Cuba is both the biggest and most populated island in the Caribbean, located a mere 90 miles south of Florida. But it has a unique culture and a dramatic history all of it's own. It's become an unmissable holiday destination because of this heady combination of history and architecture, outgoing people and the natural beauty. The tropical sunshine doesn't hurt either.
Although the island is surrounded by beautiful clear and warm waters, holidays should be about more than just lying around on a gorgeous beach with a cocktail in hand. We love twin centre holidays which combining a city stay in the capital of Havana, with a week or more by the sea in the lap of all inclusive luxury.
Christmas only became an official holiday in Cuba in 1997!
To get the most out of your holiday, we've put together our top five Cuban attractions. But don't be a slave to the list - try to discover other things that deserve a mention as well. For an added dimension on your holiday, look out for exciting festivals. Dance lovers will appreciate timing their holiday in 2014 or 2015 to coincide with Cubadanza, the country's largest dance festival, for example.
Old Havana is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and photogenic destination extraordinaire. Spanish colonial architecture is combined with brightly painted streets, classic American cars and bohemian art galleries. Time seems to slow down, so forget about your sightseeing list and get into watching the world go by, perhaps with a cigar. Wander the Malecon, the sea wall which links Old Havana to the Vedado area which is more lively - enjoy a night out here!
Vinales Valley National Park Cuba has a wide choice of stunning parks to visit: Sierra del Rosario in the Pinar del Rio Province, Alejandro de Humboldt National Park or Caguanes National Park are all worth seeing. We pick Vinales for its outstanding facilities. Explore the caves, climb the mountains, and generally soak up the stunning scenery in this lush valley with the help of local guides.
Paladares are locally owned restaurants, normally a private home that serves food. A great way to eat cheaply, get to know the locals and experience proper home-cooked Cuban food. The ones in Havana are good, although nowadays full of tourists, so look for Paladares in less frequently visited towns to get a more authentic experience. Take it up a notch with a Casa Particular, which is a home stay with a local.
Varadero has some of the Caribbean's best beaches along a 20 kilometre peninsula. Unsurprisingly popular, you'll find a great range of value hotels and luxury ones too on the beachfront. Try diving, scuba and snorkelling with sites for everyone from beginners to pros and our top tip is to take a day trip to the Cayo Blanco islands for the best of the best!
Santa Clara is home to the monument, burial place and museum for Che Gueveara, the world-famous Cuban revolutionary. It's a great place to get to know the man behind the myths, and learn why he's such an important figure in popular culture. Explore the colonial, the gorgeous Church of San Juan Bautista and the lovely Parque Central too.
If you've booked a multi-centre deal or are fond of getting around on your own, it's well worth considering hiring a car in Havana. Having your own wheels makes it much easier to get out and about and see all that this wonderful country has to offer.
There are plenty of amazing beach destinations on the Cuban coast so it's hard to pick the best resort for an all inclusive holiday! Varadero lies two hours east of the capital, and this resort boasts miles of beautiful white sand as well as no fewer than 20 world-renowned dive sites. Or travel west to Santiago de Cuba to the amazing beaches of Guardalavaca. This journey is long, but that just means that you will see more of the island on your holiday!
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in Holguin, Cuba
Wed 26 Mar 2014
in Holguin, Cuba
Wed 26 Mar 2014
in Cayo Coco, Cuba
Thu 13 Mar 2014
in Havana, Cuba
Sun 7 Dec 2014
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