Cuba is one of the best places for families with children. Fly here is not necessary for the hot sun, warm sea, white sand and fresh fruit, although all this is on the island in abundance.
It is worth visiting Cuba for the sake of a unique Latin American attitude towards young children. It is, on the one hand, very warm, on the other – extremely respectful.
Kids will not try to touch and cuddle, as is often the case with white children in Asia, but they will talk, play, sing songs and incendiary Latin American dances with them. On the streets, children will be greeted with que lindo !, que rico !, que inteligente !, who, I think, do not need translation. If travelers with children get into a city under a tropical downpour, an old lady from a neighboring house will invite them to the veranda, sit in a rocking chair and treat you to local coffee.
And so in everything. If you organize the trip correctly, children will forever have memories of a fabulous sunny island washed by a gentle ocean. Adults will remember life in the Soviet Union and will sympathize with Cubans, who are now striving for the fact that in Russia it has already ceased to be a value.
At the same time, many who visited the island after returning envy the feeling of serenity and complete independence from the external, far from rosy circumstances for which Cubans are famous. To refer to this state, they have a special word – tranquila (“tranquila”), which can be freely translated as: “Do not worry, everything will be fine!”.
- 12-13 hours is a direct flight from Moscow to Cuba.
- +26 ° С – the average temperature in Cuba in December.
- +14 ° С – the average temperature of the ocean water in Cuba in December.
Despite the general devastation, the medicine on the island is at a very high level, which is certainly important when traveling with children. Do not forget to get insurance: the prices are completely capitalistic.
Given that you are traveling to the tropics, you must follow basic rules of hygiene and use repellents in nature. Malaria outbreaks on the island are rare, and the spread of the disease is quickly suppressed, but due to the existence of natural foci of the disease, there is a small risk of infection, as in most equatorial countries.
In Cuba, there are quite decent hotels, like the Egyptian “all inclusive”, the level of three or four stars. But they are located in tourist reservations, from which you can not see the real Cuban life. In Cuba, it makes sense to stay with local residents who rent out rooms and entire houses, the so-called “Kasa Particular”.
This is a well-developed business on the island, which is controlled by the state. The conditions are different, but you can always find a clean room in a good area with welcoming hosts, delicious breakfasts and a great view from the window. It will cost 20-30 dollars a day with a hearty breakfast.
If desired, the hostess will cook and lunch and dinner for 10-12 dollars per person.
If you do not take a charter flight straight to the most famous Cuban resort of Varadero, then your route will start in Havana. Travelers with small children will feel a special relationship already at the airport, where the employees themselves will find them and, bypassing the queue, will take them to passport control. Then we go by taxi to the apartment booked in advance through the Internet.
I would advise a quiet, calm and respectable area of Vedado. The waterfront, Malecon, is within easy reach, and you can take a taxi to the historic center. Havana is old, but alive.
She breathes, she is partial, she loves those who walk through her streets. She is like a ninety-year-old woman who will give heat to many twenty years old. And if during our first visit to Cuba, Havana seemed to us not very suitable for travelers with a sidecar, then in the second at pedestrian crossings, beveled curbs appeared, along which it was convenient to roll our “walk” from the sidewalk to the roadway.
I will not list the sights – they are in any guidebook: if the city is pleasant, then there will be a few weeks to see it. Let me just say that boys and girls will be delighted with vintage cars: the city is a huge automobile museum, with all the exhibits in it on the go. Next to the Capitol, which is a copy of the American, is a museum of locomotives.
And in the cleanest and restored part of the city, in the area of the Cathedral, it is pleasant to drink coffee, have a snack on the local chocolate hares, or eat boiled corn on the street.
You can travel around Cuba on comfortable tourist buses and on airplanes of local airlines, which are rather old, but maintained in quite good technical condition. But I would advise to rent a car. A small car can be found at a reasonable price, and the main expense for the trip will not be the price of it, but the cost of gasoline.
But the machine gives freedom of movement and the ability to stop anywhere, to eat and just stretch your legs. But to find a child car seat will be difficult, and it is better to take it with you. You will also have to take cereals and infant formula for the little ones, diapers and a first aid kit.
Traveling around the country is simple – we did it with the help of a map and road signs installed everywhere, we did not use the navigator. Roads are different.
Before you choose a route, it is better to ask about the quality of the road from the local.
By car from Havana it is better to go immediately to the western tip of the island, to the famous valley of Vinales for its landscapes. The landscape is formed by steep hills overgrown with greenery.
However, there is nothing to do there, and if you don’t want to limit your impressions to country life and delicious bean soup, two days to go to Vinales will be enough for your eyes. By the way, this is one of the few places in Cuba where it makes sense to stay in a hotel – so a tourist will be closer to nature. If you decide to settle in the village itself, then choose a house away from the road and from its center.
On the road, even at night, trucks rumble, and in the early morning pioneers line up on it, the noise from which is no less. In the center all night the disco is booming.
Those who are not ready for the first visit to the island to live in the homes of Cubans, it is better to avoid Varadero. Choose to rest numerous islands, the most famous of which are Cayo Largo, Cayo Coco, Cayo Guillermo, Cayo Santa Maria.
From Vinales you can immediately go to Cienfuegos or Trinidad. Both cities deserve to be there. Cienfuegos – the most rave city of Cuba.
In the evenings, the locals pour out on the embankment and spend time in cafes located there. More residents of the city seemed to us the most affluent, even richer than the residents of the capital.
In the afternoon, on the waterfront you can watch fish being caught, stroll through the historic center or go to the nearby botanical garden. If you are going to last, take with you repellents: a traveler who descended from a path into high grass will be immediately attacked by a very malicious midge.
Trinidad is the exact opposite of Cienfuegos. It is a quiet colonial city with cobbled stone and a population of less than one hundred thousand people. But – attention!
Only a stroller with big wheels will pass along the pavement! Trinidad is a paradise for lovers of souvenirs, here they are more diverse than in Havana, and cheaper.
On the nearby beaches you can swim, but the bottom from the Caribbean Sea is rocky. This place will attract more lovers of diving and snorkeling. Near Trinidad is Cababney waterfall.
The place is interesting, but will require good physical fitness. From the parking lot to the waterfall about forty minutes on foot, there – down, back – up.
You need to walk on clayey soil, tied with roots of ancient trees, not a single stroller will pass there, you need to carry young children in your arms.
Further, our path lies in another Cuban city, in which we can not go, the second largest city in the country – Santiago de Cuba. It has half a million inhabitants, an unforgettable flavor and the most impregnable Cuban fortress. Life in the city is in full swing, especially noticeable by the omnipresent motorcyclists who do not like to follow any rules.
In the historic center, get ready to walk up and down, Santiago is located on the hills. One of the main attractions of the city is the school where Fidel Castro studied. Daddies are more likely to buy the best Cuban rum “Matusalem” right on the streets.
Officially, its production has long been discontinued, but do not rush to refuse, better try – this option is included in the offer, and absolutely free. And in Santiago they are preparing the best mojito in Cuba, which will give a huge head start to the drink from the Bodeguits, sung by Hemingway.
From Santiago de Cuba it is logical to go to the most eastern point of the island – Baracoa. Remoteness from the capital is very noticeable, this is a real Cuban province with an even more measured pace of life. From Baracoa you will go to the right – you will find the beach, to the left – the beach too.
If you stand facing the ocean and turn left, you can get to the beach Maguana. Here, tourists are more likely to be alone on a wonderful sandy beach surrounded by palm trees.
Some, except for local residents, who, on demand, will bring a table and chairs, cook dinner and climb the nearest palm tree behind a coconut. After completing all these procedures, they will disappear from sight, and the landscape will be decorated with their presence only chickens, proudly strolling along the surf line under the leadership of the brave rooster.
If you go in the opposite direction, then in the village of Boca de Yumuri you can find another beach, as well as the Yumuri river with a small island in its delta, formed of black volcanic sand. Locals will take a boat to the island and take a small botanical excursion. On the way back, you can visit the next village to see how coffee, cocoa and tropical fruits grow.
On the way, don’t forget to buy coconut-based sweets wrapped in banana leaves. They are called “cockroach”.
Before returning to Havana, it is worthwhile to stop by at Guardadelouk. Serenity – so you can in one word characterize the rest in Guardelavak.
We planned to spend a couple of days there, and stayed for a week. The public beach is no worse than the beaches of hotels, and in a nearby restaurant seafood is very tasty.
At first, Cuba may seem old and unfinished, but gradually travelers enter a state of tranquility, barely returning home, they start to get bored and a month after the holidays they have no questions about where to go next. Our family this year has hardly escaped the temptation to go to Cuba for the third time – only the thirst for wanderings and new discoveries won.