You find yourself traveling in Cayo Santa Maria, Cuba. But now what? You will probably want to spend all day enjoying the beach view, taking advantage your resort water sports amenities – jet ski, sailing, mini catamaran etc. or in the pool cabana all day. However, if you are like me that need at least one day out of the same scenery then here’s what you can do.
Cayo Santa Maria is excluded in the local areas of Cuba. It is seldom that you’d see locals or residential houses but if you travel 45 minutes or so, you’ll hit the town of Caibarién, Remedios and Camajuaní. Coming from Santa Clara Airport, you’ll hit those three towns as well. It’s good to learn more about the locals and their lifestyle. In fact, it’s an eye opener especially when you learn how much an average Cuban make per day. It’s not even comparable for what we make here.
To Do # 1 | Tour the City – Horseback Riding + Boat Cruise + Cave Visit
There are tons of places for you to book this tour. In my opinion, this is the best way to see the surrounding towns and yet having an afternoon spend on the water especially if the beach is very seldom in your area of origin *ahem* Toronto. Before you leave your resort, I’d recommend to have breakfast or grab something from the 24-snack bar. Tour companies normally give you cheese sandwich, tropical fruit, and water in the bust but if you are picky like me, then you won’t be able to enjoy that. Then you’ll either start off on the boat or jeep to tour the local town. You’ll then off to a mini-horseback riding session and depending on the weather you may be going to a longer or shorter route. The Cave is very informational and amazing – it doesn’t take long, roughly about 45 minutes. You are then spending the whole afternoon in the boat for lunch, afternoon party – lots of Cerveza/Beer, snorkeling and beachside swim.
This all-day excursion is definitely worth your buck! You’ll also be back to the resort just in time for a quick nap and late dinner.
To Do # 2 | Dolphin Swim “Delfinario”
Take a dip into the exciting dolphins’ world, and have a close encounter with these intelligent creatures. Unfortunately, I did not get to enjoy this during my stay since it’s availability doesn’t match our stay schedules. However, people from our resort checked this out and really enjoyed it. Some recommended just watching the dolphin while other said it’s worth the money swimming with them.
Some excursion combine this with city tour to make it a full day while you can also enjoy the short visit for half a day.
To Do # 3 | An Afternoon Spent in the Plazas (La Estrella + Las Duenas)
There are only two plazas in the city. Your best bet is La Estrella Plaza. It’s not big but there are more to see. In the afternoon, there are some street dancers or performances. You can also find the Churros street cart which for me is definitely worth the visit. You also want to skip your resort gift shop for souvenir and check out the plaza souvenier PLUS you can also get better pricing if you plan to buy a lot. La Duenas, on the other hand, is small but they also sell souvenirs. Be careful, there are no taxis in La Duenas Plaza. You might end up hitchhiking on your way back to your resort like we did!
Antonio is huge with travel souvenirs and baseball so we got custom engraved baseball with our anniversary date. He also brought home Cuban paintings for his room.
If you want to enjoy a full day of spa, La Estrella has good massage services for couples. Royalton and Memories guests get an additional discount. On my first trip in 2012, I was able to enjoy their facility – amazing pool, sauna, waterfalls jacuzzi, massage therapist, and lap pool. If you are there for 7 days, I’d recommend doing this for a full day.
That’s all I have for your on Cayo Santa Maria. For anyone traveling to Cuba, I’d highly recommend this destination. It is worth every penny!
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