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Why Jibacoa?

White City...
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Why Jibacoa?

Hi, husband and I are in our early 50s and are planning to visit Cuba for our first time in Feb, 2014. Bit overwhelmed on planning this trip as not sure what part of Cuba to visit ( we only have a week). We wish to visit Havana for a day but then would like to stay at a beach resort.We enjoy swimming, walking, snorkeling and escaping a Saskatchewan winter. My question is why did you choose to stay in Jibacoa rather than Varadero or other parts of Cuba? It looks like many of you are repeat visitors. This is your time to brag about how great Jibacoa is. :)

Thanks for your time!

Kitchener, Canada
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31. Re: Why Jibacoa?

super interesting thread... I wonder, is there anywhere to rent scooters around Jibacoa? or even a car?

Toronto, Canada
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32. Re: Why Jibacoa?

There used to be scooters at breezes. I believe the resort next door has rental scooters.

Montreal, Canada
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33. Re: Why Jibacoa?

Villas Jibacoa, next to Breezes jibacoa rents scooters and they also have cars. It's located right next to the security booth at the entrance of the resort.

Edited: 27 August 2013, 12:28
Ontario
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34. Re: Why Jibacoa?

"If eeefarm is out there - where were those lovely photos of fish and coral taken on the photobucket link you sent out regarding Don Lino frog sighting? Jibacoa or Don Lino"

I have posted links for both Don Lino and Jibacoa, so don't know which one you mean. But I certainly have Jibacoa albums! Here are a couple:

…photobucket.com/user/…

…photobucket.com/user/…

Bath, United Kingdom
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35. Re: Why Jibacoa?

Just back from our first trip to Cuba. We wanted to see Havana but did not want to stay in the biggest tourist resort in Cuba (Veradero) as we wanted to get a feel for real life in the towns and cities. After four days in Havana (which wasn't nearly enough) we went to BJ's and enjoyed the peaceful location. I was snorkelling for 3 hours every day - and like the post above, I love swimming, but I would rather don snorkel and mask when the reef is a stones throw away.

BJ's was fully booked for the whole time that we were there, but unlike larger resorts, there was still plenty of space and it didn't feel over crowded. There are pedalos, catamarans and a dive shop, so plenty of activities on and in the water. I also fished early morning and at night, as did a few other guests.

Didn't have any problem with sand flees, but we always used deet on walkabouts in the evenings, and I stood in the warm sea to fish under the stars for hours.

There are walks along the beach in both directions, past Cuban Campismo's, and a hike into the hills above BJ's arranged for a couple of afternoons a week. I also walked the beach roads and saw woodpeckers, geckos, cattle, horses and some beautiful tropical flowers - better than walking past hotel after hotel in Veradero, with exhaust fumes filling the air!

In my opinion, one day in Havana is not enough, if you can stretch it to two, you would get more from it, particularly if staying in Havana for two nights. On the other hand, it is only an hour by taxi from BJ's and you can rent a private taxi and a guide for a whole day for 70-80 CUC (one of our day trips was 12 hours from pick-up to drop-off). Choose your own agenda, or let the guide suggest some sites.

You are doing the right thing by researching before you go, but you have plenty of time for a pick-list of places to visit when you get here. Decide on the hotel and location and get it booked, before your first choice is fully booked.

Please read my (and others) reviews to get a rounded opinion.

Enjoy your trip - and expect the unexpected!

Cuba Libre.

Manchester, United...
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36. Re: Why Jibacoa?

If you like snorkeling then you will like Breezes. If you are expecting peace and quiet you will not find it at Breezes which is very good at marketing itself and is packed to capacity year round, it is excellent at selling itself and it is packed to capacity year round, even in the low season.

The beach is not great, nor are the beach beds, hard plastic which will give you a stiff back. The beaches of Varadero and Guardalavaca are much better, and both are better for swimming.

Unless you are a return visitor and have been to Breezes at least five times and crossed the front desk assistant's palm with many CUC's you will not have a hope in hell of being allocated a sea view, even if you've paid up front for one. Sea view rooms are scarce and ne ver meet the demand.

If you like activities such as Salsa, Spanish lessons, etc. you will not find them at Breezes Jibacoa, nor will you find decent coffee, not in the main restaurant where the coffee tastes like dishwater. People are creatures of habit hence the groundhog ritual of repeat visits for many guests. We felt there are much better hotels in Cuba with far more authentic Cuban atmosphere, we did not feel this at Breezes Jibacoa where it's a question of piling em high, packin 'em in. If you like Mohitos you will not find them at B.J. they are too penny pinching to splash out on mint.

Personally we preferent the ambience of the little 2 star hotel next door - Tropicos, where the welcome is warm, the Mohitos are great, and the coffee is as it should be - Cuban at it's best, strong and sweet, unlike the dishwater served at Breezes and passed off as 'Americano'. Never have we tasted such nasty coffee.

To each his own, if you are the type of tourist who wanders around with a 2 litre flask topping it up day and night then you will love Breezes. It was not for us.

Toronto, Canada
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37. Re: Why Jibacoa?

Chloe...what a negative review and of course you are entitled to your own opinion.

This will be my 13th visit out of over 30 Cuban holidays. It is is one of 4 of our Caribbean holidays every winter.. If I book and pay for an ocean view. I have always received one and I don't cross the palms of the front desk with silver. I do get to know the front desk and ask about their families and use their name when speaking with them. I have always found in dealing with people .... A little honey goes a lot further than vinegar.

Only rarely has there not been any mint for mohitos . I'm not a coffee drinker but love the cappuccino served in the lobby and stop here every morning for coffee.

The resort is always full but I never have a problem getting a chair by the beach or pool all though the prime spots do go early. I do wish they would change the beach chairs from the white hard ones.

I like the resort as it is small and compact and usually very quiet and peaceful. The beach has a combination of both trees and umbrellas for shade.

I do take an insulated mug...not 2 litres ....to keep my drink cold and to save the environment from the small plastic cups.

While I have never stayed next door I have read the reviews and looked at the photos and am very pleased with my choice of BJ. The resort is small and fills up quickly. I have always found the staff are the major selling point of BJ.

Too bad your experience was so negative hope your next one is better.

Manchester, United...
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38. Re: Why Jibacoa?

Traveller 666, no not negative, merely being honest. You clearly are one of the many returnees to B.J. and yes there are so many. My feeling is that Cuba is the largest island in the Caribbean and there is so much to see, so much diversity why waste it on the same hotel which feels more American or Canadian in atmosphere than Cuban?.

And no it's not about 'honey or vinegar' it is just about plain facts. telling it like it is. I have pointed out the nice aspects such as the stunning nature, great snorkelling etc.

I happen to like coffee and the coffee tasted like dishwater. I happen to love to dance, especially salsa, and this was not possible at B.J. The 'animacion' shows were pretty lame.

We Europeans pay a lot of money to travel to Cuba, we do not avail of those terrific Sunjet last minute 'deals' of $500 all in. for flight transfer hotel and taxes. We pay four times that, and it takes us four times in distance to get there.

So I guest we are little more discriminating, and let's face it Breezes does cater more to Canadians. My idea of a great holiday is not lying on a plastic sun bed all day when not topping up a thermos with booze.

Like I said...to each his own. We have stayed at far nicer 2 star hotels in Cuba, believe me.However I would most definitely consider Tropico.

Edited: 06 October 2013, 18:53
Toronto, Canada
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39. Re: Why Jibacoa?

You are assuming that all insulated mugs are filled with booze. I like mine as it keeps my water cold.

We meet friends from England at BJ and booking in advance our prices in dollars are quite close to what our British friend spend travelling with Virgin. Yes your flight is much longer and I choose Cuba as it is just over 3 hours for us. Yes we can get last minute deals that are a good deal just as you can to travel to Spain.

I find a resort does not make your holiday but rather the how you choose to handle the experience. I just returned from Paris and disliked the 4 star hotel for a variety of reasons but I made sure I had a pleasant vacation.

Oh and by the way...I am a Britt too.

Vancouver, Canada
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40. Re: Why Jibacoa?

Hola

"We Europeans pay a lot of money to travel to Cuba"

Well, common belief that Toronto is the center of the universe, yes they get cheap flights when compared to the “brits” but from all other parts of Canada like British Columbia I will pay more than you and its two planes with an overnighter in the T/O airport.

Sorry you trip was a downer. For me have been 11 times, and have enjoyed each time. Yes the coffee at the buffet is swamp water, at least the jefa tells me since I will never drink coffee oh and my the insulated mug, 90 percent of the time water……not all Canadians are beer lovers or drinkers..Most but not all..and their Mohitos are not that bad…never a problem lol