9 Thrilling Locations To Go to In Cuba for 2023 + One To Keep away from!

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Considering of visiting Cuba and undecided the place are the perfect spots to take a look at? Don’t fear, we all know all the perfect locations to go to in Cuba!

The nation is small, nevertheless it makes up for its dimension with its massive character. With heat, charismatic locals, colonial structure, and basic automobiles on each road – there actually is nowhere else on the planet prefer it.

The life, the color, the music…it’s all right here – a pulsing, heartbeat that sweeps you up and carries you off in its bohemian salsa tempo. The character of this fascinating nation is magnetic, infectious, and unimaginable to say no to.

This unimaginable vibrancy is all over the place you go to in Cuba.

However to be sure you go to the proper locations and keep away from the dangerous ones, we’ve listed all the highest locations to go to in Cuba and one place to keep away from for you beneath.

people at the Havana markets

What’s Cuba Recognized For?

In each city, village, countryside, and metropolis in Cuba, there’s a sure vitality is woven into the very material of what makes Cuba. It’s vibrant and colourful, and never simply in its structure.

It’s identified for its cigars, rum comprised of sugar cane, jazz bars with salsa dancing, Nineteen Fifties basic American automobiles, Spanish colonial buildings, and a political historical past that’s each tumultuous and interesting. You’ll see footage of Fidel Castro and Che Guevara everywhere in the nation.

It’s additionally identified for being a bit difficult to get round for vacationers.

Public transport is nearly non-existent, hitching just isn’t beneficial and for those who’ve solely actually pushed in locations just like the UK, Australia, and North America, self-drive isn’t an awesome possibility both.

There are some superb small-group tour firms like Cuban Adventures that actually ship and be sure you’re protected. And extra importantly, you’re not losing priceless journey time ready for a bus that’s gone MIA.

people in the streets of havana

Is Cuba Protected?

In fact, there may be crime in Cuba too, however more often than not the street scams you can see coming a mile off.

It’s actually simply folks making an attempt to get by, as poverty remains to be a difficulty in Cuba. Typically talking, locals are extremely pleasant and can need to speak to you however hold your wits about you.

The Prime Locations to Go to in Cuba

Are you able to see the highest locations to go to in Cuba? Listed below are all of the locations it’s best to add to your itinerary, in addition to ideas for what to do in every place.

1. Havana

When you don’t come to Havana once you go to Cuba, you’re doing this nation an injustice.

Havana is without doubt one of the most great cities we’ve ever visited. And by that, I don’t imply ‘oh isn’t this glorious, darling’. Havana actually is filled with marvel and among the finest issues to do in Cuba.

From the crumbling buildings to its curious slim streets brimming with life and ingenuity, Havana is Cuba’s capital for a motive. Right here you get the right screenshot of a tradition the remainder of the world has just about ignored for therefore a few years.

Our greatest recommendation is to take a strolling tour of Previous Havana (Habana Vieja). You’ll hear a few of the superb historical past and tradition that’s alive right here and uncover parts you’d miss for those who weren’t advised about them.

cathedral in the square havana

Issues to Do in Havana, Cuba:

  • El Capitolio – Nationwide Capitol Constructing
  • Rooftop bar of Resort Ambos Mundos
  • Drink mojitos within the storied bar of Bodeguita del Medio
  • The Malecón – esplanade and sea wall
  • Almacenes San Jose market
  • The Cathedral Havana (plus the sq. of the homes of the 4 richest households in Cuba)
  • Plus when you’ve got time, go to the citadel – Castillo el Morro – on the opposite aspect of the harbour. It’s filled with historical past and an actual icon of town.
old blue car driving streets of havana

2. Viñales

A tiny city with an enormous affect over the remainder of the nation, Vinales is the place the easiest tobacco is grown for the most important cigar manufacturers. Cohiba, Montecristo, Cuaba – all of them use the leaves grown on this valley.

From the mountains surrounding it to the little dance membership behind the primary sq., Viñales epitomizes regional Cuban life.

people working in the Vinales tobacco farms

Issues to see in Viñales, Cuba:

  • Cuban dance membership
  • Hike via tobacco plantations
  • Go to the natural farms
  • Lunch at El Olivo Restaurant
  • Folks-watching from wherever you’ll be able to!
ox and cart in the streets of havana

3. Cienfuegos

About an hour and a half west alongside the coast from the Bay of Pigs, this harbourside city is filled with artwork, tradition, and historical past. Cienfuegos is called the Pearl of the South due to its lovely bay – Bahia de Jagua.

There’s a lot to do right here – even when it’s simply strolling across the city’s streets.

The locals appear probably the most westernized and town itself has a way more European really feel to it. That is due to the robust French affect within the city’s customs and structure.

Different Cubans say the folks from Cienfuegos are probably the most lovely and probably the most cultured.

 Cienfuegos monuments

Issues to Do in Cienfuegos, Cuba:

  • Have dinner in El Tranvia
  • Plaza de Armas and the monument to the Cuban hero José Martí
  • The artwork galleries across the Plaza de Armas
  • The Arch de Triumph in Jose José Martí Park – the final remaining within the nation
  • The Bahia de Jagua – the bay that makes Cienfuegos the Pearl of the South
red vintage car Cienfuegos square

4. Trinidad

Aside from Havana, Trinidad must be probably the most historic metropolis in Cuba.

Much like Havana, the Previous City part right here is UNESCO World Heritage Web site (as a World Monument), however in contrast to Havana, this a part of city is barely accessible on foot or on horseback. Carts are additionally allowed and generally seen.

The slim cobbled streets and the low, leaning, brightly coloured homes are iconic of this metropolis. Trinidad is a spot of unequalled magnificence on this nation already properly represented within the photogenic stakes.

man standing in front of blue facade of music club

Issues to Do in Trinidad, Cuba:

  • Roam the cobbled streets of Previous City
  • Go to the Museo Romántico reverse the Plaza Mayor. The view out over town is definitely worth the entrance charge.
  • Go to the opposite essential buildings just like the Holy Trinity Church and Plaza de Santa Ana and the Royal Jail inbuilt 1844.
  • Casa de la Musica – bar and sq. for drinks within the day and music and dancing at evening
  • Stroll via the road markets
  • Go to Playa Ancon seashore at sundown
  • Disco Ayalu – a nightclub in an enormous cave!
  • Discover the mountaineering trails in El Cubano Pure Park and uncover the waterfalls
yellow buildings of trinidad town

5. Santiago de Cuba

The city of Santiago de Cuba is the second largest metropolis in Cuba and presents superb seashores, lovely structure, thrilling adventures, and a path far much less trodden.

It has an analogous vibe to Havana nevertheless it’s lots much less touristy and extra genuine.

It’s additionally situated on the coast, with a bay off the Caribbean Sea proper within the metropolis heart. It’s the right spot for individuals who like to get pleasure from vibrant cities, however be shut sufficient to nature and solitude.

The town has loads of Spanish colonial structure because it was based in 1515 by the Spanish. The town has a particular Afro-Cuban vibe. It’s most well-known for its Carnaval, which is a competition with drum-beating, son dancing, and parades with colourful costumes and floats.

spanish architecture cuba

Issues to Do in Santiago de Cuba

  • Go to the unimaginable fortress of Castillo de san Pedro de la Roca
  • Go mountaineering in The Sierra Maestra mountain vary
  • Try the close by nationwide parks of Turquino Nationwide Park and Desembarco del Granma
  • Go horseback driving at Rancho El Dajao
  • Keep in a colonial Casa Particulars
  • Attend Carnival in July

6. The Islands of Cayo Largo del Sur

For these trying to go to Cuba for its solar, sea, and tropical vibe, you’ll need to head to the small resort island of Cayo Largo del Sur.

The climate is thought to be sunny all 12 months spherical and that is the place you’ll discover a few of the finest seashores and resorts in Cuba.

One other common island to go to in Cuba is Cayo Coco, nevertheless it’s far more remoted. It’s well-known for being the island that starred in Ernest Hemingway’s novels, Islands within the Stream and The Previous Man and the Sea.

white beach and palm trees of largo del sur

Issues to Do on Cayo Largo del Sur

  • See the Sea Turtles lay their eggs on Playa Tortuga
  • Dive the barrier reefs lower than a mile off the shore
  • Go to the beautiful white sand seashore, Playa Sirena
  • Try the Playa Blanca Seaside
  • Pay a go to to the Middle of Turtle Safety

7. Santa Clara

Santa Clara is a metropolis within the central province of Cuba and is known for being the location of the final battle of the Cuban Revolution in 1958.

As such, town has many revolutionary landmarks, such because the Che Guevara Mausoleum, which is the resting place of Che Guevara and different well-known fighters.

When you’re involved in studying extra about political historical past, then Santa Clara is the perfect place in Cuba to go to for historical past lovers.

view of santa clara town

Issues to Do in Santa Clara

  • Go to the Che Guevara Mausoleum
  • Go to the Museo Histórico de la Revolución
  • Go to the Taking of the Armored Practice monument
  • Calm down in Parque Leoncio Vidal
  • Discover the LGBT neighborhood of El Mejunje
  • Make a journey to Cayo Santa María
stone plaque with writing on it and sculpture of che guevara

8. Baracoa

One other among the finest locations to go to in Cuba for historical past lovers is Baracoa, which is the oldest colonial metropolis in Cuba. It’s thought of the First Metropolis of Cuba, due to its colonial roots.

The town is surrounded by lovely nature and seashores, and the within of town is filled with historic landmarks.

Based in 1511 by Diego Velázquez, underneath the identify of “Our Girl of the Assumption of Baracoa,” the city rapidly rose to wealth due to the connection between the Spanish and natives.

It’s a sleepy city with slim, cobbled streets, previous Spanish mansions, and fortresses.

building with white sculpture in front of it

Issues to Do in Baracoa

  • Uncover El Yunque, a 575-metre-high mountain exterior town heart
  • Go to the Parque Nacional Alejandro de Humboldt (Alejandro de Humboldt Nationwide Park)
  • Try town’s fortresses, Fuerte la Punta (Fort La Punta) and Fortaleza de Matachin (Matachín Fortress)
  • See the Castillo de Seboruco (Seboruco Fort)
  • Study Cuban historical past at Museo Municipal
  • Admire the views from Bahía de Baracoa

9. Cayo Guillermo, Jardines del Rey

Cayo Guillermo is a small, distant island off the northern coast of Cuba. It’s a part of a gaggle of islands known as the “Jardines del Rey” (King’s Gardens) and is thought for its idyllic, powdery white sand seashores and turquoise waters teaming with marine life.

Cayo Guillermo is uninhabited, so the one option to go to the island is to remain on the resort.

Because it’s situated simply 27 km off the shore of Cuba, it’s straightforward to get to by boat from Morón, simply exterior Santa Clara.

The largest attraction to Cayo Guillermo is the distant island life. Merely relax, and benefit from the seashore and the quietness.

beach hut and sailboat off the white sandy shore

Issues to Do in Cayo Guillermo

  • Completely nothing. Take pleasure in it!
  • Go diving and see the thriving marine life
  • Swim with dolphins

Locations to Keep away from in Cuba

In your journey to Cuba, these are locations I like to recommend avoiding. Not many locations, however to be sure you have the perfect time in Cuba, be sure you keep away from…

Varadero

resort pool

Traditionally fascinating however unethical in its tourism, the Varadero peninsula stretches into the Caribbean on the northernmost level of Cuba. It’s about 2 hours east of Havana.

The American mafia needed to construct a stretch of casinos from this peninsula all the best way to Havana – so naming it the On line casino Coast.

Nevertheless, when Castro took management of the corrupt Batista, he kicked the mafia out, who then began Las Vegas in Nevada.

This peninsula has a few of the most beautiful coastlines within the nation, and ordinarily, we’d be voting for this one to be a precedence to go to.

The issue is the resorts lining the seashore right here totally spoil it. All-inclusive package deal offers hold unwitting and unwelcome vacationers of their complexes the place the seashores are guarded and locals will not be allowed.

There’s even a growth gate at first of the peninsular stopping Cubans from getting into.

white sandy beach

Apparently, exterior the confines of those enormous resorts, Cuban life does keep on in Varadero with relative normality.

There are basic American automobiles, casa specific, little retailers and bars. It’s simply tainted by the legacy the Cosa Nostra left behind.

Nevertheless it’s a matter of but then by no means!

Earlier than You Go

- old cars in cuba

So there you may have it, these are the perfect locations to go to in Cuba and as you’ll be able to see, there are loads of cool locations so as to add to your itinerary!

Earlier than you go, be sure you go ready with every little thing you want for an pleasing keep. Many individuals don’t know this, however you have to have journey insurance coverage to enter Cuba.

When you haven’t sorted your insurance coverage out but, we suggest utilizing our companion Allianz Travel, who has good charges and a powerful status.

cuban beach and ox and cart

Are you going to Cuba? Share your ideas within the feedback beneath on what you suppose are the perfect locations to go to in Cuba!

places to visit in cuba