Subject: Cuba
We have only been to Cuba twice, staying both times at the Melia properties in Varadero and touring the countryside and Havana through day trips organized from our hotel.

Havana is definitely a must see and in future trips we will try to stay in locations that allow easier access to both Trinidad and Santiago as we've heard very positive comments on those cities too. Havana is a wondrous place to visit in the hands of an experienced guide who can share historical and current insights from a Cuban perspective. The architecture is stunning and there are on-going restoration programmes utilizing student artisans who are actively involved in learning old building crafts in a hands-on setting.

We have also taken several countryside day tours to small towns and botanical gardens, as well as a wonderful day travelling to the south, including a boat ride through the mangrove swamps of Zapata National Park to touran ancient Indian village in Guama, as well as lunch on the beach at Bahia Cochinos.

I've included some sites I found interesting as I was exploring some future possibilities .. it may be that on a future trip we will do a tour, rather than stay at a beach resort. Those long beach walks are very enticing though, so it will be a difficult choice. As long as I can find a good guide to take me back to Habana, I'll be content!

We didn't rent a car while there, in fact were advised not to due to difficulties obtaining fuel and mechanical assistance in the countryside. Since it's been about 4 years, perhaps this is changing too.

Anne Burlington ON