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Club Amigo Guardalava vs. Rancho Luna

Help!
I’m trying to decide between these 2 places for a week in mid May.
Traveling solo, low maintenance, cast iron stomach.
Same price, RL has better flight times.
Has anyone stayed at both and is willing to offer an opinion?
Thanks,
Bigjohn.

Haven’t stayed at either resorts Bigjohn, both hotels are recently reported as good although CAG is larger and will likely have more selection if you need to change rooms and for buffet food, CAG main building was recently renovated and both resorts have excellent beaches.

More things to see and do in the Cienfuegos area though imo, Trinadad is a short day trip south, Playa Giron a day trip north, excellent restaurants in Cienfuegos. I’d organize with a couple of single travelers, split cab costs or a car rental fee and catch all the sights in the area. I’d definitely check out a nuclear reactor. :slight_smile:

[quote=@bigjohn]Help!
I’m trying to decide between these 2 places for a week in mid May.
Traveling solo, low maintenance, cast iron stomach.
Same price, RL has better flight times.
Has anyone stayed at both and is willing to offer an opinion?
Thanks,
Bigjohn.
[/quote]

Hi Bigjon I stayed in Hotel Club Amigo Atlantico Guardalavaca and I did not have any issues. Hotel is old but has a newer part. So main hotel where is reception is not bad but building closer to the restaurant is questionable as those rooms are in bad conditions. They have newer part of the hotels and nice bungalows and everyone loved it. They have nice swimming pool with swim-up bar and very nice beach. I would like to mention that beach is public so you will be able to communicate with Cubans if you desire so. If you looking to be only with tourists on the beach than I would not choose this hotel. I really enjoyed staying in Hotel Club Amigo Atlantico Guardalavaca and did not have big complains. Regarding food there was always something good to eat and while it is not the best place to gain weight we managed to get full stomachs for every meal during 7 days stay.

I’ve booked into Rancho Luna for 7 days starting 18 May.
I’m travelling on points, ScotiaRewards, and need to book at least 2 days advance.
Holasun offers a free bus 2x daily into Cienfuegos. It was a deciding factor in my destination decision.
I can’t take pictures since gardengal has my camera, so I will sketch what the beach and underwater fish look like.

Have an excellent trip BigJohn.

[quote=@bigjohn]I’ve booked into Rancho Luna for 7 days starting 18 May.
I’m travelling on points, ScotiaRewards, and need to book at least 2 days advance.
Holasun offers a free bus 2x daily into Cienfuegos. It was a deciding factor in my destination decision.
I can’t take pictures since gardengal has my camera, so I will sketch what the beach and underwater fish look like.[/quote]

I hope you got great deal and that you will have fabulous time at Rancho Luna resort.

I’ve stayed at RL. The beach itself is not that great but the snorkling is good. I enjoyed my time there and would go back. The biggest downside is the old guys that often stay there and pick-up the young hookers near the beach. The beach is small so it is hard to get away from them chatting them up or having their own dicussions on where in the Carribean the best hookers are. If that doesn’t bother you too much you should have a great time! There is a fort down the road west away from Cienfuegos about 10 K. I think the name is Jagua or something like that. You can take a cab down and back for about 10CUCs, if I remember correctly.(The cab driver will met you at a set time for the trip back) You have to take a ferry (I think it was a couple of CUCs) across the water and then walk up the hill about 100m to see the fort which was one of the most important forts in Cuba in its day. Have fun!

Between Rancho Luna and closer to the public beach, about a kilometer away to the west, there are some not bad areas for snorkeling.

At the public beach, there were some outdoor places to eat. One of them roasted a pig every once in a while.It was a nice change from eating at the resort.

As long as you don’t expect much, you will enjoy Rancho Luna. I stayed there for a couple of weeks once.

There used to be a lot of overnight tourists, several busloads at a time, from Cayo Santa Maria who would come for the dolphin show nearby. Now that they have a delphinarium of their own, I assume it must be a lot quieter in the evening.

Rancho Luna is also a popular spot for Cubans, in particular on the weekend. So expect a few lineups for the bar during the day, as I think they usually buy day passes.

There is a Soviet submarine base just north of RL inside of the Jagua / Cienfuegos Bay about 2 kms to the right side of the channel that connects the bay to the ocean. Not sure if it is abandoned or still in use as a Cuban military area. Google maps show it but didn’t see vehicles around and building roofs look like they haven’t been maintained. A photo of signage in Russian script would be cool. :sunglasses: Probably stripped of neat artifacts years ago though, almost 25 years since the Soviets left.

One of the islands in the bay close to RL looks to have interesting old houses with roads, private docks, etc, another island looks to be an abandoned coast guard station or similar installation.