Cuba is an incredibly vibrant country that should be a must-visit on your list. From the incredible depth of history to the gorgeous beaches, there is something for everyone in Cuba. While all-inclusive resorts on the island are nice, there is so much more to see and experience in this culture-rich country.
When to Visit
Cuba is one of those countries that has very defined wet and dry seasons. You want to make sure that you are visiting when it is dry but also when the bulk of the tourists are at home! The most common times to visit Cuba are between December and March. This time is in the center of dry season with mild temperatures landing around the low-70s.
If you are looking for a time to visit without as many tourists, you may want to try April and May or October and November. April and May are warm without oppressive humidity and you will be fortunate to be around fewer tourists. October and November have cooler temps, which is still in the 70s.
Cuba does come with times that you should not visit. June through September is their wet season when there is the highest humidity and the highest chance of rain. Temperatures can reach the 90s in these months so it would not be pleasant for a relaxing vacation.
Havana, ooo na na. If you are heading to Cuba, then you need to be heading to Havana as well. The capital of the country, here you will find loads of historical landmarks like El Capitolio, the National Capitol Building, and the Cathedral Havana. You are also sure to be stunned by the vibrancy of the city. From the goods sold and the Almacenes San Jose Market to the vehicles and houses, it is basically a painting!
Trinidad is also a must see on your visit to Cuba. The city center is car-free, so it makes for some wonderful sightseeing. Live music, paint studios, and artisanal shops line the cobblestone streets. It is obvious why this beautiful city has been categorized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Also, be sure to check out the museums – they are quite amazing!
Baracoa was the first city to be colonized in Cuba by Spanish settlers. Not well-known as a tourist destination, mostly because it did not have a connection to the main parts of the island until 1965, Baracoa is a beautiful city full of history that is really worth checking out! The Playa Maguana beach nearby will fulfill all your island dreams as well, with white sands and aquamarine waters, flanked by jungle greens.
Do you enjoy some of the more peculiar sights? Presidio Modelo may be for you! This prison was closed in 1967, once detained Fidel Castro, and is translated into “Model Prison.” It is quite beautiful despite its haunting function.
Foods to Try
Cuban food is a eclectic, delicious combination of African, Spanish, and Native American cultures. Here are some of the dishes that you need to try when you visit Cuba.
Ropa Vieja is one of the most popular and well-known Cuban dishes. Made with shredded beef or lamb that is braised for hours in a mixture of tomato, onion, and pepper; this dish is succulent and comforting. It is often served with beans, plantains, and rice.
Pork is the most commonly used meat in Cuba, and one of the best ways to eat it is Masitas. These fried pork chunks are made sour orange juice and garlic and are then fried to produce a crispy exterior and unbelievable tender interior. Traditionally served with a side of rice, like most Cuban meals, this is one dish you are going to want to try to recreate at home.
Guarapo is a delicious, sweet local beverage that will be sure to quench a sugar craving or a thirst. This delicious drink is made by juicing fresh sugar can and serving it over ice. This juice cannot be made in advance so you will see them press it fresh on site for you.