A Cuba yacht charter is a journey through an archipelago drenched in color. In Cuba, clear turquoise seas lap against sugar-white sands, and coconut palms wave against a clear blue sky. Behind the beach, the tropical rainforest takes hold, rolling away into a lush hilly landscape of old plantations and deep jungle pools.
In the historic cities of Cuba, the color quotient is turned up even higher, with vintage American cars cruising past houses of every shade of pink and blue and yellow, and giant political murals splashed against fading city walls. The only revolution you’ll encounter these days is in the Cuban food and art scene, which is getting more exciting with each passing year.
Offshore, the incredible visual palette continues, with thousands of desert islands, flamingo lagoons, and pretty fishing villages, while underwater, the world’s third-largest reef is home to a chaos of color and life, proving a happy paradise for the diver, snorkeler, or angler.
A Cuba yacht charter is a feast for the senses that will never be forgotten. Yet with over 1,800 miles of coastline, two UNESCO listed cities, and around 4000 island and cays, it can be a little tricky to plan your itinerary if you don’t know what the highlights are. Which is why we’ve put together a short guide to the best of a Cuba yacht charter.
Where else to start but Havana? This magnificent UNESCO listed city is a melting pot of Art Deco and Art Nouveau facades, Spanish colonial buildings, and hulking Soviet architecture. It’s a city born for exploring, with gourmet restaurants set in opulent mansions, hip backstreet bars, a fiesta of street art and galleries, and bustling food stalls. And color, color, everywhere. Leave your charter yacht to take an afternoon stroll down streets where old men in short sleeves sit at tables playing dominos, and Cuban music and cigar smoke floats in the breeze.
Bliss out on the beaches and desert islands of Cuba
A Cuba yacht charter is the ultimate way to explore Cuba’s coast and archipelagos, where you’ll find stunning beaches in numbers too great to count. Many of Cuba’s greatest beaches and islands are in the north, where you can laze about in hammocks by a beach bar, drop anchor off tiny little islands where yours are the only footprints, or have luxury beach barbeques on sandbanks in the middle of the sapphire sea.
Fall in Love with Trinidad
Another day on a Cuba yacht charter: another UNESCO-listed city. Trinidad enchants with its Spanish architecture, Italian frescoes, and fashionable café and cocktail scene. Once a tremendously rich city in the height of the slave and sugar trades, Trinidad now has a faded grandeur about it that makes exploring it richly atmospheric—an experience only heighted by the brightly painted Cadillacs and rainbow- colored side streets.
Dive the ‘Galapagos of the Caribbean’
Cuba has the third largest reef in the world, which is home to an extraordinary abundance of marine life, including whale sharks, sea turtles, rays and even alligators! Jardines de la Reina is the top dive site of them all, with so much life that this underwater garden is likened to the Galapagos. All this activity also makes the waters of Cuba a fishing enthusiast’s paradise: cast a line for snapper and grouper on the reef, or go out deep to hunt for sailfish and marlin.
Strike out on an Inland Adventure
If you can bear to tear yourself away from the glorious Cuban beaches, the interior holds many treasures. In the hills you’ll find desperately green valleys, huge limestone outcrops, and rolling tobacco plantations, while in the dense jungle you can have a swim in one of the ‘cenotes’, the ethereal forest pools created by flooded caves. Hike, drive, or horse ride through spectacular scenery in Cuba’s quiet interior.
Go Wild at Cienaga de Zapata National Park
Deep in the south, this wild, pristine peninsula has also gained UNESCO status, with the Ciénaga de Zapata UNESCO Biosphere Reserve spanning a huge tract of wetlands. Expect superb bird-watching, a couple of good beaches, and some world-class diving offshore.
These are only a few suggestions of the best of a Cuba yacht charter, for more detail get in contact with your yacht charter broker to plan a tailored yachting itinerary to suit your group.