"A world of Salsa" Cuba by Alicja1
Cuba Travel Guide: 5,243 reviews and 12,828 photos
Thats a frst time I have bought my trip from a travel Agency. Well, dear travelers. i dont think I will do that again! We did enjoy our vacation but only because we are adventurous and brave enought to go everywhere by ourselves. Thomson- agency we travel with - was a big dissapointment: plane was dirty, cabin crew not nice ( waiting for a beer for one hour) and rep absolutely useless. They were trying to discourage from independent traveling from the begginig pushing very expensive tours.
Anyway.... Cuba!!! That was always my dream to see a place where Salsa was born. And I am telling you now, It was absolutely fantastic! But lets start from the beginning...
We stayed in Riu Turquesa in Varadero. According to our agent it should be 4 stars hotels. It wasnt.. but lets not be picky....Varadero is Cuban top resort, which occupies the 19 km long Penisula. It is a succesion of hotels, restaurants, bars and shops.The main road is Avenida primera and thats where all primary hotels and city center is based. Nice place, but not really Cuban. i would say - avarage or less Caribean resort. You will not see real life there and be prepared to tip everywhere. I would not recommend it for families neither. Its not the best travel base because Cuba have a main problem with transport so its quite difficult to get anywhere. Varadero is placed about two hours travel from Havana and 3-4 hours driving to Trinidad. Varadero is for people who are looking for wonderfull beaches and resort life not adventure
Transport is one of the main problems in Cuba. Us- tourist we pay for everything double. Cubans are forced to hitch hiking. Everyone hitch hike young and old, but its not the way for tourist. Cubans always pick up their fellow countryman, but if they offer a foregner a ride they may be fined by police, unless they have permit. From other side, its very appreciated if a tourist renting a car to take a hitch hiker on his way to other places.
So what we can do... there are few choices...
*rent the car- well, you mightstop and never start again somewhere in the middle of the island. The real problem occures when your car is not insured.
* rent the muppet - it was fun, we have done it... 24 peso and youhave 24 hours transport... the only problem , our muppet stoped after 100 km and didnt wanted to start again
* taxis- they have a lot of them, prived, goverment owned, coc taxis and rickshaws, unfortunately quite expensive... taxi from Riu Turquesa to Varadero Center cost os the same money what bus to Havana 10 peso.
Its good to negotiate a price before you take a ride. If its possible
* local busses, quite adventurous, look at the pictures
*Viaazul - we found it very comfortable and reliable way of travelling, trip to Havana cost us 10 peso, to Trinidad 20 peso. Reps from hotels are not very keen to recommend it. Dont listen to them..
* In Varadero, there is a signseeing red bus. You pay 5 peso and you can take a trip anywhere in Varadero for all day.
- Pros:Fantastic culture, beautiful beaches, only for adventure lovers and not picky people
- Cons:problems with transport and lots of hussle from beggers
- In a nutshell:Nothing but Salsa
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