Tired of the regular tourist destinations and in need of a new or alternative travel challenge? Then travel to Cuba. Life here is lived without worry or stress and as a traveller you'll soon discover how easy it is to assimilate to the Cubans charming way of life. Time is not an issue here, so do as the locals and relax! The Cuba of today is unique, a country that simply cannot be compared with any other. But the country is opening up more and more. Maybe the Cuba of the future will be different, so get going before it is too late!
The Casas of Cuba
Casa is the Spanish word for house, but in Cuba a house is not just a house, at least not when it applies to the charming "casas" that are found in abundance in destinations such as the capital Havana, the larger towns and even in some of the less populated areas. In the strictest sense of the word they are "just" regular family homes, but the great thing, from a traveller’s perspective, is that for almost no money these families open their homes to travellers. We're not talking simply overnight accommodation either. For just a few Euros the family will accommodate you, do your laundry and make your all food. They love having guests and will quickly make you feel like part of the family. These casa experiences are some of the best things you can take home with you from a trip to Cuba.
The capital, Havana, is elegant in its own special, lazy way whilst at the same time being really "old school". The city has loads of beautiful buildings and districts especially Old Havana with its narrow, cosy streets and overhanging balconies. Definite must-sees include the "Museo de la Revolución" located in the former presidential palace, and the El Malecón a lively and vibrant street where there is always something happening. One should also try at least one of the local ice creams, which some say are the best in the world. Alternatively take an adventure of a different sort on the dance floor "Dirty Dancing" style at one of the many salsa clubs. Why not try a Papa Doble also known as the Hemingway Daiquiri (named after the famous author) or the world famous "mojito" which started life here.
Away from Havana, Viñales is one of most highly recommend tourist attractions, especially if you are into climbing as the region, quite simply, is one of the world's best climbing areas. Viñales is also perfect for taking a ride on a rented bike or on horseback to visit one of the many tobacco farms.
World Heritage and white sandy beaches
One should also take time out for a trip to the town of Trinidad, one of the Caribbean's best-preserved examples of a town from the era of the sugar-trade and Spanish colonialism. The architecture is impressive and beautiful, and the town as a whole is one of the most typical and characteristic examples of classic Cuba with pastel coloured houses, pretty churches and cobbled streets. The town is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site due to its outstanding cultural and architectural importance.
Around Trinidad there are plenty things to see: the beautiful El Escambray mountains; Casilda Bay and it's nearby islet with crystal clear waters, white sand and fantastic diving and snorkelling opportunities; the Valley de los Ingenios (the Valley of the Sugarmills) and another World Heritage site. En route from Trinidad to Havana don’t forget to stop at Santa Clara to see Che Guevaras memorial!