cayo santa maria no town only 2 fake pueblo nothing to do there
varadero more things to do with a real town and you're close from havana
A few things to keep in mind.
Airport to CSM is 90 min. It may be a bit less if the bypass of Remedios is in use. Very nice drive in the daylight and you'll see some of the real Cuba.
CSM is isolated on the end of a long causeway. There is no town nearby but they do have 2 Pueblos where you can get meals/drinks/souveniers. No one lives there, just tourists.
The beach at CSM is awesome but much different than Varadero. Softer white sand.
For us, Varadero is much more like Miami beach, too touristy, too much junk. CSM is much more relaxing but lots of entertainment if you want to help make it.
It's best to read the reviews carefully. Royalton has had some issues lately and some people have been upset. I have not been there but suggest that you check out the Melia's. Sol, MCSM, Las Dunas and Buenavista (in order of $, Sol being cheapest) are very good and more reliable. Just my opinion.Edited: 07 March 2013, 17:05
how i feel.... we've been to varadero 4 times already, so now is the good time to check out something else...thats's why csm - march 31... but if you went only once to varadero, or cuba, i would still go to varadero - lots more to do, more variety, experiences... then, when you tire of it - explore csm, but remember - it also depends what you go there for...
we are still coming back to varadero this december with some newbies... :) can't wait to show them the 'sideroads'.... and the goat with red horns /very friendly, though/...
We stayed at The Royalton in Feb and it was amazing ,food,drinks ,rooms.Yes it is quite and relaxing but that is why your there
Thank you all for your insight .... much appreciated!!!!
I have just returned from Royalton (2 weeks). Last four years stayed at Mela Las Americas in Varadero right on golf course. Royalton very quiet and isolated with bland menu. Both have lovely beaches, wonderful people etc. Royalton has new accommodation. Melia seaview rooms are right on top of beach. Royalton seaview not very close. Melia has five restaurants and very big buffet ( no line ups). Both 18plus. Melia has Internet available Royalton does not. Melia close to convention centre with bank, supermarket and regular shops. Royalton near small market and bank. Lots more entertainment at Melia and generally a lively atmosphere. I am a senior but given the choice I would go back to the Melia. Royalton did not have butter for quite a bit of our stay and ran out of bacon. Didn't happen at Melia. If you are looking for a totally quiet vacation go to the Royalton. If you want something with a bit more zip and the ability to visit Havana easily, go to Varadero.
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