Cuba is a hot destination for 2018 and many people are planning to visit the Caribbean island before anticipated reforms change the character of the country. Here are the 10 destinations you should consider for your Cuba itinerary.
Isla de la Juventud
Known for its diving and snorkelling, this island off Cuba’s Gulf of Batabano coast is growing in popularity as a destination. Head to the Punta Francés beach at the National Marine Park to see the best of what the island has to offer.
Santiago de Cuba
Don’t be put off by the distance from Havana—Cuba’s second most-populated city is well worth the trip. Known for its musical culture, you’ll find amazing musicians at every turn and much colonial history to learn about.
The highest peak in Cuba stands at 1,974 metres (6,476 feet) above sea level. It might not sound like much for seasoned mountain climbers, but it takes some effort to climb in Cuba’s tropical heat. One of the mountain’s routes starts right at sea level (making for a long day hike) and another starts higher up at 1,000 metres (3,280 feet) above sea level. If you think the latter is easier and shorter, you’re wrong. It might be closer to the mountain’s peak but the 18-kilometre (11-mile) route takes two days to complete, so choose wisely!
Peninsula de Zapata
Nature lovers should make a visit to this area an absolute priority. Home to a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, the Peninsula de Zapata is teeming with bird life and is home to a crocodile farm where you can safely observe the reptile creatures.
María la Gorda
Another top diving spot, María la Gorda is rarely visited by tourists. Most who make the trip to one of Cuba’s most westernmost points do so to dive, and you’ll soon see why thanks to the abundant marine life and varied dive sites.
Many people who make the trip to Viñales choose not to go further west. Carry on deeper into the Pinar del Río province to visit the Cayo Jutías beaches where Cubans heavily outnumber tourists.
Nicknamed the ‘First City’, Baracoa is Cuba’s oldest city founded in 1511 and has been wowing visitors ever since. You can hike the flat-topped El Yunque mountain located 7 kilometres (4 miles) west of the city or visit its beautiful beaches.
Head to Cayo Largo del Sur off Cuba’s southern coast to find this idyllic stretch of sand. There is little to do here aside from soaking in the sun, sea and sand, but if you want to relax and recharge, it’s a wonderful spot to do so.
Most tourists rumble through Matanzas on their way to Varadero, but this poetry- and culture-rich city is definitely worth a stop. There is a pretty town centre and the city is the jumping off point for the famous Hershey Train to Havana.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.