Cayo Santa Maria, Cuba

Heading to Cuba and tossing up between all-inclusive beach or cities?

Hola amigos!

If you’re like me, you will find the idea of an all inclusive holiday convenient and distasteful at the same time. Depending on the location, it can be a good thing. For example, a trip to the Maldives will be an all inclusive deal (or at least half board) because there’s quite literally nothing else on that island besides the resort. In places where it’s possible to get out and about, an all inclusive stay can really disconnect you from discovering the local way of life & give you a pretty ‘fake’ idea of the place.

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However today I present to you: Cayo Santa Maria – a beach in Cuba which happens to host a couple of all inclusive resorts, one of which we stayed at for three days. I won’t be naming the resort because quite simply, it just isn’t my usual cup of tea and I’d prefer to rave about great places on this blog! However, I’d love to show you some photos from this beach, then you may be able to make up your mind as to whether this is a location worth adding to your holiday list. After all, if you’re coming here, it’s only going to be because you want to sit at the beach – it’s not a place where you will get in touch with the local Cuban culture… there are other cities for that.

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Click on my other blog posts to read about alternative locations: 

The more touristy side of Havana: Cuba

Old Havana City Walking Tour: Cuba

Is it worth stopping in Cienfuegos? (Cuba)

The Best of Trinidad: Cuba

The colours of Vinales: Cuba

What should I know before going to Cuba?

Staying in a Casa Particular: Cuba

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We went to Cuba this year back in May and overall, we had an incredible time. I actually went with a German speaking tour company because we were on holidays with our Opa and we wanted everything to be arranged and organised. Did this stop us from exploring Cuba and getting in touch with the locals? No way. Why? Well Cuba has a pretty short supply of hotels which means there’s a system called Casa Particular which is where you stay with families in their homes and they supply you with breakfast. This provided a great and honest insight into regular Cuban life. Given our Spanish was good enough, we were able to have some great conversations with our hosts.

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The photos in this post were taken at an all inclusive resort which was a non-negotiable part of the tour. If I’m totally honest, the thought of staying at a resort like this after 2 weeks of staying in pretty sub-par housing wasn’t too bad but generally, I wouldn’t recommend this as a place you ‘only’ do in Cuba. There’s just so much to see and do in the country, it’s not worth wasting your time solely on the beach!

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Regardless of that, have a look at the photos. If this looks like the sort of place you’d like to visit, you can look up the beach resorts in Cayo Santa Maria and take your pick.

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