So when we were planning our winter getaway, there was no question we were heading back to Cuba. We decided to try Varadero this time. A little more touristy, but it was in driving distance to Havana which, since we were kid-free, we really wanted to check out.
We travelled from November 30 to December 7, 2013; a perfect pre-Christmas getaway. And we didn't want anything fancy or expensive, we were just looking for something on the beach where we could relax and maybe go on an excursion. And that's exactly what we did. We stayed at the ROC Arenas Doradas, a 3.5 star resort about half way down the peninsula. It was simple, clean, comfortable and relaxing.
So if you're planning a trip to Cuba, my advice to you to start, is don't go there looking for what you expect at home.Remember, this is a 3rd world country with limited resources. And with all their trade restrictions they aren't going to have all your comforts from home.
Our liaison from the tour company, Hector, was a fantastic resource on how things work in Cuba. Sometimes they run out of things, like diapers or batteries and they have to wait months for the next shipment. So they may not have your favourite ketchup or gum, but that just how it goes. Things break down in Cuba and they may not have the means to fix them. So there could be delays or services that aren't available.
And for me, I'm OK with that. I get it. But there's definitely a good amount of people that don't, the gentleman that was ticked that there wasn't WIFI in the hotel or the lady complaining that they were out of her liquor of choice.
When I go on holiday I want to see the landscape and experience the culture. I don't care if the phone in my room doesn't work or that the hair dryer looks like something from the Cold War era, that's not what I'm here for. I'm here to enjoy, embrace and experience Cuba.
If you want all the things you have at home, then stay home. If you want new experiences, tastes and memories, then explore!