Varadero, Remedios and Cayo Santa Maria

Our first town in Cuba was Varadero. After a long flight and a long ride (around 2,5h) from Havana airport three of us have reached our first casa. We were very tired but very hungry as well, so we went out to search for a place for dinner. We got recommended one restaurant and as we liked it quite a lot we ended up spending there every night in the next two days. The food was good and our mojitos were delicious!

Bienvenidos a Cuba!

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Our first mojito in Cuba

Varadero is a resort town with amazing beaches. The majority of hotels seems to be located in the end of the peninsula, a bit out of the town itself. This is why the beach in the middle of the town was almost empty! I don’t know if my assumption about the main crowds in the hotel zone is correct, but I was very surprised to have so much space on the beach just for ourselves. The color of the water was surreal, the sun was mild in the middle of December and water temperature was great! A bit refreshing, but pleasantly refreshing! On our second day after moving to another casa for all 6 of us we went straight to the beach to enjoy this paradise!

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Varadero beach

The only thing we were missing on the beach was some kind of service for food and drinks. There was nothing in sight where we could order cocktails, for example, but then again, this made the place more quiet and authentic.

There is nothing really to see in Varadero apart from the gorgeous shore line, so we spent our two days fully enjoying beach time. In the end of our second day we went to the bus station to arrange us transport for the next day. That was an experience in itself! The bus station was empty and closed, but there was one man and I started talking to him. Soon he called someone from car rental service and that someone called someone else and found us a driver with an old American car to bring six of us to our next destination in Remedios. They tried to explain us what this American car would look like, but till the moment we saw it next morning we had no idea. We gave our address in Varadero, agreed on the pickup time for tomorrow and went to our casa with this street deal. We were a bit scared about the car (how can it accommodate six people with luggage?), but decided to trust the process =) As for the price, we agreed on 180 CUC (1 CUC = 1 USD) for the car (246km, around 4h driving).

Every decent Cuban house has a terrace and rocking chairs, it’s a must for a happy and relaxed Cuba life 🙂

On the next day even ahead of the agreed time our taxi was standing right in front of our casa. Let the journey begin!

Our first Cuban taxi – Ford 1958 (?)

The car looked better than we expected and indeed could fit all of us and our luggage. 2 persons on the front row, 3 on the second row and one person in the back. Not very comfortable, but quite okay. Every ride in a Cuban taxi is accompanied by latin music, mostly reggaeton. We found it delightful and sang along such hits as Me enamoré and Despacito.

After four hours of driving and some winding around Remedios we have finally arrived to our second destination. It is a small cute colonial town, less touristic than Trinidad, but with its own charm. We loved walking the streets with no plan and direction, just taking pictures of colorful houses and observing local life in the province.

Cuban children in Remedios
Cuban children in Remedios
Showing local kids their pictures in Remedios, Cuba
Showing local kids their pictures

The next day we had a delicious family breakfast in casa.

In the beginning we planned to stay one night in Remedios and two nights in Cayo Santa Maria. But we came to realize that there were no casas particulares to rent there, only expensive hotels. So we decided to go for a one day trip to the beach and add one night in Trinidad. In fact that was probably the best decision. It only took one hour to get to the beach and we arranged a taxi to bring us there in the morning, wait for us and then bring us home in the evening. Just 10 CUC per person for the whole service.

Beach in Cayo Santa Maria was super awesome! The entrance with sunbeds and one cocktail was 5 CUC only! And again the beach was almost empty. I loved-loved-loved that day on the beach! We swam in the ocean, played volleyball, sipped cocktails and relaxed … A dream!

On the next day we continued exploring Remedios.

Remedios, Cuba

Horse carriage in Remedios, Cuba
Horse carriages are still a vital mean of transport in Cuba

In the afternoon the girls arranged us two taxis to Trinidad (70CUC per taxi for 3 persons, 115 km, 2h). From now on we decided to improve our level of comfort and started travelling in 2 taxis, each for 3 of us. The cars were new (not old timers) and the girls found them on the main square by talking to the drivers. Before that we tried the bus station as well, but there were only local people and old buses.

Stay tuned for the next post on Trinidad 🙂

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