It’s hard to deny it, but now that I’ve returned from my trip to Cuba, I realise how a country gets under your skin and how Colourful and Charismatic Cuba is.
All these Cs again – Coffee, Cigars, Che, Communism and Classic Cars. So, let me tell you about my first impression of our latest Archipelago Choice Destination.
Imagine someone throwing pots of pastel-coloured Dulux paint from the sky and it hits all the newly renovated and dilapidated buildings that are scattered around the country. Then sweep the surrounding beaches until they’re completely white and stir the seas until they’re aquamarine blue – well that’s the island of Cuba.
Add people who love to sing, dance, play music, smoke cigars and drink their favourite refreshment which contains lots of vitamin R. And voilà, you have the country Cuba!
The first week had been a bit of a whirlwind, visiting places like Havana with its amazing architecture and vibrant nightlife, strolling along the cobbled streets of Trinidad and dancing the night away at the Casa de la Trova in Santiago with live music.
Ignore the stories that claim that Cuban food is bland. On the contrary, I was pleasantly surprised by the variety on offer in the restaurants or paladares (small private restaurants). There was nothing bland about the Ropa Vieja, a typical Cuban dish of shredded beef with vegetables or plantain, or the delicious pizza with juicy prawns and lobster.
In my second week, we drove around the western part of the island on my own and visited Vinales with its impressive mogotes and underground caves. In this area, the farmers still work the land without any machinery, but plow the land with bulls and grow the crops (fruit, vegetables, coffee and tobacco) using traditional farming techniques.
One of the hotels I stayed in was the Hotel Moka in Las Terrazas, Cuba’s first eco-village inside the Sierra del Rosario biosphere reserve. This hotel is quite unique, as it’s built around trees – a massive tree can be found in the middle of the reception area.
My last two days were spent in Playa Larga where I stayed right on the beach in a Casa Particular (a Cuban version of the English B&B) and was looked after by Kiki and his family. It’s was the perfect stay at the end of an amazing trip.
Over the next few weeks, I’ll be writing more blogs about Cuba, and if you’re interested in seeing it all for yourself, then please do contact me for a chat on 01768 721040, or drop me a an email. I’ll be more than happy to give advice and to put a bespoke itinerary together for you.
Hasta la Vista!