Places to Visit in Cuba: Popular with tourists from all over the world, the Caribbean island of Cuba is known for its colorful culture, miles of beaches, salsa, cigars, and rum. But if you are in this beautiful country for the first time, it can be difficult to know where to go during your trip, especially if you do not have much time.
But, we made it easy for you. Should culture or history be given priority? Which tropical beaches are the most stunning? Are there museums to visit? Read on and all will be revealed.
TOP 6 Places in Cuba for those who are there for the first time
Most tourists fly to the capital of the country – Havana. But to get acquainted with the authentic culture and history of Cuba, go to the Old Havana area. Unique buildings, a bohemian atmosphere, and the Latin American rhythm of the streets are the perfect introduction to this unique country.
Once known as the “key to the new world”, this island was a crossroads for explorers and colonial powers, and Old Havana was the largest trading port. In Old Havana, you’ll find street artists trying to capture the moment on their easels and musicians playing in the narrow streets and town squares, setting the pace for the day. Rum, cocktails, and Cuban cigars can be found on every corner here.
Alexander Humboldt National Park
The Alejandro de Humboldt National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site named after a German scientist known for his work in biogeography – the study of the distribution of species and ecosystems. Humboldt visited the island in the 1800s. The park is home to one of the most important ecosystems in America. It is one of the most biologically diverse tropical island habitats on earth and is the wettest part of Cuba.
You can go on a tour and see dozens of the island’s endemic plant and animal species, as well as attractions such as the 25-meter Santa Maria Falls.
Much of the area is not only rocky but also toxic, so the local plants have adapted to this soil, which means that there are many new unique species in the park. This is the perfect day trip for backpackers. It can be reached from the nearby cities of Baracoa and Moa. One whole day is enough for you to see most of the attractions of this place.
Playa Ancon has located 11 km from Trinidad and is considered the most beautiful beach on the south coast. White sand and crystal clear water make it one of the most popular tourist destinations in Cuba.
The Fusterlandia Museum is Gaudí’s answer to Cuba. The artist José Fuster turned the area into an object of folk art on the island.
Bright, colorful mosaics and children’s illustrations give the neighborhood an offbeat charm, reflected in the laid-back, friendly attitude of the locals. It is located on the outskirts of Havana and is fully accessible from the main city, making it an interesting base for a morning or afternoon cultural trip.
Jardines de la Reina
Jardines de la Reina is an archipelago off the southern coast of Cuba offering an ideal underwater landscape for divers.
If you like shade, the trees along the beach provide shelter from the heat. You can also rent a palm tree umbrella. The best time to visit is December – May: the dry season on the island. From June to October, Cuba receives a lot of precipitation and occasional hurricanes.
It was named by Christopher Columbus after the Queen of Spain. For those who are interested in the underwater world, it includes canyons, peaks, and caves, which are home to a huge number of wildlife, including mangroves, reef sharks, and crocodiles. Overall, the Jardines de la Reina is one of the largest protected areas in Cuba.
Bay of Pigs
Another great place for snorkeling is the Bay of Pigs. Zoli is best known for the failed invasion of the island by US-backed Cuban exiles in the 1960s. The Museum de Playa Giron explains this complex historical period of the country. Despite the fact that the bay has a rich history, it still provides tourists with an untouched canvas, a warm sea, and friendly locals.
The nearby Cienaga de Zapata National Park – the island’s hidden secret – and various offshore dive sites provide fun for a day or two, even if the story isn’t for you. There is also a crocodile museum that you can visit if you like.