Holidays to Cuba
Havana is the charismatic, charming capital – a must-visit for its elegant plazas abuzz with vibrant street life, vintage Cadillacs the colour of sweets, and gracefully crumbling colonial buildings.
In 2010, economic reforms by former President Raúl Castro boosted a number of private enterprises mainly in the form of casas particulares (homestays) and paladares (restaurants hosted in people’s homes). They offer more authentic accommodation than the rather staid hotel alternatives, and have boosted Cuba’s culinary scene.
However, if you’re looking for a luxurious way to see Cuba, a cruise holiday is best: its fledgling tourism industry simply can’t match the five-star dining, lavish suites and top-notch amenities offered at sea. The island is also notoriously tricky to navigate on land, with poor roads and long distances galore, so cruising is an excellent solution.
Havana is the charismatic, charming capital – a must-visit for its elegant plazas, vintage Cadillacs, and gracefully crumbling colonial buildings
Where to go
Havana is the Cuba you see on postcards – but unlike most travel icons, it’s even more beautiful in the flesh. Soak up the atmosphere with a stroll through its enchanting cobbled streets, and enjoy Cuban salsa music whilst sipping rum cocktails in a Plaza Vieja bar.
The quieter colonial city of Trinidad is a manicured mini-Havana: too groomed for some travellers, a relief for others. It’s a chance to see Cuba as it looked pre-Castro – and it’s minutes from one of the island’s best beaches, Playa Ancón.
When to go
The best time of year to visit Cuba is the dry season from mid-November to April. Visit in February and you’ll catch the Habanos Festival which celebrates Cuba’s famous coffee, rum and cigars. If you want to dodge the crowds, Cuba is quietest from May through to November, although this is also rainy season.