My Cuba Holiday Story
Last year, my friend and I spent our holidays in Cuba where we had the best of times. We went to three different destinations namely Holguin, Trinidad and Santa Clara that had so much to offer. In fact, we did not exhaust all the attractions here and hope we can go back in future. Cuba has so many beautiful places that you must visit whenever you get an opportunity to travel this destination. We spent a large part of our holidays in Holguin and our first stop was at Playa Esmeralda. This is one lovely beach that you will definitely love the sight of lovely sand that is contrasted with the very clear water with tropical fish. This beach is a great sight for windsailing, sun bathing, swimming, scuba diving and many other exciting activities. Playa Esmeralda is one of the brilliant beaches that we went to during our holidays in Cuba. If you are thinking of development along this beach, there are only the hotels.
We also went to the Bahia de Naranjo Nature Park that is a good place if you love excursions because it is well worth the money. We had the opportunity to snorkel besides enjoying the safari in the open top jeeps. We also had an opportunity to watch the dolphins swimming before joining them in the manmade pools at the Eco Island. This tour of the national park ended with a great lunch where we had a delicious lobster meal. BioParque Rocazul is another great place that we visited for an organized tour. There is a mini-zoo here that does not have much. Even then, we enjoyed feeding the ostriches and holding the crocodiles in what made some of the best photo moments. We also did a bit of horse riding after being assigned the horses as well as riding hats. This is a great experience and if you have not done horse riding before, you will definitely enjoy this experience as the staff are on alert to ensure that everyone has fun. The entire experience backed by the spectacular scenery was amazing and I would definitely go back for a repeat.
The other place that I recommend in Cuba is the Hill of the Cross that is an interesting landmark. This place offers some of the best views when you get at the top even though you need to be patient enough to get to the top, as it is too long. However, you can also consider taking a shuttle that is quite convenient and less tiring. There is a restaurant at the hill where you can sit and enjoy a meal before getting down. The only annoying thing at this point were the many black market people that will try to sell you their stuff especially cigars. Surprisingly, some of these items are overpriced.
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Parque Peralta is another that you must visit in Cuba. This park is perched at the end of the pedestrian Boulevard Libertad. On the other end is the ice cream café and cathedral. There are also numerous stalls where you can buy all manner of flowers including those that you may not have seen before. You will also feel some great floral scents in the air. Generally, this park is very beautiful and great for taking pictures. We also went on an informative tour in Campina Taina. We had such a great time under the guidance of a tour guide who took us to the Indian village that is also the fisherman’s town. While here, we interacted with some locals that took us to their houses and a small school where we played a few games with the children. We wished we had brought along some candy to give to the children. Apart from the fun, you can be sure to learn about the culture of the native people of Cuba from how they lived, worked and even survived. There are also amazing performances by both males and females who are topless even though their breasts are painted.
You can also consider going to the Cathedral of San Isidoro that is small but very beautiful. This cathedral has been restored and the workmanship is like no other. What is amazing about this cathedral is the fact that it is an oasis of peace within this city. A tour of this church does not require much time so you can always stop here for a few minutes. Plaza mayor is another great place that you need to check out during your holidays in Cuba. In fact, your trip to Trinidad would be incomplete without going to this plaza. This place takes you back in time. Amazingly, it is not crowded thus its very peaceful. There is a beautiful old church here and a few shops where you will mostly find locals. You can also opt to stick around the square by sitting on the seats that are at this square and enjoy the sun as well as the great views.
The other place that we went to is Salto del Caburni for a half day excursion. This hike was a great idea and a good way to see more of Cuba away from the beach scene and city life. It is an easy hike but may not recommended for people with mobility problems because the path is rocky and has exposed roots. The highlight of this hike is the waterfalls that is quite impressive. The water is cool, refreshing and clear, ideal for swimming. In fact, you need to bring your swimming suit. We also enjoyed great views of the valley from the falls. I definitely recommend that you go for this hike when in Cuba.
We also had a great experience at the Ancon beach in Trinidad. This beach is large with white sand and very beautiful. The only disappointment is that there public washrooms are a bit of a mess. We loved the sun bathing experience on this beach as well as the refreshing swim. You can grab a few snacks from the snack bar are you enjoy a great time on the beach. You will also do well to visit the Romance museum that is displays extra-ordinary furniture from centuries ago. This furniture has great architectural details and is feted as the best museum in Trinidad.
For a little of the night fun, we went to Disco Ayala that is awesome even though it is inside a cool cave. The music, beautiful girls and of course drinks make it the best night spot. We had lots of fun here before moving on to Casa de la Trova that is known as the salsa zone. This open air joint plays salsa music daily with performances from different groups. You can use this opportunity to learn some great salsa moves.
Our last stop in Cuba was Santa Clara that does not have too many attractions so we did not spend a lot of time here. We went to the Mausoleo del Che Guevara that is also the main reason tourists come to Santa Clara. This monument is on a large square and is made up of various concrete blocks. There is a museum close to this monument that houses many of Che’s memorabilia. While here, we saw some nice photos that you cannot find anywhere else in Cuba. Unfortunately, cameras are not allowed here so you will need to leave them at the security desk. Our final stop was the Monumento a la Toma de Tren Blindado that is a boxcar museum. What was exciting about this place is that we came face to face with real history that allowed us to have a feel of how the transport sector has evolved. As we came to the end of our holidays in Cuba, we only wished we had more time to explore this awesome place. Cuba is one of the best places to spend your holidays in the Caribbean.