Cuba is brazen and beautiful, daring and decisive - and surely one of the world's most recognisable countries, its influence stretching far beyond the Caribbean. Whether it's Cuba's revolutionary politics, recalled in the gaze of Che Guevara, or its fizzling culture - the syncopated rhythms of Afro-Cuban jazz, the drifting smoke of the world's best cigars, the spicy rum and the carnivals it fuels - Cuba is a truly refreshing destination.
This complex and colourful nation comprises Caribbean's largest island and there is great variety across the land. For some visitors it's the fine old colonial streets of Trinidad and the son music of Santiago that form the basis of their Cuba travels.
For others is the rich greenery of the Viñales Valley, the stretching beaches of Cayo Santa Maria and Varadero or the political iconography on the streets and buildings of the energetic capital, Havana. Cadillacs and horse drawn carts, pulsating dance floors and silently swinging hammocks are other evocative images of the country, but there are plenty more besides. This is a multi-faceted and vibrant Caribbean destination and holidays here are always invigorating, always intriguing, always entertaining.
Click on a place name below to find out more. Alternatively, to start planning where to go in Cuba, talk to one of our destination specialists on 020 7590 0616.
The Practical information displayed here is taken from The Traveller's Handbook, published by WEXAS (2009). While all possible care was taken to ensure accuracy at the time of publication, we are aware that situations change, so for the latest information and up-to-date visa requirements, talk to one of our destination specialists on 020 7590 0616.
Hot, sub-tropical climate all year. Most rain falls May-October. Hurricanes can occur from August-November. Cooler months are January to April, when the least rain falls.
The Havana Carnival in late July and early August features parades in front of the Capitolio or along the Malecón on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings. Santiago de Cuba's famous Fiesta del Fuego is in July, with theatre and dance culminating in vibrant street parades around during the last fortnight of the month. The International Festival of Latin American Film is held in Havana in December of each year.
Restaurants generally inexpensive although choice can be restricted by shortages. Strong emphasis on seafood, other Cuban favourites include roast suckling pig, thick soups made from chicken and black beans, baked or fried plantains. Food in tourist hotels adequate, not exciting, but does feature a wide variety of exotic tropical fruit. Cuban coffee is strong, beer tasty but weak, rum is plentiful and used in cocktails like daiquiris and mojitos.
Cubans generally address each other as compañero, but visitors should use señor or señora. Some Cubans have two surnames after their Christian name and the first surname is the correct one to use.
La Havana-José Marté (HAV) 18 km from the city, Santiago -Antonio Maceo (SCU) 15km from the city, Camagüey-Ignacio Agramonte (CMW) 10 km from the city.
Advance booking essential for internal flights. Adequate rail system. Car hire relatively easy to arrange but roads not always in good condition and poorly signposted. Buses are overcrowded, coaches less so.
The itinerary ideas listed below are designed to give you a flavour of the things to do in Cuba. We can adjust any element and tailor-make your trip though, to suit your individual needs and available time. To start planning your trip, talk to one of our destination specialists on 020 7590 0616.
Alison Nicolle - Caribbean Specialist
To make an enquiry or to start planning your trip talk to our team of specialists on 020 7590 0616