We decided to return to Memories Jibacoa in 2022 with the hopes of some great snorkeling and visiting some friends in Santa Cruz del Norte.
The food at the resort was good in both the buffet and a la Cartes. They are taking COVID social distancing very seriously here. The buffet was quite different in that you ask/point to what food you want and they put it on your plate. This was a bit awkward at times, but the servers were always friendly.
We loved the entertainment at Memories Jibacoa. The evening shows were always good. Cuba day is on Friday, and it was awesome. The band really got into their music and the staff all seem to enjoy Cuba Days.
Some views of the resort and surrounding areas.
We only managed to get out snorkelling 2 out of 2 days due to red flags, but when we did get out the snorkelling was beautiful.
Unfortunately there were lots of red flag days (limited or no swimming) at the beach due to Portuguese man o' war. We only managed swimming/snorkelling 2 out of 7 days. If the wind comes in from the North East, you are almost guaranteed to have a red flag day. On the last day, it was a green flag andthe wind was blowing off shore. We promptly got our snorkeling gear on and went out to the reef. The reef quite far out, maybe 500m, but quite a bit of it is shallow getting there depending on the tide. So 45 minutes later we were enjoying the reef. It is truly amazing out there and were were so facinated by the reef that we didn;t notice the wind direction had changed to inshore from the Northeast. Needless we got stung by several Portuguese man o' war. I (Mark) swam right into one and had it wrap around my chest. The sting from these is severe and plentiful. I was stung hundreds if not thousands of times. The pain is very intense- I havenever experienced anything like that before and hopefully never will again. We managed to get back to shore and got up to the doctors office. There is no treatment for the stings other than a Benadryl shot and showering in very hot water. The doctors were very attentive and I have nothing but praise for the care they gave us. After an hour and a half in the shower the pain began to slowly subside. Four hours later we were able to sit on our patio and later that day were back in the lobby for beverages. The pain was bearable, but certainly remained.
It is 2 weeks later as I write this post, and finally the itching has mostly gone away. We used hydrocortisone often to try and help it heal. Some scabs have formed on various stings. I expect the scars will fade over the summer, but some will be permanent. All I can say is be very wary of the wind direction at this beach and pay attention to the flag while snorkeling. This isn't easily done when you are way out at the beautiful reef.