Friday, 6 April 2012

Varadero, Cuba at the last minute

by Keith and Heather Nicol
      We had decided to have a look at trips to Cuba on March 24, 2012 and picked up a couple of booklets dealing with accommodations from our local Legrow's travel agent. We then had another discussion the next day about her recommendations and she said "If you can go on short notice we often get last minute cancellations that we then try to fill as quickly as possible. "Would that work for you? " she asked us. "Sure" we replied. But little did we know that 3 days later we would get a call asking us if we wanted to go the Playa Caleta Hotel in Varadero, Cuba for a great price and it didn't take us too long to say "Yes, please". And we were leaving the next day early in the morning so we spent the day getting organized and before we knew it we were on a Sunwing 737 touching down in Cuba.

The beach was lovely and the water perfect for swimming
       We spent most of the time at the resort since the beach and water were amazing for swimming and we could go snorkeling and go for sail when we wanted a change. We expected to see the old U.S. cars but certainly did not expect to see so many of them. They were everywhere and in generally great shape. We did do a double decker bus trip around Varadero to see the main road and stopped to do some souvenir shopping downtown, but the heat quickly drove back to the beach at our resort. Temperatures were typically in the high 20 C's so and we had only one short down pour of rain in the week we were there (March 28-April 4, 2012).
Heather checking out one of the old U.S. cars that is now a taxi
        We found the Playa Caleta to be clean, the staff were generally friendly, and the food was fine. Most people agreed that  "You can always find something to eat". The Playa Caleta is located at the far end of Varadero so if you want to be in the downtown action this isn't the place to be but the upside is that we could see locals fishing from shore or fishermen throwing their nets in the early morning in the lagoon adjacent to the hotel so that gave us some local flavour.
The pool was also clean and comfortable


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