I have visited most of the Caribbean islands where most people travel for the beautiful picture post card beaches. Cuba however, is very different. A few nights in the amazing city of Havana is a must before finishing off your holiday in one of the many beautiful beach resorts that Cuba has to offer.
Havana was the last city to fall during Castro’s revolution, and was to be my first port of call. I was expecting to see everywhere but it is such a dynamic, energetic city there is so much to do. People packed the narrow, cobbled streets of the old town as we began our first day of exploration. They constantly stopped to greet each other with a handshake, a kiss or a song. They didn’t walk down the street, but rather danced down it.
The buildings in Havana are truly beautiful, with an air of faded glory. Restaurants line the sides of the square where you can stop for a meal and listen to the roving musicians playing Cuban-African jazz. Cuba has a rhythm in its heart, so it was no surprise to find that the island has a vibrant music scene. Any excuse for a party goes, and jazz festivals and carnivals happen throughout the year. One of the country's most famous nightspots is the open-air Tropicana nightclub, which opened in 1939. We were served our meal while hundreds of performers took to the stage, dancing to live salsa and rumba in elaborate costumes.
Old Havana is best seen on foot, and there are some great pedestrian paseos. I spent the next couple of days walking the city, along Empedrado and Calle Obispo, lined with shops and restaurants, small art galleries, and a crafts market. The staples of a Cuban meal are pork, beans, and rice, but the fish is excellent, the paella heavenly. Last stop, the beach. In Varadero, I stayed at the Iberostar Laguna Azul Hotel, an all-inclusive place filled with Canadian, European, and Latin American tourists. Varadero beach Cuba’s longest and one of the best in the Caribbean. It may be popular but thanks to its sheer size there’s enough space for everyone.
Cuba is a fascinating destination, and I can help you to arrange your holiday of a lifetime in Cuba!