Cuba, a country that has suffered a difficult past, has flourished in other ways and one important sector is the tourism industry. The US embargo may have curtailed commercialism, so you won’t find a coca cola or McDonalds on your trip, but you will find a friendly population of Cubans who continue to smile and laugh as they live in the past, surrounded by colonial architecture, driving their 50s and 60s Cadillacs, and passing hours of the day smoking cigars and humming to the tunes
of the Buena Vista Social Club.
You can experience the culture, music, dance and history in Havana and Trinidad coupled with rural adventures through coffee, sugar and tobacco plantations in Vinales. The beaches of Cuba are idyllic with many opportunities to fish, snorkel, sail or scuba dive however be aware the hotels are large and tend to work on an all-inclusive basis.
WHEN TO GO: The best time to go is between December and May with dry and sunny days. January and February can be quite cool with temperatures dropping to 15 degrees centigrade. July and August can be very hot. The hurricane season tends to be from June to November.
WHO FOR: Cuba is definitely best suited to those with a prior understanding of Cuba and what is has been through over the past 50 years. The hotels are mid-range on the whole but they are getting better and the food is fairly simple. This is a destination where the visitor is interested in soaking up the culture and learning about it’s people and history. Where you rest your head at night is not important.
TYPE OF HOLIDAY: Family Beach Holiday, Self-drive adventures, Scuba Diving, Fishing, Cultural.
CURRENCY: Convertible Peso (CUCs)
FLIGHT TIME: 10 hrs (direct from London)
VISA: A Tourist Card is needed before arrival in Havana
TIME DIFFERENCE: GMT – 5 hours
COMBINES WELL WITH: Mexico