Having never been to the Caribbean before, let alone to an all inclusive resort, I had no idea what to expect when I took off for a 7 day, 7 night trip to Cayo Santa Maria on Cuba's north coast.
What a trip!
Pictures say more than words, so I'll let them do the talking.
The beach is on the Atlantic side so a smidge colder than the Caribbean side, but still amazing. I love salt water! Well, except when it gets in your eyes.
The resort was quite nice.
Our poco hacienda was called:
Each "bungalow" (that's what they called it) had 16 rooms on two floors.
The rooms were quite big.
The swim up bar was cool!
There were shows every night featuring really wonderful dancers. I was amazed at the sheer amount of talent giving it their all every night at a resort for tourists.
My favorite dancer was Roberto. He was gay as gay can be (a risky business in Cuba) but danced with such passion and integrity I was drawn in. I got to dance salsa with him at the club later, and he actually picked me up in a lift! That was a highlight of my trip for sure!
Roberto on the stage:
Roberto off the stage:
My trip to Havana was another absolute highlight.
I took a day trip by plane.
Varadero by air!
I was amazed at the amount of propaganda everywhere. There is no advertising in Cuba, the billboards laud state policy instead.
Che Guevera is a national hero, and figures heavily in the rampant propaganda.
Havana is an amazing city. It's so old and rich with architecture and historic places to visit.
The National Theatre:
Castro's tank! (In front of the Museum of the Revolution...of course!)
Hemingway's Bar, the Floridita:
Me with the great man himself! :)
I'm looking forward to exploring some of the other great cities in Cuba. Santa Clara, which is where the remains of Che Guevera are buried, Trinidad, which is apparently a great example of baroque architecture, Cienfuegos, Holguin, they all sound fantastic.
There were cats everywhere at the resort, including some really cute kittens. Feeding them was not a good idea, because then they wouldn't leave you alone, but I took some pictures.
All in all, it was a good trip. I highly recommend staying all inclusive if your main goal is to relax. I found that one excursion was enough for the week.
Viva Cuba, Cuba Si!