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Like many old cities along coasts, Caibarién is laden with centuries-old legends :
The Siren of Canal de los Barcos, the Curse of the Gypsy, the Guasa of the Pontoon, the Light of San Telmo, the Treasure of Cayo Santa María, the legend of the White Pirate Ship, the story of the Sea Horses, the Treasure of Cayo Verde, the Treasure of Cayo Frances, the Treasure of Cayo Fragoso, the Treasure Hunter of Cayo Viejo and the Secrets of Cayo Maja.
The seaside village located 10 km west of Remedios along the coast. Access point la Cayeria del Norte, a string of cayos or keys : Conuco, Largo, Las Brujas, Santa Maria and others, by way of a 48 km long causeway (pedraplen), linked by some 35 bridges. An engineering feat. Access fare is 2cuc each way.
Noteworthy : at one end of the Malecon (palm trees at right), one can find the Cuban national sailing school installations which are very popular for laser-type sailboats and windsurfing courses.
The town and its casas is an affordable alternative to travellers with a car who would rather stay with Cubans and enjoy the cayos and their beaches on a daily basis rather than pay the high all-inclusive rates in the cayo resorts. Even if it means an 80 km (50 miles) return trip every day to the cayos.
"There is much to see and like in this little town but unlike Remedios, it has not been well maintained. Still there is a charm about this coastal fishing town. Seafood is fresh and easy to find.
Loved taking the bicycle for a ride along the Malecon, past the alcove where the old fishing ship rests or all the way to the local beach near the Islazul hotel. There was not a soul in sight at this time of year on the beach — it is Cuban winter but starting in May this is a busy happening place : it was so nice and relaxing." Nadma, traveller emeritus on trip advisor, January 2014
POPULATION 38,241 (2007)
• Museo María Escobar Laredo where is stored the impressive collection of photos on glass plates taken by Martínez Otero — this is the most important collection of its kind in Latin America, located in the impressively renovated Liceo edificio on Parque central • Galería de Arte Leopoldo Romañach Guillén in town centre • Galería de Arte Leopoldo Romañach with Trova singers and musicians each month • Banda Municipal de Conciertos — chorus and orchestra founded in 1904 • Tienda Artex Aurora, on avenida 9 #1804 for "chopping"
• Festival del Vapor : each January since 2005, steam locomotives are celebrated • Festival municipal de la Danza - the dance festival in March • Festival musical, coral y pioneril : Music and chorus for kids in October • Semana de la Cultura - in October • Las Parrandas, annual end-of-December parade of decorated floats with fireworks, music and noise 24 hours; details below
Drive on the scenic route from here to Yaguajay (via Remedios), the north coast town - site of the Museo Camilo Cienfuegos. 100 bucolic k's there and back.
Local best beaches are Punta Brava (photo at top of page - with nice installations, parasols, food and drink on its lovely terrace or try Mar Azul : one can find, at its entrance, a siren just like the one in Kobenhavn, Danemark
Some 30-50 km north of here : Playa Ensenachos, Playa Las Brujas (best : see caption at right), Playa Las Salinas, Playa Santa Maria and, at the very end of Cayo Santa Maria, without any shade whatsoever : Playa Perla Blanca.
La Vicaria on Plaza Central. Cafeteria La Cubanita. At Hotel Central, try the local specialty, Salsa Perro, a cross between bouillabaise and ceviche.
EVENINGS • CULTURA
• Centro Municipal de Cine the movie theatre • Banda Municipal de Conciertos — chorus and orchestra founded in 1904 • Peña Rock-Art evenings mixing rock music and art in the town main Galeria de Arte • "On the beach is La Tormenta, a crazy odd little place that offers food and drinks 24/7 with view of the beach. Had an amazing Mojito there. There is a nice public pool close by with a bar. Pool was clean and quite nice.", wrote Nadma from Ottawa on trip advisor 230114 • Cabaret La Ruina • There may be some action at local 12-room Brisas del Mar Hotel (Carretera Playa Final) Tel. (42) 351-699 • UNEAC, local hq of the Union Nacional of Writers and Artists de Cuba
IN THE AREA
About halfway to Remedios, in the Reforma burrough, visitors may enjoy the old sugar mill turned museum. Called Marcelo Salado : repainted, rejuvenated and remarkable with some 20 old steam belles (locomotivas) in this, the very first Museo de la agroindustria azucarera ("Agro-sugar industry museum") in Cuba. • Facing Cayo Frances, the Buque San Pascual (S.S. San Pasqual) this civil engineering rarity is a ship built in San Diego in 1920 was part of the emergency fleet of the US and has been left there since 1933 • Fuerte Reparto La Torre. The fort protected in the 1890's the Zulueta train line • The old Dolores sugar mill named Antiguo Ingenio de Dolores : its modern-like tower resembles that of the Manaca Iznaga near Trinidad • Ride the scenic and quasi-deserted East-West road parallel to the main trans-island highway to the town of Yaguajay, site of Museo Camilo Cienfuegos : about 100 bucolic kilometers round trip.
Local busses 4x day to Remedios, and from there, 5x day to Santa Clara; taxis to the cayos on a (wait for you all-day basis or come back at such-a-time basis or the leave-us-here-we'll-pick-up-the-employees-only-bus-and-bribe-the-driver : not! basis).
The exhuberant fiestas involving competitions between barrios with fireworks and costumed parades take place every year all over Villa Clara province, mostly in winter. Here's the list : Taguayabón on the 27th of Nov. (barrio El Gallo vs barrio el Gavilán) then others in December : Caibarién (La Loma vs La Marina), Remedios (El Carmen vs San Salvador), Crecencio Valdés (El Toro vs el Caballo), Muelas quietas (La Loma vs la Marina), Placetas (Zaza vs Fortun), Carrillo (La Fama vs El Mango), Remate de Ariosa (La Loma vs La Marina), Calabazar de Sagua (Sapos vs Chivos), Sagua la Chica (La Loma y La Marina), Cótica (El Tiburón vs el Manatí), El Santo (Carraguao vs Pavo Real), Quemado de Güines (La Puya vs el Perejil) all on Xmas Eve and in Zuluetas on the 31st (Guanijibe vs La Loma).
JUST IN CASE
The low-budget hotel chain Islazul offers 17 bedrooms for about 22€/$US per person : Complejo Brisas del Mar beachside [link]; restaurant not worth it but bar-restaurant next door has good fare and may eventually offer rooms.
ARCHITECTURE & LANDSCAPE LIST
15 places of interest a traveler must see here
: ∫: Plaza de la Libertad :∫: Liceo de Caibarién / Museo Municipal María Escobar Laredo :∫: Edificio de apartamentos Art Déco :∫: The National City Bank of New York / Banco de Crédito y Comercio (BANDEC) :∫: Paseo Martí :∫: Terminal de Ferrocarril :∫: Colegio Champagnat / Secundaria Básica Urbana Julio Antonio Mella :∫: Casa ecléctica / Cafetería Villa Blanca, Palmares S.A. :∫: Chalet de los Delgado / Círculo Infantil Lindo Cascabel :∫: Chalet eclético / Sede del Partido Comunista de Cuba en Caibarién (PCC) :∫: Logia Odd Fellows :∫: Iglesia Presbiteriana :∫: Antiguos Almacenes Rodríguez Cantera / Taller de maquinado :∫: Hotel Villas las Brujas :∫: Hotel Cayo Sol Santa María
BUS SERVICE TO THE CAYOS
The very popular Circuito Norte bus circuit which originated daily in Trinidad and went through Cienfuegos, Santa Clara, Camajuani, Remedios, then Caibarien (passing here at 11:45 am) has been restaured, because houseowners and travellers complained so much when it was cancelled in October 2013.
Now (in 2015) it has been improved and extended - it goes on to cayos Las Brujas, Ensenachos and all the way to Santa Maria for 6cuc in 80 minutes. Sked >>> Sked here
::: Since January 2021, the CUC (Cuban Convertible) currency no longer is valid; all tourist services are payable only in foreign currency, cash or credit card. ::: Bring cash Euros or US dollar$, etc because Cuban banks and Foreign Exchange Bureaus (CADECA) will only exchange your currency (CAD, CHF, EUR, GBP, JPY, MXN, USD) for the local currency - the CUP (US$1 = 24 CUP) which might be useful for local stuff; get other details here. ::: Make sure that in your first email or phone call you specify that you want to book a room in that particular casa and that you will reconfirm your booking on arrival in Cuba. ::: So as to not abandon expecting owners with empty rooms, reconfirm (or call ahead to cancel) your booking by phone as soon as you can after arriving in Cuba ::: Please write or phone a casa owner to cancel a booking. As late as it may seem, it allows them a chance to rebook. ::: Children under the age of 16 may share a bedroom with adults for free. Specify the child's age when booking. ::: At the end of the casa name, the V signals the casa was suggested by travelers or owners but not verified by us in person. If you try it and like it, write us about it. ::: Unless otherwise mentioned, the average room rates and service prices are : 25-30€/US$ per bedroom per night [up to 40€/US$+ for 4 in a room]; breakfasts 3-5€/US$, dinners 8-15€/US$. ::: Any casa particular anywhere in Cuba must have a hot water shower, otherwise it cannot have a permit to rent ::: Please share your Complaints, comments & suggestions webmaster [@]cubacasas.net
||BOOK BY PHONE
• From Canada and the USA : 011 53 (add phone # preceded by 42 for Caibarien) • From Europe, Great Britain, Scandinavia and Mexico : 00 53 (add phone # preceded by 42 for Caibarien) HOW TO DIAL A CUBAN PHONE NUMBER HERE ••• CELL PHONE NUMBERS on our town lists and casa pages are preceded by 05 for calls originating Havana; from anywhere else in Cuba, dial 01 + the 8 digits of the cell.
BOOK BY EMAIL :
Click on logo to open a message addressed to that casa in your email application; or right-click to copy address. Spanish vocabulary here.
Click mini photo to enter casa's page.
See a city street plan here.
EL CARRETERO V
Two ac bedrooms with terrace, ensuites
Calle 18, #2112, e/21 y 2, nine blocks from main central park and Museo Municipal. Tel. (42) 35-1817, cel 52 71 07 27
Six ac br's with ensuites, upstairs and ground
Calle 12 #1116, e/11 y 13, in centro historico two blocks from central park. Tel. (42) 36-4274 cel 58 09 22 87
|PENSION DE ELADIO (YAYO) V
Two upstairs ac br's each with ensuite
Ave 35 no. 1016 B, entre 10 y 12 in the center of town. Tel. (42) 36-4253
|PENSION VILLA VIRGINIA
Three ac br's, ensuites, patio, internet
Casa #73, in Ciudad Pesquero (Fishermen's Town), some 50 m from seaside road leading fishing port (puerto de pescadores). Tél. (42) 36-3303
|EL MARINO - OSMANY V
Two ac br's each with ensuite
Calle 10 #3908, e/39 y 41, au centre-ville. Cell 52 51 06 77
|BARBARA y ORENCIO V
One aircon bedroom, ensuite bath
Reparto Mar Azul (near the sea), edificio A, apto # 3 Tel. (42) 36-4615
RECOMMENDED BY PAPERBACK GUIDEBOOKS
Frommers Easy Guide (FG), Footprint (FH), GéoGuide (GG), Lonely Planet (LP), Le Routard (LR), Moon (MH), Rough Guide (RG), Stefan-Loose (SL) ::: FG : Villa Virginia ::: FH : Hostal El Carretero, Hostal Calle 12, Hostal La Nena ::: GG : Hostal El Carretero, Hostal La Nena, Pensión Virginia ::: LP : Villa Virginia, La Taberna ::: LR : Hostal Calle 12 ::: MH : Pension Villa Virginia ::: RG : Pension de Eladio, Villa Virginia ::: SL : La Marina, Virginia 170318
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