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split vacation - Havana and Varadero

south western...
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split vacation - Havana and Varadero

Hi

What is the best way to do this? the vacation co' s seem to charge quite a bit extra for the split vacation. Is it more economical to pay for a package vacation in Varadero, leave the resort for a couple of days to spend in Havana, then back again for the transport back to the airport?

oshawa
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1. Re: split vacation - Havana and Varadero

One good opion is go to Jibacoa there are 2 resorts there. Breezes Jibacoa and Cameleon villa Jibacoa. They are half way between Havana and Varadero about 45mins. Very nice setting. Mountain behind the resorts great snorkeling right a the beach. Very quiet area.

Havana, Cuba
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2. Re: split vacation - Havana and Varadero

If the idea is to buy the cheapest package possible and then spend a couple of nights in Havana, then it would make sense to pick Varadero. There are really cheap Hotels there; and one important issue is transportation to Havana return: if you use www.viazul.com to commute, it will cost you no more than 22.00 cuc for a round trip ticket while from Jibacoa a taxi would be approximately 45.00 cuc one way only (so 90.00 cuc to commute).

Nevertheless the Jibacoa option is always a good option for those interested in snorkeling, some countryside tours and proximity to Havana only for day tours.

Frankfurt, Germany
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3. Re: split vacation - Havana and Varadero

This whole idea REALLY depends of the deal you can get from Canada (Toronto I suppose).

I read time and again, that some packages are cheaper than any flight ticket alone (scheduled or charter flight for that matter), so people just buy those packages and skip the hotel in Varadero. Also, do you intend to stay one week or longer. I ask this because some tour operators from Germany allow you to stay at the booked hotel for one week and then let you do your own thing the second week, boardind the return charter flight the next week (for a fee, but 2 weeks vacation are the norm from Germany, not the one week packages common from Canada).

If you are there for a week, the most convinient and btw pretty economical way to do this is a overnighter in Havana, or even the 2-nighter Viniales-Havana-combo. Otherwise you can always take a bus (Viazul or join the day trippers's bus - worked fine for me. Asked the day before at the traveller's desk, payed 15CUC and was picked up from the hotel, as oppose to get to the bus station on my own). If you are there for a week, as I suppose, do an overnighter from Varadero (in May it was a fairly good deal: 165/120 CUC with or without Tropicana show in Havana, staying at the Hotel Habana Libre, pre-revolution Havana Hilton).

Kentville, Canada
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4. Re: split vacation - Havana and Varadero

Although the Jibacoa resorts are good in themselves, you're way off teh beaten path with no way to take the Viazul buses to either Havana or Varadero, except by taxi, private driver , rental car or hoping for a chance to get on one of the excursion buses for ride only (no certainty there).

As voy mentioned, taking a viazul bus to Havana and booking your vacation in Varadero might be your best option if you can't find a split vacation package.

Here in Canada in was no problem when we did it, with teh price being about the difference between a 2 week package at each resort.

Oly thing Sunwing wanted 30 CUC each for the transfer bus from varadero to havana resort, which I thought was expensive so we waited til we got there adn booked through Sunwing rep there for 18 CUC each.

bc, canada
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5. Re: split vacation - Havana and Varadero

We are doing this in January, 1 week in Havana and 1 week in Varadero. We had to go through a travel agent to get this custom package created, but it worked out to be the cheapest option, similar in price to 2 weeks at 1 destination.

Our flights and second week in Varadero are through Air Canada Vacations and our 1 week in Havana is through Sunwing. We are responsible for all our own transfers, except for the return trip to the airport.

Kentville, Canada
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6. Re: split vacation - Havana and Varadero

nicolinbc, when you get to your resort/hotel, talk to one of the reps about the daily hote/resort transfer bus between varadero/havana and opposite direction.

You get picked up at the door and dropped at the door. Little bit more expensive that taking Viazul bus but well worthwhile.

They run a tranfer bus in each driection each day stopping at all hotels/resorts that have booked a pickup and drop at each resort/hotel, so may take a little longer if you're at teh end of the line at each.

south western...
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7. Re: split vacation - Havana and Varadero

THanks everyone. I have stayed in Jibacoa before and quite enjoyed it. But since it was my one and only trip to Cuba, I think I would like to see Varadero and Havane this time. And as the bus goes back and forth from the two locations, it sounds like the way to go.

Now - can anyone recommend a hotel in Varadero? Not looking for a party scene at all - just a nice resort, reasonably priced,

And Havana? This will be my first time in Havana - looking for a hotel, restaurants, things to do etc.

Calgary, Canada
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8. Re: split vacation - Havana and Varadero

The best money you could spend before going to Cuba would be to buy a decent guide book like Moon, Rough Guide, Lonely Planet, etc.

The best money you could spend after arriving in Havana would be to hire a local guide, at least for part of the first day until you're acclimatized.

In the meantime, here's a few Havana suggestions...

1.) Everything you need to know about Money Exchange:

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g147270-c109329/Cuba:…

tripadvisor.co.uk/Travel-g147270-c69372/Cuba…

2.) Steve's great self-guided Havana tour:

www.7daysinparadise.com/smf/index.php…

3.) A few ideas regarding arts/culture/music/etc. in Havana:

www.canalcubano.com/ingles/musica/musica.asp

http://www.cubaabsolutely.com/index.htm

http://www.havananightlife.com/

http://www.hellocuba.ca/havana.php

4.) One of my favourite things to do on a Sunday:

havana-cultura.com/EN/…687

5.) Additional Havana info and loads of other stuff:

www.cuba-junky.com/havana/havana-city.htm

6.) Some casa particular suggestions (Cuban version of a Bed & Breakfast):

cuba-junky.com/havana/havana-casa-particular…

7.) Some great hotels in Old Havana:

habaguanexhotels.com/habaguanex_hotels.asp

8.) Ignore the dumb hijack posts on this thread and read about the restaurants. There are some very nice options:

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g147271-i387-k2652…

Have fun.

Cheers,

Terry

Dublin, Ireland
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9. Re: split vacation - Havana and Varadero

Why can't Canadian vacation companies be more creative or at least flexible? I guess they are doing so well they don't need to be. Last year I tried to give my business to several Canadian agency. In the end I booked my 12 day Havana/Varadero vacation through a British tour company.

I thought I'd try it again this year. Red Tag said "No Problem" - that is if you: stay for 7 or 14 nights and pay for one of their hotels for the entire time, and then pay for another hotel for the nights you do not want to stay in the 1st place

or

pay for an extra flight - that's right - you book a 7 day package and then buy another plane fare for 7 days later. There is no refund for the flight you do not take. Of course you have to book another hotel for the other 7 nights - they do not book for 4 nights here and 3 nights there.

Why Red Tag? Sunwing, Air Transat etc would not even return my phone calls.

If you can get on Air Canada and book your own hotel, expect to pay twice as much. The 7 day package operators have many hotels sown up in high season.

I would love to hear from any one who knows how to get around this for future travel.

Dublin, Ireland
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10. Re: split vacation - Havana and Varadero

We will arrive in Varadero at 9:30 PM and go from there to Havana for a week. Is it possible to take a bus from Varadero airport to Havana at that time? If not, how much should we expect to pay for a taxi for 2 travelers?

Thanks in advance for your help.