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Christmas in Grand Cayman

Marriott Beach ClubBeautiful view from our hotel! Their beach was a little washed away from the storm, but they made up for it with their awesome employees. They walked around offering cold water, fruit and snacks, and offered complementary hair braiding and henna tattoos. Check out the Vista Bar for food and drinks by the pool/beach. - Ristorante PappagalloOur favorite restaurant- definitely order the gnocchi appetizer! You could either sit by the water or in the parrot room which had parrots you could talk to. - Stingray CityVery cool experience. You could either jet ski or take a boat here. All of the boats surround this area and play music while the tourists hold, kiss and get massages from giant stingrays. - The WharfMake a reservation around 9 pm to feed the tarpan! - Cayman Turtle FarmOur hotel provided a free shuttle to the turtle farm. We got to snorkel with, feed and hold the sea turtles! Very cool -

ARUBA

BarceloOne of the best hotels I've stayed at in Aruba, has a great location, food, and swim up bar. - Passions on the BeachDefinitely suggest going to Passions on the Beach for dinner. Great food with a great view. Make sure to book a reservation during the sunset. - Oranjastad ShoppingOranjastad Shopping is located right across from most of the hotels on Palm Beach. It has many restaurants, stores, and a stage for entertaining shows. - Barcelo All Inclusive RestarantsThe all inclusive restaurants at Barcelo were great! Options include hibachi, Mexican, Italian and more. They also had two different buffets to choose from for breakfast and lunch. -

Christmas in ARUBA - One Happy Island

Passions on the beachBeautiful romantic completely outdoor restaurant lit with tiki torches. Best time is to eat while the sunsets. The food is great but nothing beats the atmosphere. - HiltonGreat centrally located hotel and casino on Palm Beach. - baby beachGreat place to snorkel. Water is shallow in places. Great for kids - oranjastad shoppingLots of shopping. Big Mall. restaurants - sopranos piano barTakes all requests. Great piano bar - Smokey Joe'sOur go to place for ribs - Palm BeachThe best beach to be on! -

Vinales Valley & Havana, Cuba

Welcome Drinks at Hotel PresidenteAfter settling into our Airbnb/Casa Paticulare, we stopped at this iconic hotel for our first iconic Cuban cocktail... the mojito, of course! The hotel is just off the Malecon, which is the pedestrian path that runs along the ocean, so it makes for a perfect pit stop along an afternoon stroll! - Dinner at El IdilioWe ate our first meal of the trip here after finding it in our Lonely Planet travel guide, and were not disappointed! We waited to get seated for about 30 minutes (but were able to enjoy a mojito in the meantime) and it was worth the wait to be able to sit outside in the warm Havana air! They serve everything from seafood to traditional Cuban fare, and the portions are large! The staff was friendly and the atmosphere was laid back. Definitely would recommend trying the paella and ceviche! - Night Out at Fabrica de ArteWe went out here after dinner on our first night in Havana after hearing about it from a friend who had traveled to Cuba a few months before, as well as a few locals. It's a really cool industrial factory that has been turned into an art gallery, and at night, it becomes a bar/club. The line was pretty long (we arrived around 10pm), so plan to get there early... we were able to pay to "skip" the line, so be on the lookout for people who work there offering that. The space has lots of different levels with different music, bars and food options, with locals and tourists all mingling together! - Tour of a Tobacco FarmI'm unsure on the name and can't find it online (although many bloggers have posted pictures of the same farm we visited) but if you ask your taxi driver (or your host) in Vinales about a place where you can go to see how cigars are made, they will know exactly where to send you! This is the first place we went in Vinales and it was really cool to learn everything from how the tobacco is grown and processed to how the cigars are made. We got to see the rolling process, the barns where the leaves are hung to dry, and of course, smoke a cigar with the men giving us the tour. After, we rode horses through the fields to a small coffee farm where we were served drinks made with the guava rum they produce there as well. - Cueva del IndioThis is located just outside of the town center in Vinales, on the outskirts of the forest. We walked from town to the site, which was a pretty long walk, but mostly flat so it wasn't super strenuous, even in the heat. When you arrive at the cave, you can pay to take a short boat ride through the caverns, which was really cool. The trees, plants, flowers and rocks were all beautiful! - Hotel Rancho San VincenteWe didn't stay here, but they did allow us to sit by their pool and order food and drinks one afternoon - it was very relaxing and the pool was just right! - Sunset Bike Tour of HavanaThis was one of the most fun things we did while in Havana! The tour was about 4 hours long, covered a lot of ground, and our guide, Javi, was super knowledgeable about the layout of the city, and the history that goes along with all of the places we visited. We saw many of Havana's most famous sights, including the Plaza de la Revolucion, Havana Forest, and the Colon Cemetary, biked along the ocean, and ended at a restaurant where we enjoyed a few mojitos! - Callejon de HamelThis is an amazing alleyway in Havana that we visited on our bike tour with Ruta Bikes, that has been decorated by Hamel, a Cuban artist. The street is full of Afro-Cuban art, small cafes, art galleries, and a school where the artist teaches. A lot of the art is inspired by Santeria, and made from every day items (like the bath tubs you can see here). - Plaza de la Revolucion/Jose Marti MemorialWe stopped here on our bike tour, but this is a must see for anyone visiting Havana. It's the largest city square in the world, and full of history. - Havana ForestAn "urban jungle" in Havana, this park doesn't feel like it's right within the city. There are beautiful trees that almost create a canopy over the park, and a river runs through it. We biked through here, and there are lots of paths for walking, as well. - Dinner at La Rosa NegraThis is a casual restaurant tucked into a residential area in Nuevo Vedado. The food was amazing... big portions and great prices! You have to try their paella and the friend plantains! Be sure to get there early - there was a 45-60 minute wait both nights that we ate here. - Drinks at Hotel NacionaleGorgeous hotel, great drinks, and an amazing garden area where you can sit and look at the ocean. Drinks were definitely more expensive here than anywhere else we visited while in Cuba, but it was worth it for the ambiance! - Mojitos at La Bodeguita del MedioHome of the Mojito (yes, they live up to the hype), and a favorite of Earnest Hemingway... you can't leave Havana without stopping in for at least one drink! - Daiquiris at La FloriditaHome of the Daiquiri, and another favorite of Earnest Hemingway! This place is a little more touristy than La Bodeguita, but still worth stopping in for a cocktail... or 2... or 3... - Walk Along the Malecon at SunsetTake an evening stroll along the Malecon, the seawall that runs along the water in Havana. You can sit on the wall and take it all in, and you'll see lots of locals doing the same, as well as musicians playing music, and artists selling their work. If you're active and want to take a long walk, you can get from one side of the city to the other without any interruption. - Playa Santa MariaA beautiful beach just outside of Havana... accessible via taxi or the local bus (if you're feeling adventurous). Very peaceful, not super busy, and there are lots of guys walking around selling fresh coconuts... than can be served with or without rum! - Drinks & Dancing at La EscenciaA really cool bar/lounge that was right in the center of Vedado with a really cool atmosphere, great music, and dancing! - Salsa, Live Music & Mojitos at 1830We spent hours here on our last night in Cuba and it was honestly the highlight of the trip... the best way to wrap up an amazing week. They have an indoor area, but we were in their garden the entire time. There was a live salsa band (they were fantastic), lots of dancing (don't be shy, even if your salsa skills aren't on point, the locals don't care!), and the mojitos were FLOWING. -

Long weekend get away in Aruba

ATV tourThis was s great tour with a great tour guide Alex ! We rode around the island on ATVs and visit some beautiful spots including a natural pool that was beyond words ! This tour was super exicting and a great adventure that I would recommend to anyone visiting the island !!! - Simply fishThe restaurant had a great atmosphere with a great cuisine and cocktails! - All Inclusive -

Bachelor Party in Dominican Republic

Bachelor PadHooked cabarate was a very friendly hotel/ hostel that worked with us to accommodate 11 guys for a bachelor party. The owner was very helpful in advice on where to eat and what to do. Pros- awesome vibes, pool with lounge chairs, very affordable, walking distance to surfing beach. Cons- need transportation to get to and from town, no restaurant so you have to go out to eat. - Scooter/ Bike RentalScooter/ Bike Rental in town was a MUST. $15/$20 per day for 3-4 days during our Bach party was awesome. There are plenty of places that have bikes. If you bargain you can get a deal like we did. I'd recommend wearing a helmet as some of us had a little "too much" fun. It's safe to drive these Scooters everywhere, except at night when the bars let out and/or in the middle of La Cabarete Town can be a little hectic mid day. Biking around exploring the neighborhood was so easy with these bikes. Highly Recommended. - Surf Board RentalSurfboard Rental for Cheap!!! There are a few surf shops next to each other here for between $8-$15 for the day. Boards range from high-performance short-boards to Soft-Top Longboards. This is the best place to surf in the area and has many peaks incase the line-up gets a little crowded. The shop's surfboard instructors run the shop and can safely hold your belongings while you surf. They also have a ping-pong table incase you need a break between sessions or just want to get out of the sun. - Fishing Trip in SosuaFishing Trip out of Sosua into the Ocean. On this particular day, we were slow to move from a Late-Night so hopped on the Big Boat about 8am. The Boat was about $40/PP and included a light lunch and beers and water. We didn't make it to the set destination because some members of our crew starting getting sea sick, but they stopped at a few snorkeling spots and provided us with snorkeling gear which was a blast. The Boat crew was very professional and accommodating for our sea-sick buddies. I'd highly recommend bringing Dramamine or taking it easy night before if you are going with a large group to settle your stomach for a bit of a bumpy ride in the water.   -