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Can anyone advise about Cuba. I am going there in September for vacation with my wife. We will at a resort in Varadero. We are going for a week. What are the things we can do outside the resort?
 

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Well, Varadero is easily the most 'touristy' and wealthy-looking part of the country, so you should have plenty to see and do. Lot's of police patrols throughout the city, and I generally felt safe walking around town, even at night. Since it is a tourist town, you have to watch out for the usual scams and avoid back alleys. Also, since you're going in September, there is a greater chance that your trip might be ruined by poor weather (rain and wind), since it is the heart of the hurricane season.....but you could easily luck-out. Two things about Cuba: One, there are sand fleas in the beach sand, so spraying bug repellent on your lower legs will reduce the number of bites (they are harmless, I think, just look worse on some people than others). Two, because it's Cuba, power outages are possible for brief periods of time (even on the resorts, especially low-star ones). The fact that you're going in peak hurricane season makes it more likely. Generally, I found that a 4-star resort in Cuba is no more than a 3-star in another Caribbean country like Jamaica or the Dominican Republic.
 

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as an American, it blew my mind a few years ago when I learned people from other countries vacationed in Cuba.
Cuba is a very popular all-inclusive resort destination for Canadians. It is the cheapest option of all the Caribbean destinations. You guys are missing out.
 

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As someone who lived in Cuba and has family in Varadero, I just want to tell you that everything Marbur66 said is right. Crime (such as robbery, murders, etc) is pretty much non-existent in Cuba, so the most "dangerous" crime you must be cautious with is with some possible scam, or merchants trying to get a little more money from you.
In Varadero, if you can't go te the beach because of weather or because you are just bored of the city's beaches (if that's even possible) there are plenty of restaurants (like Al Capone's old summer house that has been turned into a restaurant called "Casa de Al" or "Al's House"), bars and some places where you can go to dance. There's a bar where they only play The Beattles songs, for example.
If you go with enough money, you can go paragliding departing from a small airfield where they store the planes just in front of the bridge that crosses the canal and connects the peninsula to the mainland (half of the airstrip is not used and open to the public, so you must just walk till it's end and there you will find the small airfield).
There are two small shopping-like places, one is underground but with big access stairs that you can't miss (it's in a small plaza), and the other is by the end of the residential part of the peninsula next to a gas station and in front of a parking lot.
Something else I recommend is just walking the city, it's a really beautiful place and it has a lot of street markets where you can buy pretty nice things for a low price.
That's all I can remember for now, I hope to have helped you :D
 

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***H***
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I would never go to the communist Cuba. Spending money there is amoral and supporting the regime.
 

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Derp?
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^^
And if you go to the US you may help finance their War on Terror, if you go to Greece, Eastern Europe, South Africa, Thailand or Cambodia (to name just a few affected tourist destinations at random) your money may end up in the coffers of corrupt officials, if you go to China you may finance the Communist regime or corrupt individuals, if you go to Myanmar you may give money to the military junta, if you go to.... (I guess you get the idea...)
In the end you are spending your money and no one else, and although you don't have full control over where your money ends up and sometimes you have no choice, every penny spent at local travel agencies/companies, stores, restaurants, home stays, on tips or donations, etc. etc. is a penny that ends up in the hands of the general population. And they will be better off for it...
 

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***H***
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^^
And if you go to the US you may help finance their War on Terror, if you go to Greece, Eastern Europe, South Africa, Thailand or Cambodia (to name just a few affected tourist destinations at random) your money may end up in the coffers of corrupt officials, if you go to China you may finance the Communist regime or corrupt individuals, if you go to Myanmar you may give money to the military junta, if you go to.... (I guess you get the idea...)
In the end you are spending your money and no one else, and although you don't have full control over where your money ends up and sometimes you have no choice, every penny spent at local travel agencies/companies, stores, restaurants, home stays, on tips or donations, etc. etc. is a penny that ends up in the hands of the general population. And they will be better off for it...
The difference between your position and my position is that you think that there is no choice. But I say that there is. And I think tourists do harm to Cuba.
 

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Derp?
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The difference between your position and my position is that you think that there is no choice. But I say that there is. And I think tourists do harm to Cuba.
No choice in what? Maybe you misunderstood, maybe my wording wasn't clear, or maybe I misunderstand your remark, but what I tried to say is that you do have a choice how and where to spend your money. Crony-run hotel/store or home stay/mom and pop shop, government-run travel agency or private company, chain restaurant or local eatery - to a good extent the way you spend your money is up to you.
 

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Lord of Legoland
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Poverty aside I've only heard good things from friends and coworkers who went there ( fairly popular destination among Danes )

I would never go to the communist Cuba. Spending money there is amoral and supporting the regime.
What is wrong in supporting the regime? The money Cuba makes is spend on the citizens - I wish that was true in all developing nations!

We could debate Bastista, but I honestly think you are too ignorent about it to be worth my time - Castro's fight was against a terrible military dictatorship that had claimed the life of more than 20.000 civilians and lived off drug and CIA money from the US - I guess that sounds great in your ears but I doubt it would if you had to suffer it..

Not gonna say Castro's Cuba is perfect because it certainly isn't - but it is by far the better of two evils and if it ever is to develop it needs money flowing and why not through tourism like so many other nations in the region? Where is the harm is spending money in a place that needs money?

( where would the Baltic be if the 1st world countries hadn't felt sorry for that in it's time of need? )
 

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Ahí vamos pa´lante
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Poverty aside I've only heard good things from friends and coworkers who went there ( fairly popular destination among Danes )



What is wrong in supporting the regime? The money Cuba makes is spend on the citizens - I wish that was true in all developing nations!

We could debate Bastista, but I honestly think you are too ignorent about it to be worth my time - Castro's fight was against a terrible military dictatorship that had claimed the life of more than 20.000 civilians and lived off drug and CIA money from the US - I guess that sounds great in your ears but I doubt it would if you had to suffer it..

Not gonna say Castro's Cuba is perfect because it certainly isn't - but it is by far the better of two evils and if it ever is to develop it needs money flowing and why not through tourism like so many other nations in the region? Where is the harm is spending money in a place that needs money?

( where would the Baltic be if the 1st world countries hadn't felt sorry for that in it's time of need? )

:applause::applause::applause::applause::applause::applause::applause::applause::applause::applause::cheers1::master:
 

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Cuba is an amazing country. One of the most beautiful countries in the world. It's a pity most tourists only go for a week to Varadero and Havana in a package holiday. The country is one of the safest in the world. And there are incredible landscapes, mountains, forests, beaches, colonial cities, friendly people...

Old Havana is a jewel that is slowly recovering her bright after decades of neglect (Thanks to international cooperation: Spain, Canada,...). A day-excursion from Varadero is a very good idea.
If you can see a little and beautiful colonial town you could go to Trinidad. There are day-excursions from Varadero. The colorful houses and the architecture is amazing.

But please dont think as a naive tourist in a tropical paradise with naive people. In Cuba tourism is the main source of income (for most people is the only one). So if you are a tourist you mean money for a lot of cuban people. So, if there are a men or woman dressed with traditional clothes (or something like that) and you take a photo with him/her you should pay it (and in dollars, not in sweets or pencils...). Because it's his/her job. It's only an example.

About politics is a different topic, so I only say that the regime is supported by the "American embargo". Without the "embargo" the regime would fall very soon. Most people are against the regime and its only reason to exist is that there is an enemy (The US and its "embargo"). Remove the enemy and remove the regime.
Here in Spain, the tourism was the best allied against the dictatorship of Franco. Tourists brought new ideas, new mentality,... If Spain was isolated during the dictatorship we may still live in the same regime.

And I don't have any problem with fleas in Cuban beaches... but I was cover in mosquito repellent (my worst enemy in the animal world :) )
 
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