Cuba is a Caribbean destination that seems like a world away from what you’d expect from a tropical island. It has gorgeous vistas and amazing beaches, but its history is so engrained throughout the country that it is almost concrete. As the largest island in the Caribbean, it has a lot to offer travelers. Aside from the history that permeates every part of this country, you can find natural beauty in the beaches and forests. No matter what you’re looking for on a vacation, Cuba can deliver.
Alive with history
To get the full experience of any vacation abroad, outings and locations that offer insight into the history and culture are a must. In Cuba, this history is easy to find. To start your trip, head to the Museum of the Revolution, located in Old Havana. The building used to be a presidential palace and its grandeur is a sight to see. The museum offers a chronological history of the Cuban revolution, from top floor to bottom. The Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, or National Museum of Fine Arts, is a must-see. There are few things that provide a lens into the culture and influences of a country as accurately and interestingly as art. This museum lets visitors experience Cuban culture in a beautifully aesthetic way.
In Santiago, the Castillo de San Pedro de la Roca is a formidable fortress that sits at the edge of the island overlooking the ocean and the city. Climb to the top and take in the view while appreciating the significance of this amazing structure. For a change of pace, take part in the Fiesta de la Cubania. This street party throws travelers into the middle of an authentic Cuban experience, complete with roast pigs, music, and dancing.
The natural landscapes of this island are breathtaking, with endless opportunities for awe-inspiring photo ops. The Valle de los Ingenios is comprised of three connected valleys within the mountains. Once a hotbed of sugar production, it’s now a World Heritage Sight. Caya Coco is a small island right off the coast, and if you’re looking for a place to hit the beach scene, this is it. There’s pristine, white sand and clear water, with plenty of resorts if you need a place to sleep for a night or two.
The Sierra Maestra gives visitors the opportunity to explore a different type of Cuban landscapes: mountains. The wooded peaks offer plenty of places to hike and explore, and the very adventurous can climb to Cuba’s highest point, Turquino Peak. Elsewhere on the island, you can see a rainforest. When we said this country offers a variety of landscapes, we weren’t kidding. El Yunque is rich with plants and animals, just what you’d expect from such a tropical forest. You’ll feel completely removed from civilization while you trek through the thick vegetation, and you might even spot a waterfall or two on your journey.
Even with all of its natural and untouched landscapes, Cuba has a lot to offer in terms of city life. For a taste of authentic, small-town Cuba, head to Trinidad. This preserved colonial city lets you stroll through the town center, where cars are not allowed. You’ll feel transported back in time with the mix of old architecture, preserved lifestyle, and thick forests surrounding the town. Another otherworldly visit is to Havana, Cuba’s largest city. Here you’ll see a fascinating display of retro cars, charmingly aged buildings, and bustling city. You could spend your day exploring throughout the city and appreciating the colorful sights. Come nighttime, you can dance through the evening in one of the many bars or salsa clubs.
With these options and more, Cuba is one destination you’ll want to consider for your next vacation.