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Anyone been to Farallon del Caribe in Cuba

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We will be visiting the resort Farallon del Caribe in Manizanillo Cuba and would be interested in anyone who has stayed there or heard anything about this resort. Thanks

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    Message: We stayed at Farallon del Caribe (all inclusive) for two weeks in January. At that time it was a CubaCan hotel, but I believe it has been taken over as a Jack Tar Village now. The hotel is located on a lovely hillside overlooking a bay and the rooms are very pleasant. The food was ok, not wonderful, but there are masses of fresh vegetables and fruit. The staff are great very pleasant and helpful. The problem is the beach which is described as "black sand" though this translates to a rather dirty grey. I understand the "good" beaches are in the north of Cuba. However, we had an option to take a boat out each day to an island (Cayo Blanco, I think) it took about 10 minutes by bus and then 10 minutes by boat, and was all included in the deal. We did this almost every day, sometimes with only 10 other people. On less than calm days the ride out could be rather nerve racking, but worth it - I don't remember seeing any life jackets. The island was wonderful - white sand, canoes, sail boat, bar, etc., and each day we had a terrific barbeque lunch, grilled fish/chicken, rice/ salad/fruit all served under the trees - perfect. Being on the island truly felt like something out of lifestyles of the rich and famous, except for the fact that some of the beach chairs, etc., had seen better days! Take everything you might need with you, even sunscreen and toothpaste! There was absolutely no shopping, except for rum, a few rather old postcards and t-shirts with Che on them. The hotel had some very loyal clients many of whom had returned several times since it opened about 4 years ago. The area around the hotel is unspoilt and you can spend a day on horseback up in the hills or go into the nearby village by horse and buggy. Don't rent a scooter, the roads are terrible, all pot holes, and there were a number of very nasty accidents involving hotel guests during our stay. e-mail me if you have any questions and I'll be happy to answer them. Sue

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    We have been to the Farallon twice now, and everytime we enjoy it and make more Cuban friends. The food is good. The rooms clean and the staff friendly. Some don't like the black sand on the beach, but it is clean. The island that the hotel owns is a must to go to. The snorkeling is out of this world. One near where you dock the boat, is quite shallow is spots, and not far to swim to. The other side, where they cook lunch for you, quite far out is another reef, and it is different again. The reef is deep, about 20-30 feet, so you see different fishes again. One man saw a sting ray about 3-4' across. The lunch there is out of this world with fresh fish and of course chicken. The boat rides for us have never been an experience that Sue has had. You Must at the hotel walk down to the tennis courts and to the right. You will be met by fishermen, ask for Bill of Jose, and have the best lobster yet!! For $5 U.S. it is the best. Better yet, bring old clothes, (we got a garbage bag full at a used clothing store for $5.) and tell them you will trade clothing for the lobster. We did. Bill and Jose are very nice, we are actually going to there place next time we go for a party. Luis at the horse and buggy is very nice also. He will take you to his parents and his house. Hopefully his house is now built and he is moved in. We rented a jeep when we were there. Cost $89 plus gas $40(they always rip you off on the gas) and went to Bayamo. I won't recommend going there, just another big city, but the trip there was really nice. You can go anywhere you like in the jeep. Also there is a hore ride up the mountain to some falls. That is worth the money-$29 U.S. You have lunch up there too. If you are interested in coffee or leather belts, go left on the beach, past the other hotel, and you will find other Cubans there willing to deal. We also deal in clothing. For example. There was an oil painting at the hotel that a friend of ours liked--$65 U.S. too much! So she offered him $55, no deal. Later she walked by and offered him $35. No deal. Later still she goes by and he says o.k. Carol tells my husband, who nearly had kittens! (He is the master wheeler-dealer) We take a woman's dress, 1 pair of man's pants, 2 men's tops and 1 girl's dress. He asks Carol how much cash she is willing to spend-$20. O.k. so back they go. Terry tells the guy, what painting, but no money, clothes. He pulls out the dress and shows him, and without seeing the other things, he agrees! So we also gave him a bag of baby things, they are very hard to get in Cuba. Take anything we take for granted here. Earrings, lipstick, toothpaste, clothing. Dinky cars are the best tips. Garage sales, Wal-mart, used clothing places, bring what you can and deal! Enjoy.

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