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Punta Cana vs Cuba

toronto
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Punta Cana vs Cuba

Hi there, planning an april trip with hubby. First one ever alone together. Been to Cuba last year with sis and Punta Cana with family the year before. Having trouble picking between the two for this trip. Lots of questions. Which would be cheaper in April and what time in April is best to go? I usually book with Flightcentre. Perhaps a new travel agent to try? Ideas? When is too early or too late to book for April? Opinions on: Punta Cana (Bavaro Beach?) or one of the Cayos for Cuba? Thanks for any input at all on pricing, beaches, water clearness, etc.

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Hostel Punta Cana
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Chester, United...
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1. Re: Punta Cana vs Cuba

Hi

We have been to both a few times and whilst we have always enjoyed Cuba we much prefer PC as the food and overall standards are so much better

We normally book well ahead of time as here in the UK it is normally cheaper to do it that way

Can you enlighten us a bit more on what you are looking for in the resort you want to stay at

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Toronto, Canada
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2. Re: Punta Cana vs Cuba

I stayed at The Royal Hideaway in Cuba, which is now Iberostar Cayo Ensenachos. It was a beautifull resort with an idyllic beach and the clearest, calmest waters I've seen. But the food was bad, and it was supposed to be among the best in Cuba. We also found it chilly in the winter.

Cuba is less expensive than Punta Cana, but I much prefer Punta Cana.

Mark

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Iberostar Bavaro Suites
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Punta Cana
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Toronto, Canada
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3. Re: Punta Cana vs Cuba

I love both areas. Cuba will be less expensive. Now is a good time to book. Gone are the days of good last minute prices unless it's to resorts I would never ever recommend. Prices these days increase as you get closer to departure. Prices might be better furthest from spring break and Easter. Weather will be good at either destination.

I use Bel Air Travel online. Really reputable.

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4. Re: Punta Cana vs Cuba

Cuba will always be cheaper. I've never found the food to be that bad. We went to Guardalavaca end of April and the weather was fabulous. There are some spectacular beaches in Cuba too, and more opportunities for snorkeling than in PC. I've not been to the Cayos, but that would be my next choice when visiting Cuba.

Personally, I found the locals to be much friendlier in Cuba than in PC and best of all... no annoying beach vendors. Even the street vendors don't harass you nearly as much.

Had much success booking last minute, and the savings can't be beat. It is risky though. But only if you aren't particular to one area, and for no more than 2 people.

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5. Re: Punta Cana vs Cuba

I've been to Cuba (Varadero) twice and to the DR twice (Samana, Punta Cana).

Cuba is cheaper and I find that there is less of a language barrier (more staff speak English or better English). Personally, I did not have issues with the food in Cuba but admittedly, the food in DR is better. The drag in the DR is that you have to remember to not use the water, whereas in Varadero, you can drink tap water and brush your teeth with it without any problems.

Personally, the big turn off with the DR is the agressive vendors on the beach and in the resorts.You don't get that much of it in Cuba.

So, food and the resorts itself may be a bit better in the DR but Cuba is cheaper and I find the hotel staff more pleasant.

And remember that all is relative and the above is only based on my personal experiences.

As for booking, check out tripcentral. They have this price grid on their page so that you can really compare the prices. Whenever I am checking deals, I always have another window open so that I can check reviews on trip advisor.

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Ottawa, Canada
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6. Re: Punta Cana vs Cuba

I've been to Punta Cana on several occasions. I haven't been to Cuba, but many of my friends have been and actually prefer it to Punta Cana as they find the beaches nicer. I'm sure the weather in April will be great at either place.

I have friends who went to the Royal Hideaway Ensenachos in Cuba and also to the Iberostar Ensenachos and they loved it. I was actually planning to go there last year, but since it was so new as a family resort, I was worried that not enough children would be there and my son would be bored. A friend of mine went to the Melia Buenavista last year and loved it (she'd previously been to the Bahia Ambar in Punta Cana which she also loved).

I agree with Alice that tripcentral.ca is a great site for comparing prices. I also like itravel2000.

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7. Re: Punta Cana vs Cuba

momluvstorun,

I was at Royal Hideaway in late November 2008, if I remember correctly. It's a heck of a long drive from the airport, partly through villages, and a big chunk on a causeway. The resort is on its own island.

The resort is impressive. The standard rooms are perhaps the best I've ever encountered. I mean not just in terms of "niceness" - they were well designed.

The beach was picture postcard perfect. You could walk out into the sea for a very long way, and clearly see the bottom. But the beach was quite a ways from the main area of the resort. There's a long elevated walkway. I saw an 8 to 10 foot python passing underneath the walkway while I was there. Next to the beach, there was a bar (and bathrooms), but it too was at the end of a walkway.

We were told that Fidel Castro proclaimed it the nicest beach in Cuba, and I can believe it.

It was too cold to swim in the pool. I tried, and I regretted it.

The resort was pretty dead at night. I'm thinking that as an Iberostar, that won't be the case anymore. If so, and if the food has improved, it would be a winner in my book.

Oh, and lots of pathways for you to run on.

Mark

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8. Re: Punta Cana vs Cuba

Yes, my friends who've been since they changed to the Iberostar have all loved it - my biggest deterrents are if there would be enough fun stuff for my 9 year old son to do, and enough kids his age, and the long transfer ride. My friends that went when it was the Royal went in late March and weather was perfect - no cold water for swimming. I'd personally never go to Cuba in December/January cuz the weather seems pretty unpredictable.

Edited: 12:44 pm, January 14, 2013
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Iberostar Bavaro Suites
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9. Re: Punta Cana vs Cuba

Cuba to cold in winter well it was when I went in February ,I went to iberostar dakarry I agree the beaches are great but I found the staff seem to distance them selfs from you,it wasn't long after a big hurricane and lot of hotels had to be shut down may be the staff had an issue with management,maybe that's why they were not so friendly we had a good time but that was down to a group of Canadian women and a group of Canadian students a credit to there country.

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DDF
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10. Re: Punta Cana vs Cuba

We have been to both and prefer Punta Cana hands down for beaches (nice and long to walk on) and especially the food. While we love the Cuban people (we still communicate with friends there) the food leaves little to be desired. But having said that, the best food we ever had was at the Playa Costa Verde (been there twice). It is an old Breezes hotel and while it need some updating, it is extremely clean, as is most resorts in Cuba. We have been to Guardalavaca at another hotel and the food there was terrible, as were the hotels in Varadero (we found the best thing to eat was the pizza or pasta, go figure!). While PC is a little more expensive, well worth it in my opinion. We have been using Tripcentral for years now and find their TA's extremely knowledgable (we use the same one every year). Also we booked in November to travel to the Bahia Ambar in April (13-27). It's never too early to book and be Punta Cana dreaming!

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