CUBA IS COOL!
If you are looking for a quick trip away, and are on a budget, Cuba is a great place to go. All-inclusive packages from Toronto start at around $400 including taxes (flights, accommodation, food, drink etc) so it definitely won’t break the bank.
Things to do:
- Visit Havana – this is the capital of Cuba and a major port. Built in the 16th Century by the Spanish, this beautiful city is still very impressive, albeit a little run down. Visit La Cabana, the fortress and the hotel where Ernest Hemmingway used to stay. If you are there in the evening, you have to go to the Tropicana, the world-famous cabaret, which has been running since 1939.
- Visit a cigar factory – very interesting to see how these are made. Buy from official outlets if you want ‘the real thing’ – if your pool attendant offers to sell you some, they are probably fake.
- Enjoy the beaches! Like everywhere in the Caribbean, the beaches are spectacular – palm trees, white sand and turqouise, warm water. Weather is warm year-round but avoid hurricane season – June to mid November. Having said that, I went in October and the weather was great.
- If you stay in Veradero, have dinner at Al Capone’s old house (now a restaurant) on the beach. Highly recommended and way better than food at the resort. Generally, the food has something to be desired – but this restaurant is an exception.
Generally, a great quick get-away. People are friendly, weather is great and it’s an interesting place to visit. The old American cars on the road are something to be seen (I am sure the engine and other parts have been replaced a few times). Big tip – take Canadian dollars not US dollars – the exchange rate is way better!