If you’re looking for vacation where you can kick back and relax with your feet up (or buried in the sand), have we got the perfect location for you. Cayo Santa Maria, Cuba is located a two-hour bus ride from the Santa Clara International Airport, and worth every minute of your travel time. This is a beautiful, somewhat isolated location, and one of the best all-inclusive destinations in Cuba.
Laid back and secluded, Cayo Santa Maria is definitely NOT a destination for those who can’t sit still – the nearest city is an hour-and-a-half away by car. And that’s OK because it doesn’t get any better than finding a beautiful beach, grabbing a book (and perhaps a margarita), and parking it for hours. And that was something you'll have plenty of opportunity to do during a stay at a 5-star resort, like Iberostar Ensenachos, which boasts two pristine private beaches – Playa Ensenachos and Playa Megano.
If you want to relax the afternoon away, Playa Ensenachos is for you. It’s located closer to the adult-only section of the resort, so this beach is a little further walk from the lobby (and a little less busy). Its gradual shore makes it suited to smaller kids who can more safely wade out into its calm water.If lounging beachside isn’t your style, take the short walk from the lobby to Playa Megano and catch a ride on a catamaran, play beach volleyball, or grab a snorkel and explore the coral. The water’s a bit rougher – since the beach is situated in a cove – so while adults and bigger kids will be fine, it may be a little too much for smaller children.
From an adult-only section, to a children-only water park, to over 500 well-maintained rooms, this resort has it all. But what’s a resort without the all-inclusive meals?
Cuba doesn’t have the best reputation for flavourful food – lack of spice is usually the main concern. But you wouldn’t know it at this resort. Even if you're a picky eater, you won't have any issues with the taste or texture of any of the food during your stay. (No need to bring any to-go peanut butter, ketchup, or vinegar packages to help flavour your meals.
The lobster tail was a favourite meal, but kudos to the Asian and Italian a la carte restaurants, too. While not exactly what we’d expect in Canada (the California roll was the diameter of a toonie), the differences are minor.
If you can manage to pry yourself away from the beach, there’s plenty to do outside the resort walls.A short 10-minute bus ride will take you to a market where you can people watch, buy souvenirs, and even join in on street samba.
If sightseeing is more up your alley, there are a variety of tours to choose from. They tend to sell out quickly though, so definitely book the ones you’re interested in before your arrive, or as soon as possible at the resort. Day tour to Havana by plane, in particular, tend to sell out quickly.
Another can't-miss excursion is the Trinidad City tour. This is a full day bus tour – three hours in each direction – on some pretty rough Cuban roads. But if your backside can handle the journey it’s definitely worth the time. The most colonial city in Cuba, Trinidad is a UNESCO World Heritage site just bursting with history and the charm that it’s maintained since it was founded in 1514.
Cayo Santa Maria is beautiful and I’d go back in a heartbeat. The tours, the location, the beaches, and yes, even the food was great!
If you are interested in enjoying a similar relaxing vacation, browse other Cuba all inclusive destinations below:Explore Varadero, Cuba Vacation Deals