While I read the general information about a ferry transfer from St. Maarten to Anguilla at Stmartinbookings.com, few small details still alluded me. As such, I have written a post for the first timers who are flying into the airport at Simpson Bay on the dutch side of St. Maarten, and need to get to Anguilla.TIPS!
Where to Stay, Things to Do, and Places to Eat on Paradise Island
I felt like I needed some beach time in the winter, so I booked a trip through my vacation club, World Ventures, the largest private club in the world. The club provides pre-packaged trips as well as a booking engine for flight, hotels, VRBO, cruises, and rental cars. It also includes an online shopping mall with virtually every retailer as well as discounts at local restaurants and events.
I didn’t want to have to think about anything for this relaxing vacation, so I picked a four-night trip to the Bahamas. I flew from Denver while my friend Max came from Dallas. Miraculously, both of our flights were on time and our bags came off the carousels next to each other in baggage claim, so we were off to paradise quickly! Continue reading “Dreamtrip: Paradise Island, Bahamas”
From Trinidad to Havana
It is our final day in Cuba. Our tour had a few stops planned for our drive from Trinidad to Havana for our last day in Cuba. Upon departing Trinidad, we drove through the Valle de los Ingenios which is a series of three valleys that was the center for sugar production from the late 18th century until the late 19th century. Continue reading “From Trinidad to Havana and What Falls in Between”
Things to Do and Places to Eat in Trinidad, Cuba
To continue with the Valentine’s Day theme from last night, our hosts’ two-year old son picked some flowers in the courtyard and proudly presented them to me at breakfast…so cute! We enjoyed our breakfast on the veranda outside our room which was decorated in pottery. The house was home to grandma, grandpa, mom, dad, and their little one. Our room may have been the largest we’ve stay in on the trip thus far. It included to queen size beds, a large wardrobe with many hangers, coat hooks, and even Cuban shampoo and shower gel, not to mention cups wrapped in plastic like a US hotel. Continue reading “Treasures of Trinidad”
Places to Visit in Cienfuegos
We enjoyed our breakfast on the upstairs terrace as we looked on the horse drawn taxis. From our balcony view, the large City of Cienfuegos with a population of 110,000, still seemed like a quiet ghost town. Our breakfast was much of the same…egg, papaya, pineapple, and bread and juice and coffee. Here the pineapples were larger and not as good as the tiny ones in Viñales. We enjoyed our time at Eliza y Miguel Angel’s house, but it was time to pack up and keep touring. Continue reading “Cienfuegos and Trinidad, Cuba”
Road Trip Across Cuba
Our evening ended early, and we planned to awake at 6:30 for breakfast and our 8am departure. The loud diesel trucks were the first alarm, and the barking dogs and rooster were the second. Page’s phone alarm was the third. Our bus drove us back toward Havana past fog covered farm land to our next stops: a break at rest stop, lunch at a paladar, a cultural visit to an arts project, a swim in a sink hole, and history lesson at a museum about the Bay of Pigs. Continue reading “Korimakao Cultural Project and the Bay of Pigs Invasion”
Things to Do in Viñales
Mirta prepared our breakfast for 7am. It included a variety of fruits, eggs made to order, coffee and homemade juice. We didn’t have to leave until 9am today, so I took advantage of the late start and went for a run. I aimed to go off the beaten path and succeeded. I climbed up the small hill as I left town toward the northeast. The concrete roads turned to a combination of crumbled asphalt and dirt. I got to the highest point I could for a nice view before I dropped down just slightly to run on a dirt road past small horse farms before I ended up on a busy road as children walked to school in their red uniforms. At this point, I didn’t know where I was and was surprised to feel lost in a three road town! Continue reading “Cuban Farms…How to Roll a Habano!”
Places to Visit at Las Terrazas
We ate our final breakfast at Casa Obrapía before loading on the bus to drive west for 1.5 hours to Las Terrazas, a very interesting community. A reforestation project was designed around the community which provided countless jobs and government housing to many. The hills, once full of trees were left almost barren after timber logging by the Spanish and Cubans, and coffee planting by the French. Only 14% of the forest remained in 1957. A 12,000 acre reserve was created in the Sierra del Rosario Mountains where trees were replanted and in 1984 it was named a biosphere Reserve by UNESCO. Continue reading “Las Terrazas and Viñales…A Treat for Nature Lovers”
A Walking Tour of the Streets of Havana
Our morning began at 7:15 when we walked over to the main house, which had much more charm than our apartment, for breakfast. The owners served us a variety of fruit; bananas, papaya, passion fruit and pine apple along with eggs, tea and coffee. The breakfast area on the roof top was quite nice, and we enjoyed a leisurely meal before Valeri our guide and Michael our bus driver picked us up at 8 to begin our exploration of La Habana Vieja. Continue reading “LOVED the Streets of Habana Vieja and Fusterlandia”
Traveling to Cuba
Cuba…a place I’ve wanted to go probably because it has been off limits to Americans and from what I have seen on TV, the culture seems interesting. As such, I googled a variety of trips…cruises, dive trips and others. I was somewhat interested in a photography trip, but I didn’t find one and instead stumbled across a vacation offered by Intrepid Travel.
While I had never heard of this travel company, I really liked the activities offered on their “people-to-people” exchange, one of the restricted ways Americans are able to travel to Cuba. It was one of the few itineraries I found that didn’t require us to go to the University to listen to a lecture. In addition, the trip included home stays which intrigued me. Continue reading “An American in Cuba!”