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Think of the beat of salsa music and cigar smoke drifting in the air. Think of friendly locals with ready smiles and beautiful baroque architecture lining narrow streets.Cuba is the largest Caribbean island with white sand beach.The capital, Havana, is lined with pastel houses, 1950s-era cars and Spanish-colonial architecture in the 16th-century core, Old Havana. Salsa music plays in the dance clubs and cabaret shows are performed at the famed Tropicana.
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Known for its legendary cigars, American vintage cars, stunning beaches, not to mention a few rum distilleries, Cuba clearly has a lot to offer visitors. The perfect trip to Cuba will include Havana, but it will also get off the beaten track and explore the incredible scenery and culture of the entire island.
As the capital of Cuba and the major transport hub, virtually all visitors will spend at least some time exploring Havana. This sophisticated, retro and cosmopolitan city is known for its spectacular nightlife, but days offer just as much excitement. Start in La Habana Vieja, or the Old Town, where crumbling colonial buildings and vibrant mid-century structures stand side by side. Don’t leave Havana without watching cigars being rolled by hand in a small factory, or tasting some local rum fresh from the distillery. Mingle with the locals along Malecón, the seawall right along the coast that offers sea views and plenty of fun.
For those with a love of history or architecture, Trinidad is a great place to visit in Cuba. The heart of Trinidad is Plaza Mayor, the main square surrounded by neo-Baroque buildings. Next door to the plaza is a colonial convent that now houses the Museum of the War Against the Bandits, or the Lucha Contra Bandidos. After exploring the museum, walk uphill away from the Plaza Mayor to shop for handicraft souvenirs. Popular items for sale include hand-sewn tablecloths and napkin linens. Another of the breathtaking structures in Trinidad is the Palacio Brunet Mansion, which now serves as the Museo Romantico. Visit to admire a fantastic collection of 19th century artworks and antiques.
While Cuba has several national parks, none is so beautiful and accessible as the one located in the Viñales Valley. Viñales is known as a stunning destination, and history tells that it was Castro’s favorite place on the island. The valley is surrounded by mountains, tobacco still grows to manufacture iconic Cuban cigars and countless caves add an extra ounce of adventure for the intrepid traveler. One of the most popular caves is the Cuevas del Indio, or Indian Caves, where you can actually take a boat ride completely within the cavern system itself.
Just a short drive from Havana is Varadero, a popular beach resort town found on Hicacos Peninsula. Many miles of coastline let you enjoy views of the Atlantic Ocean, and the white sandy beaches and blue warm waters really are stunning to behold. While the gorgeous beach is the reason why Varadero is among the best places to visit in Cuba, there is plenty more to do. Parque Josone is a gorgeous park filled with botanical gardens, lakes, wildlife and bridges, not to mention music, vendors and even camel rides for kids. Also worth exploring are the Bellamar Caves, an extensive cavern system that been available to visitors for more than 150 years.
Santiago de Cuba
Located in eastern Cuba, Santiago de Cuba is a coastal city known for its colonial history. Santiago de Cuba was founded in the 16th century by the Spanish, and it is known as the Second City of Cuba. The heart of the city is the Parque Cespedes, a central plaza that is surrounded by a number of historical Spanish colonial structures. In more recent history, the plaza was where Fidel Castro famously declared the revolution a success in 1959. You can also explore the Castillo de San Pedro de la Roca, a 17th century fortress overlooking the bay.
The best time to visit is from December to May, when you can expect dry, sunny days and plenty of blue skies. The wet season begins in June and, previously, visitors to Cuba would have avoided travel entirely between August and October, when there is also a risk of hurricanes.
Cuba offers several vacation destinations where you can enjoy white sand beaches, colorful reefs and plenty of opportunities to relax and explore the outdoors. Cultural experiences are abundant too, many beach vacation spots have easy access to historical towns and cities and tours are easy to come by.Whether they offer beachside rooms or luxurious five-star accommodations, they all benefit from scenic Caribbean views and propose a wide variety of activities and fun-filled excursions.
A Cuban entry visa issued by the Embassy of Cuba in the USA may be used to travel to Cuba from the USA. If traveling to Cuba via a country outside of the USA, acceptance of this visa will be at the discretion of that country. Citizens of several countries may be required to carry an A-1 visa to enter Cuba.
You can purchase tourist card . There are two types: Green Tourist Card and Pink Tourist Card.
The Green Tourist Card is needed if you’re flying to Cuba from any country other than the US. This one costs you $20 at the airport or a few more dollars online.
If you’re flying directly from the US to Cuba, you will need a Pink Tourist Card (this includes direct flights from Mainland US, Puerto Rico, and US Virgin Islands).
It is required to have travel insurance to enter Cuba. They may or may not ask for proof at the airport, and should you not have any, they could deny your entry. I wasn’t asked, nor other people I’ve asked or read about their entry to Cuba. But, you never know, so better go safe and buy travel insurance.
Don’t expect internet at your hotel or casa particular, and even if they have it, it will not be available for you to use it.
Due to its trade restrictions, Cuba lacks in its culinary delights; so don’t expect delicious meals. Yes, you can find good food here and there, but this is not the norm.
The only exception is actually fish & seafood, especially lobster is delicious and a specialty along the coast.
Other than petty theft, violent crimes are not common there. What many people do, though, is “friend you” and tell you about an awesome party happening at a restaurant or café, or some other event somewhere else. They will take you there, sit down, chat and drink/eat, and make you pay for everything. Additionally, they will ask for money for the “recommendations” given during your “lovely chat.” They also get a commission from the restaurant. Don’t be afraid to say no to them.
Buy bottled water to avoid stomach problems when traveling around Cuba. It’s simply not worth risking it. The tubes are additionally old in many places, and even if there shouldn’t be any danger drinking the tap water, there may be leaks and toxic substances from the old pipes.
The dress code in Cuba is relatively casual, much do to with its level of development combined with its tropical (humid) Caribbean climate. Shorts and bikinis are appropriate at the beach, particularly if in a resort or more touristy area, in general Cubans dress according to the climate though not overly provocative. Shorts or light trousers with short sleeve shirts or tank tops are generally fine.
Service charges are becoming increasingly common in places like Havana and other tourist dependent areas. This includes not only paladares (private restaurants) but also in state eateries, where a 10 percent service charge is common. However, separate tips for your server are always welcome at your discretion, and as always based on the level of service received. This includes hotel, bar and restaurant staff, to taxi and bus drivers and tour guides, particularly where the latter give you good advice or suggestions on things to see and do.
Although Cuba is relatively ‘western’ and modern, as with all foreign destinations it is always important to respect local customs and etiquette when visiting.
We the leisure team brings a wide range of customized Cuba tour to offer you a perfect hassle-free vacation. The plans are tailored keeping in mind your requirements and benefits. Whatever might be your choice; an adventurous vacation, a luxury vacation, a family vacation or a romantic one, we are ready with the perfect plan for you. We value your safety as well as respect your privacy, and the tour experts plan your tour accordingly, either a packaged group tour or an independent tour. In all cases we ensure a hassle-free experience with magnificent accommodations, authentic local guides, and unimaginable excursions. So whether you wish to relax in a beach while enjoying a glass of wine or immerse yourself in the wildlife, write to Leisure and we will bring you perfect tour from the top tour experts.
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