Discover the Unique Caribbean Charm of Cuba

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Cuba is a Caribbean country rich in music and dance with a cuisine that's a mouth-watering fusion of Spanish and other Caribbean influences. The stretches of golden sandy beaches of Cuba are perfect for relaxing on in summer. Beyond the beaches, Cuba has an expansive land of forests, rivers, swamps, and mountains for escaping to nature. Here are some of the places you have to visit when in Cuba.

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Discover the Unique Caribbean Charm of Cuba:table of contents

1. Old Havana (Havana)

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Cuba's vibrant capital of Havana is a beautiful stretch of old colorful colonial style buildings. This downtown area of the city is best explored on foot as most of the liveliness spills out to the streets and you will get the best chance to interact with the friendly locals of Cuba. The town has historical sightseeing sites such as the Catedral de San Cristobal and Castillo de la Real Fuerza that have existed since colonial times. The picturesque Partagas Cigar Factory and the city museum are also well worth a visit.

2. Old Square (Plaza Vieja)

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The Old Square (Plaza Vieja), is a significant old area of downtown Cuba, often used for executions, military exercises, bullfights, and various religious proceedings. This historic site is perfect for soaking in the local culture and to see the beautiful Cuban architecture around the plaza. Today the buildings are mostly used to house small museums, art galleries, bars, restaurants and cafes. The best time to visit is in the afternoon or evening when the town gets active.

3. El Morro (Havana)

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An impressive fortress at the entrance of Havana Bay in Cuba, the structure was built in the 16th century to defend the town of San Cristobal. The castle today is an exhibition of the lighthouses found around Cuba. From the top you'll also get spectacular views of the town, especially at sunset. Cuba is blessed with warm temperatures throughout the year, but we recommend that you visit El Morro castle in the dry season, particularly in December, January, February and March.

4. Parque Nacional Alejandro de Humboldt (Baracoa)

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Alejandro de Humboldt National Park is one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Cuba and a perfect spot for exploring the local wildlife and nature. It's one of the largest natural sightseeing reserves in Cuba and was named after Alexander von Humboldt, a German naturalist and explorer. The park has more than 20 square kilometers of forest land, more than a thousand plant species, amphibians, reptiles and a number of endangered Cuban bird species. The best time to go sightseeing at the park is just at the beginning of the dry season, in December when the plants have fully blossomed.

5. Castillo de San Carlos de la Cabana (Havana)

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Commonly called La Cabana, this impressive structure is the largest colonial fortress in Cuba. It was constructed in the 1700s to repel invaders and was also used as a Cuban military prison in the 19th century. Along with a range of museums such as the El Che museum, there's also a cigar shop with the longest cigars in Cuba, along with bars, restaurants and souvenir shops at the site.

6. Gran Teatro de La Habana (Havana)

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Originally constructed in the 1900s as a center for Galician immigrants to Cuba, this grand theater was reopened in 2016 and is presently one of the most significant theaters in Cuba. The architecture of the theater has a striking finish with stone and bronze, making it among the most magnificent buildings in Cuba. The theater is home to the Ballet Nacional de Cuba and holds international events throughout the year.

7. Museo Ernest Memingway (Havana)

The Museo Ernest Memingway was once the house of Ernest Hemingway, a famous American novelist and journalist who lived there for 20 years. The house was later donated to the people of Cuba and has remained relatively the same as when the author once lived there. The museum has a display array of books and Victrola of the early times. Next to the main house is also a three floored tower which gives a beautiful view of the surrounding area. At the site, you'll also find a swimming pool, cockfighting ring, a tennis court and a fishing boat.

8. Varadero

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A beautiful resort with a long 20 kilometer golden beach stretching across the Hicacos Peninsula, Varadero is the perfect spot to escape to relax and soak in the Caribbean sun. Cuba's largest resort, the area has seen impressive development in recent years with plenty of hotels, numerous water activities, shops and entertainment spots. The resort is particularly famous for having some of the best seafood on the island.

9. Viñales Valley

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Encircled by dramatic mountains, cliffs and plains of greenery, the Viñales Valley is well-known for its numerous tobacco plantations that supply the world-renowned Cuban cigar industry. Apart from taking a tour of one of the plantations, be sure to spend some time to appreciate the impressive scenery of Cuba's stunning countryside. There are several activities you can take part in around the area such as hiking, horse riding and rock climbing.

10. Desembarco del Granma National Park (Niquero)

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Named after the yacht that Fidel Castro and others used to sail from Mexico to Cuba, this national park offers some beautiful natural scenery of the island along with several historical sites featuring Pre-Columbian artifacts like carved stones, altars and goddesses.

Conclusion

There so many reasons to go on a sightseeing tour in Cuba, from the miles of golden sandy beaches to the spectacular scenery and tobacco farms producing some of the best cigars in the world. The dynamic culture and unique cuisine found here also help to make Cuba such an unmissable Caribbean destination.

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