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Holguin vs Cayo Santa Maria

Toronto, Canada
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2 posts
21 reviews
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Holguin vs Cayo Santa Maria

Hello,

I am a single woman visiting Cuba for the first time this March. I'm looking for a quiet holiday with lots of opportunity for good snorkelling and scuba diving. I'd be interested in doing an excursion or two, either nature or culturally-oriented. I'm not into the party scene but do like socializing in the evenings. I'm tacking on an extra few days in Havana at the end of my trip.

I'm leaning towards the PRDO but the Melia Buenavista in Santa Clara is pulling at me, too. I'm sure either place would be lovely, but if any of you have experienced both and have suggestions, I'd love to hear them!

Thank you!

M

Kitchener, ON
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247 posts
35 reviews
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1. Re: Holguin vs Cayo Santa Maria

hi M - my sister visited the PRDO a few years back (she was a single traveller)and she loved it. Unsure about the snorkelling but she loved the ocean there. She was there for some r&r as well. Have fun!

Newton Aycliffe...
Destination Expert
for Cuba, Rafael Freyre, Guardalavaca, Holguin
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98,879 posts
57 reviews
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2. Re: Holguin vs Cayo Santa Maria

The snorkelling is good at the PRDO and I would certainly choose that over the Melia Buenavista. Adding Havana on to either destination would prove costly as neither destination is close to the capital city.

Toronto, Canada
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2 posts
21 reviews
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3. Re: Holguin vs Cayo Santa Maria

I know...it's about a $200 flight, but Varadero just doesn't seem like my scene, so this seems the reasonable compromise. I don't want to miss out on Havana!

Newton Aycliffe...
Destination Expert
for Cuba, Rafael Freyre, Guardalavaca, Holguin
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98,879 posts
57 reviews
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4. Re: Holguin vs Cayo Santa Maria

Check out this link where GillG has stayed at both resorts:

tripadvisor.co.uk/…37920834

MONTREAL QUEBEC...
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587 posts
13 reviews
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5. Re: Holguin vs Cayo Santa Maria

Varadero as well has some nice resorts toward the end of the peninsula that you may find interesting as well. and then it is not that far of a trip to havana....

Toronto
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822 posts
92 reviews
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6. Re: Holguin vs Cayo Santa Maria

I've done Holguin (SLyM) and Cayo Sta Maria (Melia Santa Maria) .Very different holidays:

The snorkling: Advantage PRDO

Beach for walking: Advantage CSM (Its MILES long, bring water and a hat)

Excursions: PRDO Holguin is about an hour from the resort Guardalavaca about 15 minutes by cab. CSM is a long way from Santa Clara 90 minutes if I recall.

Havana: Sta Clara is closer, but by no means an easy trip. HOlguin is 900 km from the capital.

I think if you wanted pampering, decent snorkliing and a very nice beach PRDO would be my choice. Max relax? CSM hands down.

Either choice you won't be disappointed!

Toronto Canada
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445 posts
18 reviews
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7. Re: Holguin vs Cayo Santa Maria

Just got back from the PDRO, stayed at the Royal Hideaway in Cayo Santa Maria,a few years ago and visited the Melia while I was there.If you want the best ,the PDRO is the place to go,I met a few single people there ,quite a few groups of women traveling together,a very friendly,relaxful place to go.The lobby bar in the evenings is wonderful,a great place to socialize,best setup I have ever seen .

This place has a place in our hearts,we are going back.

Guelph, Canada
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60 posts
70 reviews
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8. Re: Holguin vs Cayo Santa Maria

We're going to PDRO in April for a change. We've been to both Royal Hideaway and to Buenavista. Both were great and with their own advantages. RH was much bigger with better beaches, MB was more intimate and better service. The disadvantage over both is how far away from real Cuban life you are. It's hard to 'leave the compound'. We're hoping to escape PDRO once and a while. Another note is we got bumped at MB, had to transfer resorts twice before we got there. Nothing like being pulled aside at the airport to say we're not going to where expected (a small adult-oriented resort) to somewhere not as nice (a large family-oriented resort). We're not sure who to blame, the resort or Sunwing but it made for an unpleasant experience to say the least. It's happened to us 2 out of 4 times going to Cuba, and trust me, it'll be our last time going to Cuba if it happens at PDRO. Have fun.

9. Re: Holguin vs Cayo Santa Maria

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