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Cuba or Colombia in March

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Matt123
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Cuba or Colombia in March

Postby Matt123 » Mon Mar 04, 2019 9:08 pm

Hi

I have 10 days to head off for some kitesurfing and want somewhere warm to do it. Thinking of Cuba or Colombia, although open to other suggestions.

Prefer to stay somewhere nice, which makes some of the Caribbean's alternatives rather expensive. Flying from the UK with the aim of going at the end of this week early next week.

I am a novice 8 days in Combuco, Brazil, in November last year. Great school, Windtown, and fab instructor, Ricardo. Went from the lagoon to the sea, could get up and stay up OK although cannot turn / transition yet. If it makes any difference I'm a fit 53.

I know Colombia has stronger winds but wonder whether Cuba's wind would be sufficient at my level? Was thinking Cartagena in Colombia, recommendations of good schools and the best places to go there and the same in Cuba would most welcome.

Thanks, Matt

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Re: Cuba or Colombia in March

Postby Toby » Mon Mar 04, 2019 9:29 pm

Cartagena is great.
Perfect wind direction for beginners (although Cuba should be the same).

In Cartagena you have more or less to decide, if you want to stay further North at the kite beach at La Boquilla or in town.
Although you could also ride south of the center, most kitesurfing is done in La Boquilla, which also offers cleaner winds and easier entry due to more shallow area and smaller waves.

Check Las Americas hotel, it's right at the spot.

Or some charming old hotel in the old center, then with a taxi daily to La Boquilla (not that far).

Never kited in Cuba, know Varadero though from before kiting.

Cayo Guillermo sounds like a great place with big shallow area. March should have good winds I think. Maybe someone else can comment on it.

Both places are nice, although Cartagena offers more that a bigger city offers. Varadero etc is more a tourist place.

Let us know what you decided for and how it went!

have a great trip! :thumb:


https://se.kiteforum.com/spots
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Re: Cuba or Colombia in March

Postby irwe » Mon Mar 04, 2019 10:27 pm

Both choices are good.

Santa Lucia. Cuba (safe sandy bay, 4 all inclusive resorts -food, liquor, airport transportation, which you can kite from, Kite School and Gear rental at Caracol)

Look for an inexpensive direct package from Toronto (www.sunwing.ca) May be able to get a cheap direct flight to Toronto from UK.

I would bring kites, harness, bar, helmet and rent board.
I would recommend staying at Caracol and asking for a room by the kite school.
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Re: Cuba or Colombia in March

Postby Laughingman » Mon Mar 04, 2019 10:34 pm

I can only comment on Cuba, specifically Cayo Guillermo, it is a great spot to kite but winds are pretty light most days. I hydrofoil so that is perfect for me. The resorts especially the ones you can kite near on Cayo Guillermo are not what I would consider "nice" they are okay, older, in need of repair, but sufficient, the food takes getting used to. but the beach and the turquoise water are to die for... As a beginner I would recommend more wind then less, trying to learn the basics is hard enough without the challenge of light wind conditions.
foiling.jpg
foiling.jpg (35.92 KiB) Viewed 424 times
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Re: Cuba or Colombia in March

Postby Matt123 » Tue Mar 05, 2019 11:37 am

Thanks Toby, Irwe and Laughingman

Bit concerned about the wind levels in Cuba, although an all inclusive resort does appeal. Can't find Santa Lucia in Cuba, had a look on the site map and google. Varadero probably too touristy for me, would there be better wind further round the coast to the east, past Cayo Coco to Guardalavaca??

Toby the thought of a 'charming old hotel in the old center' of Cartagena is appealing. Any recommendations?

Thanks again for your help.

Matt

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Re: Cuba or Colombia in March

Postby Toby » Tue Mar 05, 2019 11:45 am

Unfortunately not...search hotel sites like trivago or so to get quotes and see pictures.

The advantage is that when you stay in the center you can freely walk there day and night. it's safe.

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Re: Cuba or Colombia in March

Postby Flyboy » Tue Mar 05, 2019 4:05 pm

I would suggest Cabarete. My impression of Cuba is that the winds there in the winter months are very unpredictable. Looking at the wind maps of the Caribbean I get the impression that the north shore of Cuba does not reliably get the trade winds in the winter - cold fronts from the north regularly push down & disrupt the flow. This happens less the further east & south you go.

I have not kited there (yet) myself, but the north east of Colombia seems to be the most reliably windy spot in the Caribbean. But for simplicity & price, I would choose Cabarete.

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Re: Cuba or Colombia in March

Postby dirtybeach » Tue Mar 05, 2019 4:28 pm

I’m going to disagree with the Cuba low wind comments. I’ve only been a few times, and have had one day of no wind. My big kite is an 11m. March is a good time to go, April the winds tend to back off. Windguru has been spot on with their forecasts. Grand muthu is a nice new resort (nicest) in Cayo Guillermo, but you have a 5 min walk to the kite area at Sol. School and rentals at Sol. $25 usd kite tax, but includes jet ski rescue.
A328886A-5073-4151-9249-E14004A76CCB.png
A2ADBA66-23E9-4DCA-BBFB-BEA17081AF03.png

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Re: Cuba or Colombia in March

Postby Flyboy » Tue Mar 05, 2019 5:03 pm

dirtybeach wrote:
Tue Mar 05, 2019 4:28 pm
I’m going to disagree with the Cuba low wind comments. I’ve only been a few times, and have had one day of no wind. My big kite is an 11m. March is a good time to go, April the winds tend to back off. Windguru has been spot on with their forecasts. Grand muthu is a nice new resort (nicest) in Cayo Guillermo, but you have a 5 min walk to the kite area at Sol. School and rentals at Sol. $25 usd kite tax, but includes jet ski rescue. A328886A-5073-4151-9249-E14004A76CCB.pngA2ADBA66-23E9-4DCA-BBFB-BEA17081AF03.png
Perhaps you were lucky? I don't know, I have only been to Cuba once & experienced coldish weather & 15-20 knot winds for 3 days out of 7. It was pretty clear that it was frontal wind. A friend went in January this year & had almost no wind for a week. I am judging not by anecdotal information, but observing the wind patterns over an extended period of weeks. Here's a link to the wind map (scroll to the bottom).

http://www.kitexcite.com/wind-forecast/

It does look as though Cuba will get very good wind over the next week or so. I am wondering if that is a result of the strong cold front coming down from North America? The wind map shows that the wind is strongest at the minute in the eastern Caribbean (Barbadoes, St. Lucia etc.). This seems to me to be pretty typical of the winter months. The strongest wind appears to be in the south Caribbean - Venezuela (Adicora), Aruba, & north east Colombia. This is almost always the case through the winter from what I have been observing.

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Re: Cuba or Colombia in March

Postby Laughingman » Tue Mar 05, 2019 5:18 pm

dirtybeach wrote:
Tue Mar 05, 2019 4:28 pm
I’m going to disagree with the Cuba low wind comments. I’ve only been a few times, and have had one day of no wind. My big kite is an 11m. March is a good time to go, April the winds tend to back off. Windguru has been spot on with their forecasts. Grand muthu is a nice new resort (nicest) in Cayo Guillermo, but you have a 5 min walk to the kite area at Sol. School and rentals at Sol. $25 usd kite tax, but includes jet ski rescue.
I have been there over a dozen times and true some times you really get great wind but it is certainly not what those forecasts show, if you go in the summer that is different but winter in Cuba is no different that Florida, it is exactly as Flyboy says. The winter wind in Cuba when it is 14knots and above is frontal everything else is trade winds which cap out around 10 - 12 knots, its a great spot to hydrofoil and I have spent 3.5 weeks there in the last year, I hydro-foiled everyday, but the twin-tippers were struggling everyday and only had one or two afternoons where they were able to go out without their big boards and kites. These are not great conditions to learn in as beginners simply do not yet have the skill to manage keeping the kite in the air in light wind.
If I was to go to Cuba expecting to twintip most days I would go in late spring and summer.
Besides a forecast past 48 hours is complete chance anyhow
Capture.JPG
Looks like a day and a half of good winds... starting from the NE which is where it always starts... then starts to swing east and slowly dies, then SE, S....etc... then its offshore for a day or two and starts back up from the North as the next front passes. I've seen it happen over and over again sometimes its awesome, most times its just OK.


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