4 experiences to try on your Cuban getaway
Cuba’s sunny skies, historic charm, pristine beaches and crystal-clear waters have been a long-time draw for travellers looking to unwind in a tropical paradise. To help inspire your next getaway to this beautiful island, we’ve put together a list of some unforgettable experiences you can embark on in Cuba; plus, some top picks of where to stay.
Immerse yourself in Cuba’s colourful culture with a stroll down some of its most scenic streets, filled with the sounds of lively conversation and music. One of Havana’s most charming thoroughfares is the Paseo del Prado, a broad boulevard through the centre of Old Havana lined with beautiful, colonial buildings, marble benches, bronze lions and iron lamp posts. Travellers can wander through the Parque Central, browse stalls laden with goods crafted by local artisans and watch newlyweds start their lives together at Havana’s most popular wedding venue, the Palacio de los Matrimonios. The Paseo del Prado ends at El Malecon, a broad esplanade and sea wall offering sweeping views of the Bay of Havana.
Where to stay: Located alongside the Paseo del Prado, vacationers will find Hotel Sevilla, a stunning hotel inspired by Moorish architecture with majestic columns and beautiful mosaics. This heritage property is just walking distance from authentic bars and restaurants and offers travellers comfortable accommodations to retire to after a day of sightseeing. Guests can enjoy a taste of Cuban culture at the hotel with live music at the alfresco patio and opera performances from the young stars of the local opera company on the rooftop terrace, overlooking Old Havana.
Travellers looking for an eco-adventure can head to the beautiful island of Cayo Largo, featuring white-sand beaches and crystal-clear waters. These stunning shores are not only popular with vacationers, but with another group as well: sea turtles! Every year, sea turtles like the Loggerhead, Hawksbill and Green Turtle arrive to Cayo Largo and lay their eggs on the island’s pristine shores. Travellers hoping to catch a glimpse of these magnificent creatures and other native marine life can head out on a scuba diving excursion.
Where to stay: Travellers looking to explore the deep blue can stay at the charming Bella Isla Resort, nestled on the pristine shores of Cayo Largo just a few miles from a beautiful reef. Guests can unwind by the resort’s saltwater pool or enjoy a relaxing treatment from the on-site spa before soaking up the sun on the white sands of Playa Sirena. In the evenings, vacationers can dance to lively Cuban music with a cold cocktail in hand at the Daiquiri Lounge Bar.
Varadero is home to some of the most beautiful and popular beaches in the Caribbean. With soft, white-sand beaches and warm, crystal-clear waters, Varadero is a haven for sun-seekers and water sports enthusiasts. Those looking to venture off the beach can head to the lively downtown of Varadero which has plenty of attractions to explore. Travellers can stroll through the beautiful Varadero Ecological Park home to a variety of local animal and bird species, sample some delicious Cuban rum at the House of Rum museum, or explore Saturno Cave, a flooded cavern surrounded by lush jungle.
Where to stay: Nestled on Varadero’s white-sand beach, Gran Caribe Puntarena Playa Caleta offers travellers an authentic Cuban beach getaway with easy access to bustling downtown Varadero. Guests can enjoy sweeping views of the ocean from their comfortable accommodations and take advantage of resort-offered beach activities like beach volleyball, Hobie Cat rides and dive lessons (available at an added cost).
Walk the cobblestone streets of Havana like Ernest Hemingway and experience this historic city as he did. Follow his footsteps to some of his favourite places in the city like the famous El Floridita bar, which Hemingway declared made the best daiquiris in the world. Visit another popular haunt of his, La Bodeguita del Medio, the birthplace of the mojito. Immerse yourself in the colourful culture of the city as you walk its streets past beautiful colonial buildings and charming pastel coloured houses.
Where to stay: Stay in the heart of Old Havana, just a short walk away from Hemingway’s favourite parts of the city, at Hotel Plaza. This charming hotel is a centerpiece of the colonial streetscape. Guests will be able to discover some of Havana’s most popular attractions just minutes from the hotel. Vacationers can also indulge in Cuban culture by catching a performance from local musicians at the Buena Vista Social Club.
With properties in Cuba’s most popular destinations like historic Havana, beautiful Cayo Largo and the famous shores of Varadero, Gran Caribe Group offers travellers an authentic Cuban vacation with comfortable accommodations.