I still remember entering my first year of university and thinking that 4 years was going to be an eternity…but as usual, time goes by unexpectedly fast and before I knew it, somehow those dreaded 4 years are over. I was always so envious of the newly grads going off to their graduation trips and it’s crazy to think that this time it was my turn!
It was a tough decision, but my friends and I decided on a one week trip to Cuba. We stayed at an all-inclusive in Varadero, right by the beach. This was actually my first all-inclusive experience because I’m usually the type to enjoy planning things myself and jam-packing my trip with activities. But, being a graduation trip, I thought it’d be a nice change to just kick back and relax to the max.
I absolutely love the ocean. If I had to choose just one place to live, it’d be by the crystal clear waters and soft sandy beaches. Waking up to the smell of sea salt air and the gentle rhythmic sound of waves is possibly the best feeling ever. I chose to stay at Melia Varadero mainly because it’s a beachfront hotel. Walk out the door and you’re literally on the beach. Words can’t describe how amazing it was to witness the sunrise and sunset over the Caribbean Sea.
We spent most of the week in Varadero, but there was no way we were leaving Cuba without a taste of Havana. I looked into a few transportation options, and decided on an “old car tour”. This was a one day trip from Varadero to Havana in a vintage American car, where the driver also doubled as your tour guide. I highly recommend Old Car Tours if you want a fun tour experience, especially if you’re into those vintage cars like me. You can even request what kind of car you want (of course I requested a pink one!). Our driver was very kind and helpful, and we had a wonderful time in Havana.
Havana was absolutely beautiful. I instantly fell in love with its brightly painted walls and vintage-looking alleys. If I was to go to Cuba again, I would definitely want to explore Havana more.
And of course, can’t forget the food scene. I didn’t really know what to expect when it came to Cuban food because I’m pretty unfamiliar with it. But to be honest, I was a little unimpressed at first with the hotel’s food…I felt as if I wasn’t experiencing the true Cuban cuisine. And indeed I was right. It was not until we stepped out of the resort boundaries and explored downtown Varadero that I tasted more authentic food. Except not gonna lie, even now I can’t tell you exactly what Cuban food is…but I can tell you that black beans and rice seems to be a staple–and it’s delicious. Oh, and garlic shrimp. If you see garlic shrimp on the menu, order it. But if I had to describe Cuban cuisine in a few words, it’d be flavourful, meaty, and primarily grilled/BBQ items.
And I think that’s a wrap for my little vacation to Cuba! If you’re planning on visiting and have any questions, fire away in the comments below! I’ll try my best to help. Also, if you have any vacation recommendations let me know… I’m always down to pre-plan my next adventure 😉