Sabrina Pirillo is a freelance travel writer based out of Toronto. She believes travel is life which is why she loves travelling around the world and writing about it. Sabrina is also a proud member of TMAC, Travel Media Association of Canada.
PAX recently had the pleasure of visiting Cuba with Hola Sun Holidays during their annual MEGA Fam, exploring the eco-tourism, culture and diversity of the destination.
“The objective of this FAM trip is to enjoy what the ministry of tourism calls Authentica Cuba, said Hugo Rocha, sales director for Hola Sun Holidays said. "We have to experience the real Cuba, the natural settings of the country, not just the standard resorts that Canadians are used to. We cannot deny Cuba is a magnet for beach paradise, but what we want Canadians to change is to focus more on the culture, history, architecture, nature and adventure.”
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As Hola Sun Holidays offers many different packages to suit your clients needs, here are 10 things to tell your clients about Cuba in the different cities they can explore.
Havana City Tour: Recently celebrating their 40th anniversary, Havanatur takes you on a journey through history. Havana was declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 1982 and your clients will stroll through the cobblestone streets and visit landmarks. Some of the most popular one include Cathedral Square featuring Saint Cristobal Church; La Bodeguita del Medio and El Floridita where Ernest Hemingway once spent his time sipping mojitos and daiquiris; Plaza Vieja (The Old Square) in Old Havana where the wealthiest citizens lived during colonial times, the Grand Theatre and The Capitolio Nacional, replicating the one in Washington DC.
Hotel National: Here your clients can grab a mojito and explore history as they take tours through the bunkers and tunnels from the Cuban Missile Crisis dating back to 1962.
Iberostar Grand Packard: An iconic hotel building from the 1920’s has been newly renovated and reopened, as of a a few weeks ago as The Iberostar Grand Packard. This five-star luxury hotel features 321 rooms with an infinity pool on the sixth floor offering spectacular views of Morro Castle and the boardwalk in Old Havana.
Vinales Valley: Take a trip to the most Western province of Cuba, where your clients can sightsee through Vinales Valley in Pinar de Rio. Eco-tourism shines here and your clients can see mountain ranges from the Jurassic period, and explore the Indian Cave, which ends with a boat tour in the underground river.
Guama Tour: Hola Sun Holidays offers your clients a Guama Tour where they’ll visit Finca Fiesta Campesina, (which means farmers party) an old sugar factory and farm. Representations of Cuban flora and fauna and different kinds of animals, like crocodiles, and plants can be found on site. TOne of the highlights is a speedboat ride through the Taina Village.
Bellamar Caves: Your clients will love a visit to Bellamar Caves where they’ll travel 32 metres underground to view formations, crystallizations and stalagmites. They can place their hands in the Fountain of Love and make a wish.
When you book a package with Hola Sun Holidays, the excursion to Bellamar Caves and city tour of Matanzas are included as a bonus.
Paradisus Princesa del Mar: Just 12 years old and an adults-only property, the Paradisus Princesa del Mar is part of Melia Hotels International. Your clients can enjoy this luxury five-star resort with a Royal Service option which includes butler service, junior garden suites swim up pool and cabana, and hydromassage tub.
Bar Tour: Explore the downtown city of Varadero by taking a double-decker bus and doing a bar tour which includes places like The Beer Factory, Xanadu and the most popular, La Casa De La Musica (the House of Music) where your clients can experience authentic Cuban musicians and singers. Downtown Varadero also includes some Rock and Roll at Los Beatles Bar.
Seafari Cayo Blanco: Your clients can spend the day sailing across the Caribbean on a Seafari Cayo Blanco Catamaran. They’ll also visit the Dolphinarium, go snorkeling and visit, the beautiful Cayo Blanco Beach where lunch is included.
Varadero Golf Club & Xanadu Mansion: Golf Lovers can play 18 holes of golf whilst surrounded by lush vegetation and turquoise waters. Xanadu Mansion is home to the Varadero Golf Club and are one of the wonders of the Cuban architecture.
Hola Sun Holidays has been in the market for 27 years and will coordinate with the Ministry of Tourism of Cuba on celebrations for the 500th anniversary of Havana.
“We think we’re going to have a FAM trip to bring agents to experience the capital city and be part of that celebration,” says Rocha."
Havana’s 500th anniversary takes place Nov. 2019.