I really wish we starting writing blogs and vlogging on YouTube before we went to Cuba. That way we could share a way better experience with you guys! Hopefully next time, whenever we go on a trip, we’ll be ready.
The idea of going to Cuba came to us on April, 2018. We wanted an affordable trip that our friends and I could go to. Before that, we only really went from Toronto to Montreal (many times) and Toronto to New York with friends but never anywhere far. This was our chance. We tried to get as many friends together as possible but in the end only us three were down to go. Us three being: Omer, Alejandro, and Zaroon (me!).
We booked our trip for the end of August till early September. This was the low season and we saved a lot of money. We booked 4 months in advanced and got a good all-inclusive deal for a 4-star resort called Memories Jibacoa. The resort even upgraded us to the diamond club, which gave us some extra features, all for free. We booked our trip through pctravel.ca, but I would recommended booking from sunwing.ca or even Expedia. Sunwing.ca has last minute deals too and good discounts as well. They offer all-inclusive packages, flights and more. Although, Sunwing might only be for North Americans. (Btw, I am not being paid by any of these companies, just wanted to share some info).
In terms of pricing, we paid $1375 CAD per person. $875 was for the all-inclusive resort, flight and airport bus transfers. $500 was just extra cash. We used that for our two-night stay in Havana, food, nightlife, activities and more.
For Omer and I, it was our first time in Cuba and we gotta say we truly loved every moment of it. We thought one week would be less but it was awesome. Memories Jibacoa was a really good resort, had a nice beach, mountain view, spas, tennis courts, jacuzzis, pool, and more. If you travel with Sunwing, there is a Sunwing representative at your resort who is there every morning. So if you want to book any activities for an extra cost, or if you want to get an Airbnb somewhere else, they are the person to go to. This is where we booked our Jeep Tour that included: going to a farm, trying fresh fruits and the sweetest and freshest sugarcane juice, a chance to buy cigars, trying local foods, going horseback riding and driving a boat and more!
I never thought I could do horseback riding by myself or even drive a boat. But in Cuba, anything is possible.
People say the food in Cuba is bad, but boy are they wrong. The resort food was good. But the best food we had were at the local restaurants out of the resort. In terms of Halal options, we really could just eat the seafood and vegetables at the resort and outside. I loved how the traditional Cuban food is usually served with yellow rice, black beans and plantains, you gotta try it!
When we first arrived at our resort, we didn’t plan on going to different cities. Although, after finding out we could rent taxis for a decent price, we booked one for our trip to Havana for two-nights. There we got an airbnb and man do I have to tell you how beautiful Havana is. It’s like traveling back to 1960s with all the vintage cars and huge palaces. To add on, when you go Havana, you should check out the bars and clubs, it’s pretty lively. We even went to this one club where we seen Cuban celebrities, it was epic. Our Airbnb host got us in. At another time, our waiter after serving us food, took the day off just to go to a local club with us. That was the funniest thing that ever happened. Nice to meet you, Carlos!
On a side note, if you speak Spanish it can be very useful especially outside of the resort. Most people speak English but seems like they don’t like it lol. Good thing we had our friend, Alejandro, (a fluent Spanish speaker) with us. He made it much easier for us and became our translator.
In terms of the weather, when we went around late August to early September, it was nice and warm. Although, there was the occasional rain. Usually, August and October is the hurricane season but we got lucky.
Overall, Cuba is a very safe place to go, probably one of the safest Latin American countries. The locals are very hospitable and super nice. Although, there is a lot of poverty in Cuba due to the government system. It is always good to bring new clothes, accessories, cosmetics and more, so that you can give it to the locals. They will really appreciate that and you don’t have to buy expansive brands either. Also, remember to give out tips to taxis, waiters/waitress and more.
For tourists, the currency is different than the local currency, making it more expensive for us. Flying from Toronto, Canada to Cuba takes about 3 hours and 30 minutes, which is crazy fast if you think about it. Going from Toronto to Vancouver takes longer, is very expensive, and it’s in the same country. Canadian airlines need to makes local flights in Canada cheaper!
That’s all! Thanks for reading. Please like, subscribe, share and check out our Youtube video!! Click here!
In the meantime, check out this Spanish song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zEf423kYfqk . This was popin in Cuba and has 700 million + views on YouTube :o.
Lastly, I would like to say my heart is still in Havana!