When we talk about Cuba our mind immediately flies towards heavenly scenarios and Caribbean evenings filled with cigars and rum. But Cuba, of course, isn't just about package holidays for withered tourists. There are many places that deserve to be visited, at least once in a lifetime.
From the beaches of the north, to the more lively hinterland, recommended for those who want to avoid rich Americans and touch the country that saw the birth of the legend of Che. So let's try to impress you with the ranking of the 10 cities not to be missed in Cuba.
- Casa Particular in Santa Clara
- Casas Particulares Cienfuegos
- Cayo Coco
- Casa Particular in Camaguey
- Casa Particular in Santiago de Cuba
- Casas Particulares Baracoa
- User questions and comments
1 - Havana
Havana is the capital of Cuba and its beating heart. If the house of Cuban cigars and Havana rum isn't enough to get your attention, here you will find political culture at every street corner. The historic center of Havana, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is in excellent condition, with European-style buildings. Pastel colors, i jazz musicians, the cafes and bars are a great place to spend a couple of days. In addition, in the craft market and in the open air you can fill your backpacks with one of the many Cuban peculiarities that can be found in this place.
- The city center is approximately 20 km from José Martí International Airport. There is no public transport available, the only way to get there is by taxi. Fares start from 20 CUC (€ 17,00), the journey time is approximately 30 minutes. Alternatively, book a shared transfer from € 8,74 per person.
- Hotel and b & b starting from € 57,17 per room -
- Havana: Classic American Car Tour Old Havana: Small Group City Walking Tour
2 - Santa Clara
Santa Clara, in the province of Villa Clara, is a city that adds a bit of truth to a Cuban itinerary. Rich in cultural attractions, Santa Clara is one lively university city, famous for being the site of the last battle of the war led by Che Guevara in 1958.
The "Che" was buried here, for this reason his mausoleum, the Memorial Commander Ernesto 'Che' Guevara, is a major attraction of the city.
Santa Clara is also home to Teatro de la Caridad (circa 1885), one of Cuba's few surviving theaters.
- Santa Clara is about 280 km from Havana (3 hours by car). It also has its own airport called Abel Santamaría Airport, which is 10 km away (about 20 minutes by car), reachable by taxi or shared transfer from € 10,48 per person.
- Hotels and b & b from € 52,18 per room
3 - Varadero
Varadero is one of the most famous beach destinations of Cuba. It stretches along the Hicacos Peninsula and juts out into the sea off the north coast, where a drawbridge connects it to the mainland. There are more than 50 hotels in this palm-filled strip. The magnificent white sand beaches of Varadero, every year, attract visitors from all over the world. Also not to be missed are the important nature reserves of the city. The two caves, Cueva de Ambrosio and Cueva de musulmanes further enrich the natural varadero scenery.
- Varadero is about 150 km from Havana (2 hours by car). The city is 32 km (30 minutes by car) from Juan Gualberto Gómez Matanzas-Varadero Airport, reachable by taxi or shared return transfer from € 8,74 per person
- Hotel and b & b starting from € 47,45 per room -
- Cayo Blanco catamaran cruise and dolphins
4 - Trinidad
Exploring the city of Trinidad, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is like stepping back in time. The beautifully restored buildings and cobblestone streets in the city center give it a touch of colonial atmosphere.
Today, Trinidad is one of the most popular tourist spots in Cuba, for this reason the streets are full of foreigners. Above Plaza Mayor, the central square of the city, stands the neoclassical church of Santa Trinità. The view of the city from up there is nothing short of breathtaking.
- Trinidad is about 315 km from Havana (4 hours by car) and 96 km from Santa Clara (2 hours by car).
- Hotel and b & b starting from € 45,77 per room -
- Trinidad + Cienfuegos from Havana
5 - Cienfuegos
Cienfuegos represents the dreamed-of Cuba. Pebbles, good music and salsa until the early morning. This city has a population of around 160.000, but there are countless Caribbean dance schools. In the bars of Cienfuegos you will have no problem finding people to experiment with new dance moves.
Like Trinidad, the historic center of this pearl located on the southern coast of Cuba is also included in the list that UNESCO dedicates to the World Heritage Site.
- Cienfuegos is 233 km from Havana (approximately 2 hours and 40 minutes by car), 72 km from Santa Clara (1 hour and 25 minutes by car) and 83 km from Trinidad (1 hour and 30 minutes by car).
- Hotel and b & b starting from € 45,25 per room -
- Trinidad + Cienfuegos from Havana
6 - Cayo Coco
Cayo Coco is famous for being one of the favorite destinations in Hemingway's novels. Although most tourists arrive by air, Cayo Coco is connected to the mainland by a bridge, which has recently become a real attraction for visitors to the place. But the coolest places for visitors remains the Playa Los Flamencos, on the Atlantic side of the island, characteristic for the very white color of the sand. Animal lovers in Cayo Coco will also be happy, thanks to the El Baba natural park, will be able to admire among other things unique specimens of turtles, crocodiles and flamingos.
- Cayo Coco is 250 km from Santa Clara (3 hours and 30 minutes by car), about 250 km from Trinidad (3 hours and 30 minutes by car) and 200 km from Camaguey (about 3 hours by car). It has its own airport called "Jardines del Rey Airport", 13 km from the center (13 minutes by car), reachable by taxi or transfer from € 10,48 per person.
- Hotel and b & b starting from € 50,12 per room -
7 - Camaguey
The city of Camaguey is a smack in the center of the country, and is the third largest city. The real beauty you will find in this city is given by the lack of tourists.
Camaguey has a thriving art scene, especially music. Strolling through the city you will be struck by the old couples sitting in the steps staring at you with a warm smile, the children running in search of tires with sticks and the fruit ice creams that can be purchased for less than $ 1.
- Camaguey is 261 km from Trinidad (about 4) 200 km from Cayo Coco (about 3 hours by car). It has its own airport called Ignacio Agramonte International Airport, 7 km away from the center (8 minutes by car) and reachable by taxi
- Hotel and b & b starting from € 57,17 per room -
8 - Guardalavaca
Another of Cuba's idyllic destinations is Guardalavaca, in the province of Holguin. Quieter and more remote city than Varadero is perfect for divers or snorkelers.
In this place, in fact, you can explore a plethora of marine species along the barrier Reef. Trips to Guadalavaca are spectacular and include: jungle adventures, boat rides and Santiago de Cuba tour. Plus, the luxurious Guardalavaca Beach offers a good deal of shade for those seeking respite from the tropical sun.
- Guardalavaca is 258 km from Camaguey (about 3 hours and 40 minutes by car), 178 km from Santiago de Cuba (2 hours and 30 by car) and 254 km from Baracoa (3 hours and 30 by car).
- Hotel and b & b starting from € 51,12 per room -
9 - Santiago de Cuba
This is the place where Che began to take his first steps. For this reason, the imprint of history is indelible in this. In Santiago it is possible to visit the barracks where Fidel Castro started his Cuban revolution.
The city is impressive, full of drawbridges, cannons, stairways and tunnels. It looks like what we will call a castle. What else to add? Santiago remains one of the places to see, at least once in a lifetime.
- Santiago de Cuba is 178 km from Guardalavaca (2 hours and 30 by car) and 257 km from Baracoa (about 3 hours and 40 by car)
- Hotel and b & b starting from € 58,17 per room -
10 - Baracoa
To get to Baracoa, you have to go through Guantanamo (yes, the one famous for the bay) and go straight on. Once you arrive in this place you will see the attractions. Get ready for a tasty lunch in the city, wine and at salsa lessons late afternoon. As darkness falls, do not miss the rum passages, an experience that, once done, you will want to repeat the next day. This is Baracoa.
Also, remember to drop by Yumuri, at the gorge of the river, if only to shake you off from the alcohol of the previous evening.
- Baracoa is 257 km from Santiago de Cuba (about 3 hours and 40 by car) and 254 km from Guardalavaca (about 3 hours and 30 by car). It has its own airport called Gustavo Rizo Airport, 2 km away from the center (5 minutes by car) and reachable by taxi or by shared transfer from € 6,99 per person.
- Hotel and b & b starting from € 54,16 per room -