Home | Dominican Republic | Write a Review | Blog | Advertise

How safe to wander off resort?

How safe is it to wander around the countryside in Cuba near the resort areas? A comment on another thread about long walks prompted me to ask this.
While at BCV (Guardalavaca) last year I noticed that there were paths heading deep into the bush. I explored a few of these and enjoyed getting away from the beach and civilization for awhile and also got some interesting photos.
My wife was worried that I’d get mugged and left for dead in the bush. :-[
I did meet a couple of locals that were not like the sociable, cheerful staff at the resort but although they were not at all friendly they weren’t threatening or aggressive.

I think it’s very safe. I’ve explored some of those paths you mentioned around BCV myself. I generally walk the beach (cooler!) but I’ve done some hiking and bicycling both on roads and paths around Guardalavaca and also near Don Lino…often met locals, no problem. (although you sometimes meet 4 legged locals, including bulls! Of course, you can run into those on your way back to your room, as I did one time at NH Crystal back when it was El Senador). I’ve explored around Jibacoa and at Chivirico (Santiago), never a problem. So far I have never felt unsafe in Cuba…and I’m female, travelling alone. :smiley:

Honestly, I’ve never heard of a single incident of a tourist wandering off a resort and getting into trouble (while within walking distance.) I’m sure it must have happened at some point somewhere, but I’ve never personally read or heard about it.

Of course traveling independently out of the tourist zones is a completely different matter…

Karmadoc and I go to Breezes Jibacoa and often rent a scooter and take off to different places such as small towns and the countryside. Usually we are going to visit people in the small towns, but my beloved has become disoriented as far as directions are concerned occasionally and we have had nothing but help from locals. I, of course, am nicknamed “pathfinder” and consequently NEVER get lost, but I am always supportive of my love in these situations. lol Seriously, we’ve found the Cuban people to be very friendly and are happy to help, even with my limited spanish. They just seem pleased that you are attempting to speak in their home language.

the only thing you have to remember if your a man is, don’t ask for directions. You not lost, just slightly turned around LOL
seriously, I’ve wondered off in all sorts of places in Cuba and never have I been, nor felt threatened. I think unless you are silly and carrying lots of cash and showing it, it’s one of the safest places on earth.

Well I guess you gotta just use common sence, and I know the world is getting short of common sence everyday. But think if you were in HFX, Toronto, or say Montreal, and were staying at a hotel downtown, would you feel safe wandering around downtown? During daylight, yeah reasonably safe. At night not as safe? Well Cuba or anywhere’s else is no different. Be smart and trust your instincts. :sunglasses:

Agreed, but I’d feel one heck of a lot safer in Cuba than in Montreal or Toronto :slight_smile:

Iggy,

Jethro mentions downtown hotels, not resorts… there are very nice hotels in downtown Havana where you should NOT be walking very far by yourself late at night, especially after a few drinks…

Oh I hear him, and I’ve been in downtown Havana, although not at night, and it’s a little intimidating. I’d say you stick out like a sore thumb, but I was talking more about the original post

so Jethro, if I sounded like I was contradicting you, it wasn’t meant that way
Ig.

VERY SAFE!!!

Probably the safest island in the Caribbean!
I love getting off the resort and seeing the “real” Cuba.
The people always seem friendly, never (rarely?) asking for anything, but genuinely grateful if you do give gifts.
I once read somewhere that the last Canadian to be seriously injured in Cuba (via a violent act) was back in 2002, and as it was on the beach in Varadero, the suspect was another tourist. (This is going by memory, which is poor at best! :-[)
GO OUT AND ENJOY IT!!

“… I once read somewhere that the last Canadian to be seriously injured in Cuba (via a violent act) was back in 2002…”

That might be an accurate statement for a tourist sequestered within the artificial boundaries of an all-inclusive resort holiday, but it’s certainly not true for travelers who venture off the resort. I know many people who’ve been mugged, and many who’ve been victims of pick pocketing and snatch and grabs.

Cuba is arguably the safest developing country destination in the western hemisphere, but it’s NOT some magical paradise. It’s a desperately poor country and like any destination anywhere on the planet it requires common sense and normal street smarts when venturing beyond the artificially safe, protected enclosure of the resort.

[quote=@martian]
That might be an accurate statement for a tourist sequestered within the artificial boundaries of an all-inclusive resort holiday, but it’s certainly not true for travelers who venture off the resort. I know many people who’ve been mugged, and many who’ve been victims of pick pocketing and snatch and grabs.

Cuba is arguably the safest developing country destination in the western hemisphere, but it’s NOT some magical paradise. It’s a desperately poor country and like any destination anywhere on the planet it requires common sense and normal street smarts when venturing beyond the artificially safe, protected enclosure of the resort.[/quote]

Amen! Common sense, street smarts and gut instincts need to prevail when venturing off resort.

I don’t know many people who have been victims of muggings and pickpockets but I do know one who was the victim of a snatch and grab…my step mother. And it was in broad daylight, on a busy street in Centro Havana by a 10 year old kid :o

We did get the camera back after a block and a half of chasing and yelling but that was only because a kindly habanero realized what was happening and grabbed the kid as he ran by him :o
Lucky for us because that kid was greased lightening! ;D

no doubt crime is there, I have friends that had their shoes stolen that they left in an unlocked vehicle, but it’s not violent crime.