Once shrouded in mystery, Cuba is now very much open to international visitors. Most stick to the West of the island, where you’ll find the colorful capital of Havana. The East, however, is just as impressive, with its quaint towns, scenic coastline, and challenging hiking routes.
While not the provincial capital, Trinidad is Sancti Spíritus’ most popular town. Erected in the 16th century, Trinidad has a gorgeous mountainous backdrop, clean beach, and bell tower, which offers unbeatable panoramic views.
|Trinidad is the region's most popular town.
The Topes de Collantes National Park makes for a great day trip from the town. The park lies at the heart of the Sierra del Escambray mountain range and can be explored on foot, horseback, or by car.
Playa Ancon is the best beach in the region, with crystal-clear water and fine white sand. It offers a beautiful backdrop of the Sierra del Escambray mountains and diving excursions allow you to see parrotfish, trumpetfish, and moray eels.
|You may spot moray eels during a diving excursion.
While in the quiet Ciego de Ávila, be sure to visit Jardines del Rey. This line of cays is full of vibrant birdlife, stunning beaches, and excellent diving around the Caribbean’s largest coral reef. Head to the neighboring province of Camagüey for more beautiful beaches around the peaceful Santa Lucía.
|Camagüey is a region and city in eastern Cuba.
Camagüey City itself, offers colonial architecture, restaurants, and bars. The Calle Maceo hosts great shopping facilities, while free concerts often take place in the central Plaza de Los Trajadores.
The country’s second city offers a fantastic mix of historic and modern culture. You’ll find tons of memorials to the revolution, such as the Plaza de la Revolucion, where Castro delivered many a famous speech. History buffs will also love the Castillo de San Pedro del Morro. This 17th-century Spanish fort hosts an interesting naval museum and is a great spot to enjoy the sunset.
|The Castillo de San Pedro del Morro dates back to the 17th century.
If you want to escape the city for a day, check out the Gran Piedra volcanic rock for panoramic ocean views from its 1,234-meter-high peak. Alternatively, enjoy beaches such as Playa Siboney, which offers beautiful cliff backdrops, soft brown sand, and authentic seafood restaurants.
Granma’s main towns are Manzanillo, a fishing village with a colorful park, and Bayamo, whose main square offers great live music. To see the province’s natural beauty, head to Desembarco del Granma National Park for clean beaches, challenging hikes, and interesting stone petroglyphs.
|The many national parks are great for hiking.
Alternatively, check out the Demajagua National Park: once a sugar plantation, there is now an on-site museum where you can learn all about the area’s history.
The provinces of Las Tunas, Holguín, and Guantánamo are less popular than their neighbors, but are perfect for those looking to explore the unexplored. While in Holguín, stop by the city of Guardalavaca for craft markets and Guardalavaca Beach, which offers diving, snorkeling, and horseback riding. Guantánamo, meanwhile, is best-known for the famous US naval base.
|The entrance to the US naval base is strictly prohibited.
While entrance to the base itself is strictly prohibited, you can enjoy ocean views and explore the surrounding deserts and valleys.
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Once shrouded in mystery, Cuba is now very much open to international visitors.