in the middle
Galumphing Cadillacs rumble over the pot-holed roads of Old Havana. Cigar smoke twists and turns between the age-stained Spanish Baroque homes. Latin jazz and South American samba mix with flamenco guitar ditties in the sultry air. Moustachioed revolutionaries nostalgically sip Libres in beaten-down bars high in the Sierra Maestra. Varadero’s beaches shimmer and shine, dolphin pods poke above the ocean at Cayo Guillermo and dilapidated tobacco plantations sprawl out from Pinar del Rio and up to the karst peaks of the palm-topped Vinales Valley. Welcome to Cuba, the Pearl of the Antilles.
Get a deal on the best cheap hotels in Cuba and come and explore this verdant land of hills and history, revolution and tropical sun.
Compare the best Cuba hotels with dealchecker and you could soon be sipping rum punches and mojitos on the sun-drenched sands of the Varadero spit – a land of swaying palms and uber-luxurious resorts, of swaying coconut gardens and sands so white they sizzle under the Caribbean heat.
For romance, seclusion and seemingly endless stretches of talcum-white beaches, there's the trio of spots across the Bahia de Perros – Cayo Coco, Cayo Romano and Cayo Guillermo.
Meanwhile, heritage buffs and history lovers would do well to make a beeline for the southern edge of the island. This is where timeworn Trinidad pokes out of the green valleys. A World Heritage Site, it looks plucked straight from a Spaghetti Western. Pueblo cottages line the colourful streets, church bells clatter overhead and the Escambray Mountains loom nearby.
Havana – there’s simply no other city like it. Hectic and heady, steel drums and jazz echo through its tight-knit streets. Classic cars go bumper-to-bumper in the cobbled alleys that form the Havana Vieja district, weaving between the gorgeous Baroque facades of the San Cristobal Cathedral and Museum of the Revolution. The seaside Malecon esplanade pulses with life, and brims with stalls selling aromatic Latin platters.
Cienfuegos, the so-called Pearl of the South, is an elegant and refined town with oodles of character. Tagged by UNESCO, it's got pretty Francophone mansions and prime people-watching on Paseo del Prado – a real highlight of holidaying in Cuba.
Then there's Santiago de Cuba. This artsy town, in the shadow of the verdant Sierra Maestra, was where Castro launched his revolution. It's also the birthplace of Cuban rum-making – just as the street parties on the Plaza de Marte reveal every weekend.