5 things to do in Cuba this summer

Planning your summer getaway? Cuba should be at the top of your list! The island comes alive during the summer months with an exciting line up of festivals and live events including the Havana and Santiago de Cuba Carnivals, both full of music, dancing and – of course – rum! To make sure you get the most out of your vacation to Cuba, we’ve compiled a list of five things to do on your Cuban getaway.

Two kids playing on the beach
Enjoy some quality R&R in Varadero

Featuring seemingly-endless stretches of white sand beach, sparkling turquoise waters and sunny skies, Varadero is one of the best beach destinations in the world. The soft white sands are perfect for spending some time resting, relaxing and soaking up your daily dose of vitamin D. Stroll along the pristine shores, take a dip in the warm Caribbean surf or cruise down the coast on a catamaran tour.

Where to stay: Situated on a pristine stretch of Varadero Beach, Starfish Varadero is ideal for family-friendly beach vacations. Children can build sandcastles by the shore or make new friends at the kids club, while parents sip on a mojito underneath a shady palapa. Looking for a more intimate setting? The adults only Sanctuary at Grand Memories Varadero is also located right on the beach and includes luxurious amenities like butler service, an exclusive beach area and more.

Blue and yellow historic buildings in Havana
Step back in time in Havana

Travel back to the 1950s with a trip to Havana, where classic cars drive along cobblestone streets lined with historic buildings. Old Havana is a must-see for any trip to Cuba, where you can explore famous landmarks such as Morro Castle, the Museum of the Revolution and Plaza Vieja. Tour the city from famous author Ernest Hemingway’s eyes on the Hemingway Footsteps tour, where you’ll stop at his favourite old haunts – including mojitos at his favourite bar El Floridita.

Where to stay: Memories Miramar Habana provides comfortable accommodations and amenities nearby Havana’s top attractions. The hotel is just a short walk from Old Havana and features a sprawling pool plus two on-site restaurants. If you’re travelling as a larger family or group, Starfish Montehabana in the nearby Miramar district offers large one-bedroom apartments complete with dining rooms and kitchenettes.

Tropical scenery in Holguin with turquoise waters. white-sand shores and lush green forests
Tour the lush jungle landscapes in Holguin

Known as the ‘City of Parks’, there are six lush parks occupying Holguin’s city centre, each boasting colourful gardens perfect for a relaxing stroll. As Cuba’s fourth-largest city, it is also home to charming resorts that offer easy access to numerous eco-excursions. One of the best ways to tour the area’s lush landscapes is on a Jeep adventure, where you’ll pass by picturesque countryside vistas and a local village.

Where to stay: Nestled amidst lush vegetation on the sandy shores of Yuraguanal Beach, Hotel Holguin provides a relaxing base from which to explore Holguin. When you’re not out and about on an excursion, relax by one of the resort’s five sparkling pools or sip on a cool drink by the beach bar.

Person snorkelling with tropical fish
Explore the underwater world in Cayo Coco

Discover the deep blue with a snorkelling or scuba diving adventure in Cayo Coco. The Cayos are surrounded by over 400km of vibrant coral reefs home to colourful marine life such as stingrays, turtles, trumpet fish and more. The waters are crystal-clear and calm, making for great visibility as you explore the deep blue! Choose from a variety of scuba diving packages for all experience levels or take a snorkelling tour on board a comfortable catamaran.

Where to stay: Memories Flamenco Beach Resort is conveniently located near a colourful barrier reef that’s perfect for snorkelling, after which you can dry off on a lounger by the pool or enjoy a bite to eat at the 24-hour snack bar. Upgrade to Diamond Club™ to enjoy added amenities like concierge service, an exclusive restaurant and discounts on spa treatments to relax after your underwater adventure.

Beautiful buildings and tropical greenery in Santa Clara
Soak in the local culture in Cayo Santa Maria

While it’s more often known for its beautiful beaches and relaxing atmosphere, Cayo Santa Maria is also an ideal place to experience the Cuban culture. Visit the nearby town of Santa Clara on a day tour, where the last battle of the Cuban Revolution took place and where important revolutionary sites are housed including the Che Guevara Mausoleum and Revolution Square. You can also take a heritage steam train ride through the country to learn about Cuba’s history and famous exports including cigars, rum and sugar.

Where to stay: While sightseeing is fun, it’s nice to have a quiet place to return to after a day of exploring! Starfish Cayo Santa Maria is located on a pristine beach where you can cool off by the pool or get your tan on by the shore. Couples looking for a romantic getaway could opt for Sanctuary at Grand Memories Santa Maria which offers a tranquil adults only atmosphere with personalized butler service, complimentary water sports like catamaran tours and much more.

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