Funnily enough it has been through the pandemic that Cuba has seen some modern changes, like the popping up of home delivery and take away. For one, I don’t like it as it is starting to take away from the exact atmosphere you want to visit Cuba for… the gathering of people, the music, dancing, conversations and the vibe that you get from a community without having the mod cons that make our every day life ‘easier’.
So let’s break that down. What exactly is causing that infectious vibe that hooks you in and makes you fall in love with this island?
They’ve had it tough for quite sometime, yet despite their struggles these people go on. Each they they make sure they have a laugh. They build strong family units that look after one another. They welcome you in, and no matter how little they have they will share it with you. They are always up for a yarn. Happy to hear your stories and will share theirs.
The best way to get up close and personal is to travel past the Havana line and stay with locals. Whilst there are plenty of hotels in Cuba, nothing beats staying in a Casa Particular. Translating to mean ‘private home’, Casas Particulars are essentially Cuban homestays. These days that doesn’t mean you are just renting a room in a locals house, these days some are set up with better standards than a hotel!
You get to (if you choose to) eat Cuban food and learn about the island’s history from your host. It is undoubtedly the best way to immerse yourself in Cuba’s culture.
From pirates to mafia wars, to Spanish invasion and a whirlwind British occupation to the US sanctions and the great revolucion, Cuba has a fascinating history that formed its culture to what it is today. Quite fascinating experiencing Cuban time… but I urge you to come with an open mind, a curiosity to learn, with no need to be anywhere in a hurry and enjoy the ride.
Cuba’s marine life is as rich as its culture, and you can find unique ecosystems and animal species all along its 5,745km of coastline.
You can dive caves, underwater canyons and meet curious marine life in these unspoilt waters whilst enjoying your visit, or opt for a liveaboard experience at Jardines de la Reina (Gardens of the Queen), the worlds second largest coral reef, it’s also a protected marine park.
If you love the idea of diving with sharks then this experience could be for you. Here you’ll find Caribbean reef, nurse and great hammerhead sharks to name but a few – all surrounded by vibrant reefs.
What’s even better, join one of our conservation marine photographers and capture these healthy reefs, giant groupers, spiralling coral pillars and coral walls. It’s a true treasure trove for the senses.
If you are a true lover of nature and the great outdoors, then Cuba is the perfect destination for you. This vibrant island nation is home to an exciting avifauna that includes over two dozen endemics and one near-endemic. With its natural diversity and beautiful landscapes, Cuba is a paradise for bird-watchers from around the world. What’s even better is that we have local nature guides on our team who live and breathe birds. Imagine joining Nils Navarro, the writer of the Endemic Birds of Cuba book, to show you his backyard and all the beautiful species in it, like the Cuban Tody and Trogon or the world’s smallest bird, the Bee Hummingbird.
There’s just something about crisp fresh air, and here you’ll have plenty of it. Whether you are laying on a white sand beach, strolling in a lush green forest, next a freshwater creek on your way to a waterhole or climbing on the steep track of one of the stunning national parks, you’ll be filling your lungs with pure air.
There are just so many unspoilt spots for you to discover, we couldn’t even just pin point one! The mountains of Soroa, the white sand beach of Cayo Jutias or the valley of Vinales are near Havana if you only have a short time for a visit. If you can venture further, there’s plenty to discover at Topes de Collantes or even further, all the way at El Yunque.
One thing’s for sure, you’ll love what mother nature here has on offer.
What goes hand in hand in with such divine natural recharge, is the ability to completely unplug. Whilst wifi spots can be found around the island, and you can now also purchase a tourist sim with data packages, one of the best things Cuba has on offer is the ability to unplug.
No more work calls at 4am, or constant alerts of the next new buy you just must have or you’ll miss out… Leave those for the days back at the office. Be brave! Put that phone down and actually allow yourself the time to relax and truly soak in the experience you are having on your Cuban holiday. You may even find a whole new you coming home after this holiday!
I bet you that whilst you are getting on a natural high induced by new experiences, you’ll find those hips swaying when you hear the sound of Cuban music. It’s impossible not to want to move. So do it!
You’ll find an amazing variety of tunes from salsa to cha cha, to rhumba, reggaeton and more. What’s even better is that there’s live music at plenty of venues and the locals are always up for a dance with you. You can always pop in for a dance class to learn the moves or just shake that booty as you feel like, it doesn’t really matter… just enjoy the moment.
Living Car museum
Of course we all have seen the postcards with the colourful classic American cars. Given the fact that their export is banned and that they are a family heirloom they are likely to stay around for a while. It’s always fascinating to hear about their history and learn about the ingenious ways they are being kept on the roads.
Whilst some may have a living room couch in the back seat, or a boat motor to keep it running, many that are providing classic car tours are bound by ensuring that their cars have genuine parts. Of course when it comes to choosing our drivers, we always ensure that their vehicles are safe and sound!
Enjoy the freshest produce
This is one of my absolute favorites!
Fresh juice in the morning? You got it! From watermelon to guava, mango, star fruit you name it. Seasonal fresh fruit juices are always part of your breakfast at our casas.
Fresh veggies straight off the farm, no pesticide, genetical modification here. No veggies force ripened out of season or sprayed with chemicals to make them last longer. Just pure goodness, straight to your plate.
Seafood, chicken or pork without added hormones or boosters.
The only place on earth, where you can eat and come home lighter I found.
Taste the Cuban Rums
When in Cuba, do as the Cubans do – drink Rum. And there are several to choose from. Havana Club, Santiago de Cuba, Santisima Trinidad and their varieties. If straight rum is not your thing there are also plenty of cocktails to choose from – mojito, caipirissima, pina colada, canchanchara, Cuba Libre and the list goes on. You are bound to find a Cuban cocktail that can refresh you.
Even if you are not a smoker, meeting a Cuban tobacco farmer and learning the process of cultivating the tobacco plant and then hearing about the process of turning that into a cigar is fascinating. When you also think of the fact that tobacco grown here and turned into a cigar doesn’t have the 62 various chemicals to process it (most are cured in honey, rum and water!) you may just want to try one for yourself.
If nothing else, you can get some for your friends straight from the farmers. It cannot get any more authentic than that!
It’s basically summer all year around. Just some months are a little wetter – due to rain and humidity than others. Makes it perfect for a winter getaway.
Only thing to keep in mind is if you have a specific activity that you wish to do, like birding or diving, they are seasonal due to bird and marine life migration as well as visibility in case of diving. So just ensure that before you book anything, you check whether it is the right season to fully experience everything you wish to do.
Cuba is an amazing country with rich culture, delicious food, and stunning nature. If you’re looking for a unique travel experience that you won’t find anywhere else in the world, then Cuba should be at the top of your list. Our team of experts are passionate about this beautiful island and would love to show you around. So what are you waiting for? Message us today for more information on our tours to Cuba!