March 16, 2017

Varadero, Cuba!

So, we booked a last minute trip to Varadero, Cuba, one day before our departure and in that small amount of prep time, I managed to sew 2 kaftans, throw my whole resort wear wardrobe in my luggage, did my mani and pedi and even got my hair done with some pink braid accents! Yes, all in that short amount of time.

This is the first time I was weary of travelling to a country, only because I heard so much negative feedback about the food in Cuba,  and let's face it, food is important!  However, I thought that this issue could pertain to the hotel selection perhaps? So we hoped for the best when we chose our hotel, however we were diligent and only booked 4 days...and I am glad we did that.

Nonetheless, I was super excited to leave the cold Canadian weather and land into beautiful Cuba. Upon arriving, we hopped a cab with another couple that we met at the airport and went off to our hotel, only to be greeted by a gorgeous crystal blue water beach.


 We arrived just in time for lunch, this was the moment of truth for me. Was the food really that bad? YES, it doesn't matter where you go...your hotel, the supermarket or the #1 restaurant in Varadero. There is not much variety in food selection.


The food has no taste and there are very little fresh fruits or veggies. Most veggies are canned and there is no such thing as fresh milk. I stayed away from the meat after having a bad experience, so I only had seafood.

This is due to the fact that Cuba relies on its own resources which their food selection is scarce to none due to minimal trade affairs, hence poor economy. Yes, they do import certain foods however they have high restrictions posed upon them due to the US embargo. Fluctuations in the food supply caused by Cuba’s economic situation means that restaurants and hotels can sometimes run short on ingredients.

My personal recommendation is to eat at "paladars" which are restaurants that locals have opened in their own private residence, beforehand this was illegal and many kept running restaurants secretly in their homes, however now it is permitted.

 As mentioned, even if you go to the #1 Paladar in Varadero, do not expect it to be great, but it will be a better experience than most places in Cuba. We ate at the best paladars; Salsa Suarez and Varadero 60 which offered a more agreeable experience, but let's face it, Chef Gordon Ramsey would loose his mind in those restaurants.

Tips for Cuba: Luckily, I brought some spirulina powder with me for that energy boost as I was prepared for the scarcity of non-fresh produce. I also packed energy bars and kept very hydrated with lots of bottled water. Remember to use bottled water for brushing your teeth, do not drink the tap water.

We spent our time, tanning on the beach, swimming in the Atlantic ocean and enjoying Cuban rum, which taste so good. I packed about 12 swimsuits for my mini photo shoots right before sunset everyday. I picked up sea shells for future craft projects, got a massage on the beach and ordered many more "Cuba libre" cocktails at the open bar.

In the evenings, we checked out live shows. I was obsessed with all the classic taxis around and would only flag down the pink ones! We also went off to the Varadero market for a day of artsy shopping, as per my mother's suggestion and that was amazing. If you are into leather goods, it's a must. The amount of beautifully crafted leather hats and purses is insane, I got the cutest orange leather pouch for only 3 pesos.

We also did a 2 hour excursion on a catamaran, in the middle of the ocean, while I watched my boyfriend snorkel. I'm scared of sharks so I didn't dare go in, the instructor pleaded that the sharks were only in Holguin, but I wasn't believing that lol.


Vy Nguyen, the designer behind Lolli Swim recently went to Cuba and mentioned on her Instagram that the locals really appreciated any type of gifts, so I packed a bunch of clothes to give away and gave it to the cleaning lady at the hotel and she was so happy. So, If you plan to go to Cuba, bring some type of gift that the locals can use such as clothing or toiletries.

The colorful backdrop of Cuba accented by the classic american cars from the 50's is so memorable, time definitely stood still after the revolution. As a tourist, you can't avoid being immersed into it's communist climate and asking yourself questions about this country's future. Imagine with the United Sates only 90 miles away, if relations were widened, it would make a world of difference for Cuba. I hope that this can happen.

Where to next? Follow me on Instagram: @marciabcreative


Suvarna Gold said...

you look soooo pretty !! omg !

would you like to follow for follow ?

New post - Jacques Lemans

Check out my ♥Instagram ,Blog╚ovin and

Stay Gold

Anya Dryagina said...

Stunning photos! Great vacation!
Would you like to follow each other? Follow me on Blog and Google+ and I'll follow you back!

Irreplaceable_fashion said...

wooooow the photos are fabulous!!:)

Mónica - Mes Voyages à Paris said...

Wow Cuba!!! So awesome!! Wants to travel to this place!
Mónica Sors

Marisa Raquel Fonseca said...

I´m missing summer badly! Great body dear! xx
Coco and Jeans by Marisa x My Instagram x My Bloglovin

Paola Fratus said...

Such beautiful pics!
I'd like to go to Cuba!
Paola ♡

Silvia Negretti said...

I wish to visit Cuba one day!!!
Seems you had great time there, hun, amazing photos! :D

Lorena said...

Yes, my dear the situation in Cuba with the food is quite unexpected for many as one thinks (me included) that it would not be such for tourists. However it only made me wonder if I was getting the "good, privileged, stuff" what were residents getting ?
The idea of bringing gifts is the best, make up is hard to come by and also any clothes you're not wearing back home will be happily received.
But besides that Cuba is an amazing experience, it's like traveling back in time, a place full of culture and music.

Kasztanowy Domek said...

Fantastic travel! Great food! Lovely look!
Happy weekend! :)


Confessions of a makeup shopaholic (: said...

Looks like a beautiful place! <3

LoveT. said...

Wow, amazing!


Karolina Antosik said...

Wow so so great post- so stunning pictures, a lot of coll and personal info about Cuba. You must have there amazing time girl :-)

Great blo- I follow you :-)

Beauty Unearthly said...

What a great collection of pictures!

Carol Vega said...

amazing place! and you look amazing in those pics

kisses dear

Zaira D'urso said...

super cute place and blogpost

PTYSIA said...

Beautiful photos! :)
Have a good day! :)

awhite said...

I love how spontaneous this trip way- and how fun! And great tip about the food- makes sense why there is such little variety, but definitely makes it difficult to get a good meal!

Le Stylo Rouge

Chic Therapy said...

WOw! Lovely seeing Cuba through your eyes. It looks amazing.

Moda By Anjara said...

great post
besos desde

Tania Franco said...

Wow, good to know about the food. I can believe it! At least you got to go on a getaway and your pictures are so pretty!


Anonymous said...

Varadero is so Beautiful !!
I love my Cuba !!

Blogger said...

Do you need free Twitter Re-tweets?
Did you know you can get them ON AUTO-PILOT AND ABSOLUTELY FOR FREE by registering on Add Me Fast?