Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Cuba - Transport, Currency, Activities - Jeep Safari


Viazul – the bus service - is the best way of getting around the island without the expense of car hire, however cars will allow you to pause and take in the scenic views of jugged hills coated with palm trees and thick green foliage.

Taxis will give you that thrill factor that you only dream of when watching classic 1950’s flicks. The Chevrolets are a pain in the bum, quite literally, constantly being repaired by their owners, these machines bump and grind along the pot-holed roads letting off a proud roar with each acceleration. Ladas on the other hand can be a tight fit. Wherever you go you will also see Bici-taxi (tricycles with seats) and horse carriage transporting locals and can be used by tourists.

Bikes – have to be the best way to get round any country. We hired a set in Trinidad ($3CUC each a day) and enjoyed a leisurely roll to Playa Ancon for snorkelling in the coral reef. 

Currency
The Cuban Dollar – the tourist currency – is worth 24 Cuban Nacionales. When making purchases check whether they mean Nacionales or Dollars, though it is difficult to use Nacionales as a tourist (except in Santa Clara).
Cubans earn approximately £12 a month, receive free education, free national health, and bread, eggs, and rice weekly. Cubans supplement their income through visitors; seeking tips or trying to sell you goods.

Activity - Jeep Safari
This tour will put you in control of an off-road jeep leaving Varadero beach resort passing through towns, villages, hamlets while getting a taste of Cuban life. The first stop a local farmer producing Sugar Cane, Pineapples, Bananas, and other exotic fruits.

Next was Coral Beach for snorkelling among tropical fish followed by a stop at Saturno Cave for some fresh water swimming. Lunch consisted of typical Cuban cuisine; Chicken Soup, Fried Potatoes, Rice and Black Beans, with a light sprinkle of cabbage salad. After lunch visitors can partake in Horse and Bull riding before departing for a riverboat cruise with live music and Samba Dancers. For a reasonable $73CUC - but remember your driving licence.