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Are these 3 excursions worth the time/money?

Lloydminster, Canada
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13 posts
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Are these 3 excursions worth the time/money?

From looking at the list of available excursions from the Melia Las Dunas, I've decided that the following 3 are ones I'll try out, but some insight from those who have done them before or done others I should consider adding to the list would be helpful in making final decisions I come to. Thanks in advance:

1. Forest Adventure - I heard there is an overnight version of this, though I'm looking at making this just the one day thing where you go out, do the hike and swim by the waterfall, then head back. Am I going to be missing out on much if I choose this route over the overnight? It just doesn't seem to have any real appeal (for me at least) to want to stretch this over 2 days and not even go to the waterfall on the first day. Maybe the lack of information on what exactly you do to fill the first day has me leaning that way and more insight could change my outlook.

2. Remedios and Santa Clara - This looked kind of cool and will likely be one I do regardless of any potential negative reviews, but some deeper insight from those who've done it would be appreciated.

3. Dolphinarium - My main question here is how long does this last if you don't do the whole day on the catamaran? Also, is the catamaran portion something I shouldn't miss? And please......no anti-dolphin in captivity people plz......I don't share your viewpoint and don't need to turn what could be a simple question into a 7000 page bashfest just because of it. Thank you.

Vancouver, Canada
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6,139 posts
11 reviews
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1. Re: Are these 3 excursions worth the time/money?

Hola

#2 is a very long day but a lot to take in, time well spent it’s been a number of years, at that time we stopped at a old sugar factory, then took the steam train to remedios , the church, time in the square, which does have more to see now by the way of stores, not sure if they do this now but a tour through the camajuani cigar factory, then off to santa clara……and much more

cheers.

Calgary, Canada
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11,364 posts
117 reviews
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2. Re: Are these 3 excursions worth the time/money?

Agreed. #2 is likely the best of the 3.

Cheers

S
Destination Expert
for Cayo Guillermo
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7,474 posts
34 reviews
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3. Re: Are these 3 excursions worth the time/money?

If you are there for 2 weeks , Id' do the overnighter in the "Hills"

The Remedios and Santa Clara trip would be O.K.

I'd skip the Dolphins.

Consett, United...
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19,709 posts
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4. Re: Are these 3 excursions worth the time/money?

I would not waste my money doing the catamaran trip.

It is just a drink all you can boat trip.

Go and visit the dolphins, use the open top bus and visit yourself.

You can then spend as much time as you wan with the dolphins.

The Topes overnight is one , if not the best , trip on offer.

99 cucs, mch more value than the cat trip.

Preston, United...
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29 posts
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5. Re: Are these 3 excursions worth the time/money?

Agree with the above. I've done the catamaran trip and it was basically an all you can drink boat day. The paradise beach was in our opinion not as good as the beach in front of the las dunas. We found the boat to be over crowded as well, the highlight for us was the dolphin park which you can do for a few cuc if you get the panoramic bus to get there yourself.

Regina, Canada
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417 posts
14 reviews
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6. Re: Are these 3 excursions worth the time/money?

Ditto Diva. Catamaran is most overpriced trip due to popularity, but is just an overcrowded drunkfest. Conversely, Topes de Collantes forest adventure overnight is definitely the best bang for your buck tour there is. Not sure if it's changed, but it used to also include a stop in Trinidad. Note that it is a 3 hr drive to get there, so if you do the one-day be prepared for a long day. Either/or tends to be a smaller group which is always better in terms of discussion and more personalized information from tour guide, deciding timelines, etc. Remedios/Santa Clara is a good day, but tends to be a very large group/bus so the information from the tour guides comes across as somewhat "canned" and scripted, and you feel more herded along.

Winnipeg, Canada
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332 posts
55 reviews
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7. Re: Are these 3 excursions worth the time/money?

Overnight to Topes is amazing, some of the scenery you see is breathtaking. You also get to visit Trinidad and have some free time there. We did the overnight and I can't even imagine what trying to fit all of that into 1 day would entail. You'd be so tired from sitting on that bus all day that you'd have a hard time finding any enjoyment in the trip. As it is we were all so tired from the hike on day 2 we were all sleeping on the return trip home.

S
Destination Expert
for Cayo Guillermo
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7,474 posts
34 reviews
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8. Re: Are these 3 excursions worth the time/money?

Scott,

If it ends up being a one day trip to the "Hills", So be it . You will at least , get off the key, and see some neat stuff on the mainland.

I like the comment about not turning this in to a "Bashfest"

We're dealing with past experiences and opinions here!

Salud!

Lloydminster, Canada
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13 posts
3 reviews
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9. Re: Are these 3 excursions worth the time/money?

Thanks for all the input so far, though with regard to the topes one day or two day trip, I'm wanting to know what the difference between the 2 are. Are some things left out of the 1 day trip that you do on the 2 day? Do you still do everything in the 1 day version, only at a much more rushed pace? And with the dolphinarium minus the catamaran (I am FAR from a big drinker so looks like I'll skip that then) they have a 60 CUC trip offered, but you guys sound like this can be done on your own without going either route? Thanks again for all other posts.

Montreal, Canada
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5,504 posts
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10. Re: Are these 3 excursions worth the time/money?

When I did the catamaran trip several years ago. I rather enjoyed it, I'm not sure if the schedule is still the same. We stopped twice for snorkeling in some nice reefs. I also remember that we checked out a grounded cargo ship full of sugar which would one day possibly be an ecological disaster if it started to leak. There wasn't any dolphinerium involved.

Yes there was drinking on board (horrors!!). I've been on the catamaran trip offered on every location that I've vacationed at. I thought this one was on a par with Cayo Coco and Cayo Largo.(Varadero being the worst) It was a very relaxing day.

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