I visited Cuba for the first time last month by myself; Let me tell you all about it!
When we booked the trip in mid November, it wasn’t a discounted fare but December was a lot cheaper than January or February for an all-inclusive trip. Dami booked the trip for me with Sunwing as he had been to Cuba before with them and wanted me to have the same experiences like Premium Plus Services on the plane, a private airport transfer and a full day excursion.
I didn’t have any high expectations and I was pleasantly surprised. Most complaints I heard from people at the resort was about the lack of variety at the buffet which is the same at most resorts in Cuba.
The Cayo Coco airport is small, a bit like the one we have in Moncton but the luggage carousel area is smaller and you really have to squeeze your way through to get to your luggage if it’s unloaded first. Waiting in line to go through Custom reinforced my view that it is a privilege to enter another country. In this day and age with globalization and the European Union, people seem to take travel freedoms for granted. I felt fortunate to be welcomed temporarily to get a glimpse of a country that has fought some of the influence and pressure from the rest of the world.
I got to my resort around noon and I had time to relax in the beautiful lobby with the gorgeous view of the ocean before going for lunch and then for a walk and finally checking in to my room around 4pm.
I had booked a regular view but requested an ocean view just in case and to my surprise I did see the ocean and even some waves between two buildings. I was very pleased. I also requested a top floor room in a quiet area and got those wishes too. Walking out to my balcony I heard roosters sing “Cayo Co-co!” What a welcome! The Resort had a hobby farm with chickens, ducks and rabbits with a herb and vegetable garden that also had banana and mango trees. It was tucked behind the Cuban À la Carte Restaurant and you had to know it was there as there was no path from the restaurant.
I thought I had no hot water for 24 hours but I was not turning the handle the right way… It’s happened a lot from what I heard. I had a sponge bath the first night and first morning but then one night there was a real outage and from 5pm to midnight there was nothing coming out of the faucets. I never found out what the problem was and I was curious as to what type of system they have. Did they get their water from a well or by aqueduct? None of the tourist or employees I asked knew.
I found the humidity a little too high for my liking but it wasn’t so bad that it would ruin my stay, just annoying; The mattress had a plastic cover that would trap moisture between yourself and the sheets but at least the mattress was protected. Otherwise I slept very well.
I had my cup water heater and with the 1.5 liter of bottled water provided daily I was able to make hot or cold teas in my room. To make iced tea I brought bags to make ice which is brilliant. I wasn’t sure there would be a freezer in the fridge and there was! It was big enough to hold the ice bags or ice packs.
The Pullman is a big resort and I didn’t mind all the walking at all. It took me five minutes to walk to the buffet so there and back three times a day was a healthy 30 minute walk plus all the walks on the beach and around the resort helped burn those buffet dessert calories. I loved sitting on the balcony people watching as they were walking to and from the beach, and the people checking in or checking out. The gardener was always making sure he had some kind words greeting passers by and many gave him things they had brought from home.
Behind my building was a lagoon that is also shared by the Melia next door. During my excursion to Moron, the main town of the area, I met two couples who were staying there and they really enjoyed it. I loved the lagoon. I spent more time sitting on the dock in the mangroves than sitting at the beach. The beach was beautiful but I preferred the peacefulness of the lagoon.
I stayed in touch with home using wi-fi cards for 1 cuc (1.30 cad) per hour. I wrote emails off-line, and texted after breakfast lunch and dinner with family. It sometimes felt strange to be by myself but it was so nice not having to cook or clean; I was very grateful for all the employees working so hard for us and tipped as often as I could without over doing it.
It was a great trip and I am glad I finally visited Cuba. I loved the Pullman Resort, the beach and the friendly people.
What to bring when you go to Cuba?
A sunhat like this one for women: https://amzn.to/2tTbj5z
Avène Thermal water spray; you’ll be so glad you brought this if there’s a water outage https://amzn.to/2sflrVX
Thin fast drying face cloths because they don’t provide any: https://amzn.to/2FLHpTv
A packable backpack like this one if you want to go on excursions https://amzn.to/30dp62Y
Of course, you need to bring sunblock! I just discovered this one after leaving mine behind to make room for souvenirs: for the face https://amzn.to/2t82e99, and for the body https://amzn.to/37Vn3U4
A mug for your warm beverages: https://amzn.to/3a0RpGv and a cup with a straw for your cold beverages https://amzn.to/2TeXzgr