be traveled with a 10 month old baby, that combines cities with special flair, breathtaking nature and picture book beaches. Cuba! What we didn’t know at the time, Cuba is much more than that. A country shaped by its people, in a world that seems to stand still.
After a short research on the internet we found Cuba Buddy. The first impression is good. The second top. After the first conversation with Cuba Buddy the rough outline of the trip was set. A few phone calls and numerous emails later, we had a tailor-made trip for us and our son.
Our starting point at the end of November 2017: Havana. A city of contrasts. Marble sidewalks, opulent hotels and lovingly restored classic cars in the lively streets of the city center. Just a few street corners away: simple apartment buildings, tiny fruit and vegetable stores and relaxed, friendly habaneros.
There we also found our 1. Casa. In the middle of the night the landlady received us smiling and for us the adventure Cuba began in its capital city. The next morning at 9am we met with Lienco, our private guide. After some interesting information about Cuba and our trip, we started our city tour. Lienco showed us this wonderful city and let us, with his very personal impressions and stories as a Habanero, experience a piece of Havana. After a refreshment for lunch, we drove with the oldtimer through New Havana and could, finally, also make us an impression of this newly built and expanded residential area of Havana. After another night with our friendly hosts, we left Havana behind in our rental car and headed for Vinales. We reached Vinales in the afternoon after a stopover at the orchid garden of Soroa and were immediately in love with the beautiful nature. The location of our casa could not have been better. From the roof terrace we had an unobstructed view of the mountains.
Mowgly, our host, spoke very good English and helped us with all our needs. From restaurant recommendations and table reservations, to planning our walking tour, to tips for stops on our onward journey, Mowgly advised and managed it all. In addition, he served us delicious mojitos. After a good breakfast with a fantastic view, the next morning we packed our son in the stretcher on the back and started for the hike to the tobacco and coffee plantations. We were accompanied by a local farm boy. Passing the farmers’ houses, our local guide took us to his uncle’s plantation. A 4 hour hike over rice and bean fields past the mountains of Vinales. Small tip: think of shoes that may get dirty…:D..
Before we left for Las Terrazas the next day, we visited the Cueva del Indio, enjoyed the view over the valley of Vinales from the terrace of the Hotel Horizontes los Jazmines, had lunch at the Finca Agricola (our absolute tip), and had a drink at the restaurant of the hotel!) and had a look at Mural de la Prehistoria.
The Hotel Moka was wonderfully embedded in the nature of Las Terrazas. The forests and rivers of the surrounding area invite us to hike and relax. Apart from that, the somewhat artificial town does not have much to offer. The Banos de San Juan is a nice place for bathing, picnicking and lingering.
After another night at Hotel Moka we continued towards Playa Giron. Playa Giron, a small place not too worth seeing. Of the two restaurants on the main road only Brig is recommendable. Playa Coco is a small beautiful beach with some bars. But beware of the sand fleas at dusk. After the first night in a not very personal casa, we had a relaxing day at Caleta Buena. 15 CUC for an all-in day at a beautiful bay. Snorkeling equipment could be rented for 3 CUC.
The next day our way led us to Trinidad. Along the south coast we met a colorful, lively and lovely city. In the middle of it all: Cafe Tuti! Our Deluxe Casa. So not Cuban at all. Very high quality, pizza, pasta and free wifi in the morning hours. Trinidad offers you many good restaurants like Sol y Son or La Redaccion. which not only offers good food, but also a colonial-era bathroom. On our city tour we discovered the different eras of the colonial city and learned a lot about the history of occupation and liberation. We passed by many impressive studios and inviting bars. A must-do: A drink from the clay pot at La Canchanchara.
At the end of our trip we went for 4 nights to the beach of Varadero. It could hardly be better. Powdered sugar sand, palm trees and crystal clear water. At the Hotel Melia Varadero the “common” tourist gets everything he needs. The hotel still has a high standard, but is getting on in years. To relax a few days after an impressive round trip it is always a good address.
Cuba is an absolute recommendation. Diverse, authentic and hospitable.
So don’t hesitate! Book your trip!
What else the three of them experienced
City tour in Havana
Lienco showed us this wonderful city and let us, with his very personal impressions and stories as a Habanero, experience a piece of Havana.
View at breakfast
The location of our casa could not have been better. From the roof terrace we had an unobstructed view of the mountains.
On our city tour we discovered the different eras of the colonial city and learned a lot about the history of occupation and liberation. Thereby we passed many impressive studios and inviting bars. A must-do: a drink from the clay pot at La Canchanchara.