A heady cocktail of faded colonial splendour, salsa, communism, white sand beaches and a generous helping of Havana Club, Cuba as a holiday destination is something quite unique. 

The thriving capital, Havana, is where Art Deco architecture mingles with decaying colonial buildings and the sounds of live salsa music is almost never out of earshot. For art, history and nightlife, Havana is an absolute must-see. Then there’s the collection of beaches on Cuba’s Northern Cayes, where powder-white sands are lapped by the turquoise Caribbean Sea and some of the country’s most luxurious hotels are found. 

Beyond the beach, Cuba has plenty of surprises up its sleeve. To the west of Havana, the valley of Viñales is ripe with tobacco and coffee plantations, and also caters to active and curious travellers with its plethora of hiking, horseback riding and climbing opportunities. Meanwhile the colonial towns scattered across the centre of Cuba offer a dose of history, such as Trinidad with its preserved Old Town and Santa Clara with its monuments to the ubiquitous national hero, Comandante Che Guevara.

Finally, those with an interest in Cuba’s revolutionary past should not miss Santiago de Cuba over in the east, and if it’s a combination of incredible wildlife, pretty beaches and delicious cuisine you’re after: Baracoa is the perfect solution.

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HIGHLIGHTS OF CUBA

Nightlife in Havana. From vibrant salsa at Havana Cafe, amazing live music in the Plaza Mayor, and atmospheric bars that mingle history and cigar smoke; Cuba offers a fantastic and artsy mix of nightlife.

Hemingway’s haunts. As well as sipping daiquiris in some of Ernest Hemingway’s favourite bars, you can also visit the locations behind his works, including the seaside village of Cojimar which reportedly inspired ‘The Old Man and the Sea.

Che Guevara motorbike trail. Relive a moment of ‘The Motorcycle Diaries’: following part of the route that stirred the revolutionary’s passions, and finishing at his final resting place in Santa Clara where he made one of his pivotal insurgencies.

Tobacco route. Having seen the expert ‘torcedores’ rolling the world-famous cigars, you can take a day trip that follows the tobacco route and along the way visit the stunning mountain scenery of Viñales.

Types of trip in Cuba, handpicked by Exsus

PLACES TO STAY IN CUBA HANDPICKED BY EXSUS

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