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Nancy & Gord's Cuban Vacation
The Beach

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Trinidad Del Mar Resort 1
Trinidad Del Mar Resort 2
The Beach
Town of Trinidad
Topes de Collantes
Cuban Dancers
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OK, I know you're dying to find out just one thing... how's the beach!?! Well, look for yourself - Playa Ancon is simply smooth as sugar! Well groomed, very few shells and located on an isolated penisula, it's one of the few white sand beaches on the Caribbean side of Cuba and definitely on par with north coast beaches like Varadero... the mountains to the north keep the climate warmer & less rainy than inland too.

Nancy on the beach
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The beautiful white sand of Playa Ancon

Because the area has very few developments, there were many isolated places you could go to get away from the crowd... alternatively, if you're looking for catamarans, pedal boats, volleyball, drinks (no washroom), windsurfing, horseback riding... they had that too... don't know if there was a ban on motorized water craft, but there was a noticeable lack of noise... sweet!

Gord
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Before the hardcore volleyballers take over.

We met a ton of interesting people from all over the world... French artists living in New York, a couple who owned a flower shop in Bristol, a neuro-surgeon from Lisbon, people from Switzerland, Italy, Colombia...  one person from Argentina described how, while she had been away, her country had had 5 different Presidents!

On the Beach
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Nancy with starfish

... world class snorkeling and scuba diving was right nearby and there were plenty of opportunities to hire a boat or take a cruise.... lots of marine life too, with a great assortment of fish, crabs, dolphins... one morning, a swarm of millions of dragonflies formed over the beach and disappeared as fast as they appeared....
Sunset 1
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Every night at 5:45 we'd gather on the beach - bring bug spray!

Unlike many other places in Cuba,  Playa Ancon is open to Cubans as well as tourists. Of course, to use the resort facilities, you have to buy a daypass or be a registered guest and suffice to say the price is out of range for your average Cuban. On the beach,  you will likely be solicited for Lobster dinners, cigars or whatever, but a polite "no thanks" is enough to send them on their way... no big deal at all..

Sunset 2
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A nightly ritual - sunset over the Caribbean.

... our daily ritual included racing down to the beach (about a 30 second walk from our room) to see the sunset. Wherever you go in Cuba, bring some Deep Woods Off or Skintastic - that should take care of Mosquitos, which come large and love thick Canadian blood. What you might not be prepared for are the tiny little "No-See-Ums", which are basically sand fleas that leave an itchy welt ... don't wear perfume/cologne or scented lotion and you'll be better off.

La Playa Ancon
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Hurricaine Michelle ravaged Cuba mere weeks before.

Cuba had been experiencing drought conditions for the last 2 years, which contributed to low sugar and fruit yields... that was multiplied in fall of 2001 with the appearance of Hurricaine Michelle which ravaged the central part of the country, very close to Trinidad.... the resort was untouched, but there was evidence of damage around and stories of other places badly hit... including the country's vital sugar caine crop which was severely affected.