Cuba is stuck in a time warp, where classic cars cruise the streets, and colonial buildings rise up from the streets. Its cities are UNESCO World Heritage Sites and the beaches are paradisiacal, it is an enigma, that’ll excite even the most ardent traveller.
Starting in beautiful Havana, an eclectic and electric city where a vivacious love for life and rich culture go hand in hand with beautiful architecture and pumping salsa beats. Havana offers much for a visitor, it’s not pandering to the tourists, and it stays true to itself. Yes there are luxury hotels and world-class restaurants, but a block away you’ll find authentic dance clubs, cafes and buzzing streets as well as museums, galleries and more.
From here we’d recommend heading along to Cienfuegos or Varadero, or both if you can. Cienfuegos is a beautiful nautical city, set around a natural bay. Offering stunning views and a wonderful atmosphere combining waterfront elegance with spicy Cuban flavour. When compared to Havana, Cienfuegos is far more glamourous, the grittier edge of Cuba worn smooth with a thriving economy. Varadero is touristier, with over 50 hotels and plenty of entertainment. You’ll find plenty of mega-resorts, with restaurants, pools, gyms and shops as well as diving, yachting and plenty of other watersports. The city itself has little in the way of classic Cuba, but if you’re looking for beaches and some time to relax, it’s an all-inclusive haven. If you’d rather step away from the overly touristy, but still fancy spending some time on the 20km stretch of beach, there are casa particulares and smaller hotels at the western end of the peninsula.
At the far eastern end of the island, Santiago de Cuba is frenetic and fast paced in stark contrast to laidback Varadero and Cienfuegos and even upping the ante ahead of Havana. As it is located closer to the Caribbean it’s hot and many visitors heading to this part of the island are a little caught out. Bear with it, and be ready for a bit of a culture shock. Its location means its culture is even more diverse and colourful, and the streets are swarming throughout the day. Tout presence is heavier here, so be polite but firm and they’ll get the idea. All in all the city is a heaving, fast-moving mishmash of people, so go with the flow and let yourself be swept along in the sea of people.
If this sounds like your idea of a dream journey, charter a private jet to Cuba and make that dream come true. You could also add on adventures in the Caribbean or the USA easily by chartering from Cuba to your chosen destination.