Best resorts in Cuba
What are they: the best resorts in Cuba ? How to choose the right one, when to go to the distant and dangerous Caribbean Sea, what currency is in use on the “Island of Freedom”, what about visas? How much are the tours in 2022, does it make sense to go on your own, how many PCR-tests are needed – read in the review Eurotraveler.ru!
Cuba is a large and independent island in the Caribbean Sea, a vast body of water on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean. Still a mysterious country for Russian travelers. A bit mysterious, like everything distant, but extremely alluring.
“Island of Freedom” – in the minds of the older generation. Territory of serenity and relaxation on the boundless sandy beaches overlooking the Caribbean Sea – in today’s reality.
There are no poisonous snakes in Cuba, and the population still believes in the possibility of building a bright future, free from the exploitation of man by man. The country has a rich past, having inherited hundreds of buildings and churches, palaces and fortresses of interesting architecture from the Spanish colonizers.
The island has a palpable exotic charisma that is hard to find elsewhere. And arriving here, you will be immersed in a parallel, but cozy in the sense of memories of the reality of the Soviet past.
Nestled on the amazingly beautiful piece of land. By the way, it is quite well equipped for tourists – 4-5 stars Cuban hotels are not inferior to their European analogues.
However, it is not easy to get to Cuba – tiresome. And such trips are not cheap, of course…
Note that there are a lot of options, where to go… was once.
Today you can spend your vacation or vacation in the bustling Varadero. Or better yet, on Cayo Coco, less flashy and fun but fashionable.
Once upon a time, but not today, on other islands as well. Northern – like Cayo Blanco or southern – Largo. (For a while?) settle in the historic center of Havana, where many colonial-era buildings have survived. Explore in detail the history of the conquest of America, or simply wander around the atmospheric places where Hemingway liked to have a drink.
Resorts with money liked to settle in Holguin. Away from the hustle and bustle and closer to the scenic, beautiful Playa Esmeralda.
Where you could dissolve among pristine nature, forgetting about the challenges of everyday life and everyday problems. Only sea – only sails. And palm trees, of course.
Local prices are relatively low, and tourists are used to look at their fellow countrymen – there are still not many foreigners. And no wonder – tours to Cuba sometimes shockingly high cost!
So you want to take matters into their own hands, organizing a trip yourself! Will it be possible to save money? Not sure …
In 2022 the prices don’t seem to have fallen – and why should they – the dollar has grown! The dollar has gone up! Added to this is the source of anxiety.
Starting January 10, 2021 Russian tourists traveling to Cuba will need a negative PCR test for the coronavirus to passport control. And – necessarily in English! Vaccination does not exempt from the obligation to show negative test results.
However, this is not enough – another test will be done on site. Until the results of which you will stay for 24 hours in a quarantine hotel at the expense of the Cuban government.
If it is positive, you will be forcibly transferred to an observatory or even a hospital. And your companions will be isolated in a hotel room for the next 5 days.
How it looked in practice in February 2021 can be found here – otzovik.com/review_11414186.html. Are you ready for this kind of challenge? Well, you should be!
For in 2022 Cuba cancelled all these passions-mordache for Russians arriving through tour operators. Both vaccinated against coronavirus and unvaccinated!
What are the features of the climate, where is better to fly to Cuba to rest? What should you know about visas, currency, the tendencies of the local population? What should you see and do at your leisure? Read about it below.
Resorts of Cuba – where to go
It all depends on the amount you are willing to spend on vacation. And also your plans. It’s one thing if you intend to spend your whole vacation lying on the beach, admiring the marvelous beauty and dipping into the sea of unprecedented purity. And quite another if some sort of program of excursions and acquaintance with local history and reality.
Therefore, the answer to the question of where to rest in Cuba, everyone gives his own. After all, if from the hotel in Varadero you can easily go to Havana, here from other places to do this will have to organize a whole operation. After all, get to the Cuban capital from the same Olguin will have to take domestic flights.
For many, this resort is the best place to rest on the coast of “Freedom Island”. And in general a separate world, which envious people like to call a reservation for tourists.
25 kilometers of sandy coastline, string-stretched hotels, a lot of tropical greenery and enthusiastic locals. They are eager to sell their services at a higher price! Very popular are horse-drawn carriage rides (relatively cheap) or American cabriolets of the 50s (too expensive).
Beaches are wide – it will be difficult to lie in the shade. That would be actual in July or August heat. The sea is pure, at any time of year keeps pleasant to an eye azure color. The humidity is rather high and the winds are frequent, though not blowing constantly.
No wonder! Because Varadero is located on a narrow north-facing spit called the Icacos Peninsula.
Of entertainment: diving, surfing and fishing, walks on yachts and catamarans. And also: discos and bars, trips to nearby islands, dinner at Al Kapone restaurant, excursions to Havana.
The capital is 140 km along the highway, and not to see its exotic streets is a real crime. As for the restaurant named after the most famous American gangster, it is in any major Russian city. But the Cuban one is not a tribute to fashion, it is really an ex-mansion of a Chicago mobster. They say it’s expensive. But how can you not eat lobster in shrimp in such an atmospheric place?
In Varadero settles down 90% of arriving Russian tourists. Because it’s the easiest! A tedious flight ends in Havana, then you have to travel 145 km by hotel shuttle or cab (2-2.5 hours). The resort has a great choice of all inclusive hotels, an excellent chance to find the best deal for less money.
Despite its popularity, there is never a second layer of holidaymakers on Varadero’s beaches. And in the water, too, you do not have to dodge the diving youth.
The province of Holguín, this is northeastern Cuba. A glance at the map – and where is it? – at first is astonishing: the city of Holguín is not on the sea. But a detailed study of the question forces us to put aside unpleasant suspicions. The beautiful Russian word here refers to a tourist cluster of two dozen hotels on the coast.
Playa Esmeralda, “Emerald Beach,” is the region’s famous gem. But the others are hardly worse: a lot of sand, a little less palm trees, very few tourists. On average it’s a couple of degrees warmer than Varadero: both air and water.
The medium and well-to-do couples, families with children, pensioners with a sizable bank account go to Holguin.
The places are beautiful, entertainment is not so much. Diving among the reefs and a variety of boat trips are especially in honor. And don’t let it scare you that it’s far from Havana – there’s an international airport in Holguin.
The large Cayo Coco and small Cayo Guillermo are islands off the north coast. Do not suffer from isolation, because the Cubans have made a road here. Beautiful and clean sandy beaches, excellent diving, an abundance of pink flamingos, serving as additional advertising and testimony to the purity of local nature. A sanctuary – in the full sense of the word!
Cayo Santa Maria nearby is not as protected and therefore has a line of comfortable hotels. There are some water activities, and vacationers can diversify their leisure time with a beach volleyball match or a game of tennis rackets.
Cayo Largo, an island of 40 square kilometers off the south coast. In the 16th century English pirates liked to repair their ships and give rest to the crews here, next to Spain. Today, it is especially popular among fans of scuba diving and the generally advanced youth. A lot of sea and beach – a little rest.
At least 180 thousand rubles for two people cost a week voyage from Moscow in January-February 2020. The guideline was carefree enough, because it included a flight, accommodation, “all inclusive” meals, and medical insurance.
This spring – in March – a 4-day trip will cost 135 plus thousand rubles. If you’re up for it, calculate how much the price has dropped.
“All-inclusive” in Cuba – our everything. Finding a decent restaurant on the island with a humane price tag is a challenge. And to eat what 95% of the locals eat on a daily basis – means to look for trouble.
An independent trip will cost the following money:
Tickets from Moscow to Havana and back: in season from 90-100 thousand for two people. Baggage is to be paid separately.
Hotel room: 21-22 thousand without food, from 35 for all inclusive (Varadero).
The only sensible way to get from the airport is by cab (from 100 CUC). Because there are buses only from Havana.
When is the best time to go
The tourist season in Cuba lasts all year round. Those who like hotter weather, ready to ignore the high probability of precipitation and storms, go to the island in May and October. The season is considered hot and humid, characterized by an abundance of precipitation.
In August and July, when the thermometer rises above +35 and even +40 during the day, it can rain for 10-12 days. But meteorologists will never tell you what averages may mean, there is a chance for great dryness: 1-2 wet days for a week of your vacation at most.
The coming bad weather usually looks frightening: the sky turns dark blue with a generous splash of leaden tones, the wind is fierce, and it looks like a serious storm is coming. But the heavy rain passes quickly, and literally any day you can count on an hour or two of generous sunshine.
August-October in the Caribbean is a common time of tropical storms. Sometimes so devastating that the tourists do not have to rest.
The water temperature in the sea from May to October reaches its peak: +28-30 degrees.
In November begins tourist, that is, the high season. The amount of precipitation is halved or tripled, the air temperature drops to an acceptable temperature in terms of well-being. It is +25-27 in the air and about the same in the sea. It’s even warmer, of course, on the south coast.
The evenings are cooler: especially in winter in Varadero (+18-20). By the way, and windy: the island resorts and Holguin in this regard is much preferable.
Currency and visas
The official currency of Cuba is peso. With it you can buy some goods: mainly souvenirs. Well, and fruit and vegetables in the markets in remote villages. For all other purposes, other pesos are used on the island: Convertible or Cookie (CUC).
The exchange rate of such currency is 25 ordinary pesos. To get a cookie tourists are forced to change the euro (the rate is almost 1 to 1) – for the conversion of cash USD on the island still take a commission of 10%. It is easiest to do it right at the airport – it will be less profitable at the hotel… if at all.
By the way, be careful not to get a regular peso: convertible pesos have a sign peso converteritle. Cubans are hospitable and friendly people. Always ready to help, especially when it comes to helping Russian tourists! But poor, looking for any opportunity to make money.
Visa to visit the island Russian citizens do not need – if the trip will last no longer than 30 days. Upon entry, you must present only a passport, which will be decorated with a stamp. And two copies of migration card (the second is given when leaving the country). They may check for return plane tickets and financial solvency. This is if you travel by yourself, ignoring the travel agencies.
What to do
A trip to Havana is a must, although from Cayo Largo, for example, it’s not so easy. The capital of Cuba was once the most important Spanish city in America, one might say, the outpost. And it has a corresponding colonial spirit: there are many old buildings.
Most of which, alas, are in terrible condition. But there are also quite charming streets – wealthy gentlemen are still found here. Former glitter and modern poverty, or how fades luxury. Not a bad topic for an author’s tour, don’t you think?
There are a couple of towns on the south coast of the island that are wonderfully interesting. We’re talking about:
Cuba’s 10 Best Resorts
Resorts in Cuba are becoming more and more popular with Russians every year. You can come here at any time of the year. When in Russia it is rainy autumn or freezing winter the friendly “island of Liberty” will welcome guests with hot sun, clean beaches and warm sea.
In this tour will be affordable, which can not be said about rest in luxury exotic resorts. The island has a lot of natural and architectural attractions, the local climate is well tolerated even by children, so that the trip will benefit the whole family. Which resort is best to stay at?
This is where most Russians vacation. It is very convenient. After a long tiring flight and arrival in Havana, it is not difficult to take a cab and get to Varadero in an hour and a half. Tourists are met here by endless beaches (total length of about 25 km), as well as first-class hotels and infrastructure.
Everything here is focused on bringing guests as much pleasure as possible. You can take a ride in a vintage car or horseback riding, sail on a yacht or catamaran, visit the nearby islands, learn how to dance Cuban dances and demonstrate your skills at the disco. Diving, surfing, and beach sports are also on offer.
No doubt adults and children alike will love the clearest sea water with a rich turquoise hue. The hot climate is softened by the constant blowing winds. You will be able to appreciate in all variety of excellent Cuban cuisine.
Do not miss the Al Kapone restaurant (the home of the famous mafioso) and try the lobster and shrimp. There is a full program of excursions. On your own you can visit the Museum of rum, stroll through the stores, buy souvenirs.
– The Rum Collection offers many interesting entertainment programs, Children`s Club and Kids` Club, a restaurant serving various delicacies and international cuisine, thematic bars and cafeterias – located on the beachfront, SPA-Center Sensations, diving center, dance lessons, professional shows, children`s pool for adults only (18+), evening entertainment, night club, 5 la carte restaurants, 3 outdoor freshwater pools, 3 tennis courts
The island gets its name from the bird that lives there. The easiest way to Cayo Coco is from Varadero. Rest at the resort is truly luxurious. There are a lot of first-class hotels, the widespread option “all inclusive”. So guests do not have to worry about anything. If you want to save money, you can stay in the interior of the island in the village of Moron, hotels there are budget – and go to the sea every day.
Cayo Coco attracts tourists a combination of first-class service and nature, which seems to not yet touched by civilization. It is home to many birds and mammals, a national park, you can do rock climbing and mountain climbing.
Children and adults will love the flamingos, there are so many that they walk on the lawns as pets, and when they rise into the sky, it all seems pink. Not far from the island is a coral reef, which resembles a huge aquarium, so diving will be really exciting.
Local beaches are among the best in Cuba, they impress with their purity. Local spas and fitness centers are also well-known. Recently, Cayo Coco Airport appeared to meet modern requirements. So you can fly here directly from Havana.
– Some bungalows are on platforms in the lagoon, a shady area with lounge chairs, complimentary honeymooners, entertainment and themed shows, 8 bars, special dinners on the beach are organized – a total area of 120,000 sq. m, direct access to the beach, 7 bars, mini zoo, game room for children 4 to 12 years old, separate area for adults only (18+) – located in the resort area of Hardines del Rey, romantic dinners on the beach, entertainment programs for adults and children, 24-hour snack bar and beverage service
It is located about 80 km south of the Big Island. The best way to get here is from Varadero or Havana. There is no local population as such, Cubans come here to work in the hotels. Hotels here are mostly 4-star.
As for tourists, Cayo Largo is chosen mainly by “gourmets vacation. There are wonderful beaches with white sand, beautiful nature, and during scuba diving you can see the magnificent underwater world. Keep in mind that the water here is so transparent, that you can get a tan, even swimming in the sea.
Parents with young children, couples in love and middle-aged people will like it here. Each hotel is a mini-town, provided entertainment for children, adults will enjoy excellent Cuban cuisine.
It is especially pleasant to come here during those months when it is winter in Russia, and here the summer reigns serene, you will feel like you were transported to another planet.
This is a true paradise where you can have a great vacation. The island is connected to Cayo Coco by a highway. The hotels here are first class and offer an all-inclusive option. From morning to evening animators work, various parties are held, live music is played.
The glory of the island brought its beaches with snow-white sand. You get the impression that here had not set a foot man, so good nature.
The sea is warm and has an unusual color. It seems that there are all shades of blue and green. Here is a very good vacation with children, as strong waves in these places does not happen, and the sand will not burn your feet, even in the hottest time of day. On the island there is an atmosphere of peace and tranquility.
It was quite appreciated by the great Hemingway, who came here to work on the novel “Islands in the Ocean. You can go scuba diving, and those who love dolphins can visit the local dolphinarium and swim with these amazing animals.
– The Seven Seasons are all inclusive, a team of animators, children’s camp, a pool with rides, 4 themed restaurants, dance lessons – 2 a la carte restaurants, 6 bars, a mini club for children from 2-12 years, 3 outdoor pools, gym, bowling, day and evening animation – 4 a la carte restaurants, 8 bars, snack bar open 24 hours, premium drinks, animation, disco, dance lessons and Spanish, aquafitness
Cayo Santa Maria
A small island that is fast becoming a fashionable resort. You can get here by plane from Havana – it takes less than an hour, or you can come by car – in this case you will spend about 5 hours on the road.
All hotels here are categorized 4* or 5* and work on an “all inclusive” program. You will find an extensive entertainment program, open spas, children’s clubs and animation. Local restaurants and cafes are also above all praise.
You can rent a scooter, bike or car and travel around the island on their own. See enormous turtles, exotic crabs, birds, and iguanas. There are luxurious beaches, where you can relax with children – the sea is shallow, the sand is clean, almost no waves.
Prices are a little higher than in Cayo Coco, because all the goods are imported. Nevertheless, you can eat a lot of fruit, taste the real Cuban rum, buy souvenirs. Also be sure to visit the Museum of Che Guevara, there are very interesting exhibits.
One of the most popular Cuban vacation areas, which is located in the northeast of the country. You can fly to Havana and from there you can get to Holguín by plane or bus. Hotels here – for all tastes and wallets. You can choose a 5* hotel, or stay at a hostel. Everywhere the staff will make sure that your vacation will not be spoiled.
The province has excellent beaches, especially the famous Emerald, which got its name because of the color of the water. Here are the best hotels. The water temperature even in the winter months reaches +27C, so that even small children can swim.
You can ride a yacht, rent a catamaran, scuba dive. There is almost no nightlife in Olguin, but families with children will feel great here. Attractions are few, but they are there.
You can climb the hill of Christ – there are 458 steps, but from a height of an amazing view. Tourists will also be offered to visit the burial of the Aborigines, go to the ancient cathedral of San Isidoro, visit waterfalls and the reserve, famous for its dolphinarium.
Located in the northeast of the country and is considered one of the best resorts. These places are also favored by pink flamingos, so you will no doubt see them regularly. The gorgeous clean beach will appeal to tourists of all ages. But scuba diving, or at least snorkeling, is a particular treat. You can see the many underwater inhabitants of coral reefs.
You will feel like you are swimming in a huge aquarium. Also in this area there are a lot of shipwrecks, many of which are perfectly preserved. You can dive into the sea and look at them closely. You can also go shark diving. You will be close to the predatory fish and watch as the instructor feeds them.
Guests are offered accommodation in first-class hotels. But do not spend all the time even in the best hotels. Nearby is the interesting old town of Camagüey. In the 17th century pirate Henry Morgan started a fire here, and since then the town is a veritable maze – with narrow streets and picturesque houses. In short, you’ll find both beach vacations and fascinating excursions here.
When heading to the capital of Cuba, tune in to be immersed in an amazing world. After all, Havana – a real museum under the open sky. To be able to see its main attractions – the trip should last at least a week. Old houses and modern streets with their stores, homely cozy little cafes and fashionable restaurants, hotels for every taste and purse – that’s all Havana.
Watch locals talk to each other through the windows (glass is rare here), watch incendiary street performances, try some of Cuba’s delicious food, store and enjoy the major shopping malls. It is in Havana, you will be offered the largest selection of excursions, here you can buy any souvenirs – from cigarettes and rum in unusual bottles to the creations of the local craftsmen.
You can take a train ride on the old railroad, go to explore the nature reserves. As for the beach holiday – it all depends on you. If you like clean and secluded beaches – you can always take a cab and go to the nearest resorts, as the beaches of Havana are usually crowded.
– Located in Miramar, bus to the beach 3 times a day, live music in the lobby bar, freshwater pool, weddings – main building and bungalow complex, evening entertainment, disco, 2 outdoor pools
A very interesting city in the east of the country. And not all tourists know about it – for a long time this place was isolated from the rest of Cuba, to get here could only be by sea. Later, a highway was laid. The city was founded in the early 16th century.
Nearby is the site where Columbus landed in the late 15th century. The local cathedral keeps the cross that, according to legend, he put on the shore. It’s a picturesque place, with a mountain with a flat top that translates as “anvil”.
There are rivers, waterfalls and a beach with black sand. This area is home to the world’s smallest frogs. Historical attractions also suffice – there are many monuments of the colonial era. Baracoa also specializes in the production of chocolate. You can also enjoy delicious fish dishes served with coconut milk.
Cienfuegos is quite a modern city. That means comfortable hotels and well-developed infrastructure are waiting for you. But there are historical neighborhoods here as well. You can also get acquainted with the life of the locals, visit, for example, an Indian village standing on the water. Beach vacation also does not disappoint. The sea is warm and shallow, the sand is clean.
Those who like to do scuba diving, will delight the prices for diving, they are much lower than, for example, in Varadero. Children will like a trip to the crocodile farm. Here you can not only see the reptiles of all ages, but also to buy very interesting souvenirs. There is a reserve of birds in the neighborhood. You are also sure to see huge starfish. Cuba is hospitable at any time of year and always welcomes tourists.