Two years ago, James, my amazing husband, surprised me with a packaged trip to Cuba for Christmas.  Our trip was booked for January 12, 2016 to January 20, 2016.  When we left our home (at the time we were living in Canada) on the 12th, we had to deal with freezing temperatures and a blinding snow storm in order to make it to the airport.  After making it to Pearson Airport in Toronto Ontario, we caught a couple hours of sleep on the seats as we waited for our flight.  We arrived in Cuba on January 13th at 10 am, it had just stopped raining and was cloudy…but it was HOT.  We loved it already!

We found our shuttle easily and we were on our way to Memories Jibacoa.  On the way we made a stop at popular roadside establishment, where we enjoyed a spectacular view, met some of the locals and could purchase local wares and a Pina Colada.

Memories Jibacoa…

The hotel was amazing, light and airy, open with the hills at the back of the hotel and the sweeping ocean in front, we were in paradise. The main lobby was bright and clean, with large open windows and stained glass borders it allowed an impressive view of their courtyard and beach front. We were offered a beverage as we were checking in and exchanging our currency.  Our room was also very clean and bright, white walls and floor, with bright bedding, curtains and accessories. Everything we needed was there including a safe to keep our travel documents in. The bed was comfortable and the water was hot for showering. The slideshow below shows some of the pics that we took in and of the hotel.

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The Wildlife…

The week that we were there, unfortunately the weather was not in our favor most days so we did not have a chance to snorkel at the hotel, but we were able to still see a lot of beautiful things.

Day Trip One – HAVANA…

I had always heard that Havana is a city set in the past.  A city of great history, culture and of times gone by.  We took a bus to Havana as one of the trips you can book while at Memories Jibacoa.  The city is remarkable! The people, the buildings, the colors, the smells, everything is so alive. As we walked the streets, we were in awe, nothing would have prepared us.  You really have to see it and to walk around to understand the feelings.

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Day 2 Trip – The Jeep experience

We booked this trip on the 16th, my birthday…What a day!  There was a group of us and we all loaded into different jeeps, we had a driver for our jeep so we were really able to look around.  We drove through many towns and through an amazing countryside, our first stop was for Pina Colada’s of course. They Cuban family that owned the first farm was really nice and hard working.  While we were there they were making mugs out of long stocks of bamboo.  We purchased 2 of them and they came filled with yummy Pina Colada.  Next we enjoyed a boat ride on one of their rivers, the weather was warm and the view was speculator. When we reached the shore again, we had a beverage and had the joy of experiencing a native dance.  Back into the jeeps and over to the oceans edge.  We went snorkeling,  my first time ever.  We loved it, the water was warm and you could see sooo much. After a full morning we arrived at a coffee farm for lunch.  We had a traditionally prepared Cuban lunch followed by coffee and took a scenic horseback ride around the farm. Once we were done with our horses we loaded back into our jeeps and found ourselves at a freshwater underground cave, our last stop.  The water was cold but really refreshing.  The cave and all the colors in the cave and water was truly wonderful.  Our day was beyond words, it was perfect.

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The people that we met and talked to were always very kind.  Whether on or off of the resort the people always had a smile.  They would wave, say hi and go on their way.  We were asked to share our left over items (shampoo, soap etc.) when we checked out, but we never felt harassed.  We were happy to share.

The Countryside…

As we drove around on our many trips out, we were able to take in the breathtaking beauty of the Cuban Country, and of our hotel area.

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If you are ever considering a trip to Cuba, then go!  We enjoyed ever part of it. The food was amazing and full of flavor everywhere we went. We had a choice a regular foods including bacon, chicken, fish, pork, beef, pasta’s and seafood.  We never need extra salt, spice or hot sauce to supplement the flavor, the cooks always did a fabulous job.  The wine during dinner and the coffee after dinner were available and free flowing.

Off resort you do need to carry coins with you as if you need the washroom it will cost you a coin or two for some toilet paper.  It’s not a big deal and keep in mind, you are supporting someone when you purchase your handful.

Thank you to everyone who helped make our trip to Cuba a time that we will never forget.  We hope to return again, but next time maybe we will set sail and arrive by sailboat.

James and Tammy

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