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Are camaguey and santiago de cuba worth the extra travel??

London, United...
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Are camaguey and santiago de cuba worth the extra travel??

My boyfriend and I are flying to Cuba at the end of January and are trying to plan out our two weeks. We would like advice from Cuba specialists/regulars on our itinerary.

We fly into Holguin and have booked an internal flight to Havana straight away, we have also booked four nights in a resort near Holguin at the end.

The itinerary we have considered is this:

3 nights Havana

2 nights Vinales

3 nights Trinidad

1 night Camagüey

2 nights Santiago de Cuba

Final 4 nights resort near Holguin.

We are planning to travel by bus or taxi depending on the price we can get. We are keen to see as much of Cuba as possible but are aware this means a lot of time spent in transit. We are interested in historical and cultural sights and good beaches.

Our question is: Should we cut out the Camagüey and Santiago De Cuba leg of the journey to stay longer in the other places? In your opinions are they worth the extra travel?

Also any general comments on the itinerary are welcome!

Montreal, Canada
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for Camaguey, Cuba
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1. Re: Are camaguey and santiago de cuba worth the extra travel??

My personal opinion is that they are both worth the travel, since you end your journey in Holguin. Camaguey is a great colonial city, and the center has just been (or rather, is in the way of being) renovated. The city is like a maze, so prepare on getting lost, but the people are usually really friendly. As for Santiago, it's completely different from Habana, more influenced by the Santeria, creole and black culture. If you are prepare to do the road time, I think your itinerary is a good one.

2. Re: Are camaguey and santiago de cuba worth the extra travel??

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Removed on: 09 January 2014, 00:36
Melbourne, Australia
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3. Re: Are camaguey and santiago de cuba worth the extra travel??

Actually Smurph I partly disagree with my esteemed Camagüey colleague.

I certainly endorse a stop of one or two nights in Camagüey between Trinidad and Holguin both to break the journey and to explore the city itself. It's certainly advisable to do a bit of research before arriving so you don't waste time being lost! The current LP Guide is a good start.

But spending effectively 2 days in such a limited trip getting to and back from Santiago doesn't make much sense to me. Mind you I'm biased against rushing around given my shortest time in Cuba was 5 weeks and generally we spend several months there. I like Santiago a lot aside from the travelling time issue. I'd spend the extra day(s) in Holguin itself. Most posters here only experience it as a brief excursion from the Guardalavaca enclaves. Whereas it is quite a popular destination amongst independent travellers. A no of good restaurants, music and squares to simply follow your nose/ears to and from.

ps nice to see someone spelling our home city correctly with the ü!

Panama City, Panama
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4. Re: Are camaguey and santiago de cuba worth the extra travel??

Personally, I think that you are trying too much and will spend far too much of your time travelling.

Even two nights in a place gives little more than a day there, realistically.

It is not a question of whether places are worth it, but that you can't do everywhere.

Ontario Canada
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5. Re: Are camaguey and santiago de cuba worth the extra travel??

Cuba is about half the size of Britain and in some areas, the road systems are good, others, not so good. My guess is that travel will be much slower than you are anticipating. We did a similar trip to Italy a year ago and tried to see as much as we could in 19 days. It was designed as more of an 'exploration trip' rather than a holiday.

If your intention is to explore, then return some time and focus on areas you really loved, then I can see your plan working. However, my guess is that you will be pretty worn out when you get home. Most of us think of Cuba as a place to relax and unwind.

Keep in mind that Jan. weather is perfect for traveling but can sometimes be cool & windy for the beach. I would check the forecast while you are there and try to take advantage of 'great' days and use those for beach times. Flexibility in you schedule once you arrive is important.

chicago
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6. Re: Are camaguey and santiago de cuba worth the extra travel??

You will want to spend more time in Havana. It is an amazing place and so much to see. Not to mention that sites can be closed even though it's suppose to be open. I would recommend 5 nights but I can tell you that 3 is too short IMO.

Trinidad is beautiful, but you could get away with 2 nights. Town gets crazy when the bus load of tourist arrive. I think the drive from Vinales to Trinidad will be too long, 8 hours or so. I would break it up by either arriving and going straight to Vinales and catching Havana on the way back. I would also add a 1 night stop in Cienfuegos, which is beautiful town.

You will have a wonderful trip regardless. Enjoy.

Winnipeg
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7. Re: Are camaguey and santiago de cuba worth the extra travel??

Of all the cities I've been to in Cuba, Camaguey was the least enjoyable. It's a lot of travel time for very little payoff.

There's a lot more to see and do in Santa Clara, is there a reason you chose Camaguey over it?

Edited: 12 January 2014, 22:21
Melbourne, Australia
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8. Re: Are camaguey and santiago de cuba worth the extra travel??

Interesting viewpoint bsenka. Of all the cities on the gringo trail I'd rate Santa Clara the least worthy of an overnight or longer stop. However in the context of the OP's journey from Havana to Holguin the distance to Camagüey and/or its attractions is of course irrelevant. They'll need a rest stop anyway.

chicago
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9. Re: Are camaguey and santiago de cuba worth the extra travel??

I feel Santa Clara is worth a stop for "Ernesto "Che" Guevara" history. I wouldn't spend the night if I were limited on time.

Melbourne, Australia
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10. Re: Are camaguey and santiago de cuba worth the extra travel??

Absolutely worth a stop! A lunch break and monument visit nicely breaks up the journey between Havana and Cienfuegos or Trinidad.