Cuba emerges as a travel gem, ready to surprise and captivate even the most seasoned wanderer. Havana, the captivating capital, remains suspended in a charming time-warp, a fusion of mid-1900s American influences and weathered colonial architecture, endowing it with an eccentric and exceedingly photogenic allure. You can effortlessly spend several days meandering through Havana on foot, savoring the occasional Mojito, the renowned Havana Rum, and perhaps a Cuban cigar or two.
As you venture further, don't miss the opportunity to visit the charming Trinidad, a designated World Heritage Site often described as a "living museum." Santa Clara, the final resting place of the revolutionary Che Guevara, and Cienfuegos are destinations well deserving of a spot on any itinerary. Continue your journey to eastern Cuba, where Santiago de Cuba beckons with its unique charm. Then, uncover one of the less-trodden beach resorts, where you can savor a few idyllic days to conclude your unforgettable Cuban experience.
Camaguey: The most enjoyable way to experience Camaguey is through a bicycle taxi tour, winding through the labyrinthine heart of this UNESCO Historic Site. The town's layout, designed to confound pirates, is renowned for its exquisite architecture and Cuban-baroque churches.
Havana: Havana, a UNESCO World Heritage city, holds a treasure trove of Spanish heritage. This captivating city seems frozen in a bygone era, where mid-1900s American influences intersect with time-worn colonial architecture, imparting an eccentric and incredibly photogenic charm. It's a place where you can leisurely explore on foot, savoring the occasional Mojito, Havana Rum, and perhaps indulging in a Cuban cigar or two.
Pinar de Rio Province: This UNESCO Heritage Site offers a splendid opportunity to witness traditional plantations teeming with tobacco, taro, and bananas. Explore a tobacco farm to gain insights into the entire production process and embark on a tour of an organic farming operation.
Trinidad: Trinidad stands as a splendid locale for meandering through its picturesque streets, earning its UNESCO-listed status as a "living museum." Picture a beautifully preserved Spanish colonial settlement, adorned with cobbled streets and the renowned Casa de la Musica, a local favorite known for its live salsa bands.
Santiago de Cuba: Santiago de Cuba boasts an incredible Afro-Cuban culture, complete with a vibrant music scene that matches its vibrancy. Be sure to visit the Castillo de San Pedro de la Roca, a UNESCO-listed fortress meticulously crafted to protect Santiago from pirate attacks.
When to go / useful information
When to go
Cuba welcomes visitors throughout the year, but the period to exercise caution is from July to October when the weather is at its hottest, and there's a possibility of occasional hurricanes. For the most favorable travel conditions, it's recommended to plan your visit between November and May.
Currency The local currency is the Cuban Peso and because of restriction and additional fees in converting US dollars, the best currencies to take are Euro’s, British Pounds or Canadian Dollars. These can be easily converted into CUC’s (Cuban Convertible Peso’s).
Language Spanish is the official language of Cuba but English is widely understood in hotels and at tourist facilities.
What makes it special: Cuba is a truly unique place, a veritable melting pot of humanity where people of all backgrounds live harmoniously side by side. Music permeates the air – it's inescapable, and its rhythmic beats will sweep you off your feet. The Buena Vista Social Club seems to inhabit almost every street-side bar, and as you relish an excellent coffee or savor the local rum concoction, the 'mojito,' you'll be embraced by the warmth of the locals while listening to the live bands. The spirit of Ernest Hemingway seems to linger everywhere! Much of the country appears frozen in a bygone era, with charming vintage Chevys and Studebakers from the 1950s still gracing the enchanting and UNESCO World Heritage-listed streets of Havana. As you explore the scenic countryside and pristine Caribbean beaches en route to historic Santiago de Cuba at the opposite end of the island, you'll find that Cuba offers an exceptional blend of affordability, friendliness, a vibrant culture, stunning scenery, and rich history.
Weather: You can embark on a Cuban adventure throughout the year, but it's advisable to steer clear of the June to September period when the weather reaches its sweltering peak. Occasionally, Cuba may face hurricanes between June and October. The prime time to visit is generally considered to be between November and May.
Social customs: Cubans are known for their warm and welcoming nature, often extending invitations into their homes. In cafes and bars, you'll find the locals exceptionally hospitable and great fun to be around. Music holds a special place in their hearts and serves as a marvelous way to bridge cultural divides. It's common to see both men and women enjoying cigars.