From its arcs of white sand and turquoise-blue waters to colourful colonial buildings, rugged inland mountains, and offshore coral reefs, it’s easy to see why holidays in Cuba are so popular. A Cuba holiday not only promises live music, salsa dancing, rum tasting and cocktail drinking, but a chance to explore all the rich history and culture the Caribbean island has on offer too. Whether you choose Varadero’s tourist hub, Guardalavaca’s natural beauty or the captivating city of Havana, Cuba holidays cater for all tastes.
From lazy mornings on picture-perfect beaches to afternoons browsing Havana’s charming streets, there’s no place quite like Cuba. In the evenings, you’ll feast on traditional chicken, rice and beans before dancing the night away at one of the island’s lively salsa clubs, or sipping on rum cocktails at friendly local bars.
Cuba’s main attraction is the beach. As you step onto the palm-lined white sands, you’ll be transported to a true Caribbean paradise. Sit back by the water and relax with a good book as you soak up some sun. Paddle in the sparkling blue sea, snorkel with exotic marine life in a colourful underwater world, or take a boat ride out to the coral reef to really make the most of the warm water with an unforgettable scuba diving trip.
The island’s appeal goes way beyond its gorgeous coastlines though. In the charming towns and cities, you’ll be transported to times gone by as pristine 1950s convertibles drive past. Queue with the locals for sweet treats at the iconic Coppelia ice cream parlours. Chaotic flea markets and enchanting museums all add to the magic of this unique tropical island as you walk along cobbled streets discovering cultural sights, traditional fiestas and local hidden gems.
For the ultimate in relaxation, Cuba is dotted with great spas where you can enjoy massages and beauty treatments, leaving the stresses of everyday life far behind you. With a little help from the strong Cuban coffee, you’ll feel more and more rejuvenated with every passing day. So find a spot on the beach, grab yourself a cocktail and embrace the unique vibes of this beautiful Caribbean island.
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Bask in Cuba’s warm weather and enjoy the island’s year-round sunshine
There may be ten airports on the island, but you’ll only need to know about the main ones: José Martí International Airport, Juan Gualberto Gómez Airport, Frank Pais International Airport and Cayo Coco (Jardines del Rey) International Airport.
Beach lovers: Its crystal-clear turquoise water and white-sand beaches are a slice of paradise.
Explorers: With coral reefs, mountain peaks and hiking trails, leave no stone unturned.
Culture vultures: Experience authentic Cuba with events, carnivals and architecture.
Language: The people in Cuba speak Spanish
Population: 11 million people
Currency: The currency is the Peso. There are two versions, the Cuban Peso (CUP) and the Cuban Convertible Peso (CUC). You’ll only need to worry about the Cuban Convertible Peso, which you can change from sterling once you arrive on holiday.
Local time: Cuba is 5 hours behind GMT/UK time.
Fly to: José Martí International Airport. It's less than 1 hour to the centre of Havana from here.
Flight time from the UK: The flight time to Cuba is 10 hours.
Tourist information: You’ll find everything you need to know about your holiday at www.travel2cuba.co.uk
Visas / health: Before you book your holiday, visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/cuba for health advice and all the information you need on visas
Holiday destinations related to Cuba:
By taxi: Jump in a taxi and every journey is metered. It costs CUC$1 to start and then CUC$1 per kilometre in cities. You might find some taxi drivers offer you a flat, off-meter rate that’s close to what you’d pay if the meter was on. This is because off-meter, the fare goes straight into the driver’s pocket rather than being divided up by the state.
Colectivo taxis: Running on fixed, long-distance routes, these colectivo taxis leave when the car’s full and normally work out cheaper than the bus. Think of it as carpooling, and a great way to meet new people on your holidays in Cuba!
Cuba’s social calendar is packed all year long.
Carnival time: No holiday here would be complete without embracing carnival spirit. Visit when the Santiago de Cuba carnival’s on in July, or the Havana Carnival in August and expect an explosion of bold colour, spectacular costumes, street parades and music everywhere.
Religious pilgrimage: Experience a taste of the island’s culture and traditions with an event like Romerias de Mayo. Held every May in Holguin, this annual Christian festival is known locally as ‘the May pilgrimages’ and has dancing, music and traditional religious services.
For up to date advice on travelling to Cuba, please visit https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/cuba/safety-and-security
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