Cuba - Touring Holidays
There’s so much to discover on an escorted tour to Cuba – the largest and most populous island in the Caribbean.
Seemingly frozen in time after the 1959 socialist revolution and the subsequent US trade embargo, its cities take you on a journey back in time. See vintage American cars rolling through cobbled streets lined with crumbling colonial architecture, admire grand cathedrals and revel in the Cubans’ laid-back lifestyle.
Havana, salsa & rumba
UNESCO-listed Havana is the country’s pulsating capital, and no holiday to Cuba would be complete without a visit. The contrasts in this sprawling metropolis can be stark, with beautifully restored buildings sitting alongside rundown tenements but the one thing that is universal is music – the sounds of salsa and rumba are everywhere! Cuban music has its roots in Spain and West Africa, with its core lying in the cabildos, a kind of social club formed by African slaves brought to the island in the 19th century. And no matter what your musical tastes, once you feel the rhythm you will not be able to keep still.
Revolutionary Che Guevara
Havana is also known for its cigars – arguably some of the finest in the world – and its many cigar factories are a must-see attraction. For an insight into the city’s past, head to Fortaleza San Carlos de la Cabana – an 18th century fort built by Carlos III of Spain – and the Museo de la Revolucion. Residing in the former Presidential Palace, it features permanent exhibitions on the history of Cuban struggles from the 15th century to the present day, and chronicles the life of revolutionary leader Che Guevara. Outside you’ll find a fragment of the former city wall and an SAU-100 tank used by Fidel Castro during the 1961 battle of the Bay of Pigs.
If rest and relaxation are on your agenda, Cuba has white-sand beaches and crystal-clear waters to rival any of its Caribbean neighbours. Guardalavaca is an idyllic resort which manages to retain an authentic Cuban charm. Backed by emerald-green hills, its huge coral reef system offers some of the island’s best diving.
Bars & restaurants
For a more lively vibe, spend a few days recharging your batteries in Varadero. This is Cuba’s largest resort and, as well as a 20km stretch of gorgeous beach, it offers all manner of entertainment when the sun goes down, from cabarets and nightclubs to bars and restaurants.
When dining out you’ll find that Cubans are not fond of hot, spicy food, in fact the cuisine here is often very simple. On the plus side, portion sizes in restaurants and hotels tend to be large and the food on offer is usually fresh and often organic – there is little factory farming on the island. When it comes to a tipple, if you like rum then this is the place to be. The national drink is available everywhere and is generally inexpensive, even when mixed into the country’s famous cocktails such as Cuba Libre, Mojito and Daiquiri. Cheers!
Diplomatic relations with the US were revived in 2014 and travel restrictions are now less severe for American visitors. Maybe now is the best time to visit, before prices begin to reflect the fact that demand is outstripping supply when it comes to accommodation, and the whole island becomes overcrowded.
Every Travelsphere holiday offers exceptional value for money. Included in the price are return scheduled flights/rail travel and internal flights, where applicable, overseas transfers and transportation, carefully chosen hotels, many meals and excursions and the services of a Travelsphere Tour Manager or Local Guide.
Articles about Cuba
Turning over a new leaf
The art of turning tobacco into cigars by hand is something Cuba is famous for, and Havana is dotted with factories where they are produced. On a holiday to Cuba you can visit one of these factories to experience this highly skilled and fascinating process for yourself.