Given the lack of cars on the island, road trips around Cuba have historically been a difficult proposition. However, a recent influx of vehicles means that you can now hire a car and set off under your own steam. Here are some of the best road trips you can take along the Cuban coast.
Carretera Sur: Trinidad, Cienfuegos, Bay of Pigs
Take a trip from the colonial wonders of Trinidad to the elegant waterside city of Cienfuegos along the Carretera Sur. Trinidad is one of the biggest tourist draws in Cuba, with plenty of museums, restaurants and bars, while Cienfuegos is slightly quieter. After checking out the two cities, drive down to the Bay of Pigs for great diving and snorkelling, as well as learning about the failed invasion by US-backed Cuban dissidents in 1961.
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Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
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Santiago de Cuba, Guantanamo, Baracoa
Start in Cuba’s second city, Santiago, and drive through the Parque Nacional de Baconao to Guantanamo. Head down to the south coast at San Antonio del Sur and continue along to Rio Seco before heading north to the beach town of Baracoa. The scenery is spectacular, and you get a good mixture of city, mountains and beaches.
Santiago de Cuba to Manzanillo
Go west from Santiago along the coast road that skirts the spectacular cliffs of the Parque Nacional de Turquino and the Gran Parque Nacional de Sierra Maestra. The highest mountain in Cuba, Pico Turquino, is found here, and you can stop for a day to climb it before continuing your drive. Check out the sleepy port town of Manzanillo to get an idea of life in Cuba away from the tourist hotspots.
Havana, Matanzas, Varadero
Take your hire car from the Cuban capital and drive east along the coast, passing the Havana Club distillery and huge petrol refineries set against beautiful beaches. Make a stop in the intriguing town of Matanzas, with its scholarly, laid-back feel, before continuing to the jumping resort town of Varadero.
Havana, Vinales, Maria la Gorda
Drive west out of Havana and stop off at the amazing Vinales valley before visiting the keys at Cayo Ines de Soto, Cayo Jutias, and Cayos de Buenavista. Follow the road back inland and drive to the Parque Nacional de Guanahacabibes, with its incredible wildlife, before ending up at Maria la Gorda for some of the best diving in Cuba.
Baracoa, Moa, Cayo Saetia
Start in the beautiful beach town of Baracoa and head north to Moa on the coast road, stopping off in the Parque Nacional Alejandro de Humboldt on the way. The next day explore the beaches and coves of Cayo Mambi before heading off to Playa Corinthia and Cayo Saetia.
Santa Clara, Morón, Cayo Coco
Check out Che Guevara’s mausoleum and other revolutionary sites in Santa Clara before driving to the small town of Morón. From here it’s an amazing drive down a long causeway to the idyllic beaches of Cayo Coco, where you can relax after a day on the road.
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