My Cuban experience In Santa Lucia…

Started with a Canjet flight into Camaguey, Cuba, on November 1st, 2012, full of glorious sunshine and a warm 28 degrees on touchdown.

After a swift customs process, I took a very bumpy and long 2 hour transfer through narrow winding roads towards Santa Lucia.  Much of the countryside on the way had lots of livestock in the fields and many vehicles on the roads were from the 1950’s era.  This brought back fond memories of the muscle car that I used to own.

Ah, finally…

Arrival at the Brisas Santa Lucia, a 3 ½ star  all inclusive resort located directly on the beach.  This location is excellent for divers.  Santa Lucia is home to the second largest Coral reef in the world, so  with 35 diving points, Brisas cleverly built a dive shop right on the beach.  And if diving is your passion, ask to stay in the rooms closest to this area.  The resort itself was quiet and so I was able to find an abundance of loungers and palapas on the beach.  The french fries from the beach grill were a welcome treat as well as beach towels and a bottle of rum waiting in my room.  The Brisas Santa Lucia is designated as Nolizone with Nolitours.  This means clients can come here for “the experience”, the experience to meet locals and learn their culture and way of life inside their community or even participate in humanitarian type activities such as helping to paint a local school.

Important things to remember…

You will need to bring your electrical adaptor to use items such as your flat iron or hair dryer (220V in Cuba).

And to call home, a Canadian $20 bill will buy you a calling card for about 20 minutes.

All food and drink is primarily Cuban, no outside brands like Pepsi, my weakness 🙁  

It is unsafe to drink the water from the tap or use it to brush your teeth.

A 25 cuc (convertible pesos) departure tax will be charged after you check your luggage and before you speak with immigration when leaving the country.  Most tour operators will include this in their package, but check to be sure.

Other Nolizone resorts I visited were…

Club Amigo Caracol, a 3 star property with a natural unspoiled beach which I recommend for older active couples looking for a quiet property.

Club Amigo Mayanabo, a 2 ½ star property with covered walkways, new beach loungers, 1 a la carte restaurant, an entertainment area, gym and souvenir shop.  This property is excellent for active seniors looking for longer than the usual 1 week stay.  The hike to the beach is about 100 ft, and the coral reef about 400 metres away.

My Cuban experience was an unforgettable one.  I visited the town of Nuevitas and will forever remember a show given by very talented musicians and dancers.  I also took my very first  catamaran ride on an excursion into Playa Bonita, a gorgeous soft white powdery beach.  I participated in a city tour of Camaguey which included lunch at Colonial restaurant.  The meal  was accompanied with live Cuban music.  Mostly I was fascinated by the architecture of the 18th century buildings which were once the property of distinguished Camaguey families.

Adios Cuba!