If you’re heading to the Caribbean on a cruise and are looking for the best place to enjoy a day out, make sure you plan in a stop to the Caribbean island of Cuba. The island has plenty to offer visitors including breath-taking beaches, stunning scenery, a rich history and culture and some amazing natural wonders. Whether you choose an afternoon watching the world go by in Cuba’s capital, Havana, or fancy a day heading out to discover some of the island’s diverse landscapes, you won’t be disappointed.
Enjoy a break in the city.
Havana is the island’s capital city and an extremely interesting destination, perfect for whiling away a few hours and immersing yourself in the laid back Cuban vibe. Here you will see vintage American cars cruise the streets, while locals sit outside stores chatting and smoking cigars. You could spend some time in the modern quarter taking in attractions like El Capitolio or the Malecon, or visit the renowned Revolution Square, made famous by Fidel Castro. A tour of the city will let you visit the most respected cigar shop on the island, Romeo y Julieta, or enjoy tantalising your taste buds on a tour of a local Cuban Rum factory. And make sure you give yourself time to experience the Old Town, Havana Vieja, where you will really feel like you have travelled back in time to the 1950’s.
While you’re visiting, why not discover the area of Havana that Ernest Hemmingway called home, learning much about the time he spent here at his old house, remaining pretty much as the family left it years ago. Alternatively, immerse yourself in the well-known Cuban nightlife by visiting the world famous Cabaret club, Tropicana. You can enjoy a night to remember with some of the best seats in the house for the open air cabaret show and get into the party mood with a cocktail or a sip or two of Cuban Rum while you watch the performances unfold.
Get out and about.
Of course, if city life isn’t for you head out of Havana and spend some time exploring the beautiful Pinar del Rio Province. Here you are surrounded by rugged mountains, green valleys and the must see village of Vinales. Visit a local tobacco plantation to see how the cigars are painstakingly hand rolled or take a tranquil boat journey through a network of ancient Indian caves. Don’t forget to bring your camera if you’re planning a stop at Jazmine’s Outlook Point as you will want to have a lasting memory of the amazing views across the island, with the city of Havana nestled in the background.
One thing Cuba does well is natural landscapes and you won’t be disappointed by a visit to Soroa and Las Terrazas. At Soroa you’ll find 35,000 square metres of Orchid gardens with hundreds of varieties to be seen. Las Terrazas is an amazing UNESCO biosphere reserve nestled in to the mountains, where you can take a dip in the San Juna River or wander through the local peasant communities to discover a completely different way of life.
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This article was contributed by Sam, a travel blogger, who is currently working on behalf of Cruise.co.uk.