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This has to be one of the most excitingly different holiday destinations in the world – and, in our view, one of the most fascinating.
After over fifty years of communist rule, Cuba is now firmly established as a welcoming and friendly place for discerning travellers.Cuban culture is unlike any other and offers wonderful contrasts. It combines the laid back ambience and beautiful beaches of the Caribbean with the rhythm, flair and warmth of Latin America. The captivating capital, Havana, has faded but opulent colonial architecture, vibrant markets and cobbled streets, with music all around. But the island also has breathtakingly beautiful scenery and more than 300 totally unspoilt beaches of fine white sand and crystal clear waters. The mountains, savannah, valleys, rivers and waterfalls make exploring a joy and the resorts offer a good standard of comfort and facilities.
Out and About
For a really special night out, go and see a performance of the Cuban National Ballet at the Gran Teatro de la Habana. This amazing ballet company has dancers of outstanding ability who have received international acclaim. The performances are breathtaking and the setting is magical.
A spot of people watching
Be it along the Malecón or the Plaza de Armas in Havana, or the main squares in Trinidad or Santiago, you’ll just love sitting and watching the world go by. Enjoy a cool drink as you take in all the sights and sounds of this communist country, which is quite unlike anywhere else in the Caribbean.
Take a ride in a vintage car
You’ll find some interesting types of local transport in Cuba, from coco taxis (a bit like a hollowed out coconut on wheels, and with suspension to match!), to pedal-powered ‘bici taxis’ or even a horse and cart. But you really can’t come here without taking a ride in one of Cuba’s iconic 1950s cars.
Roll a cigar
Take a trip to the tobacco growing region of Pinar del Río (also part of our Cuba Uncovered tour itinerary) and see the humble origins of Cuba’s world famous cigars. Dominated by big limestone formations called mogotes, this beautiful picture postcard region is carpeted with tobacco farms and dotted with pretty little farmers’ cottages. The sleepy regional town of Viñales is worth a stroll around and you will be warmly welcomed by the local residents.
Food and Drink
You’ll find the hotel restaurants are all good, but there are also many characterful places to eat and drink. You must try a traditional ‘paladar’ - one of the privately run eateries, often tucked away on quiet residential streets. La Guarida (The Hideaway) is the city’s most longstanding and well-known paladar; everything from the mysterious location up three flights of darkened stairs, to the eclectic mish mash of furniture and the surprisingly good food, adds to the special ambience here. As more and more paladares are popping up all over Havana, you may want to check once you’re there which are the latest ‘in’ places. Back on the beaten track, Floridita in Old Havana is famous for its seafood and daiquiris, and we recommend a visit to La Bodeguita del Medio, a small, atmospheric bar that was one of Hemingway’s favourite haunts.
Virgin Atlantic operates non-stop flights from Gatwick to Havana 3 times a week in high season and twice a week in low season. Total flying time is 9hrs 40 minutes.
All those travelling to Cuba require a Tourist Card which must be presented together with your passport when checking in for your flight at Gatwick. Please advise your Travel Adviser at the
time of booking if you wish to purchase your Tourist Card from Caribtours - the cost is £15 per person.
All-InclusiveIn Cayo Santa MaríaAll suites include Meliá Royal ServiceBoutique resort on a beautiful beach
Half BoardIdeal base to explore Old HavanaTraditional design but modern comfortsIn the City
Paradisus Princesa Del Mar
All-InclusiveOn the BeachAdults onlyUpgrade to Royal Service Suites
All-InclusiveOn the BeachWide range of land and watersportsMini clubs provided for young guests
Hotel Iberostar Ensenachos
All-InclusiveIn Cayo EnsenachosSeparate adults only and family areasGorgeous beach and a range of activities
Hotel Iberostar Parque Central
Bed & BreakfastHalf BoardFantastic El Paseo restaurantRooftop pool and barIn the City
With parades running the length of the Malecón, at carnival time in March in Havana the streets are flooded with traditional music, dancing and spectacular, colourful costumes. The festivities begin with a gunshot from the San Pedro de la Cabana fortress and end with a dramatic firework display… and intoxicating Cuban rum flows throughout!