Travel Memories: Varadero, Cuba

“To collect photographs is to collect the world”

Susan Sontag

Just this past weekend I was going through my personal belongings and clearing some clutter in order to leave them in order (for my next move) and I happened to stumble upon my old photos from my travels around the world.

Believe it or not they are the 4 ” x 6 ” printed on paper and still in the envelopes I received them in (remember the good old days where you had to take your 35mm rolls and bring them to the pharmacy or photo lab to have them developed?)

One of the first batches I found was of my family trip to Varadero, Cuba! Oh the great memories immediately came back to mind! (I scanned the photos to show them to you, so forgive the quality but hey, photos are worth 1000 words right? 🙂

It was the very first time we traveled together since we all have different preferences regarding holiday destinations.

That year was coming to an end, thus we decided to head to the Caribbean and visit the island for the very first time. We arrived in Varadero and as usual, I was next to the window seat and I knew that it was going to be an unforgettable journey.

airplane, air travel, wing, a320 wing, travel, photography, TS76

Air Transat, Varadero, Varadero Airport, travel, photography, TS76

We had booked an all-inclusive trip, thus a company representative was waiting for us at the airport and the transfer to the hotel was easy breezy.

Since the place we would stay at was one of the first buildings in the area, we were lucky it was not too crowded and the view from our room looked like this.

Peace and tranquility 🙂

Varadero, Cuba, countryside, view, travel, photography, TS76

View from hotel, Varadero, Cuba, travel, photography, TS76

The beach was only a few meters away

Varadero, Cuba, pathway, beach, travel, photography, TS76

And since I am a beach lover, it took no time for me to swim in the warm, turquoise waters!

Beach, turquoise water, Varadero, Cuba, travel, photography

TS76, beach, Varadero, Cuba, travel, photography

The whole purpose of going away to a resort is to relax, unwind, recharge batteries, eat and drink in unlimited quantities (what diet? :)) and enjoy the fun in the sun!

We also took time to explore the area

Can you believe this is in Varadero? This is Parque Retiro Josone.

Varadero, Cuba, park, parque, parque Retiro Josone, travel, photography, TS76

Every day brought surprise after surprise, even the room service made sure we were having a grand time and they even made me smile and laugh out loud. How cool is this?

Varadero, Cuba, towel shape, towels, room service, travel, photography, TS76

The best memories were created during meal times and while interacting with the locals.

Now there’s one event in particular that I remembered and I was even surprised it came back as a flash but thought about sharing it with you.

During New Year’s Eve dinner, we all dressed up and enjoyed delicious and traditional food prepared by the chef and staff.

Then we were invited to enjoy a musical show outdoors right by the swimming pool. It was a group of professional salsa dancers who took the stage and wowed us with their moves and head-spinning turns!

Some lucky guests in attendance were asked to go on stage and show their dance moves with the audience 🙂 It was pretty funny but the pros did what they do best and that is to give impromptu dance lessons right there and then.

To encourage them, we all got up and followed the instructions and we all were taking two steps forward and two steps back!

It was great to see how everyone got involved and having a fun time until suddenly the music stopped and the lights went off. We thought, oh well, they have something else in store or we were going to be surprised but sadly, there was what they call an “apagón” which means that they lost power since sometimes it is being shut off without notice. That was pretty sad and it was New Year’s Eve!

We thought they would have their own or rented generator or power supply to get back up and running but they did not foresee that! Thus some of the guests left to go back to their rooms in the dark.

Fortunately, someone had the brilliant idea of grabbing a guitar and sing a Capella some of the classic songs everyone knows.

Thus they grabbed some chairs, formed a circle and they started singing “Guantanamera”, “besame, besame mucho” among others.

My family members and I stuck around for a little longer and decided to cheer them up by clapping and singing along to the great tunes!

Since the drinks were unlimited, we ordered piña coladas, mojitos, and beers. We sat on our lounge chairs around the pool and started chatting about life while looking up at the stars. How often do we actually get to do that these days?

The best part came when the clock struck midnight and we heard some fireworks at the distance. Thus we got up and walked towards the beach and we saw the spectacular display of lights in the sky!

Trust me, feeling the sand beneath my feet, feeling the ocean breeze and being in company of my family was a priceless moment that I will never forget.

That awkward and unfortunate event actually turned out to be one of the best things that could ever happen. Sometimes we must see the positive in the negative right? J

Just thinking about it makes me sentimental. It is high time that I personally go back to Cuba for more. My family members have gone back a few times since then to other areas such as Cayo Coco, Santiago de Cuba and Holguin!

Can you believe I only went to Varadero and La Habana? With the entire buzz about Cuba reestablishing links with the USA I sure want to pack up and go!

How about you?

Would you go to Cuba in the near future? If so where?

Have you ever been in a situation where power was lost and what was done to recover or get back to biz?


Tell me all about it.

Until next time

Felices viajes, Happy Travels!

All the best, todo lo mejor.

K 🙂


4 thoughts on “Travel Memories: Varadero, Cuba

  1. I’m glad to see you had a chance to go to Varadero. It’s unfortunate that you had to experience a apagon in Cuba. It’s there way of controlling the electricity. I remember one time that we were getting ready to sit down and eat dinner in Cuba and we lost power. It’s very challenging to eat in the dark when you don’t have a flashlight or a candle. We used our iPhone flashlight.

    • Yes, going to Cuba was a great learning experience and we got to see how Cubans truly live once we arrived in La Habana.

      Varadero is truly beautiful and it feels like a world away!

      Ah those apagones became more frequent and it made me appreciate even more what we have at home.

      Yes they are restricted in so many ways but hoping things improve with time!

      You’re lucky you had a flashlight, we had to deal with it with grace under pressure 🙂

      I definitely need to return to another part of the country, perhaps Cienfuegos or Pinar del Rio!

    • It sure was a miracle for the four of us to travel together, since we all have our different preferences but that was a unforgettable experience.

      Yes, I am WAY overdue for a return visit and I am sure i’ll see lots of changes next time I go.

      Have you been or would you like to? 🙂

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