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Sol Luna y Mares

Fredericton, NB...
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15 posts
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Sol Luna y Mares

My husband and I and two teenage boys (16 and 13)are going to Holguin Cuba for the first time March 2009. Any suggestions of what to bring (including little gifts),how we might meet some locals and some must sees events?

Canada
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3,697 posts
8 reviews
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1. Re: Sol Luna y Mares

We were there in November and were extremely impressed with this hotel. We took our kids, 12 & 14 (first time for them) and it was an experience they will never forget.

Take a horse & buggy to the mini-zoo which is a short ride from the hotel. It's a small zoo which has mostly indigenous animals. We got a private tour that was really interesting, wish I could recall the gentleman's name that showed us around. It's a beautiful area and takes you down to a small beach and lagoon area with wild ducks and flamingos. It takes about an hour and a half or so with the ride and seeing the zoo, our driver waited for us. Take insect repellent, there were a lot of mosquitoes when we were there.

Another thing we did was to take the horse and buggy to Guardalavaca. I think it took 20 min or so. There is a beautiful beach there and a market.

Talk to the taxi drivers in front of the hotel and arrange a trip to Gibara or Banes. The driver we hired spoke very good english and acted more as a touguide. Much more intimate and different than taking a proper tour. A real adventure for the kids!

They have bicycles at the hotel and my son and I spent a nice few hours riding around.

If you meet Ernesto, a young man who works security, tell him that David and Drew said Hola! He invited us to his home in Mellia which was a really memorable experience for us.

Take time to talk to the staff and get to know some of them. For the most part they were extremely friendly and really made our holiday special. Ask them what they feel you should see, or what is happening in the area and you will likely end up with an invite.

toronto
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741 posts
37 reviews
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2. Re: Sol Luna y Mares

Take advantage of the daily free or inexpensive activities offered at the beach hut. They include a 6 CUC trip to a local fishing village with a stop in Guardalavaca, a hike up the hill to the water reservoir including a trip to the mini zoo, a bike ride to town. They also have group snorkeling trips, (walk down the beach). If your boys like snorkeling, take your own masks and snorkels so you don't have time restrictions. We've been twice here, last time was January '08, with our three boys and their favourite trips were the jeep safari and the catamaran ride to Cayo Saetia, (I may have spelled that wrong), which included snorkeling and for a bit extra a jeep tour of the animal preserve. The dolphin swim was fun too if you haven't done it.

Roseneath, ON...
11 posts
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3. Re: Sol Luna y Mares

We just returned Friday night from the SLM ... all I have to say about gifts is TARPS TARPS TARPS...they are light and easy to take. There are many locals that will not have their roofs fixed for at least a year! School supplies are in very high demand right now, small dollar store calculators, pens, pencils, paper etc... also clothes.... just leave as many of your clothes as you can there especially kids clothing.. You will have an awesome time and your boys will feel so good about helping the locals. A real eye opener. The Cubans are truly wonderful humble people and I hope you will fall in love them as much as we all did.

Cheers!

Toronto
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822 posts
89 reviews
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4. Re: Sol Luna y Mares

We're just back from the Luna y Mares, and I would agree with the tarps suggestion. a LOT of homes without complete roofs still.

The buggy ride to Guardalavaca is great 15 CUC round trip and the driver will explain a lot of what you're seeing along the way. He'll wait for you in the market, buy him a beer or a Coke at the shop, he'll be happy to wait.

A new excursion offered was the Holguin salsa night, 29 CUC each included bus, guide, admission to a local salsa club (you wont need a chair, you'll be dancing all night, even if you can't salsa) and a drink. A good mix of locals and touristas. You'll get about an hour in Holguin to explore the main square, very safe, then off to the club. Might want to bring earplugs, it was VERY loud. Left the hotel about 730 pm, back around 130 am Sunday.

You'll have a blast!

Fredericton, NB...
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15 posts
4 reviews
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5. Re: Sol Luna y Mares

Thanks for all the suggestions. How do you you know who to give tarps and school supplies to, or is it obvioius as you move around?

Toronto
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822 posts
89 reviews
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6. Re: Sol Luna y Mares

The nice thing about giving gifts to locals is that if they can't personally use the goods, they sure as heck know someone who can.

If you venture off-resort, there are a few homes around Guardalavaca that could use a tarp.

Newton Aycliffe...
Destination Expert
for Cuba, Rafael Freyre, Guardalavaca, Holguin
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96,793 posts
62 reviews
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7. Re: Sol Luna y Mares

BandB09:

By engaging staff in conversation you will soon find out if they have children.

As regards tarps ask how the hurricane affected them, did they lose their roof etc.

Canada
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3,697 posts
8 reviews
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8. Re: Sol Luna y Mares

Yes! There is nothing more satisfying than having a conversation with a local, learning about them and their family, and finding them later to give them something you brought with you that you know they can really use.

LANCS ENGLAND
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9. Re: Sol Luna y Mares

Hi Bellagio, I'm taking 4 tarps, I was thinking about asking the staff first if they know anyone who needs one, if not, we are gonna get taxi to Banes or somewhere where we could leave them.

Bellagio, if your friend in Banes know's someone who's in need, I would gladly take then there.

Canada
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3,697 posts
8 reviews
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10. Re: Sol Luna y Mares

Unless things have changes much, you won't have to travel far to find a family in need of a tarp on the road to Banes. BTW, that is an absolutely beautiful drive. Enjoy!