La Boca and Península de Ancón
La Boca, five kilometers west of Trinidad, is a quaint fishing village with traditional tile-roofed bohíos and a single coastal road. It appeals for its pocket-scale beaches amid coral coves favored by Trinitarios on weekends.
Casa Museo Alberto Delgado (tel. 01/5219-9801, Tues.–Sat. 9 a.m.–5 p.m., Sun. 9 a.m.–12:30 p.m., free), two kilometers east of La Boca, honors a Castroite killed during the counterrevolutionary war. It has his pistol, uniform, and some personal effects.
The coast extends south of La Boca to a small point beyond which the long narrow Península de Ancón curls east to Playa Ancón, enfolding a mangrove-lined lagoon—the Ensenada de Casilda. The four-kilometer-long beach is fabulous, with sugary white sand and pavonine waters. This beach is the preserve of tourists at the two all-inclusive hotels (you can buy day passes to use the facilities).
The sea is perfect for snorkeling, though parts of the beach shelve into rocky waters with sea grasses, and during certain times of year a microscopic sea lice (agua mala or caribe) can cause all manner of nasty infections.
Ancón’s offshore reefs have more than 30 dive spots, including sunken vessels. Cayo Blanco, nine kilometers southeast of Ancón, is famous for its kaleidoscopic corals and sponges.
Scuba diving is offered at Club Amigo Ancón (tel. 041/99-6123, CUC35 per dive, CUC45 night dive), as is snorkeling (CUC10). Marina Marlin (tel./fax 041/99-6205, www.nauticamarlin.com) offers “seafari” excursions to Cayo Blanco (CUC45), including snorkeling; a sunset cruise (CUC20, or CUC30 with dinner); speedboat tour (CUC30); fly-fishing (CUC280 up to four people); and deep-sea fishing (CUC300 per person).
Accommodations and Food
Of several casas particulares in La Boca, I like Hostal Vista al Mar (Calle Real #47, tel. 041/99-3716, CUC20–25), a simply furnished home overlooking the beach and rivermouth. Manolo, the owner, is a gracious and fun host. Choose from three rooms, two with private bathrooms; you rent the whole house. It has parking.
Hostal El Capitán (Playa La Boca #82, tel. 041/99-3055, captaincasanovatrinidad [at] yahoo [dot] es, CUC20), 400 meters south of the village, sits above the coral shore. Nice! The two rooms are cross-ventilated and well-lit with louvered windows. Meals are served on a patio. It has parking.
Cubanacán’s Soviet-style all-inclusive Club Amigo Ancón (tel. 041/99-6123, fax 041/99-6121, reserva [at] ancon [dot] co [dot] cu, CUC70 s, CUC110 d low season, CU84 s, CUC150 d high season) has been nicely upgraded and is a favorite of Canadian and European charter groups. It has 279 air-conditioned rooms, plus a huge swimming pool and scuba diving.
Fresh from a remake as an all-inclusive, Cubanacán’s Club Amigo Costa Sur (tel. 041/99-6174, fax 041/99-6172, reservas [at] costasur [dot] co [dot] cu, from CUC48 s, CUC68 d year-round), is now painted in bright tropical fruit colors. Popular with German tour groups, it has 112 pleasantly furnished rooms and 20 lovely bungalows with contemporary wrought-iron furnishings. There’s an intimacy here lacking at the other resorts. Nonguests can buy a pass (CUC15 day, CUC25 night).
The fanciest option is Brisas Trinidad del Mar (tel. 041/99-6500, fax 041/99-6565, reservas [at] brisastdad [dot] co [dot] cu, from CUC74 s, CUC92 d low season, from CUC91 s, CUC114 d high season), adjacent to Club Amigo Ancón. This neocolonial style low-rise is centered on a large freeform pool. The 241 rooms are spacious and have appealing bathrooms. Facilities include three restaurants, live entertainment, water sports, tennis, and even a sauna.
The Rancho Grill Caribe (no tel., daily 9 a.m.–10 p.m.), above the coral shore between La Boca and Ancón, is a seafood grill.
Getting to La Boca
The Trinidad Bus Tour runs to Playa Ancón. A taxi to/from Trinidad costs about CUC10 one-way.
Marina Marlin (tel./fax 041/99-6205) has moorings but it is not an international entry port. Bare-boat and skippered yachts and catamarans can be chartered here; reservations must be made prior to arrival in Cuba (from CUC300 per day up to eight people).
© Christopher P. Baker from Moon Cuba, 5th Edition