Marvel at the old-world architecture and classic cars, take a tour of tobacco plantations and kayak off the coast of this long-isolated island nation.
The Republic of Cuba is an island country in the Caribbean, just south of the state of Florida. For decades it has been hard for tourists to access this fascinating country and you’ll still need to do some careful planning before you visit. Once you get here, however, you can enjoy the active nightlife in its atmospheric capital, visit historic buildings and monuments in UNESCO-listed old towns and discover stunning coastal scenery and picturesque beaches.
While the United States and Cuba have not always enjoyed strong relations in the past, the warm climate and colonial history have made it a firm favorite among international tourists. Spanish is Cuba’s most popular language. Learn a few words before you go to communicate with the locals.
Spend time in the culturally rich capital, Havana, with its interesting architecture and flourishing art, music and dance scenes. Wander through UNESCO-listed Old Havana to see the bustling Cathedral Square and have a picnic in the city’s grassy Lenin Park. Later, attend a professional ballet show at the Alicia Alonso Great Theatre of Havana.
For stunning natural views, head to the western province of Pinar del Rio. Take a tour of the Viñales Valley to see tobacco plantations and small farmers’ huts. Walk through the mangroves and green forests of Guanahacabibes National Park in search of local wildlife and native plants including citrus and pine trees.
Find one of Cuba’s best beaches, Playa Pilar, in Cayo Guillermo. Perch atop the sand dunes, snorkel in the shallow warm waters or join a guided kayaking excursion. Only a few steps away is a popular beach restaurant with local cuisine to fill you up after an active day.
Cuba is home to 10 international airports, but the largest and most used is José Martí in Havana. Once on land, the cheapest and most reliable way of traveling around the island is by the state-run buses. Check ahead for departure times as buses to tourist sites will have regular daily schedules.
American travelers should visit the State Department website to find the most recent laws regarding travel to Cuba, including visa options.
Discover a unique culture shaped with minimal outside influence during your journey across this enthralling island country.