Right now it is the best time to visit Cuba. The island’s history, its cultural uniqueness and tropical climate are the main things that attract tourists. The country is known for being quite closed to the outside world and has a lot of limitations for tourists and the locals as well. Only a few years ago Cuba and the USA restored diplomatic relations, which made it easier for Cubans and Americans to travel from one country to another, but it also makes us wonder if that means Cuba will slowly start to change. For now, americanization hasn't reached the country yet and that’s the main thing that makes it so unique, but it’s also the main reason why you should visit it now. Flyavel has prepared a few reasons to convince you why exactly you need to go.
When somebody says Cuba, the first image that appears in most people’s mind are the vintage cars. Most of the vehicles are from the 1930s, ‘40s, ‘50s and ‘60s, because after that, nothing has been imported from the US. Some cars are already pretty beaten up, but a large number of them is nicely looked after and kept in a good condition.
Even if you just decide to take a taxi, you will most likely be sitting in some cool old car that will make you feel like you’re on a movie set. If you’re not on a too low budget, you can find an actual tour that will take you around the city in one of the vintage vehicles, possibly in a convertible. That’s definitely one of the best ways to explore the cities.
Cuba was one of the Caribbean islands that were conquered and settled by the Spanish in 15th and 16th century. Because of that, a lot of cities still have the old Spanish architectural style and beautiful buildings from colonial era everywhere. Some of them are now not in the best shape, but a lot of them are still splendid and show off their unique charm.
In Havana you can visit the Hotel Nacional de Cuba for example. That’s a luxurious hotel built in 1930’s, in which many famous people spent a night. The hotel has a room with photos and names of all the famous people that stayed there. It’s a good way to experience a bit of luxury, even though you might have a tight budget.
Since Cuba is well known for its revolution, there are a lot of places and statues related to that part of the history. If you’re in Havana, a Revolution Square is definitely a must see place. Even the cemeteries have some amazing mausoleums and graves of famous people.
And let’s not forget to mention beautiful fortresses that still stand strong like they’re still protecting the cities. Most popular ones are Morro Castle, which guards the Havana Bay, and San Pedro de la Roca Castle, which guards the entrance to Santiago de Cuba. But there are more of them, so if you love strong walls and canons, these are worth a visit.
Caribbean islands are famous for their beautiful sandy beaches and palm trees. In this case, Cuba is no different. It’s a tropical paradise, where you can easily find a palm tree to lie under and enjoy the view of turquoise water. With so much shoreline, there are beaches for every taste - from luxury resorts to simple remote beaches.
On the north there are also coral reefs that offer great snorkeling and diving experience. The reefs are relatively unspoilt and are home to various marine life.
Warm (and hot) and sunny days are something perfectly normal in Cuba. The climate is quite similar through the whole year, but since the country is located on the northern part of the Caribbean, it can get a bit more fresh in the evening. But keep in mind that the island is often hit by hurricanes, so be careful and keep an eye on the weather forecast before you go.
It doesn’t matter if you smoke or not, you have to admit Cuban cigars are legendary. The first cigar factory was opened in Cuba, but while in most other countries the industry switched to machines, Cuba has been still keeping the tradition of hand made product. It’s worth visiting one of the factories that are open for tourists, so you can see for yourself how they still role the cigars by hand. That’s how you really start to appreciate these products, even if you haven’t seen a value in it before.
Caribbean islands are also famous for having really good rum, and Cuba has a reputation of being on top of this list. You’ve probably heard about Havana Club rum or Bacardi - these factories are located in Cuba. There the rum is cheap, it tastes great and it’s strong. Various cocktails are popular around the country and rum is used as main ingredient in most of them. Some of the famous cocktails actually originate from Cuba, including Cuba Libre, Mojito and Daiquiri. There are a lot of rum distilleries on the island and some of them are open for visitors, so go on a tour and see how the rum is made.
Music & Dancing
Music and dancing are present everywhere in Cuba. It’s no surprise to run into musicians or into people dancing salsa right there on the street, as you pass by. It’s like the locals have the rhythm in their blood. The best thing you can do in the evening is to go to some local bar or a restaurant with live music and enjoy the rhythm. We suggest you drink some proper rum and let yourself go a little, relax, enjoy. If you ask the locals they’ll gladly spin you around the dance floor and teach you some dance moves, don’t be shy.
If you’re in Havana, you should definitely see the famous Cabaret Tropicana show, or Cabaret Parisién, if you’d like to see something on a bit smaller scale.
Cuba is waiting for you! Use our Flyavel search option to find the flight and accommodation that suits you. Put on some latin music, practice your salsa moves and start packing your bags.