Ten hours on an international flight may not be that appealing, particularly when you know there are places you’d like to visit in Europe, but it’s a fantastic adventure to see this part of the world – largely untouched by mass commercialisation – enjoy it before it changes!
What’s On Offer
Where to start? Well, it has over 300 beaches, and they are magnificent. Fine grained, pale sand dotted with palm trees and on the commercially developed beaches of places like Varadero, you’ll find the full range of water activities, including scuba diving, deep sea fishing, sailing and water-ski-ing. Varadero was a quiet peninsula until the 1940’s, when the hotel magnets moved in and began building a holiday empire and activity base, in what is now the most developed part of the island. It’s ideal for anyone who likes the 24 hour party life! With over 50% of all the hotel accommodation on Cuba, hundreds of restaurants, bars and nightclubs – it’s a full-on holiday resort. If you like to mix it up a bit, you can visit the neaby towns of Cardenas and Martanzas for a culture and history “hit”. There are some less high octane pastimes in Varadero too, such as cave diving or taking a trip to the protected area of the Peninsula, which is an established wildlife reserve.
If you are looking for a bespoke, tailor made holiday to discover the best of Cuba, Esencia Experiences have acquired years of inside knowldege to create the perect itinery for you
Trinidad – Picturesque Faded GloryIf a calm pace and a bit atmosphere is more your thing, then a visit to the historic colonial town of Trinidad is essential, since it’s one of the most beautiful towns in Cuba. It was the third Spanish settlement to be established in Cuba around 1544 and in the 18th and 19th century, the town became rich as a result of their productive sugar plantations in the nearby Valley de los Ingenios (Valley of the Sugar Mills) which you can still visit. The town has managed to preserve much of the building work carried out during it’s heyday, and it’s great to wander through the cobblestoned streets, see the pastel coloured houses, old Chevrolets and impressive church buildings.
The bell tower of the Museo Nacional de la Lucha Contra Bandidos offers views of the town and surrounding countryside. and if you go into the central Plaza Mayor you’ll see several museums set in old colonial buildings. In the evenings the the local Squares are alive with traditional Cuban music and dance. Leisure pursuits are slow paced and there are plenty of activity centres offering hiking or horse riding and the countryside is spectacular. If none of that appeals, there are always the relaxing sands of Playa Ancon to snooze on!
Laid Back Beach LifeCayo Coco is a 15 mile long sandbar linked to the mainland by a causeway or you can always catch a short internal flight from Havana. If you travel by road, stop at Parador la Silla, and you will see the astonishing sight of hundreds of flamingos grouped along the sand bars and some spectacular views, before driving on to Cayo Coco. Castro wanted to develop the islands of Cuba for visitors – he knew they wouldn’t mind paying for the priveledge of being in this sumptious part of the country! There are only a few hotels here, and whilst they might cover some acreage, they don’t ruin the sky line. The people are easy going and if you are lucky, you’ll have the Bus Driver who will happily stop the bus on the side of the road, find a coconut palm and cut you down a fresh coconut – the fresh, clear coconut milk is a real life saver on a hot day! There are old fashioned glass bottomed boats that visit the coral coves and since- Cayo Coco is also situated on the worlds second biggest coral reef, it’s a great base for scub divers. This is a place for a real chill-out holiday – no stress, great food, white sand and clear blue seas.
If you want to see Havana too, check out the range of excursions available. You should be able to find an over night stay in the city where you can visit the Cigar Factory, visit a rum tasting, and let your hair down in a full-on Cuban nightclub.The city is brimming with intriguing monuments – and with the sun blazing down on the old city Squares, it’s easy to find yourself in the middle of an impromptu dance session! Street sales are everywhere, and yes, music is very much part of the scene in Havana, so it’s a lively, vibrant place to visit.