The island of Cuba sits neatly between the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, just south of Florida and east of Mexico, which should set the scene perfectly for what to expect from this beautiful, yet time-stamped, nation.
Many believe now is the perfect time to visit Cuba. It’s like a country awakening from a long and deep slumber, yet without quite reaching full alertness, so visitors are treated to the best of both worlds.
Cuba’s capital, Havana, on the one hand boasts stunning Spanish colonial architecture, instantly providing an insight into the nation’s heritage, and classic cars galore, yet on the other, is all salsa dancing and cocktails. What a dreamy combination!
The Revolution Museum is a great place to start if you’re keen on getting to grips with Cuba’s history, while the Fortaleza de San Carlos de la Cabaña is a good spot of an evening to meet locals, who gather to reenact an 18th-century battle via a cannon show.
Away from the city, holidays in Cuba can involve great rural escapes. Vinales, towards the west of the island, is ideal for the outdoors adventurer. The area is most famous for growing the tobacco used in Cuban cigars, but it also offers a wealth of wonderful experiences, from horse riding in the valleys, to exploring the Indios Cave, where you can take an underground boat ride outside to enjoy a different vantage point. Don’t miss the chance to tour the tobacco plantations while you’re there as well.
Just outside the town of Trinidad, you’ll find Topes de Collantes National Park, where there are fantastic hiking opportunities, waterfalls and the Escambray Mountains to explore.
And of course, with its idyllic Caribbean setting, beach holidays in Cuba are naturally stunning. The serene Playa Pilar on Cayo Guillermo epitomises Caribbean beaches, with pristine sand, turquoise beaches and mangroves framing the beach. Meanwhile, Varadero near Havana is considerably more popular which, as a result, means there are plenty of activities to get stuck into, from scuba diving to yoga classes.