Cuba Travel Guide

Home to white-sand shores, world-class beaches and a fascinating culture, Cuba is a long-time favourite vacation destination for Canadian sun-seekers. Located south of Florida and The Bahamas in the Caribbean Sea, this popular destination is an ideal choice for travellers of all tastes.

With so much to see and do in this tropical paradise, it can be hard to narrow down your itinerary! That’s why we put together this comprehensive travel guide to help you start planning your getaway. From the best places to stay in Cuba to top Cuba activities, read on and get inspired for your next Cuba vacation!

Ready to travel to Cuba? Stay at some of the best all inclusive resorts in Cuba with a wide variety of vacation packages. Plus, for a limited time, you can save big on your getaway with our Craving Cuba Sale.

Beach at sunset with a resort in the distance
Lounge on world-famous shores in Varadero

Cuba’s beaches are world-famous, and you’ll find some of the island’s most beautiful stretches of sand in Varadero. Nestled along the Hicacos Peninsula, you can soak up the sun on the white-sand shores of Varadero Beach, which winds along 25 kilometres of tranquil coastline. The calm waters make Varadero a popular choice for families and some of the best Cuba all inclusive resorts line the shores. When you’re not lounging on the beach, you can head into downtown Varadero to peruse quaint shops and dance to live music at local nightclubs.

What to do: Set sail on a catamaran cruise from Varadero to the tiny desert island of Cayos Blancos. This tranquil paradise is located just a short boat ride from the main resorts in Varadero, where you can enjoy a delicious lunch and snorkel in the crystal-clear waters.

Where to stay: Grand Memories Varadero has something for everyone, from the Memories Fun Club for kids to the sprawling beach area. Looking for an adults only option? Stay at Sanctuary at Grand Memories Varadero, a resort-within-a-resort with an exclusive pool and beach area

Classic American cars driving past historical buildings
Travel back in time in Havana

You’ll feel like you’ve stepped into the 1960s when you visit Havana! The iconic capital of Cuba is home to historic landmarks, cobblestone streets lined with classic American cars and charming bars and restaurants. The city is split into 15 unique boroughs but Old Havana, Centro Habana and Vedado are where you’ll find the most famous attractions and hotels. There’s plenty to see and do in in this charming city, from visiting Revolution Square, Morro Castle and El Capitilo on a guided tour to learning all about the city’s fascinating history and culture.

What to do: Explore Havana through the eyes of one of the city’s most famous residents – award-winning author Ernest Hemingway – on a walking tour. You’ll visit his old hotel and his favourite bar, El Floridita, which is famous for its daiquiris.

Where to stay: Stay in the heart of the action at Iberostar Parque Central, just a short walk from some of the city’s top attractions. Head up to the rooftop pool to admire views of the Capitol Building and other Old Havana landmarks as you swim!

Underwater view of a person snorkelling above a coral reef
Discover the deep blue in Cayo Coco

Surrounded by crystal-clear waters and colourful coral reefs, Cayo Coco, Cuba is a popular destination for scuba divers and snorkellers of any skill level. Cuba’s dedication to marine conservation makes Cayo Coco an ideal spot to explore the underwater world with untouched coral reefs and flourishing marine life. Strap on your gear and explore underwater caves, slopes, canyons, shipwrecks and more. The surrounding waters are also a popular spot for deep-sea fishing, where you can cast your line for sailfish, tuna and more.

What to do: When you’re back on land, the famous shores of Playa Pilar are a must-visit. This secluded white-sand beach is even said to have served as the inspiration for Ernest Hemingway’s novel, Islands in the Stream.

Where to stay: Memories Flamenco Beach Resort is the perfect home base for your Cayo Coco vacation. This Cuban all inclusive resort is located near a colourful coral reef where you can snorkel or try out complimentary water sports like kayaking and pedal boat rides.

Aerial view of a resort area surrounded by lush forest
Explore lush natural landscapes in Holguin

While famous for its gorgeous beaches, Cuba is also home to picturesque natural landscapes like the scenic parks of Holguin. Dubbed the “City of Parks’, Holguin is surrounded by majestic mountains that offer plenty of opportunities for eco-exploration, like at BioParque Rocazul and La Mensura National Park. The main city isn’t located directly on the water, but the area’s all inclusive resorts are located just a short drive away on beautiful beaches like Playa Blanca, Playa Pesquera and Playa Esmeralda.

What to do: One of the best ways to explore Holguin’s natural beauty is on a Jeep safari. Hop behind the wheel of a Jeep and head off through the mountains with a stop at Guayabo Falls, the island’s largest waterfall!

Where to stay: Just a short drive from Holguin on the shores of Playa Esmeralda is Sol Rio de Luna Y Mares Resort. Book one of the Ocean View Rooms and watch the sunset over the coast every night from your scenic balcony or terrace.

Woman walking by a catamaran beached on the shore
Enjoy ultimate rest and relaxation in Cayo Santa Maria

The picturesque island of Cayo Santa Maria is located just off Cuba’s north coast and is the perfect destination for a relaxing beach getaway. With endless stretches of white-sand shores, calm turquoise waters, consistently sunny weather and some of the best resorts in Cuba, Cayo Santa Maria is the perfect place to de-stress and leave the worries of everyday life behind.

What to do: Choose from a range of spa packages to take your relaxing getaway to the next level. After a pampering day in paradise, head to a local nightclub to listen to live music played by the Grammy-nominated Buena Vista Social Club!

Where to stay: The adults only Royalton Cayo Santa Maria is the perfect place to kick back and unwind. Lounge under the shade of a poolside cabana as you sip on a refreshing mojito and enjoy convenient amenities like 24-hour service and butler service by the pool and the beach.

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