Cuba is an island that offers a lot to adults but how does Cuba measure up as a family holiday destination? Depending on your budget and the kind of family you are, you may either love or hate it; however, with a little forethought you should be able to accomplish the former!
Booking an all-inclusive package at a family-friendly hotel may be the obvious solution and first port of call for most. However, such places tend to be a certain distance from the “action” offered by Cuban cities like Havana with its crumbling Spanish architecture, classic American cars, party atmosphere and old ladies smoking large cigars on the Malecon.
A well-known example of family destination is Varadero with its own airport. Varadero offers whole family entertainment like the basic amusement Parque de Diversiones, Boat adventures for the hardy (vigorous trips aboard a motorized water craft through mangroves), a Dolphinarium and resort kid’s clubs. There’s also a Golf Club, a Spa and even Tropical Show (Matanzas) for adults.
In addition, a nearby nature reserve with virgin forests, some lovely beaches, the Hicacos (Peninsula) Point Natural Park with its Cave of Ambrosio, Mangon Lake, the ruins of the old Spanish La Calavera (The Skull) Salt Works and several off-shore cays (coral reef islands) like Cayo Piedras and Cayo Cruz del Padre in the Sabana-Camaguey archipelago. Quite a choice for all the family that would be hard to beat.
One possible solution to suit all would be to stick to the mainland and hire one of the great 50’s classic cars. Then, in addition to what the resort has to offer, you can also have trips like driving through the spectacular Cuchillas de Baracoa Mountains and visiting the oldest Spanish settlement in Cuba, Baracoa surrounded by plantations of cocoa trees near the eastern tip of the island.
Consider the food options, which although wonderful, as almost everything’s been either grown or caught in Cuba, may not be to everyone’s taste. From this point of view, kids may be happiest eating mostly at the resort.
So, basing yourself in a good resort and hiring a car, could well end up giving you the best of both worlds, allowing participation in resort entertainment and day trips to explore the surrounding area.. Just make sure you leave enough time to swim and snorkel in the warm waters of the turquoise seas.
Posted : Wednesday, October 6th, 2010 at 12:22
Karen Bryan is the founding editor of the UK based, multi author Europe a la Carte Blog which features Europe travel tips about the best places to visit in Europe.