FROM CAYO COCO TO MORÓN: CULTURE SHOCK

I took a last-minute trip to Cuba in January, booking my flight with WestJet just a day before leaving. My cousin had been planning on visiting someone there and asked me if I wanted to tag along as she knew the shockingly authentic city of Morón and the picture-perfect beaches of Cayo Coco would captivate my soul. 

From our ruthless winters in Canada to the scorching heat in Cuba, it wasn’t easy knowing I’d have to come back to the bitter January cold after being blessed with such perfect weather during my stay. We stayed at Iberostar Mojito resort for 4 nights — a little slice of heaven on the northern coast — and in the midst of our trip, we explored Morón, a city located one hour from our resort with easy bridge access.

CAYO COCO

The tropical island of Cayo Coco was everything I could have dreamed of. Known for its white-sand beaches and vivid coral reefs, the northern coast is rich with beautiful shades of blue, green, and turquoise. If you’re looking to sip on a coconut under a palm tree, read a good book in a hammock, or simply take a stroll on jaw-dropping beaches, look no further — this vacation destination is for you.

We landed at Jardines del Rey, Cayo Coco’s international airport, where you can easily find a taxi when exiting the terminal. There aren’t any public buses at this airport, so if you don’t already have a transfer arranged with a tour operator before arriving, you can expect a 15 to 25 CUC taxi ride, depending on which resort you’re staying at. All resorts are within a 10 to 30 minute drive.

Worried about which resort to book with to have access to Cayo Coco’s best beach? Have no fear. No matter which resort you decide on, Cayo Coco’s remarkable beach stretches out there entire northern coastline — a gargantuan 20 kilometers long, and looks just as amazing from any resort.

MORÓN

How do I even begin to describe this wondrous city amid such rich history and culture? Do you ever wish you could visit a place that’s still living in the past? I’m talking about vintage cars with colourful buildings and vibrant people. Morón is exactly that — like something out of a 1950’s movie. You can’t trade goodness like that with anything that can be weighed and sold.

Despite all these great things, my first sight of the city was definitely shocking. I had never before seen such poverty, so you could say I was a little uncomfortable at first. After learning about the country’s past and present political corruption and economical struggles from locals themselves, it completely changed my perspective about new places I want to visit moving forward. Educating yourself on the history and culture of a country you’re about to visit is very important. Travelling far from home is like taking a giant leap into the unknown. Read books, check out websites, or talk to someone who’s been to a country of interest. It’ll help you immensely with the culture shock, and get you more familiar with your surroundings once you arrive.

Morón was a unique experience that I won’t soon forget. I’m extremely lucky to have gotten the chance to meet and dine with friendly locals, learn about their exciting culture, and witness how truly happy Cubans are despite their lack of materials.

Wandering about the beaches and streets of Cuba was a fascinating experience to say the very least, and I only barely scratched the surface, as Cuba is simply not a place you can check-off your bucket list in a matter of a few days. I’d love to eventually go back and explore some of their secluded coves and breathtaking valleys. Hasta la próxima vez, Cuba!

Copyright 2020 © Cindy Malette
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