10 Reasons Why You Need to Visit Cuba

Malecon in Havana
Malecon in Havana | © Pedro Szekely / Flickr
Barbara Maseda

Chosen as one of the hottest tourist destinations over the last few years by the New York Times, Cuba has been getting a lot of attention since the re-establishment of diplomatic relations with the United States started in 2014. If you are wondering what all the fuss is about, here’s a few reasons for you to make the trip.

See it before it gets “spoiled”

Many think that if negotiations between Cuba and the United States continue to advance, big corporations will eventually expand to the island, putting an end to its singularity as a place untainted by McDonalds and Starbucks. Though that seems far from happening for now, the longer you wait, the more different it’ll be from the way it was before the US-Cuba rapprochement. Though at a slow pace, the country is changing, more hotels are being built to meet the increasing demand for accommodation, and more families are investing in repairing their houses to list them on AirB&B.

Capitol Building, Havana

A living museum of old cars

A place frozen in time

Cuba is an eclectic combination of goods that survived past decades, from the 1950s to the 1990s, with the occasional state of the art smart-phone or laptop. You will find all kinds of functional relics, repaired over and over to make them last for as long as possible. From clothes to electronics, from vehicles to buildings, you’ll be able to see what a country without a first-world consumer culture looks like.

Rancho Gaviota

Great weather

If you like to spend your vacations in regions with great hot weather, Cuba will not disappoint. With the exception of a few cool days in January, February and March, most of the time, temperatures will be high and the days sunny. At times, high levels of humidity can make the days feel hotter than they are, but you’ll hardly notice with the right combination of AC, swimming pools and beach trips.

Varadero Beach, Matanzas

See socialism with your own eyes

One of the last remnants of real socialism in the world, Cuba preserves a great deal of practices and imagery from the past decades. It’s still possible to see public rallies held on historic anniversaries; there are statues, parks and institutions named after ideological heroes like Karl Marx, and Vladimir Lenin; and big billboards spread political messages all over the place –while giant ads for consumer products are nowhere to be seen.

Lenin Monument, Havana

Cheap beer/drinks

Outside 5-star hotels and very expensive bars, beer is very cheap in Cuba. Local brands like Bucanero and Cristal can be bought for under 2 dollars in most places, or even for only 1 dollar at state-run stores. It’s not illegal to drink in public spaces, so it’s always safe to buy some for the road. Cocktails are not expensive either. Cuba takes great pride in its rum production, and it’s easy to find all kinds of drinks prepared with different types of Havana Club, the country’s top brand. Don’t miss the chance to try Cuban traditional cocktails.

Cuban beer (Bucanero) and rum

Beautiful beaches and landscapes

There is a plethora of natural places that are excellent for hiking and camping, especially near mountain regions. Caribbean beaches are renowned for their crystal clear waters and fine sand, and Cuba has some of the most beautiful in the region. From Viñales in the western part of the country to Guardalavaca Beach in eastern Cuba, you´ll have a broad variety of regions and landscapes to choose from.

Viñales Valley

Buy great cigars

Buy world-famous Cuban cigars direct from the factories that have produced them for dozens of decades. Cuban cigar rollers are considered among the best in the world, and there are several stores where you can buy some of the main brands rolled by hand.

Famous hand-rolled Cuban cigars

A musical country

Cubans love their music. From street performers to DJs, from famous timba bands to the person next door playing their favorite sounds for the entire neighborhood, music seems to come out of every corner in Cuba. Music schools abound the country over, and most hotels and restaurants offer live performances by very talented musicians. Fusion bands and projects featuring very interesting combinations of rap, jazz, African rhythms, and even Spanish Flamenco are very common.

A country of dancers

The same sense of rhythm that fuels Cubans’ love for music, makes of them very good – and very passionate – dancers. Many a time you’ll see a circle of dancers form out of the blue, and perform very complicated turns and partner switches, that will make you think that they are all part of a troop that has been rehearsing for a long time. They are not. This traditional group dance has a widespread set of rules that allows for its perfect flow and organization. Don’t miss the chance to see more niche types of dances, like rumba, guaguanco, and congas.

Traditional ritual dance of Afro-Cuban religion
landscape with balloons floating in the air


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.

Winter Sale Offers on Our Trips

Incredible Savings

Edit article