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HEAD SOUTH THIS HOLIDAY SEASON AND CHASE AWAY THOSE WINTER CHILLS! By: Jane Li

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reezing temperatures, gloomy skies, wet snow, icy sidewalks – is this not the inevitable truth about Canadian weather? Although the weather outside is indeed frightful, turn your thoughts to balmy breezes, sun-sprinkled beaches, romantic sunsets, shimmering waters and you’ll realize that there is no better time than this winter season to head south to the Caribbean for the ultimate winter getaway! Cuba has long been a favourite winter hot spot and is a perfect destination for travelers looking for warm weather, plentiful activities and vibrant culture. With more than 200 beaches, numerous new hotels and gorgeous scenery, Cuba offers an experience that’s completely unique for you and your family or friends. From surfing to deep-sea fishing, there’s plenty to do and see on your Cuban vacation. Cuban cuisine and nightlife are two of the biggest attractions for many visitors. From amazing local dishes served by street vendors to fine dining in area restaurants, you’ll find plenty of amazing food. There are also plenty of great nightclubs and bars where you can get a drink and listen to amazing live music!

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VARADERO A trip to Cuba is not complete without a visit to Varadero. Home to some of the most amazing beaches and resorts, Varadero is a town with distinct character that sets it apart from other resorts in the country. Varadero’s hotel complexes are well equipped in terms of the accommodation, recreational facilities, aquatic sports, and nightlife they offer. Tourists do not generally venture beyond these complexes to explore their surroundings, but when they do go out, they are rarely disappointed. For example, travelers often visit Varadero downtown, which is a unique strip of shops and markets selling hand-made crafts and jewellery at bargain prices. There are also many entertainment options on the the Varadero peninsula. The heavenly beaches, whose waters shimmer in every shade of blue from navy to bright turquoise, beckon you to swim, play water-sports or simply to relax and soak up the sun on the beach. If you are feeling energetic you can choose between diving, kayaking, fishing, and many other activities.

HAVANA Havana, the capital of Cuba, is a vibrant, modern and cosmopolitan city with historical sites, museums, and very nice colonial buildings decorating its streets. Havana and dancing go hand in hand and this lovely Caribbean city comes alive at night with countless shows, nightclubs, and discos inviting you in to join the fun. One of the main areas of interest is Old Havana, a destination declared as part of the heritage of mankind by UNESCO. The beauty of its paved streets, colonial balconies, baroque and colourful buildings creates a great backdrop for pictures! While you are delightfully strolling along these streets, you will notice smiling faces greeting you at every turn and when you get the chance, stop and have a chat with the friendly locals! Old Havana is also a treasure trove of Cuban history and culture. The Plaza de Armas, the Cathedral and the Parque Central are fine examples of Colonial architecture. Everywhere, cafés, restaurants and bars offer you a chance to enjoy a Cuban cocktail or traditional meal. Try the Bodeguita del Medio or the Floridita, where Ernest Hemingway, the famous writer, used to drink his Mojitos and Daiquirís. If you are looking for a great place to visit for your next vacation, consider making a trip to this beautiful Caribbean country. With miles of amazing beaches, deep-sea fishing, scuba diving, sailing, surfing and much more, this will be a vacation experience to remember for a lifetime. Excited yet?


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CESA Times 2008-2009 Issue 1