From beautiful beaches to breathtaking nature, this warm Caribbean island is an amazing tourist destination. Now is a time of great significance and hope, Cuba has restored diplomatic relations with the United States. So, if you are thinking of traveling to Cuba. Here are Cuba: Top 10 Best Tourist Destinations not to be missed in Cuba.
Guardalavaca Beach is located in a region that has been recognized in recent years as one of the main tourist destinations in Cuba. This 50 meter long beach has crystal-clear water containing a beautiful coral reef. With lush vegetation and trees bordering the beach, it is perfect for anyone looking to enjoy a fun day in the sun. Windsurfing, kayaking, boating, and diving are some of the water sports that can be done at this location. Also, this area was where Christopher Columbus landed on his first trip to America and delivered his famous words, “this is the most beautiful land that human eyes have seen”.
Varadero contains some of Cuba’s best beaches. The city has a vast amount of tourist attractions, including Josone Park, a large green space perfect for family walks. There’s also the Dolphinarium where several shows are offered daily. If you want to be impressed by the area’s magnificent nature, walk along the beautiful nature trails at the Varahicacos reserve. Also at this reserve are many caves including the marvelous Ambrosio Cave. At this location you can see plants and animals native to the area, along with archaeological sites and aboriginal pictographs. Furthermore, Varadero never ceases to amaze with its bars and restaurants such as The Beatles Restaurant, offering delicious food and live music every night.
Havana is home to more than three dozen museums, 10 art galleries, and 25 theaters. The city is also home to numerous international film, dance, visual arts, and literature festivals, including the famous International Book Fair. For those seeking to engage in traditional Cuban rhythms such as son, danzon, bolero and cha cha cha, Havana offers attractions like Macumba, Habana Café, and various night clubs where these can all be seen and performed. Havana is also home to the world famous Tropicana cabaret. After a long day of sight-seeing, evenings can be spent on the boardwalk watching the incredible views of The Morro Castle and the lights of Miami.
4. Jardines del Rey
Jardines del Rey are the largest group of keys out of the four that surround Cuba. It is bordered by a wall of coral that is about 400 kilometers long. This is one of the largest coral reefs in the world, right behind the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and the Great Mexican Reef. Here you can find beaches with beautiful turquoise waters and coral-colored sands. There are over 30 sites suitable for diving or other water sports as well as Kite Surfing in Cayo Guillermo. La Redonda Lagoon is ideal for boat rides on its inner chutes. If you wish to see breathtaking nature, visit the Laguna de la Leche, which is largest natural freshwater reservoir in the country. Also visit Loma de Cunagua and its picturesque ecological trails. Cities such as Ciego de Avila and Morón can be found at the Jardines del Rey as well. These keys are a paradise for all including the great American author, Ernest Hemingway, who was inspired by the idyllic islands to write his book Islands in the Stream.
5. Santiago de Cuba
Santiago de Cuba, the second largest city in Cuba, is famous for its beautiful squares and vibrant musical traditions. The proximity to Jamaica and other tropical islands has given it a distinctive Caribbean spirit to the city, seen it in its art and architecture. Celebrations native to this city include the Caribbean Festival or Feast of Fire, and famous Carnival. Santiago boasts an eclectic variety of architectural influences, from the imposing Castillo del Morro (declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO), to the exquisite colonial houses of Cespedes Park, and the glorious Basílica de Nuestra Señora de la Caridad del Cobre, the holiest site of pilgrimage in Cuba. East of Santiago is the Baconao Biosphere Reserve, recognized by UNESCO, with its coffee plantations and high peaks of the Sierra Maestra.
Located in the central province of Sancti Spiritus, Villa of the Holy Trinity (Trinidad) was one of the first seven villages founded by the Spaniards in Cuba. Trinidad is indisputably an architectural jewel of Cuba. Around the Plaza Mayor is the Palace of Count Brunet, now home to the Romantic Museum where pieces of decorative arts are exposed. A dozen kilometers from the village are the soft sands of Ancon Beach. Also in the outskirts of Trinidad is the Valle de los Ingenios, where colonial buildings can be found. You can get a panoramic view of the place in the gazebo, or go to the Iznaga Tower, a symbol of Trinidad more than a century old.
Cuba’s so-called “Pearl of the South” attracts travelers from around the world with its elegance, enlightened French spirit, and feisty Caribbean panache. The historic center of the city, declared a National Monument, concentrates a large number of buildings of unique architecture. At Jose Marti Park there are numerous monuments including the revolutionary José Martí’s statue, and the Arc of Triomphe, the only one of its kind existing in the country. The Bay of Cienfuegos and Malecon are other must-see attractions. There, speedboats and other vessels such as the famous World Championship Formula T-1 boats are made. The part of Sierra del Escambray corresponding to Cienfuegos is the richest area from the landscape point of view in the province, and the cold waters of the Nicho Waterfalls are a true tropical oasis.
Baracoa is a small city in the eastern province of Guantanamo. It was the first of the seven villages founded by the Spaniards in Cuba in 1512. Isolated from the rest of Cuba by a mountain range surrounding villages, it has a unique flora and fauna, with several species found only there. The area is crossed by several rivers and plenty of caves. In the “Ciudad Primada de Cuba” (First City of Cuba), Spanish forts and buildings of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries are preserved. Nuestra Señora de la Asunción de Baracoa Church inherits the ecclesiastical heritage of the first temples, containing the Holy Cross of La Parra, brought by the Spaniards. Another unique attraction of the city is El Yunque, a mountain which is a true artistic work of nature. About 20 kilometers northwest of Baracoa is Maguana beach. It is next to a quaint village where there are bars and restaurants in the middle of a lush vegetation.
9. Viñales Valley
Very close from the capital is Viñales Valley. This uniquely beautiful mountain range is one of the most visited natural areas in Cuba. It was listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1999. The biggest attraction of the Valley of Viñales are the hummocks (mogotes), surrounded by unique bright green palm trees. The best place to see the hummocks is from Los Jazmines Hotel. In addition to mountains there are also caves, the biggest is the Gran Caverna de Santo Tomas. Another interesting cave is the Cueva del Indio. On the inside, there are two underground rivers, so to visit you must take a boat. Finally, there is the Cueva de San Miguel, which was home to the first inhabitants of this land, pre-Columbian aboriginals. The Mural of Prehistory impresses many visitors. This painting is 120 meters long and 80 meters wide, made directly on the rock of mogote Pita.
10. Los Cayos
To reach Los Cayos, it was kept a secret up until recently, a road was built on a foundation of rocks deposited on the seabed. This is one of the main attractions of the province of Villa Clara, near the town of Placetas. The keys include Las Brujas, Ensenachos, and Santa María, each of them different from the rest. In Cayo Las Brujas there is a diving center with certified instructors making this the perfect place for water sports including fishing and diving. The Cayo Los Ensenachos has the best beaches in the area. The best hotel in this key is the Occidental Royal Hideaway Ensenachos Resort & Spa Hotel. The resort has great restaurants with some of the best food in the area. Finally, Cayo Santa Maria is the liveliest of all the keys. It has 5 hotels, 4 of them operated by the hotel chain Sol Melia and one operated by the Barcelo chain.
Cuba will leave a lasting impression on all visitors from its stunning beaches, picturesque wildlife, and rich history and culture. So don’t hesitate! Buy your ticket now! You won’t regret spending some time in the Pearl of the Caribbean!