A guide to Cuba

| June 10, 2020

A guide to Cuba

There are plenty of things to do in Cuba, with its cobbled city streets, verdant mountains and a local rhythm that can't help but enthrall.


A former port of call for ships to the New World, Havana is built on a sweeping bay. Havana Vieja – the old city – a Unesco world heritage site, is currently being restored to its former glory with beautiful baroque churches, palaces and convents lining its cobbled streets and squares. The state of decay of some of the colonial buildings only adds to the charm of this enigmatic city.

Soak up the atmosphere strolling along the streets, visit one of many museums in converted colonial mansions, dance to salsa and rumba, or just relax with a mojito in hand.

The Viñales Valley

Viñales’ fascinating landscape consists of fertile valleys dotted with palm trees and peculiar mogote hills, the rounded limestone outcrops of the Sierra de los Organos. There are countless caves and green plantations, where tobacco-growing has remained unchanged for several centuries.

Trinidad & Surrounds

Colonial Trinidad, a Unesco world heritage site, has pastel-coloured buildings and serene cobbled streets that seem frozen in time. Visit the Romantic Museum, an old merchant’s home, and the local Casa de la Musica. Not far from town there are fine stretches of beach, ruins from the former sugar plantations, and the verdant slopes of the Escambray mountains.

Santiago & the East

Considered the soul of the country, the eastern part of Cuba is dominated by verdant mountains and is brimming with historic sites. Santiago de Cuba, the island’s first capital in the foothills of the Sierra Maestra mountains, has a rich colonial heritage and splendid fortifications. It is regarded as the cradle of the Cuban revolution. The city has an Afro- Caribbean flavour and is well known for its Cuban music. The pine forests and waterfalls of Mayari are situated inland, while to the very east is the sleepy colonial town of Baracoa, which is Cuba’s oldest settlement.

Tourist infrastructure in Cuba cannot be compared with that of most Latin American countries as the standard of service can be erratic, changes to the itinerary and hotels may occur without prior notice, road journeys can take longer than anticipated and dining options are often limited. However, we feel that any deficiencies are more than compensated for by Cuba's culture and scenery, and recommend a flexible approach to travel when visiting the country.

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