The Ultimate Guide to Cuba
There is an amazing diversity in Cuba that you don’t get in many other countries. With towering mountains, acres of sugar cane and tobacco plantations, unspoilt valleys and some of the world’s most stunning beaches, the nature of Cuba is unrivalled in its beauty.
The people of Cuba are known to be some of the friendliest and welcoming in the world. You will experience this in its vibrant cities, bustling towns and traditional villages where you can see real, authentic Cuba and get a feel for the care-free attitude of the island.
What better place to start when talking about the destinations of Cuba than in the vibrant capital Havana. Step back in time and enjoy iconic buildings, classic cars, ancient structures, the beautifully preserved ‘Old Havana’ and get a taste for some great local cuisine. Havana has a unique atmosphere about it and still holds an authentic charm that many big cities tend to loose in a modern age.
The surrounding UNESCO site The Viñales Valley is a popular area near Havana that is well worth a visit whilst visiting Cuba. Encircled by towering mountains, lush green tobacco plantations and dramatic rocky outcrops, the views here are outstanding. Traditional techniques are still used for agricultural production here which preserves this striking natural landscape.
As we head south through Cuba, the next popular place to stop is the city of Cienfuegos. Known as ‘The Pearl of the South’ Cienfuegos is great for sightseeing and dinner! With an elegant, French feel and a pretty waterside area overlooking a spectacular natural bay, a night in Cienfuegos is a real treat.
The colourful town of Trinidad, on the Carribbean coast, cannot be missed when visiting Cuba. This idillac town has been named a UNESCO heritage sight and we can see why! No cars are allowed in the centre meaning its stunning Spanish Colonial feel has been preserved down to the very last detail. Trinidad’s colourful buildings and ‘old-school’ style are really like nowhere else, Trinidad is truly unique.
Similarly, nearby Camagüey has UNESCO status and contains some stunning architecture and a real glimpse into authentic Cuban culture. Lesser explored than your average tourist haunts, Camaguey is a maze of small streets and striking buildings. Lose yourself in the winding streets of what they call ‘the city of tinajones (clay pots)’.
A fantastic location to visit (and we always recommend!) is the vibrant city of Santiago De Cuba - 'The Second City'! As it lies closer to Haiti and the Dominican Republic than Havana, Santiago de Cuba has a unique Afro-Cuban culture and has become renowned for its colourful carnivals, delicious Afro-Cuban food, eclectic music scene and impressive architecture. The temperatures in Santiago de Cuba are noticeably warmer than anywhere else in Cuba rising into the 30s on the streets which is a good excuse to relax with a mojito at any opportunity!
Nearby, along the Caribbean coastline and through the impressive La Farola Viaduct is Baracoa. Largely unexplored by most tourists a popular jaunt here is a boat trip on the beautiful Toa river, the longest river in Cuba.
En route to the coast, why not visit Holguín for a night? Commonly overlooked by the major tourist routes heading straight for the seaside, Holguín has its own unique charm and authenticity where there is not a four-star hotel or overenthusiastic guide speaking English in sight! Holguín has a lovely calmness about it that one can easily loose themselves in for an afternoon! We reccommend taking a walk up to La Loma de la Cruz 'hill of the cross' for stunning views over the city. Also, take a stroll through one of its many parks, sit and relax in a city square to watch the goings on and stay in a Casa Particulares where the hospitality and food is better than any hotel!
Head on to the stunning Caribbean coastline, just an hour or so drive from Holguín, there are a number of all-inclusive resorts by the beach here that are a far cry from the busy hub of those near Havana. The crystal clear seas and white beaches are so flawless you won’t believe they are real! With plenty of opportunity to go swimming, snorkelling, see some historical sights, go on a boat ride, eat fresh lobster or just relax with a Mojito, this place is amazing!
Tango Tours Cuba offers
Why not cover as much of Cuba as possible? There is so much more to this fantastic island than lying on a beach for a week! Join a group of like-minded people or travel alone, with your family or as a couple to see all the destinations above and more!
Just get in touch to discuss your itinerary and see what we can tailor-make for you! Check out our website for some inspiration on your trip to Cuba.
Why not experience something a little different with a self-drive tour, or if chilling on the beach with a Mojito is more your thing – we can do that too!