Top Destinations in Cuba

top destinations in cuba

Cuba has experienced some dramatic changes over the last couple of years in regards to its relationship with the rest of the world, particularly the United States. While the embargo which has been in place since 1960 has not yet been lifted, certain restrictions have been relaxed, and visiting Cuba is starting to become more and more realistic for many Americans hoping to experience the rich history and culture of this fascinating country. It’s still not as simple as buying a flight online, but traveling to Cuba as an American citizen is very much a possibility if your trip falls into one of the designated categories (more details here).  Changes are certainly on the way for Cuba, but decades of isolationist policy have created a country that appears to be suspended in time. From the old cars to the architecture to the shops, everything feels as though it has stepped directly out of the 1950’s, and this is exactly what gives Cuba its charm. If you have the opportunity to visit, these are a few places you should not miss.


Old Havana

top destinations in cuba

Photo by Catherine Strong

This may seem obvious, but we would be remiss not to mention it at the top of our list. The history in this part of the city is palpable. Antique cars serving as taxis drive the streets lined with impressive Spanish architecture. This is the hub of the original colonial city founded by the Spanish in 1519. Top destinations in Old Havana include: La Cabaña Fortress, The Malecon, The National Capitol, Museo de la Revolución, Plaza de Armas, La Catedral de San Cristóbal, and El Floridita (one of Ernest Hemingway’s favorite hangouts).

top destinations in cuba

Photo by Catherine Strong

Varadero Beach

Cuba holiday

Photo Source: Thomson

It should come as no surprise that the hospitality and tourism industries in Cuba are not as developed as those on other Caribbean islands; however, Varadero Beach is as pristine as any you might find on the most popular resort destinations on neighboring islands.

Viñales Valley

Cuba holiday

The beautiful Viñales Valley is the second most popular tourist destination after Havana, and for good reason. The valley is the best destination for hiking, cycling, climbing, and there are numerous caves hidden in the rocky outcrops. This is also an en excellent place to visit one of the many tobacco farms that calls Viñales home due to the fertile red soil that carpets the valley floor.

Cueva del Indio

top destinations in cuba

One of the many caves in the Viñales area, this cave offers boat tours through the flooded tunnel network. It was once an indigenous dwelling.

Visit a Tobacco Farm and/or Cigar Factory

Cuban cigars have long been the forbidden fruit for Americans. It’s probably still not a good idea to try to smuggle them back in your suitcase, but you can see how the tobacco is grown, how the cigars are handmade, and then buy a few to enjoy for yourself while you’re in Cuba. The best farm to visit is Benito’s in the Viñales area. He’s probably the coolest guy in Cuba.

Colón Cemetery

top destinations in cuba

A cemetery might not sound like a tourist hot spot, but the memorials in Colón Cemetery are as elaborate as they come. The cemetery, located in the Vedado neighborhood of Havana, is an architectural display that rivals anything you will see throughout the rest of the city.


And there you have it…If you make it a point to visit at least a few of these places, your trip to Cuba will be a success.

top destinations in cuba

Photo by Catherine Strong

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