Most famous for its revolutionary history, Cuba is full of fascinating landmarks alongside its beautiful beaches and scenic agricultural areas. Start your time in the West of the island in the colorful capital of Havana, before venturing into the surrounding farms, beaches, and mountains.
Once shut off from the world, this capital city is now a popular destination among travelers. The best area to stroll around is Havana Vieja, the old town. With vibrant squares, colorful colonial architecture, and tons of galleries, museums, and restaurants, you definitely won’t run out of things to do. Don’t leave the city before visiting the Plaza de la Revolución, an enormous square with memorials to Guevara and Cienfuegos, heroes of the revolution.
|Take a walk along the Malecón.
It’s also worth venturing to the Malecón, an eight-kilometer-long sea wall which will take you through a mix of neighborhoods and past some of the city’s best nightlife venues.
Located south of the mainland, this beautiful archipelago comprises around 350 islets, the most famous of which are Isla de la Juventud and Cayo Largo del Sur. Isla de la Juventud’s main town, Nueva Gerona, is fairly sleepy and mainly acts as a base for hiking routes to the West and exploring the mango groves and citrus orchards to the North. The best diving spot on the island is Bahia de Siguanea, which hosts clear waters, shipwrecks, and interesting coral formations.
|Cayo Largo del Sur is a popular resort island.
The resort island of Cayo Largo del Sur boasts 22 kilometers of soft, white sand, along which you’ll find luxury hotels and impressive dive centers. Playa Sirena is the island’s busiest beach, while Playa Lindamar is the best for watersports.
Another of Cuba’s resort locations, this province is best known for its 25-kilometer-long coastline, full of soft sand, luxury hotels, and abandoned mansions. Nature lovers should head to the Reserva Ecológica Varahicacos for endemic plant species, such as a 500-year-old cactus.
|The province of Varadero is home to many resorts.
You’ll also find hiking trails, bird-rich lagoons, and a range of insects and lizards. To explore the marine wildlife, check out the province’s underwater park, Cayo Piedra, where you can spot abandoned military equipment alongside turtles and sharks.
These three sleepy provinces are full of gorgeous scenery. While in Pinar del Río, base yourself in Las Terrazas for the best hiking routes and paths through tobacco farms and coffee plantations. Travel a little further to find the Viñales Valley with its cliffy mounds, deep caves, and nearby beaches, such as the secluded Cayo Jutias and Cayo Levisa.
|Viñales Valley features cliffy mounds, deep caves, and beaches.
Matanzas’ provincial capital of the same name mainly acts as a base for exploring the nearby Cuevas de Bellamar caves and the Yumurí Valley. Mayabeque, meanwhile, is the smallest province in Cuba, home to many citrus farms, sugar plantations, vineyards, and some stunning beaches, such as Playa Jibacoa.
Get a feel for Cienfuegos City along the Cienfuegos Boulevard, where you’ll spot colorful architecture and historical monuments. It’s worth spending time at the Government Palace and the Cienfuegos Cathedral, which boasts intricate stained-glass windows.
|Cienfuegos City is home to lots of colorful architecture and historical monuments.
The city really comes alive after dark, with great cabaret shows and nightclubs. Cure your hangover in the province’s areas of natural beauty, including the El Nicho Waterfall and Laguna Guanaroca, where you can spot flamingos and crabs.
The city of Santa Clara offers fascinating memorials to Che Guevara as well as plenty of theaters and one of the largest selections of gay-friendly venues in the country. It’s also a great city for enjoying traditional Cuban rum, coffee, and cigars; in fact, Santa Clara has its own tobacco factory where you can learn about the whole production process.
|There's lots to do and see in the city of Santa Clara.
Exclusive, private beaches can be found in Cayo Las Brujas, alongside top-notch restaurants, diving schools, and other watersports facilities. Cayo Santa Maria, meanwhile, has some public areas around Pueblo las Dunas and Pueblo la Estrella. These villages are quite artificial, but offer lots of entertainment venues, restaurants, and nightclubs.
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Most famous for its revolutionary history, Cuba is full of fascinating landmarks alongside its beautiful beaches and scenic agricultural areas.