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1. Posted by marlis (Travel Guru 1167 posts) 9y

Hi everybody,

I have 3 weeks to spend in Cuba.
this is so far my plan:

at the beginning a few days in Havana
taking the train/bus to Trinidad,spending a few days there
taking the train/bus to Santiago

I'm not interest to visit the crowded places with all inclusiv hotels.

Has somebody been to :
Sancti Spiritus ?
Ciego de Avila ?
Camagueey ?

any ideas what would be interesting to visit ?
thanks in advance for any helpful reccommendation,
Marlis

2. Posted by Utrecht (Moderator 5596 posts) 9y

I have only been to Camaguey, and although it was ok, I wouldn't spend more than a full day there. Some squares and buildings are nice though and the city sees far fewer tourists than Havana, Trinidad or Santiago.

To add: I liked the far southeast and east, from Santiago to Baracoa and from there up north. Parc Nacional Alejandro Humboldt is beautiful really. But basically, a rental car is what you need to travel there as public transport is either very infrequently or non-existent in places.

[ Edit: Edited on Jun 8, 2007, at 2:08 AM by Utrecht ]

3. Posted by tway (Travel Guru 7273 posts) 9y

I've only ever been to 2 all-inclusives - one in Jibacoa and one in Cayo Guillermo. My b/f took a bike trip out to the main town of Jibacoa (while I conveniently recouperated from a 24-hour summer flu), and he said it was absolutely beautiful - although I'm guessing most small towns in Cuba have their wonderful charms.

In Havana, be sure to catch the market, La Floridita Bar (where Hemmingway hung out), and Columbo cemetery (if you're in to that sort of thing). It's so huge - you can walk round in it for hours.

I did't realize Cuba had a train system - I guess we didn't ever run into it.. Have you picked a place to stay in Havana yet? We saw such gorgeous places, which supposedly range from reasonable to expensive...

4. Posted by wotthefiqh (Inactive 1447 posts) 9y

Spent 2 weeks in Cuba in April 2005.
Havana, Santa Clara, Trinidad, Playa Ancon and Vinales.
Santa Clara for Che's mausoleum, Trinidad for its' history and Vinales for the scenery.
Trinidad was lovely, Playa Ancon was a nice beach but made the mistake of booking into 2 package tourist hotels, and Vinales is gorgeous.
There seemed to be lots of casas in Vinales and I would highly recommend it. Hire a scooter and take in the countryside.
Oops, forgot to mention the horseriding you can do in Vinales valley.

[ Edit: Edited on Jun 9, 2007, at 9:52 AM by wotthefiqh ]

5. Posted by marlis (Travel Guru 1167 posts) 9y

@ Utrecht
@ tway
@ wotthefiqh

thank you very much for your recommendations.

Marlis:)

6. Posted by moto123 (Budding Member 4 posts) 9y

I have been to Ciego a few times and I am going back in July. Even thou is a fairly big town (cuban standard) there are not to many things to do or see you'll probably cover it in one day, unless of course you want to take a trip to "los cayos" ( Cayo Coco and Cayo Guillermo) to spend a day at the beach, but it is expensive (for me anyway): 50.00 cuc one way. If you do want to spend a few days in Ciego I can give you the adrress of a casa particular where I always stay.
Chao,
Miguel

7. Posted by marlis (Travel Guru 1167 posts) 9y

hi Miguelvite,
if you would be so kind and give me the name of the casa particular?
can never hurt to know a place where you could stay for a day or two.
Dont know if I will be there,but since I travel only having a more or less plan I'm free to change my route.
thank you very much,
Marlis:)

8. Posted by attaque46 (Budding Member 16 posts) 9y

Just came back from Cuba 2 weeks ago,
So this might be of some help:

In Trinidad
(beautiful town BTW, few tourists this time of year, so you'd probably wanna stay there for a couple of days - playa Ancon is well worth of visit, with all the carribean cliches present: white sand beaches, blue sea, palms, rum on the beach...:),

We rented a car and tried to reach Baracoa,
however, the rain season messed up our plans: driving was literally impossible when the rain started late in the afternoon, and especially so during the night -
the eastern part of Cuba is receiving brutal, tropical showers this time of year - we could not reach Santiago, and stopped in Bayamo for the night.
Unfortunatelly, there we heard that further east is much worse, Baracoa in particular - the showers hardly stop there this time of year..
So, we turned back to Trinidad for a few more days of beach & sun and later some more Habana.

So there - you know what to expect.

Camaguey is worth a 1-day visit, not more.

The west part of the island was hot and wonderful.
Vinales has one of the most beautiful countrysides I've ever seen.

Avoid trains at all cost (locals warned us - they're extremely slow and unreliable)
go with the buses (Viazul, or cheaper Astro if possible) and taxis,

make a firm schedule, but be as flexible as you can -
if there is one problem with independent travelling in Cuba, it's transport -
buses are scarce in some places (smaller towns, even touristy ones, like Vinales), they sometimes depart only in the mornings,
and you could end up not being able to catch the next bus.
Improvise with taxis.. or even hitchiking in some places..

9. Posted by jasonsd (Budding Member 17 posts) 9y

Just got back from 3 weeks in Cuba. Great choice. Not cheap. I agree with most of the posts:
Trinidad and Playa Ancon...very cool. Trinidad great city especially when the day-trippers and resorters go back to All-inclusive Land. Hire a taxi and go into the mountains. Gorgeous scenery. Playa Ancon..perfect. A nice seafood restaurant on the way to Playa Ancon called Carribe Grille. Yummy lobster.
Go to Vinales!!! Rent a horse. Awesome.
Avoid the trains. Viazul is much easier and quicker.