The magical, UNESCO filled, culturally diverse island of Cuba is bursting with exciting excursions. From exploring underwater reefs and tobacco fields to admiring colonial architecture and listening to traditional music, Cuba has more places of interest than we have paper to write. Here are seven of the hundreds of activities the iconic island has to offer.
While the beach resort of Varadero may not offer much in the way of unique Cuban experiences, the area’s stunning coastline is the perfect spot to sail off shore and discover the beauty of the peninsula. Cruise towards Cayo Blanco on board a stylish Catamaran and enjoy a fresh lobster lunch with a drink from the onboard bar before observing dolphins playing in their natural habitat.
Go back in time at the Buena Vista Social Club
Housed in a beautifully restored colonial building just off Plaza Vieja, the Buena Vista Social Club restaurant and bar is a lively venue dedicated to the legendary music of Cuba. Giving you a real insight into the history of the original 1940s members club, you’ll find top quality musicians from across the ages, gorgeous outfits and fabulous dancing. Get up and dance when the music grabs you and experience first hand the romance and passion of the Cuban culture.
Vintage car tour
The roads in Cuba are full of classic cars from the 1950s as a result of trade embargos with the USA, which prevented new imports arriving to the island. They are a true icon to both the country and its people’s character who have managed to keep these antique vehicles in working order with pure ingenuity.
With many of these models used as taxis, choose between a convertible cadillac or a stylish Studebaker and let your experienced driver help you explore the island. Enjoy an hour tour of the capital or take a day trip to the beach.
Salsa in Santiago de Cuba
Santiago is the second largest city in Cuba, located on the southeast of the island facing the Caribbean Sea. Bursting with colonial architecture, breathtaking churches, museums and historical sites, explore the important revolutionary sites such as the Moncada Barracks in this vibrant Afro-Cuban city.
Santiago has also played an important part in the evolution of the country’s culture and enjoys an exciting music scene. Listen to live traditional music at the Casa de la Trova or head to Bellavista, where you’ll find a selection of jazz, salsa and blues.
As one of the most iconic cities in the world, no trip to Cuba would be complete without visiting this culturally impressive capital. From the old quarters packed with shabby chic colonial buildings and locals congregating on the street for a game of chess, to the buzz of classic cars adorning the streets, you’ll find magic on every street corner.
Discover the city’s history at The Museum of the Revolution or El Morro Fortress and wander around Plaza de la Catedral before heading to the famous social hub, El Malacon for the ultimate people watching spot.
Coral reef snorkelling
Cuba is a haven for snorkelers and with such a large collection of coral gardens, caves and tunnels across the island, divers of all levels can explore the rich biodiversity of marine life on offer. Some of the best snorkelling sites are located off the northern coast, but with one of the largest coral reefs in the world, running the perimeter of the island, you’ll find unspoilt beaches and shallow reefs across the entire coastline.
Encircled by mountains and dramatic limestone rock formations, an excursion to the Vinales Valley offers visitors the chance to explore one of Cuba’s most beautiful natural wonders. Still used for agriculture, walk through beautiful fields across the UNESCO World Heritage site and observe traditional methods of farming including tobacco, pineapple and coffee as you take in the striking vistas across the valley.
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Just returned from Cuba? Let us know your favourite excursions in the comments below!