Cuba is the dream traveler of many of us, and it is not surprising: it is one of the islands with more personality and history of the Caribbean. And of course, the most beautiful! If you have in mind sticking a trip to Cuba, we gave you a few tips to avoid crap. But if you want to know what to visit, what is the best itinerary and where to go, then we tell you the 20 best things to see and do in Cuba.
20 things to see in cuba
Visit Havana, the capital of Cuba and its soul. The center is a small architectural jewel, but also give an opportunity to other more distant neighborhoods. You will find a decadent city,, you will fall in love with its environment, its colors and its people. There is no other city the same in the world.
La bodeguita del medio
Something you can not stop doing in Cuba is to take (at least) a mojito. The place where it was invented and most popular in Cuba is La Bodeguita del Medio in Old Havana, although the best thing is to do a wide and exhaustive tasting throughout the country Cheers!
Whether you are a professional dancer or you can not even follow the steps of the birds, in Cuba you have to sign up for a salsa class. Or at least dare to take a few steps in a bar where there is always music. Silence is not an option in Cuba, this is clear.
It is the most beautiful colonial city in Cuba. Get lost in its narrow streets, listen to the musicians in the main square, take the local drink (the canchanchara) and enjoy the tranquility of this tourist, but very relaxed, destination.
Valle de Los Ingenios
On the outskirts of Trinidad, you can take a tour through the Valle de Los Ingenios (to go some taxis offer the route for 25CUC). Do not miss the visit to Hacienda Manaza Iznaga, one of the most faithful examples of Cuban colonial mansions. And if you do not suffer from vertigo go up to your tower: the views from up, there are spectacular.
If you still have time in Trinidad and want a bath, come to Ancon Beach. Although you have to warn: the beaches and the cays of Cuba are wonderful, and this is not the best. But if you’re in the area, it’s always a good option.
If you are making the way from Havana to Trinidad, we recommend making a stop in Cienfuegos. It is a beautiful city that can be visited in a couple of hours.
Ride in almendron
Another experience that you have to live in Cuba is to ride in an “almendrón,” those old cars but so well cared for and colorful. Along with the Lada, it is the typical car of Cuba that … actually … is from the United States! When Fidel came to power, most Americans who lived in the country fled, leaving all their belongings on the island. Among these were these cars that were distributed among the Cubans.
After Havana, Santiago in Cuba is the second largest city in the country and well worth a visit if you have at least three weeks of time. Also, if you travel in July, you will get the carnival, one of the biggest celebrations on the island.
To get to know a more rural and lost area between mountains, go to Viñales, in the north of the island. The town is not very big but with its colonial houses (and better yet … its restaurants) will conquer you (and many other tourists). In its surroundings there are some surprises and if you want to learn how to make Cuban cigars … it’s your place. What to see and do in Viñales.
Do not be afraid of eating in the little windows, those little restaurants that are nothing more than a window in a private house. You can make a smoothie and some sandwiches or pizzas for something like $1 or even less!
But do not forget to try Cuban specialties in restaurants. We have a great memory of the restaurant “San José,” in Trinidad, where we ate delicious rice, or “Terraza Cuba” of Santa Marta (next to Varadero) where we gave the seafood casserole well, with lobster included!
Che Guevara Mausoleum
Visit the Che Guevara Mausoleum in Santa Clara. In this way, you can learn more about one of the crucial figures of Cuban history.
Cayo Santa María
Possibly our favorite place in Cuba is Caibarien and Cayo Santa María. We had hardly heard of them but we included them in the itinerary, and we freaked out! We stayed for several days with a lovely family, and we were able to enjoy one of the great paradises of Cuba. Our passage through Caibarien.
Las Gaviotas beach
We toured this key with our favorite taxi driver, and he recommended us to get to Las Gaviotas beach. It is located in a protected reserve at the end of Cayo Santa María (the entrance costs 4CUC per person), and if you arrive early, you will get a cabin to spend the day. The water is transparent and relaxation guaranteed. To the photo, we refer.
Town of Remedios
The nearby town of Remedios is not a place that many people visit, but we found it a very pleasant place to visit or base. If you are in the area of Cayo Santa María, stop by!
We hesitate to go to Varadero or not. We thought that the environment so crowded we would not like it, that it would be too touristy and we would soon get tired of its beaches. But things were very different. Let’s see, the tourist is a lot, but we were so comfortable bathing in its turquoise waters that we would not mind returning. Varadero lowcost.
We did not go, but they told us wonderful things about Camaguey, without a doubt a stop to add to your itinerary if you have enough time. One hour away there is the Santa Lucia beach that is also very worthwhile.
And if you want to make a beautiful route of beaches, write down these names (from south to north): Cayo Saetia, Guardalavaca, Cayo Largo (of the best), Cayo Levisa and María la Gorda.
Last but not least, one of the things we recommend you to do is to learn about the history of Cuba. Only by knowing your past can you understand its present. In this post, we work on a (not so brief) history of Cuba.