10 Places In Cuba You Should Visit As Soon As Possible

habana sunsetPhoto by jaumescar

1. Havana

This Cuban destination easily tops any list of places you absolutely must see. The gorgeous city has long been considered the heart of the soulful country, and it is the defining place to be if you want the complete Cuban experience.

As soon as you set foot into the city, you can hear the sound of Rumba music, smell the sweet spice of rum and fine tobacco, and feast on the sight of classic automobiles gracing every street corner. There is no place on earth that is quite like Havana. Everywhere you look, there is something to be seen, with so many different experiences to enjoy.

An afternoons view over Santiago de Cuba IPhoto by Fotoffigrafie

2. Santiago de Cuba

Santiago de Cuba is another stunning city that should top the eager traveler’s list. It is located on Cuba’s southern edge, and many consider Santiago de Cuba to be the second most important city in the country, right behind Havana.

It is a gorgeous cultural center, where the local flavor is strongly influence by its rich heritage and its bright future.

This beautiful city is filled with history and roars to life in July, its most festive month, where both the Carnaval de Santiago and the Festival of Fire take place. There is something for everybody in Santiago de Cuba, no matter whether you are interested in a soothing stay on the beach or want to experience some of the local charm.

Baracoa El YunquePhoto by RAEMJ

3. Baracoa

All of Cuba promises an exotic and exciting experience, but there are some parts of the country that stand out, even by Cuban standards. On the eastern side of the Guantánamo province is the hidden city of Baracoa.

The local population is known for its friendliness and eccentricity, and the local restaurants are a food lover’s delight.

The dishes prepared in this city can only be described as rich and spicy, promising a unique and inventive culinary experience. Be sure to try some of the cucuruchu, a deliciously sweet and filling local snack, and see what other tasty treats await you.

20061024 Santa Clara 17Photo by peatc

4. Santa Clara

Santa Clara is another extravagant break from the familiar and ordinary. Where sights and sounds of traditional and rustic Cuban life define so many cityscapes, Santa Clara is striking in its modernity.

When you visit this city, you can expect engaging conversations with local students, enjoy the exciting and vibrant nightlife, and find contemporary homes filled with beautiful works of art.

There are so many museums to visit, so many restaurants to sample, and so many outlets of creativity to explore. If you have always been artistically inclined, be sure to pay this beautiful city a visit to see what the latest exhibits and shows are like.

Trinidad, CubaPhoto by jodastephen

5. Trinidad

If you are more aquatically inclined, be sure to visit the western shore of Cuba to see what the city of Trinidad has to offer. It is just one comfortable drive away from Santa Clara, standing out as a traditional sunny retreat for beach lovers.

With bright colonial buildings and traditional cobblestone streets, there is a quaint air of rustic delight that paints the perfect picture for a summer holiday. No matter what you are looking for, you will find it here. You can choose to relax by the beach, or, if you are looking for something more adventurous, you can enjoy any variety of watersports along the resplendent shore.

Birds in the Zapata swampPhoto by Marco Zanferrari

6. Ciénaga de Zapata

As memorable as some of the cities are, and as touched with nature and wildlife as they can be, there are few places in Cuba that are as truly untamed as the Zapata swamp.

Nature and wildlife lovers should definitely visit this breathtaking landscape to learn more about the local flora and fauna.

Here, you can see the majestic Cuban crocodiles, various unique species of birds, and dozens of natural plant habitats. It is the Caribbean’s largest wetlands, protected to preserve the delicate ecosystem. You can fish, hike, sightsee, and relax comfortably in a quiet municipality, set flawlessly alongside nature.

Kuba 1Photo by kathrin_mezger

7. Varadero

Cuba attracts all types of visitors, boasting a particularly attractive series of fishing challenges for interested enthusiasts. Deep sea fishing has always been an exciting part of Cuban history, as there are many different species of marlin that make their homes in the country’s warm waters.

It can be a very challenging and exciting sport because of how it demands skill in body and mind. Darsena Marina in Varadero has been cited as one of the top places to fish for marlin, making it an exciting retreat for those who have always wanted to try their hand at this invigorating sport.

176 HolguinPhoto by Tomato Geezer

8. Holguin

Another favorite of marine lovers, visiting Holguin will always guarantee a refreshing and relaxing stay. You can take in the warm sights on the streets, relax by the beach, and enjoy any type of local cuisine.

What makes Holgiun truly stand out, however, is the unique opportunity to swim alongside dolphins!

Visitors will have the chance to enjoy a delightful swim next to these intelligent mammals, or consider a more advanced option if they are feeling adventurous. Some interested travelers may want to take classes with the dolphins and help them learn new tricks. No trip to Cuba is ever complete without an adventure with these creatures.

Esmeralda BeachPhoto by MissChampers

9. Guardalavaca

This relaxed little town can be a great getaway spot for those seeking something quieter. If you want to take it easy somewhere with white, sandy beaches and refreshingly warm water, Guardalavaca is definitely the destination for you.

The warm shore invites all visitors to enjoy a little bit of swimming and surfing, but for those who want a closer look at the beach floor, snorkelling is always an option as well.

Because of how well maintained the beaches are, and how pristine the crystal clear water is, visitors can enjoy a number of activities. Scuba diving and snorkelling are particularly popular, offering visitors a change to take a closer look at the thousands of marine species that make their homes beneath the water.

2013-01-22Photo by Giåm

10. Valle de Viñales

If you are a fan of scenic cycling or hiking, visiting the lush Viñales Valley and exploring the landscape there is a must.

This exquisite cycling range features a grand collection of vistas, all coming together in an incredible way to showcase the best natural scenery that the country has to offer.

You will ride past verdant tobacco fields, bold craggy hills, and warm picturesque bungalows. The vast majority of the terrain is flat and easy to ride over, which means that with a good bike, you will be able to bask in everything that this marvelous course has to offer.

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