Wondering what could you experience on Cuba and what are the reasons to go there?
Cuba in the 21st century promises uniqueness compared to all you've ever visited: economic poverty, but enormous cultural wealth, evident obsolescence, but great architectural magnificence, and it is a bit intimidating, but at the same time, incredibly engaging adventure.
Here are some of the most attractive places and activities that truly reflect the essence of Cuba and all that this unique country has to offer:
1. WALKING THE FAMOUS HAVANA’S MALECÓN
Long walks beside the famous Malecón seawalls are one of the most popular attractions for tourists. Malecón is the perfect place for relaxing, watching mixed cultures and many tourists, and also to enjoy the beautiful panoramic view of the ocean. Among other things, the Malecón at sunset, the time when the last sun rays are refracted on Cuban sky, is the right place and the perfect time for long romantic walks.
2. CUBAN NIGHT LIFE
Visit to Cuba wouldn’t be complete without exploring the Cuban night scene that offers many possibilities for an unforgettable night out. It offers a lot of discos, theater stages, clubs, bars tailored to tourists, as well as traditional restaurants and bars are the best place to enjoy live music and salsa dancing, but also the right way to "absorb" the whole Cuban culture. Places such as Teatro Nacional de Cuba and Casa de la Musica in Havana are the two most visited places for a night out that will be remembered for a lifetime.
3. CUBAN CARNIVAL
Perhaps the best time to visit Cuba is in July, because that’s the time of a year when you can experience a real joy and unbridled spirit which Cuba is famous for around the world. Habana and Santiago de Cuba are the main places for "Carnaval" and you can expect absolutely everything - live musical performances, parades, dance performances and Cubans dressed in costumes that represent the explosion of color, shine and vibrancy. Both Havana and Santiago are the right places for "breathing in" carnival celebrations spirit, but it seems that the carnival in Santiago de Cuba, from 24 to 26 July, tend to stand out for incredible dance spectacles and the whole carnival parade.
4. ENJOYING THE BEACHES
Relaxing on the beach is definitely one of the best ways to spend your family vacation with the kids. Although Cuba is not a synonymous for the most attractive spots for tourists who are looking for the perfect Caribbean beaches, it should be known that on Cuban shores are some of the most beautiful beaches in the whole Caribbean.
Cayo Coco and Varadero are some of the most popular beaches in Cuba, and are especially attractive for tourists who like to enjoy water sports such as swimming, water skiing, banana boat rides, scuba diving and snorkeling. Varadero, for example, is the most popular destination for summer holidays in Cuba because of its proximity to the Havana (located a 45-minute bus ride from Havana), crystal clear shallow waters and beautiful corals.
5. VISITING THE MUSEUM OF REVOLUTION
Museo de la Revolucion is one of the best museums in Cuba and, in general, the best place to learn about the history of the Cuban revolution. In the museum are exhibited fantastic and colorful artifacts such as socks of Che Guevara, Battista's gun, newspaper articles, military vehicles and original ship on which Fidel Castro sailed from Mexico to begin the revolution in Cuba. Everything in the museum, down to the smallest detail, literally exudes history, and another good thing is that all the exhibits have explanations in English, so no one would miss a full introduction to Cuban history.
6. CANOPY TOUR
If you are a true lover of extreme sports and adrenaline, this is a great way to have fun and experience Cuba in a slightly different way. Canopy tour and eco-tourism are known in Las Terrazas Biosphere Reserve, which is about 30 minutes drive from Havana. There you will find a local agency that provides slide down the rope for about $30.
7. VISITING CUBAN CIGARS FACTORY
Cigars are one of the symbols by which Cuba is famous for all over the world, and at the same time are perhaps the best souvenir you can bring to your friends or family members, whether they are smokers or not. There are various types of cigars that would be great gifts for your friends. Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure No 2, Montecristo No 5, Partagas Serie P No 2 are in the list of the best cuban cigars that you can take with you as an souvenir. In Havana there are two largest Cuban cigars factories, so a visit to Havana is also necessary for this reason. Real Fabrica de Tabacos Partagas (Partagas Factory) is a major factory in the production of cigars in this country, and right there you can see how the famous Cohiba cigars are made.
If speleology is your passion, you the information that Cuba is home to many interesting caves that you can visit on guided tours will be very useful. Some of them are Bellamar, Santo Thomas and Indio caves. Bellamar caves in Mantazas are entitled as a Cuban treasure that takes your breath away with it’s incredible crystals and rock formations. Both Santo Thomas and Indio caves are located near the Vinariles and aren’t less worthy visiting at all.
9. VISITING ISLAND OF YOUTH
About 100km south of the mainland is the Isla de la Juventud (Isle of Youth), which is the largest of the 300 islands that make the emerald Archipelago de los Canarreos. The island is coma-shaped and extends from the island's capital, Nueva Gerona to a place which is fantastic for scuba diving, Punta Francés. This island is in fact used to be a meeting place for pirates, but now the population is mainly engaged in the cultivation of mango and citrus. In addition, since the development of this island is moving slowly, you should not be surprised that, on the road where the cars and other modern vehicles are driven, you could see a driver who slowly manages a carriage drawn by horses.
10. BARACOA’S SPICY FOOD AND CULTURE
Over the hills and far away to the east edge of the province of Guantanamo, on isolated location lays Baracoa, small but historically important town, which stands out even from the standard Cuban customs and culture, as for its fickle Atlantic climate, eccentric locals and also unrelenting desire to be simply - different. Here you can enjoy the abundance of coconut palms and local bands playing traditional instrument kiribá, but most necessary is to feel the specific richer, spicier and specific food tastes like pastries called cucurucho.