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CUBA

 
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KT



Joined: 09 Oct 2006
Posts: 192
Location: Toronto

PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2007 9:28 pm    Post subject: CUBA Reply with quote

Hey Guys,

I'm planning a trip this fall / winter, and would like to check out Cuba, the home of salsa. I'm bombarded with piles and piles of travel books, all these pictures of white sand and blue water... it's so hard to decide!!!

Can anyone share some travel experience to Cuba, or anywhere in the tropics? I'll very much appreciated it!

Where to go?
Where to avoid going?
Good resorts, bad resorts?
Where are the salsa hot spots?

Thanks guys!
Happy Dancing! Very Happy
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Katie Y.
Events Coordinator
events@torontodancesalsa.ca
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MissChievous



Joined: 09 Oct 2006
Posts: 107
Location: North York

PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2007 10:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey KT,

Have you checked Tripadvisor.com? You can find tons and tons fist-hand reviews there. I always rely on this site when I make my choces where to go to. I havent been disapointed yet.
Another great site for advices is http://www.debbiescaribbeanresortreviews.com

Hope this helps.
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lindiloo



Joined: 11 Oct 2006
Posts: 62

PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2007 1:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The above links is what I was going to recommend as well.

Things to consider when planning: What is the purpose of your trip? Do you want to just flake out on the beach and hang out at the resort for the week, or do you want to be close-by to a city and explore the history and, of course, the local music and dancing hot-spots?

Santiago de Cuba fit the best of both worlds for my trip. The resort was approx 30 min cab from the city, so it was easy to make a salsa adventure trip at night - or daytrip to the historical sites or up the mountains - and make it back to chill by the pool. or beach.

The musical talent there is just amazing (birthplace of Son I believe?) and the highlight of my trip was the fantastic live music we saw most nights. And of course, the dancing.

You may not get your salsa fix on the resorts, unless you befriend the entertainment staff and dance with them - which I did because I needed my salsa day and night! Ahhh poolside salsa...when you get too hot, jump in the water!

www.cuba-junky.com is a good site to look through
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KT



Joined: 09 Oct 2006
Posts: 192
Location: Toronto

PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2007 8:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks guys, your opinions definately helped me make my decision.

I also spoke with some people from the travel agency and they recommended Veradero. It's supposed to have a good mix of culture and resort.

Has anyone been to Veradero? Any recommendations for clubs and hot spots?
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Katie Y.
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timbero1



Joined: 09 Jan 2007
Posts: 63

PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2007 11:58 am    Post subject: varadero Reply with quote

Of course, your travel agent would suggest Varadero because he or she wants to sell you a package deal. I don't think he/ she is a big salsa fan. Varadero is like Cancun in Mexico. Kind of like a Cuban Disneyland for adults. If you just want to stay on the beach and dance salsa with other tourists, then Varadero is the place for you. The Cuban dancers and groups that are there are geared to the tourists. Therefore, dancing is designed for shows and musical groups play popular watered down Latin music, not just Cuban. If you don't want to speak Spanish and have little contact with regular Cubans, then Varadero is perfect for you.

It is not really representative of the culture of the country. If you have been just to Varadero, you can't really say you have experienced Cuba. If you want to hear good music and dance go to Santiago or Havana. One of the most famous place is the Casa de la Musica in Havana. But for me the best way is to find out where the best music groups are playing and go there.

I am sure you will be going to La Habana anyways. All the tourists from Varadero end up going to Havana sooner or later. But if your hotel is in Varadero, you can only probably go to Havana one day because it is far and the transportation in Cuba sucks. Why waste so much time just for a beach ?

Try to learn the names of the best groups like Pupy y los que son son, los Van Van, Manolito Simolet y su trabuco, kilmax, Charanga Habanera, etc. and try to be where they are at. You won't be disappointed. And these salsa groups play often in the city.

Visit my friends' websites like : www.muchoswing.com and www.misterbryans.typepad.com to learn more about Cuban music and dance. Or you can search for these groups in the videos of www.youtube.com. Also, Cubans really like it if you try to dance casino (Cuban style salsa) and they might not be too impressed with triple turns and dips.

If you know more about the country you are visiting beforehand, you will have a much better time. If not, you might be disappointed.
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