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Your guide to Cuba
All About Cuba
With more than 3,000 miles of coastline, incredible coral reefs, stunningly blue oceans, and Sierra Maestra’s rolling hills and forests, Cuba’s natural beauty is only matched by its picturesque cities. Vintage cars still travel the streets, while the many preserved buildings in Cuba’s cities, especially Havana’s World Heritage-listed Old Town, evoke an appreciation for the enduring art and design of previous eras. Cuba is a country with many influences, from its earliest days as home to the Guanahatabey, Ciboney, and Taíno peoples, to its time as a Spanish colony and sugar-producing capital of the Caribbean.
The country has a rich and multi-faceted history that is worth engaging with firsthand at one of many cultural attractions. Explore museums such as the acclaimed National Museum of Fine Arts of Havana and Museo de la Revolución, and feel the sea breeze atop the fortress of Castillo de San Pedro de la Roca.
The best time to stay in a vacation rental in Cuba
The best time to visit Cuba is during the dry season, between November and April. The temperatures are cooler, the air less humid, and heavy rain is much less of a concern. It’s the perfect time to rent a Cuban house, or other rentals in Cuba, to enjoy the balmy, sunny weather. Fresh produce is in plentiful supply during the dry season, along with fewer mosquitos and tropical pests. Cuba’s lobster season runs between June and February as well — a great time to enjoy fresh shellfish.
Stand-out events include a celebration of urban dance in April, and the disco festival in May is one of the biggest disco events all year. In August, at the tail end of monsoon season, Cuba hosts Carnival celebrations, and in October, Fiesta de la Cubania in Bayamo allows you to indulge in music, dancing, and delicious local cuisine. Havana’s jazz festival in December draws musicians worldwide.
Top things to do in Cuba
Old Havana - Habana Vieja
Old Havana’s cobbled streets and historic buildings are a window into the Cuba of the past. Architectural attractions such as the Plaza de la Catedral, upon which the Cuban Baroque Catedral de San Cristobal stands tall, are two of many structures marking this area a UNESCO World Heritage site. Plaza Vieja is home to preserved Spanish colonial-era buildings and the camera obscura, offering views across Cuba from its top.
A sparkling white sand beach, Varadero stretches across the coast of Peninsula de Hicacos, connected to the mainland by bridge. Twenty-five kilometers of pristine coastline offers excellent fishing for grouper and tuna, along with tens of snorkeling and diving sites in and around coral reefs. Alternatives to beach activities include the Parque Josone at the mainland end of the strip, home to lush flower gardens, a swimming pool, and a small lake where visitors can glide around in paddle boats.
Parque Nacional Viñales - Valle de Viñales
The Parque Nacional Viñales is another of Cuba’s World Heritage sites, a magnificent valley dotted with steep limestone hills known as mogotes, creating a dramatic landscape overlooking fields of tobacco, fruit, and vegetables. Hiking trails and horseback riding in the hills are another great way to spend a sunny afternoon.