The Semi-Adventurous Travellers

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Vacation in Jibacoa Cuba, A Review!

Another week’s Vacation from the 9-5 and this time off to Jibacoa Cuba for some warm Sun and Scuba diving… or so we thought!

Vacation at Villas Jibacoa, Cuba

Ever been to a completely Cuban owned hotel? It’s not fancy, it’s a 3 star and it can easily be described as simple. But you will never meet the nicest staff anywhere else. This small town is a hidden gem on the Atlantic coast. Directly in the between Havana and Varadero. Surrounded by water and lush green mountains you couldn’t ask for a more peaceful spot to relax. This is where we decided to go on our break from winter in January. And this is our vacation review!

Hotel Arrival & Check-in

The sun was shining when we landed in Varadero.  The airport is pretty easy to navigate and once we were on our bus it was smooth sailing. From Varadero, you are going to drive North mostly along the coastal two-lane highway towards Havana. Jibacoa is about 70 km from Varadero and about 70 from Havana, right in the middle.

Check in was good, although our room wasn’t ready and when we looked at a map we found that we were in the far back of the resort. We were not near anything it looked like. Os. we decided to have some lunch, take a walk around the property and check it out. We found the property wasn’t that big so being in the back wasn’t so bad. It was definitely quiet. The view from our front porch of the bungalow was of a dirty rotting roof of the one in front of us, not very appealing.

Villas Jibacoa – Mealtime

Meals were during scheduled times here. Breakfast from 7:30 am – 10 am, lunch from 12 – 2 and dinner beginning at 7 pm. The times were pretty good but the actual meals not so much. The food was the same every night but you could always find something to eat. I, on the other hand, went hungry some days.

I ate as much as I could at the snack bar crappy pizza, awful sandwiches and something that resembled a hotdog. Then, I went in search of some snacks at the store but to no luck, only managed to get some chocolate and Pringles.

Escape to Restaurants

I mentioned earlier that the food at the hotel really isn’t something to write about so when we heard about some local restaurants nearby we jumped on it. The first one we booked was a farm just down the street. We were picked up by a horse and buggy and brought to the restaurant. Although the menu was extensive we knew that lobster was what was going to be ordered. And, I have to say it was the best meal I ever had, Lobster, rice, salad, and fruit. I even had a beer! the dinner cost a total of $50 for both of us.

The second restaurant was a bit further down the road, called The Tower. That meant we were picked up by car along with another couple from the hotel we drove about 10 minutes to our destination. There’s no website for this place but I can assure it was another fantastic meal. we opted for Lobster again and this time got so much food we could barely finish. I said barely right!

Jibacoa Beaches

Our plan was to travel to an inexpensive hotel so that we could go diving all week. Well, that was a bust. The winds were so strong and the beaches were covered with so much man of war we couldn’t get in the water.

Where we were located the beached had so much coral and rock at the waters edge you couldn’t go in without wearing water shoes.  We did sneak into the water one day with a yellow flag to snorkel. With so much coral so close to shore it was a perfect opportunity.

Turns out the current was still very strong. So, we got out of the water, took a walk down the beach and got back in and let the current carry us back to our hotel.

Quick warning, the beaches to either side and right at the water is public and you will definitely be approached by someone looking for something, a common request is clothes, toothpaste, brushes or money of course.

Final review of Villas Jibacoa

We were looking for a quick, cheap getaway and that’s what we got. There was no frills, no pampering and no extras for sure.  The staff was friendly and the place was clean. We were close to Havana which was another bonus since we wanted to explore the city. My thoughts, it was ok, once. But not sure that I would do that again.

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