Cuba is a unique country that has its own way of doing things. People are lovely, and everything is characterized by the Latin vibe and rhythm of life. What to do in Cuba? A few days spent here won’t be enough to see everything; still, it will make you feel attached to the place and want to return in the future. We are going to show you the reason.
This article gives you an overview of the following topics:
- Out of the boat and into the water!
- Things to do in Cuba: Feel the rhythm and get to know the Cuban music life!
- What to do in Cuba: Get closer to nature!
- Three museums that you can’t miss
- The secret of the Cuban cigar and other interesting facts
Would you like to relax after docking but prefer to stay near the water? We suggest that you try one of the amazing beaches. Varadero beach, Ancon beach or one of the spots in Havana – whatever you prefer, we give you the best ideas in this post.
If you are looking for active recreation, you should visit the María la Gorda beach. This spot, located in the western corner, far away from the crowds, is ideal for scuba divers. The area belongs to a national park, so the water is especially clean and full of different species of crab. We can find caves, old Spanish yachtwrecks and unique corals while scuba diving. The most spectacular of these corals is the famous El Valle de Coral Negro, a wall of black corals.
Do you want to know what makes Cubans so happy? Then you must get to know their music better. Santiago de Cuba is the home of the famous Cuban music genre “trova”. Famous songs like “Perla Marina” (seed pearls) and “Adios a La Habana” (Goodbye Havana) are played on the streets, squares and in the bars.
If you want to enjoy music in a truly authentic place, visit the Casa de la Trova where there is live music in the afternoons and evenings. The Casa de la Música is also nearby; they offer dance lessons here.
Another popular genre in Cuba is jazz. If you’re a real fan of the genre, try Café Jazz Miramar or La Zorra y el Cuervo in Havana, which won’t disappoint.
It’s easy to experience nature while walking around Cuba. There are many national parks, botanic gardens and city parks here. We are going to present them in detail.
National Botanic Garden (Havana)
We can explore the park, which has a territory of 600 hectares, on a small train. There are about 4, 000 different plants from all over the world that we can admire here. The place is also famous for the best vegetarian restaurant in the entire country.
Gran Parque Metropolitano
This park can also be found in Havana. It is often called the “Forest of Havana” due to its gigantic size. Besides walking, there are several outdoor programs offered here. There are a playground, a boat pond, and a mini-golf as well. One of the main sights of the park is the Almendares theatre, the only authentic puppet theatre in Cuba, which will prove to be a great experience for both kids and adults.
Alejandro Humboldt National Park
The area located on the east of Cuba was named after the famous German natural scientist and is a UNESCO World Heritage. The flora and fauna incorporate several species that can only be found here. The nearest larger town where we can dock is Baracoa, 40 miles from this park.
John Lennon Park
Surprising as it may seem, the memory of the Beatles’ famous member is preserved in Cuba as well. The park in the capital that was named after him is very popular among young people. On the twentieth anniversary of Lennon’s death, a full-body statue was inaugurated, which is definitely worth visiting if you are nearby.
All three can be found in the capital. One of them is the Fototeca de Cuba, the Cuban photo museum, which presents the history of the country through 12 different exhibitions. There is free admission to the institution, and it is open during the whole year.
The National Museum of Fine Arts exhibits masterpieces from all over the world, including ancient Roman, Greek, and Egyptian items as well as, Spanish paintings and English portrays of great significance.
Once in Cuba, we will definitely come across places related to the Cuban Revolution of 1959, the effects of which still permeates the country. The Museum that commemorates the events is a really impressive building. It was first used as a government palace, and it later became a presidential one. The extravagant interior makes an interesting contrast to the simplicities of the area. The main stairs are built from Carrara marble, and the interior arrangement was inspired by the Palace of Versailles, amongst others. The central hall, Salon Dorado (golden hall) is beautiful beyond imagination. You may be surprised, but the revolutionary relics include a yacht as well. Behind the museum is the Pabellón Granma memorial. This 18-meter-long yacht commemorates Che Guevara, Fidel Castro and the 80 revolutionists who started the rebellion.
The train of the confectioner
Leaving from the port in the old city of Havana, you can explore Cuba on a train, thanks to a wealthy confectioner. Milton S. Hershey had the trail built between his factory and the coastal town Mantazas. The line, which is more than 80 years old, can be completed in four hours. The entire trip is recommended to those who have plenty of time, want to admire the scenery and are enthusiastic about authentic old coaches.
The secret of the Cuban cigar
Are you wondering how the world-famous cigar that is liked by so many is made? You can find out during a tour offered in the H. Upmann cigarette factory. Beside the Spanish guide and English one is also available. The factory in Havana was founded a long time ago, in 1844, by two German entrepreneurs, and the brand has been one of the most famous cigar brands since then.
Night tour in Holguín
This large city, which is located in Eastern Cuba near the sea, has a buzzing nightlife. You can see that for yourself if you join one of the night tours where an English-speaking guide will be of help. You can explore the city by a private taxi. First, you can watch the sunset at Loma de la Cruz, then a traditional Cuban dinner in a nice restaurant could follow. Finally, the main event could be the Cuban Cabaret Tropicana show.
Visiting a crocodile farm
Observing a giant crocodile up close is a real adrenalin rush. You can try the experience near Matanzas, at the Guamá Crocodile Farm. You can find the largest colony of crocodiles all across Cuba here. Nearly 10, 000 crocodiles inhabit the farm; the largest ones weigh more than 400 pounds. On our visit, we get a 45-minute-long guide, during which we can see how these huge reptiles live and eat. If we are brave enough, we can even pet the animals.
There are several activities that we can do near the farm. We might sunbathe on the Playa Larga beach, try the crocodile meat or buy gifts in the Boca de Guamá open-air museum. The tourist village commemorates native Indians, whose way of life is represented by 25 statues.
It is a great experience to visit the Laguna del Tesoro (lagoon of treasure) by boat with our kids and family. We can access the place through a canal covered with lush vegetation. The small pond, the size of which is 9 km2, is barely 4 meters deep. There are a lot of trouts in it, making the spot popular amongst fishermen.
We have provided you with a great amount of interesting information about this exciting country. If you are not only interested in the sights but the activities as well, you can read on here. Read more if you plan sailing in Cuba or yacht charter in Cuba.