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Cayo Largo, Cuba #30373
12/10/2014 04:14 PM
12/10/2014 04:14 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 1,527
Welland, Ontario, Canada
John Offline OP
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John  Offline OP
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Welland, Ontario, Canada
December 1-8, 2014

Not sure where I should post this, but I ill submit it in this forum and deal only with the specific topic of nude beaches.

Background:
Cayo Largo is an island about 80 kilometres off the south coast of Cuba directly south of Havana. It is about 27 kilometres long and only about 3 kilometres at the widest point. It appeared to me to be a large reef covered with sand and scrub brush, very flat with the highest point only about 15 feet above sea level.

There are no permanent residents and the sole industry is tourism. The hotel workers are brought in on 20 day rotational shifts. There are about 6 hotels all of them along the south coast of the island.

The two hotels with nude beaches are Sol Pelicano and Sol Cayo Largo. These hotels have the only officially sanctioned nude areas by the Cuban Government.

Our stay was at Sol Pelicano. To get to the beach you must cross a catwalk of about 75 metres over a preserved area to get from the hotel area to the beach. At Sol Pelicano you must go to the far left of the beach (facing the ocean) where this is a sign stating "Nudismo Naturism".

There are no umbrellas but there are Palapas, basically a large post with a frame on top and covered with palm fronds. There are also a couple of other tent-like shelters made of the same materials. To get a palapa we found that you must go early in the morning and "stake your claim" with a towel or other marking. The first 3 days all were taken so shade for us was at a minimum. After that I managed to get to the beach before 7 a.m. and stake a claim. I did notice that some were claimed for the whole week and hardly used.There were about 40 or so people using the Naturist area each day.

The most striking thing was the sand…we have been to Cuba before and they have notoriously white sand beaches but this was the finest white sand I have seen anywhere! Virtually white powder sand. The only problem was the sand was so fine it was hard to get off your feet after you left the beach!

The beach all along the south coast is very windy…even more so than Orient and the water was very rough, especially the first few days with 2 – 3 foot waves breaking along the shoreline. Once you got past the first 10 metres or so it was a little easier but you had to roll with the waves. Only on the last day did it calm down but was still a little on the rough side.

We did not venture to the naturist beach at Sol Cayo Largo Hotel but did visit our friends who were staying at that hotel. They said there were about 150 people on the nude beach area there so it is much larger than the Sol Pelicano area. At Sol Cayo Largo to reach the nude beach you must go to the right facing the water to reach their nude area.

These two hotels are frequented mostly by Europeans, Canadians (mostly French Canadians) and South Americans. Language was a bit of a barrier, but we managed to somewhat overcome it by using "Espfranglais" (my own word) a mixture of Spanish, French and English. I estimate there were about 2 dozen native english speakers (Canadians) on the resort out of a few hundred guests. This is where we really miss our friends from the US!

We did visit a "vanilla" beach at Play Sirena about 6 kilometres away and found the same white powdery sand on a massive beach area.. It seems it is possible to walk most of the coast and never leave the sand!

If anyone has any questions about Cayo Largo or our hotel I will be happy to reply, but please…no politics.

John <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Cheers.gif" alt="" />


[color:"red"]May you always have sand in your shoes...and a dollar in your pocket! [/color]
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Re: Cayo Largo, Cuba [Re: John] #30374
12/10/2014 04:58 PM
12/10/2014 04:58 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 71,577
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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John--it sounds interesting! Hope I get to see Cuba some day!


Carol Hill
Re: Cayo Largo, Cuba [Re: Carol_Hill] #30375
12/12/2014 12:46 AM
12/12/2014 12:46 AM
Joined: Nov 2012
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eskimo888 Offline
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We stayed at Sol Cayo Largo and the far right side is set aside for nude use you can walk from there to playa sirens nude on deserted beaches all the way beautiful white sand a naturists paradise

Re: Cayo Largo, Cuba [Re: Carol_Hill] #30376
12/19/2014 12:47 AM
12/19/2014 12:47 AM

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Judging by the latest news on the radio regarding cruise lines revamping their itineraries to include Cuba, that island may explode soon as an American tourist destination. You may want to add a "Cuba" forum to the website. Can Club Cayo be far behind? <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/circle.gif" alt="" />

Reggie

Re: Cayo Largo, Cuba #30377
12/19/2014 10:17 AM
12/19/2014 10:17 AM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 1,527
Welland, Ontario, Canada
John Offline OP
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John  Offline OP
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It is predicted that it will also be the end of Cuba as an inexpensive vacation destination as prices are going to rise dramatically.

John <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Cheers.gif" alt="" />


[color:"red"]May you always have sand in your shoes...and a dollar in your pocket! [/color]
Re: Cayo Largo, Cuba [Re: John] #30378
12/20/2014 01:27 AM
12/20/2014 01:27 AM

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Quote
John said:
... also be the end of Cuba as an inexpensive vacation destination as prices are going to rise dramatically.

With the rise of demand, so will go the price - as long as the supply of resorts doesn't increase. But resort construction is inevitable in the long term - which may keep the prices from going stratospheric. An interesting consideration is what the Cuban competition will do to prices elsewhere in the Caribbean, say on St. Martin . . .

~Reggie~

Re: Cayo Largo, Cuba #30379
12/20/2014 08:45 AM
12/20/2014 08:45 AM
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Eric_Hill Offline

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I think that if Cuba really opens up to the US tourist market it will have an effect on many caribbean islands. It has always been rumored that there is a ton of money ready to go for resorts, etc. once things would open up. Of course that also would take cooperation with the government both in the US and Cuba.

How long will all of that take?? Still an unknown.


Eric Hill
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Re: Cayo Largo, Cuba [Re: Eric_Hill] #30380
12/21/2014 01:28 PM
12/21/2014 01:28 PM
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Posts: 230
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DarkDiggler Offline
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Standard economics would say the increased supply with a steady state demand would result in lower prices at other destinations.

We can only hope.

<img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Clapping.gif" alt="" />

Re: Cayo Largo, Cuba [Re: Carol_Hill] #30381
12/29/2014 06:35 PM
12/29/2014 06:35 PM
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 627
Burlington, Ontario, Canada
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JohnandBev Offline
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If you want to go to Cuba, and are an American - I believe you might be able to go. There is a round Cuba cruise being offered - "Your Cuba Cruise?" - two departure points, Havana, hmm no for the US and Montego Bay! - so go to Jamaica and away you go.
I'm not sure about the passport control when on the boat, but I'm told its not an issue
Anyway, something to research if you really want to go

J&B

Re: Cayo Largo, Cuba [Re: JohnandBev] #30382
03/21/2015 08:45 AM
03/21/2015 08:45 AM
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 620
Colorado
sxmbeachlover Offline
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How did you get to the island? Did you fly into Havana?


Famous Quote from SBHonline: The best moderation is the least moderation.
Re: Cayo Largo, Cuba [Re: sxmbeachlover] #30383
03/21/2015 09:11 AM
03/21/2015 09:11 AM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 71,577
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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John is from Canada. They can travel to Cuba freely.


Carol Hill
Re: Cayo Largo, Cuba [Re: sxmbeachlover] #30384
03/21/2015 04:17 PM
03/21/2015 04:17 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 1,527
Welland, Ontario, Canada
John Offline OP
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To my knowledge all the tourist flights that land at Cayo Largo are charter flights from Canada, Europe and South America. Although the airport terminal is very small...one gate in and one gate out...the runway is large enough to handle very large aircraft. The Cubans that work there come and go by ferry, when the ferry is working.

John <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Cheers.gif" alt="" />


[color:"red"]May you always have sand in your shoes...and a dollar in your pocket! [/color]
Re: Cayo Largo, Cuba [Re: sxmbeachlover] #30385
03/23/2015 02:26 AM
03/23/2015 02:26 AM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 22
Edmonton, Alberta
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We have flown from Edmonton, Toronto, and Montreal into Havana, Varadero, Cayo Santa Maria, and our favorite Cayo Largo.

Re: Cayo Largo, Cuba [Re: Carol_Hill] #30386
03/28/2015 09:47 AM
03/28/2015 09:47 AM

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Flying from Montego Bay Jamaica to Cuba is no problem. Don't have your passport stamped.(Cubans understand) It's really that simple.
When Air Jamaica was still flying they had pamphlets for travel to Cuba on the plane. The resorts also offered side trips to Cuba...of course they discouraged Americans, but my friend flew to Cuba (Santiago?). He had a lot of fun.
So, yes you can travel...just don't bring back evidence that you were there. It's really that simple.

Re: Cayo Largo, Cuba #30387
03/29/2015 10:14 AM
03/29/2015 10:14 AM
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,008
Louisiana
o2bnsxm Offline
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Why don't you want your passport stamped? It seems that might raise some "flags" and suspicions if you say, "OH UH Don't stamp my passport". I'm not Cuban, so I don't understand.

Re: Cayo Largo, Cuba [Re: o2bnsxm] #30388
03/29/2015 10:23 AM
03/29/2015 10:23 AM
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Quote
Why don't you want your passport stamped? It seems that might raise some "flags" and suspicions if you say, "OH UH Don't stamp my passport". I'm not Cuban, so I don't understand.


Think you misunderstood what they were saying. They were saying that they do not stamp a US passport. From others I understand that when a US person went to Cuba (this is from quite a few years ago) that they would stamp a secondary piece of paper to keep with your US passport, then it could be disposed of before returning to the US.


Eric Hill
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Re: Cayo Largo, Cuba [Re: Eric_Hill] #30389
03/29/2015 10:46 AM
03/29/2015 10:46 AM
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,008
Louisiana
o2bnsxm Offline
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OK. Sorry if I misread the post.

Re: Cayo Largo, Cuba [Re: o2bnsxm] #30390
03/29/2015 01:49 PM
03/29/2015 01:49 PM
Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 473
Playa del Carmen, Q Roo, Mexic...
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Quote
o2bnsxm said:
Why don't you want your passport stamped? It seems that might raise some "flags" and suspicions if you say, "OH UH Don't stamp my passport". I'm not Cuban, so I don't understand.


There are still some travel restrictions about visiting Cuba. A passport stamp could cost a US citizen $10k. When we went (from Mexico) the Cuban immigration attached a Post It to our passports and stamped the Post It.

Re: Cayo Largo, Cuba [Re: bugambilias] #30391
03/29/2015 08:28 PM
03/29/2015 08:28 PM
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Louisiana
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That makes since, however three weeks ago there was a news story here in New Orleans where they were making a big deal at the Airport (MSY)about the first commercial flights back to Cuba. They showed the lines of excited passengers waiting to board the plane, and even interviewed some on camera, most were going there on vacation, not returning to visit relatives or friends. I'm thinking that the Govt doesn't really care too much about the travel restrictions to Cuba.

Re: Cayo Largo, Cuba [Re: o2bnsxm] #30392
03/29/2015 08:51 PM
03/29/2015 08:51 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 71,577
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Well, that's not true, as far as first commercial flights to Cuba. Possibly from your local airport. However, there have been commercial flights to Cuba from Miami for years and years. And as far as whether 'the government' cares about travel restrictions to Cuba, still, as of today, US citizens cannot travel to Cuba without being in one of the specific exempt categories. It is stupid, yes, but it is still the law, as of today.


Carol Hill
Re: Cayo Largo, Cuba [Re: Carol_Hill] #30393
03/29/2015 08:56 PM
03/29/2015 08:56 PM
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Louisiana
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Is it necessary to have family there to be in one of the categories? Some of the passengers that were interviewed stated they were going there on vacation, but they could have possibly completed some type of forms or application to allow them to visit a relative. It doesn't really matter to me, as I have no interest in travel to Cuba. I have a few other places I would rather visit first.

Re: Cayo Largo, Cuba [Re: o2bnsxm] #30394
03/30/2015 07:13 AM
03/30/2015 07:13 AM
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Playa del Carmen, Q Roo, Mexic...
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o2bnsxm said:
Is it necessary to have family there to be in one of the categories? ...

I have no interest in travel to Cuba.


Here are the 12 conditions for authorized trips to Cuba. Formal approval is no longer required.

These categories are: family visits; official business of the U.S. government, foreign governments, and certain intergovernmental organizations; journalistic activity; professional research and professional meetings; educational activities; religious activities; public performances, clinics, workshops, athletic and other competitions, and exhibitions; support for the Cuban people; humanitarian projects; activities of private foundations or research or educational institutes; exportation, importation, or transmission of information or information materials; and certain authorized export transactions.

Do you agree that support for the Cuban people could include boosting the economy through tourism? Certainly!

US Government Fact Sheet

Re: Cayo Largo, Cuba [Re: bugambilias] #30395
03/30/2015 09:31 AM
03/30/2015 09:31 AM
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Louisiana
o2bnsxm Offline
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I would say that bringing US $$ to Cuba in the form of tourist activity would certainly support the Cuban people.

Re: Cayo Largo, Cuba [Re: John] #30396
04/10/2015 05:05 PM
04/10/2015 05:05 PM
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Caledonia, ON, Canada
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Quick question, John. Last time I was at a Cuban resort, it was slim pickings because of the embargo -- poor food and drink choices, couldn't even get a mojito because the supply of mint was spotty. I suspect that this might have been because the resort itself in Veradero was not that great. Leaving the nude beach aside for a moment, what was your impression of the resort?


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Re: Cayo Largo, Cuba [Re: BigMacIain] #30397
04/11/2015 11:29 AM
04/11/2015 11:29 AM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 1,527
Welland, Ontario, Canada
John Offline OP
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We were pleasantly surprised at the quality of Sol Pelicano. We have been to Cuba before in Guardalavaca and as you mentioned, the food was not good and the room very dated so our expectations were not high.

Our room at Sol Pelicano was updated and the bathroom was completely tiled. The only hint of anything being dated was the TV and there were only a few stations in English. The resort itself was very large and spread out and very well maintained. We were impressed with the quality of the food (especially after Guardalavaca). The only thing that was not available was lettuce for which you could substitute cabbage if you wished. There was also a great variety of food. The beef was tough but we have found that to be true of many places in the Caribbean.

The drinks were somewhat limited but the basics were there, Crystal and Buccanero were the beers (as always in Cuba) and of course the Cuban rums were always in great supply. They had the basic foo-foo drinks like Pina Colada, Mojito, etc. and we never noticed any shortage.

There is not much off the resort but we did go to the Marina which is where the Cuban workers stay when off shift. There is a turtle farm (really neat to see at the exorbitant entry fee of 1 peso), a bar, two souvenir kiosks, a bowling alley and a bank. We did stop at the bar to refresh ourselves, 2 beers and a shot of Irish Whisky came to 4 pesos (= 4 US$). <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Thumbsup.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Thumbsup.gif" alt="" />

Of course tourism is the only industry on Cayo Largo so I think they really make an effort to make sure the island is well supplied.

John <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Cheers.gif" alt="" />


[color:"red"]May you always have sand in your shoes...and a dollar in your pocket! [/color]

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