Cuban rum, cigars, dreamlike beaches and legendary nightlife will not leave you indifferent. But Cuba is not renowned only for its politics and cigars, but also for amazing architecture, colourful facades, vintage cars and startling nature. This island is home to some of the most unusual animals on earth, including the feisty Cuban crocodile, the world’s smallest bird and frog, and migrating land crabs.
Cuba accepts over 3 million arrivals per year, no matter that a lot of changed since the 90’s. To some extent now trip planning is easier, and you will notice some modernizations and changes – like the Cuban commerce that is awakening from a long hibernation, but people are still outgoing, sociable and hospitable, the food, rum, and music are still great and some places still looks exactly the same – trapped in Cuban history.
Cuba roads are still a home of thousands American cars from the 1940s and 1950s, which function as a transportation for the island nation and gives the country a special touch and recognisability.
Cuba’s architecture has assimilated various outside influences over the last 600 years, mixing Moorish, Baroque, Art Deco and more to create strikingly unique cityscapes. When in Cuba, you have to visit Afro-Cuban centre Callejón de Hamel, Cathedral of Havana, Convent of Saint Clair of Assisi, Morro Castle of the Three Kings of Morro and Museum of the Revolution to name a few.
Being a large Caribbean island, Cuba is known for its sandy, magical beaches. The country has more than 300 natural beaches spread out along 588 km of its vast 5,700 km coastline. Because of Cuba’s subtropical climate you can enjoy its beaches and clear-water bays all year-round.
The most famous beaches in Cuba are:
- Varadero beach: Maybe this white sandy beach wont give you tranquillity and peace, but here you will for sure experience classic Cuban day at the beach. Near Havana, with perfect sugar sand, palm trees and clear water Varadero is the most popular beach in Cuba.
- Cayo Coco beaches: Cayo Coco is an island that offers numerous beaches, but perhaps it is mostly known as a home to birds like the white ibis, and pink flamingos.
- Playa Paraíso: Yes, you understand it correctly. This is paradise beach. And “nomen est omen,” right? Located on the small island of Cayo Largo del Sur miles of sugar-white sand stretch along the shore. The water is extremely calm, ideal for snorkelling, sand is super fine and if you wont want to leave, you can book a room in a small resort Cayo Largo del Sur.
But if you ever visit Cuba (or re-visit, if you please), we suggest you to go beyond lying in the white sand and enjoying warm sun. First, you have to visit old Havana, city centre that gives you a taste of the past. It’s a fascinating UNESCO World Heritage site, with over 900 landmarks, including the Presidential Palace and Cathedral Square. When you’ll finish with sight seeing, find a café in Old Havana and enjoy some great coffee and music and just soak everything in. Allow the rundown surroundings speak to you from the past when they were strong, new and shiny.
If you are a smoker, maybe you can allow yourself a true Cuban cigar with your coffee, since Cuban cigars are as much legendary symbol of Cuba as Ché or a red star. All Cuban cigars are rolled from tobacco leaves found throughout the country of Cuba. Cigar rollers that are highly respected in Cuban society are call torcedores. Cigar experts claim that they are the most skilled rollers in the world.
A few years ago one could take a box of opened cigars (or up to 50 loose cigars) out of the country regardless of their ability to provide proof as to where or how the cigars were obtained. Lately however this tolerance seems to change. According to the current Canadian Foreign Affairs Departmental Bulletin on Cuba the Cuban government will allow a limit of 20 loose cigars, which can be exported without any form of proof as to where you obtained these cigars.
One of the UNESCO World Heritage sites in Cuba is Viñales valley – an amazing place, where traditional agriculture is practiced. Due to its fertile soil and favourable climate, farming started here in the 17th century. It got a boost in the 1860s because of the rise in tobacco cultivation, which still is the main crop.
You can explore this beautiful place on foot, alone or with a guide, or you can rent a bike. If you’re lucky you can even take horseback ride there.
Rent a car in Cuba
Driving experience in Cuba can be a bit adventurous, you can encounter some difficulties, but with some planning, smartphone GPS, and common sense you can handle them. At all times drive with caution, and never exceed the speed limit. Foreign tourists are often found guilty by default in the case of an accident.
By using our easy-to-use car hire comparison for Car Hire Cuba you will be able to find the best offers for car hire in Cuba on the web. Choosing your preferred car hire company you will be able to finalize your car hire booking for Cuba in easy 3-steps, where we will transparently provide you with all information needed.
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