Opened in 2011, the Pueblo Las Dunas Village and entertainment center is the second of its type on Cayo Santa Maria after the acclaimed Pueblo La Estrella, which is a short distance away. Equally easy to access on the hop-on hop-off 1 CUC bus, the distances from your hotel are listed below. Prices at both Cayo Santa Maria “Pueblos” should be considered duty free, because they are excellent overall, including the numerous food courts and bars incorporated into each village.
More like a strip mall with character, the Pueblo Las Dunas offers everything from Cigars to clothing and everything in-between. Particularly impressive is the array of handicrafts on offer at the outside markets.
The Marcaribe Discotheque is where people in the know go for a night out, as opposed to their resort disco. More of a true “back-home” type disco, there’s a perfect mix of local Cuban workers mingling with tourists from all of the resorts on Cayo Santa Maria. If you’re tired of seeing the same faces at your disco, head down to Marcaribe!
The other bars are all good and offer a little more lively fun than the typical all-inclusive bar you’ve become accustomed to while on vacation in Cayo Santa Maria. The El Mosquete Bar is a classically designed bar with a mezzanine deck inside, great people watching! Bar Bolera is a state of the art 6 lane bowling alley, with digital readouts and excellent bar with top level spirits along with international beers.
There are two impressive restaurants; the first is the Galeon del Puerto or sometimes called the Barco del Pirata. It’s built inside a full-scale replica of a Spanish Galleon, right in the center of Pueblo Las Dunas. Galeon del Puerto serves all types of food from a simple burger to an excellent steak dinner. Drinks are also served all day and the décor, complete with seating stalls and, Galleon theme throughout, is a true delight. Then there’s the excellent seafood restaurant called the Isla de Tortuga or Tortoise Island, the breaded prawns here are simply fantastic, as is the Lobster or surf and turf special.
If you need a battery for your camera, to print some photos for friends or some emergency photo equipment then the El Fortin Store will probably have it. They’ll also digitize photos for you and transfer images to a pen drive (they sell these), if you’ve run out of disk space. The El Ponton store, just next door to the above, is a general goods store offering everything from souvenirs to clothing, soft drinks and knickknacks you may need. They also have the all-important mosquito repellent, sunscreen towels and beachwear. Outside in the plaza there are a myriad of market stands selling genuine Cuban handmade items (NOT Chinese rubbish). Many of the store owners are the artisans who actually make the items on sale, a real pleasure to see the variety of items and colorful offerings.
The Galleria Las Dunas opened its doors in 2012 showing works of art from the Villa Clara province’s upcoming and experienced artists, in all genres. The manager of the Galleria Las Dunas is Erik Lorenzo; he is very knowledge about all the artworks shown in his gallery. Proper documentation is provided with all artwork sold, including official export papers and certificates of authenticity.
Yhi Spa Aguas Claras
Yes, there’s a Spa and wellness center at Pueblo Las Dunas and, it’s very good indeed. Of course, if you have a Spa on your resort you may wish to skip this paragraph, but for those who don’t, this is an excellent alternative and nice day away from your hotel for some pampering. Conveniently located at the entrance of Pueblo Las Dunas, right between the hotels Melia Cayo Santa Maria and Melia Las Dunas, the “Yhi” name is Melia’s own and the name it uses internationally for all its hotel spas. The Yhi Spa Aguas Claras offers an impressive selection of treatments that will soothe mind, body and soul, as well as a broad hydrothermal circuit and numerous relaxation areas. The Aguas Claras Yhi Spa building is also home to the Yhi Beauty Salon. The name “Yhi” is derived from the name of the goddess of light in Australian Aboriginal Karraur mythology.
Pueblo Las Dunas Gym
The gym offers both machines and free-weight training, numerous of the latest digital treadmills and bikes plus a conveniently located TV to watch something while you pound away. Entrance is 10 CUC for two hours and you get to use the showers at the Yhi Spa. The gym is used by Melia Resort staff also , so you can often strike up an interesting chat.
Pueblo Las Dunas Car, Scooter and Bicycle Rental
If you’ve booked a rent a car in advance, with CubaCAR Cayo Santa Maria, then you can collect it here. The office also rents bicycles and scooters by the hour or per day. This office is considered the main car rental office for Cayo Santa Maria and would also be where you would return a car if you´ve chosen a one-way rental in Cuba.