The island of Cuba is a fantastic tourist destination for its spectacular beaches, colonial monuments, national parks and places where its iconic products are produced: rum, sugar and tobacco.
This is our selection of the best tourist places in Cuba, hoping that very soon you will be able to visit the “Pearl of the Antilles”.
1. Old Havana
Let’s start with the main tourist attraction of the island: Old Havana.
Havana Cuba was the most cosmopolitan city in Spanish America. Its historic center keeps the testimonies of the colonial splendor of the capital of the island, which was once called the “Pearl of the Antilles”.
In the 5 km 2 of Old Havana there are still vestiges of the walls that protected the city from attacks by pirates and enemies of Spain, as well as many historic buildings such as the cathedral, the castle of the Three Kings of Morro, the fortress of San Carlos de la Cabaña and the Great Theater of Havana.
Other emblems of the historic center of Havana are the Bacardí Building, headquarters of the famous rum manufacturer before the Cuban Revolution; El Floridita, a bar opened in 1817 where Ernest Hemingway used to drink daiquiris; and La Bodeguita del Medio, the favorite watering hole of the famous writer to enjoy a mojito.
Best hotels in Old Havana
The Hotel Sevilla is a 4-star establishment in Old Havana on Calle Trocadero 55, between Zulueta and Prado. It operates in an elegant colonial-style building and has an outdoor pool, restaurant, bar and fitness center.
Its rooms have air conditioning, private bathroom, minibar, safe, and flat-screen TV with satellite channels.
Best restaurants in Old Havana
Mojito-Mojito is one of the best options in the historic center of Cuba to enjoy Caribbean and Latin cuisine and the Cuban mojito, the island’s emblematic cocktail.
It is on Calle Muralla 166, between Cuba and San Ignacio, half a block from Plaza Vieja and is recognized for its good music.
The octopus and the typical Cuban dish based on shredded meat called ropa vieja are spectacular.
Here I leave you a video that shows an interesting tour throughout the old Havana, Cuba:
2. Modern Havana
Havana has 2 well-differentiated areas, one of them is its historic center and the modern area developed during the 20th century, where the well-known neighborhoods of Miramar and El Vedado and the tallest buildings in the city are located.
Vedado began to develop in 1860 with an urban model ahead of its time and is the main socio-cultural center of the island.
Miramar emerged at the beginning of the 20th century in the beautiful coastal environment and is home to most of the embassies, garden mansions, elegant hotels, shopping malls and headquarters of foreign companies.
Some essential stops in Modern Havana are the Plaza de la Revolución with the José Martí Obelisk, the Metropolitan Park, the famous Tropicana Cabaret, the Cristóbal Colón Necropolis, the University of Havana, the National Aquarium, the National Hotel and the Marina Hemingway.
Best hotels in Modern Havana
The Meliá Habana is one of the best-known hotels in the Cuban capital. A 5-star establishment on 3rd Avenue, between 76th and 80th streets in Miramar, with a luxury service that includes comfortable rooms, car rental, outdoor pool, hot tub, 6 restaurants, bars and other amenities.
Best restaurants in Modern Havana
Havana Chef is a nice restaurant on Calle 24 in El Vedado, between streets 21 and 23. It specializes in contemporary cuisine and has delicious and generous dishes, impeccable service and live music. Their octopus salad and roast suckling pig, typical food of the island, are exquisite. They have good wines and desserts.
Take a look at these interesting shots of areas of modern Havana, Cuba:
One of the characteristics of tourism in Cuba is that it focuses on the beautiful beaches of the island, headed by those of Varadero.
This coastal town in northern Cuba has a coastline of more than 20 km of beaches, with hotels at the foot of the sandbank belonging to large global chains, several of them with all-inclusive service.
Varadero is a town of 22 thousand inhabitants with restaurants, museums, art galleries, shops and other places to explore after a day at the beach.
The Josene Park, the Varadero Golf Club, the Dolphinarium and the Ambrosio Cave are some attractions of interest.
Among the tourist places in Cuba, Varadero is the main enclave for its beaches with crystal clear waters and fine, soft sand, among which Playa Azul, Playa Paradisus, Playa Caleta, Playa Larga and Playa Coral stand out. All with conditions for swimming, sunbathing, snorkeling and diving.
Best hotels in Varadero
Iberostar Bella Costa is one of the best hotels in Varadero in the 4-star category. It is on the beachfront at km 3 ½ of the Carretera de Las Américas and has spacious and bright spaces, 4 restaurants, bars, a hot tub and a children’s playground.
The complex offers facilities for water sports, it has a tennis court and areas to play billiards and darts.
Best restaurants in Varadero
Varadero 60 is a seafood and Caribbean and Cuban cuisine restaurant, on the corner of 3rd Avenue and 60th Street. It is praised for the delight of its cuisine, outstanding dishes such as chicken supreme with nut sauce and sautéed shrimp With butter.
Here I leave you one of the incredible areas of Cuba, Varadero:
4. Santiago de Cuba
The first mayor of this Cuban city was Hernán Cortés, from where he left for the conquest of Mexico. The failed capture of the Moncada Barracks in Santiago de Cuba by Fidel Castro and other young revolutionaries in 1953, was the trigger for the Cuban Revolution.
The Basilica and National Sanctuary of the patron saint of Cuba, the Virgen de la Caridad del Cobre, is located 19 km from Santiago de Cuba.
The Castle of San Pedro de la Roca, facing the sea, is a 17th-century fortress declared a World Heritage Site in 1998.
20 km from the city is the Baconao Park, a national protected area of 84,600 hectares and a World Biosphere Reserve.
Among its attractions is the Great Stone, a huge rock of more than 60 thousand tons and 459 steps to ascend it; and the Valley of Prehistory, a space with 227 sculptures of dinosaurs and other creatures from the past.
Best hotels in Santiago de Cuba
El Deportivo is a 3-star hotel in Santiago de Cuba in Prolongación Calle E, S/N, Reparto Terraza.
In its spacious bar, interpreters of catchy Cuban music play until dawn, while tourists dance and drink tropical cocktails prepared with the island’s famous rums.
The rooms have private bathroom, air conditioning and flat screen TV.
Best restaurants in Santiago de Cuba
St. Pauli is a restaurant in the center of Santiago de Cuba praised for its grilled fish, octopus and old clothes. The quality / price ratio is very convenient and has good music and friendly service.
Appreciate this video that shows incredible aerial shots of all of Santiago de Cuba:
5. Turquino National Park
This national park stands out among the tourist places in Cuba for hosting the Pico Turquino, the highest peak of the island with 1975 meters above sea level. It extends through the Sierra Maestra in the Province of Santiago de Cuba in front of the southern coast and was established in 1980 with an area of 23,208 hectares.
The name of the peak and the park comes from the cacique Turquino, a Taino indigenous chief from the time of the Spanish conquest. In aboriginal language, “Turquino” means “Mountain of the Sky”. At the top there is a bust of José Martí placed in 1953, the year of the centenary of the hero’s birth.
The flora of the park is highly endemic, highlighting the Maestra pine, cuaba, júcaro, majagua, copal and azulejo. The huge ferns give it a distinctive touch.
Manatees live on the coastal strip and the interior lands are habitats of the jutia conga and the jutia calabarí, rodents endemic to the island.
Best Hotels Near Turquino National Park
Balcón de la Sierra is a 2-star hotel at km 1 of Carretera Providencia, in the city of Bartolomé Masó (Province of Granma), 23 km from Pico Turquino.
Its rooms have a private bathroom and air conditioning. The hotel has a restaurant, bar, garden and private parking.
Best Restaurants Near Turquino National Park
Paladar La Orchidea Restaurant is a simple and very pleasant place with food prepared with fresh ingredients and good seasoning. Serve some fried yams and a papaya dessert that are a delight. It is on the road to Santo Domingo, Pilón. If you like, you can bring your own drinks.
Here I leave you a video that shows an interesting ascent to the Turquino peak:
6. King’s Gardens
Group of keys in the eastern part of the Sabana-Camagüey Archipelago, on the north-central coast of Cuba. They cover territories of the provinces of Camagüey, Ciego de Ávila, Sancti Spíritus and Villa Clara and have some of the best beaches in Cuba, with crystal clear waters and fine sand.
The main keys are Guillermo, Coco, Romano, Cruz, Guajaba, Sabinal and Santa María.
In Cayo Guillermo, belonging to the Province of Ciego de Ávila, is El Pilar Beach, one of the most famous on the island. It is an almost virgin beach surrounded by winding dunes up to 16 meters high.
The beach fascinated Ernest Hemingway, who named it Pilar, the same name as his boat. It has fine, clear sand and calm, turquoise blue waters. It has a coral reef that turns it into a natural aquarium to enjoy the colorful and varied marine fauna, practicing snorkeling and diving.
Best hotels in Jardines del Rey
Meliá Cayo Guillermo is a 5-star hotel at the foot of a private beach sector with a wide sandy area and only 7 km from El Pilar Beach.
It has 2 outdoor swimming pools (one for children), a solarium, 4 restaurants, bars (sports bars, beach bars, cigar bars and a Latin-style pub) and paid Internet in common areas.
Its rooms have a private bathroom, air conditioning, cable TV, small refrigerator, coffee maker and hair dryer.
Best restaurants in Jardines del Rey
Ranchón Cuba Libre, on Cayo Guillermo, serves the best lobster in the Jardines del Rey archipelago.
Appreciate these incredible images of the entire garden of the king in Cuba:
7. Archipelago of the Jardines de la Reina
Christopher Columbus was so impressed with the beauty of this Cuban archipelago that he named it Jardines de la Reina, in homage to the sovereign Isabel La Católica. The labyrinth of more than 600 keys that form it extends for more than 130 km to the south of the coast of Camagüey.
The main keys are Caguamas, Las Doce Leguas, Cinco Balas, Algodon Grande, Anclitas, Pingues, Ana María, Granada, Bretón and Caballones.
The archipelago is a national park of 2,170 km 2 , being one of the largest protected areas in Cuba. It has large coral reefs with colonies of sponges, great for underwater sports.
The keys add up to kilometers of beaches with wide strips of fine, clean sand and transparent waters, ideal for resting and sunbathing.
Divers have the privilege of admiring the black coral, endangered for its use in jewelry.
Best Hotels Near Jardines de la Reina Archipelago
The supply of accommodation in the archipelago is limited. One option is the Tortuga Floating Hotel, frequented mainly by diving enthusiasts.
It is a steel house anchored in a canal that has 8 cabins with capacity for 2-3 people, with private bathroom, air conditioning and hot water. It has a restaurant and bar. In the cities of Morón and Ciego de Ávila there are several lodging options.
Best Restaurants Near Jardines de la Reina Archipelago
The Maite la Qbana Restaurant is located on Calle Luz Caballero de Morón. Its menu is seafood, Creole and international cuisine and serves good continental breakfasts. The food is delicious, well presented and reasonably priced. It works in a hostel.
Here I leave you an interesting video that shows truly incredible images of this archipelago:
City in the Bay of Matanzas, on the north Cuban coast between Havana and Varadero, called the “Athens of Cuba” for its cultural tradition that dates back to the 19th century.
Among its monuments, the Sauto Theater stands out, a beautiful neoclassical building inaugurated in 1863, considered the most functional and elegant on the island among those built in the 19th century.
The Castle of San Severino is an 18th century fortress, the only building that remains from the time of the founding of the city. It houses the National Museum of the Slave Route, opened in 2009 and dedicated to the period of African trafficking to the island and America.
Near the city is the Cueva de Saturno, a cave-cenote with stalactites and blind fish, very popular with divers.
The Bellamar Caves are another place of interest for their stalactites and stalagmites. The famous Sonora Matancera orchestra was founded in Matanzas in the 1920s.
Best hotels in Matanzas
The Hotel Río San Juan (4 stars) is located at Calle Jovellano 8503, between Río and Medio, Matanzas. It has rooms and suites equipped with air conditioning, private bathroom and flat screen TV with satellite channels. It has a bar, restaurant and paid Internet in the common areas.
Best restaurants in Matanzas
Le Fettuccine serves pizzas and Italian and European food, at Calle Milanés 29018 between Zaragoza and Santa Teresa, Matanzas.
The cuisine of this small restaurant is exceptional with an excellent quality / price ratio. Although it only has 3 tables and does not have a bathroom, it is still the favorite restaurant of many people for its incomparable flavor and the friendliness of the staff.
Appreciate these beautiful shots in this famous town in Cuba:
9. Saint Clare
The capture of Santa Clara by the commander, Ernesto “Che” Guevara, in December 1958, was the definitive military event of the Cuban Revolution.
Santa Clara is the capital of the Province of Villa Clara and houses the mausoleum of the mythical Argentine-Cuban guerrilla fighter. The tomb is a sculptural ensemble with a museum.
The Tren Blindado is a commemorative park, national monument and museum of the Revolution, which uses as lounges the wagons of a military train derailed by Guevara during the Battle of Santa Clara. There is also a monument dedicated to the bulldozer used by Che for the derailment.
The province is the producer of the island’s famous cigars. The Constantino Pérez Carrodegua Tobacco Factory, at 181 Maceo Street in Santa Clara, is a great place to admire the production of Cuban twisted tobacco. The Cathedral of Santa Clara de Asís is a temple from 1940 built in neo-Gothic style.
Best hotels in Santa Clara
The Central Villa Clara is a 4-star hotel with an international cuisine restaurant, solarium and shop.
Its rooms have 2 single beds, air conditioning, private bathroom, safe, flat screen TV with satellite channels and hair dryer. The restaurant serves continental and a la carte breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Best restaurants in Santa Clara
Saborearte is a Santa Clara restaurant with a menu of Italian, Creole and Central American cuisine, on Calle Maceo 7, between Independencia and Céspedes.
It is a good place to eat typical dishes of the island at popular prices. The grilled lobster is very good and the attention is attentive and fast.
Enjoy this video that shows various areas of Santa Clara:
This city, capital of the Cuban province of the same name, was founded in 1514 as Santa María del Puerto del Príncipe and its historic center was declared a World Heritage Site in 2008.
The name of Camagüey was adopted in 1898 with the independence from Spain and is a tribute to the cacique Camagüebax.
The historic center of Camagüey is a cozy space of cobbled and narrow streets, with squares and churches of high architectural value.
Among the buildings, the metropolitan cathedral stands out, where the Virgen de la Candelaria, patron saint of Camagüey, is venerated; the temples of Soledad, Santa Ana, Santo Cristo del Buen Viaje and several chapels.
Some places of interest in Camagüey are named after the patriot Ignacio Agramonte, a native of the city.
The Casa Natal Museum, the Provincial Museum, the Ignacio Agramonte Park, the San Juan de Dios Museum, the Plaza del Gallo and the Martha Jiménez Pérez Workshop Gallery are other attractions of interest.
Best hotels in Camaguey
The Gran Hotel by Meliá Hotels International Cuba , on Calle Maceo 64 in Camagüey, is a 3-star accommodation with an outdoor pool, restaurant, bar and terrace.
The Salón Caribe restaurant offers international cuisine with breakfast, lunch and dinner. The rooms and suites have air conditioning, private bathroom, hairdryer and safe.
Best Restaurants in Camaguey
At Casa Italia you can enjoy the best pizzas and Italian food in Camagüey. It is on Calle San Ramón 11, between Astillero and General Gómez.
It works in a beautiful and cozy house with wide spaces. Despite the difficulties of getting some supplies in Cuba, they manage to prepare a wide variety of Italian dishes with excellent quality and service.
Enjoy this video that shows several shots through the streets of Camagüey:
Guantánamo is probably best known for the naval base and high-security prison, a US property where inmates accused of terrorism are held, but it is also a city in the far east of Cuba, capital of the province of the same name.
The main tourist attractions in Guantánamo are the beaches and excursions to the Alejandro de Humboldt National Park and the French Coffee Plantations, both spaces declared World Heritage Sites.
Another of the attractions of the province is Baracoa, called Ciudad Primada for having been the first founded in Cuba, in 1511. It was the first capital and seat of the first bishopric of the island and is a National Monument. It has a wide beach and the trip is quite an adventure along the road that winds through the mountains and crosses more than 10 cantilever bridges.
Guantanamera is a song in honor of the woman from Guantanamo and the one that best represents the Cuban people.
Best hotels in Guantanamo
E Martí is a 3-star accommodation in the city of Guantánamo on the corner of Calle Calixto García and Aguilera. It has a restaurant, bar and serves a continental breakfast each morning. It has single and double rooms with air conditioning and private bathroom.
Best Restaurants in Guantanamo
The 1870 Restaurant is Cuban and Caribbean food. It has good cuisine and service, a varied menu and good prices. Prepare an excellent rabbit fricassee and the popular Cuban dish, ropa vieja. It is located in Plaza Martí de Guantánamo.
Appreciate these interesting images of one of the areas of Guantánamo, the Alejandro de Humboldt National Park:
12. Guardalavaca Beach
This beach in the province of Holguín, in the southeast of the island, is one of the tourist places in Cuba that is worth visiting for its crystal clear, clean and warm waters and its fine white sand.
It was a refuge for pirates and corsairs in the 16th and 17th centuries. When diving or snorkeling you will be able to see its underwater spaces.
Guardalavaca was one of the first places that Christopher Columbus visited when he arrived in Cuba in 1492, where he made his famous expression that this was the most beautiful land seen by human eyes.
It is a 1.7 km long horseshoe-shaped beach with a 50-meter strip of sand.
At its northern end there is a coral reef that softens the waters and promotes a colorful marine fauna and flora. On the south side there are hills and forests whose green contrasts with the turquoise blue of the sea.
Best Hotels Near Guardalavaca Beach
Iberostar Selection Holguín is a 5-star hotel on the beachfront. Its rooms and suites have a balcony, private bathroom, flat screen TV, air conditioning, minibar, hair dryer and coffee maker.
It has a restaurant, bar, hot tub and spaces to play tennis, billiards and ping pong. It facilitates the rental of bicycles and cars.
Restaurants Near Guardalavaca Beach
La Maison Restaurant is a place of Caribbean and international cuisine in El Ancla, Guardalavaca, with an extensive menu of fish, shellfish, pasta and other dishes.
The tropical cocktails are quite good and the views from the terrace are fantastic.
Take a look at these amazing shots at Guardalavaca beach:
13. Isle of Youth
Its 2,200 km 2 make Juventud the fifth largest Cuban island in the Greater Antilles, after Cuba (main island), Hispaniola, Jamaica, and Puerto Rico. It forms the Canarreos Archipelago together with some 600 islets and keys, 60 km from the largest island of Cuba on the southwestern coast of the Republic.
Bibijagua Beach, 8 km from Nueva Gerona, the island’s capital, is known for its unique fine black sand, a consequence of sea erosion on the black marble rocks near the coast.
In Nueva Gerona is the prison where Fidel Castro and 25 of his companions were held after the failed assault on the Moncada Barracks. It is currently a research center.
Other attractions of Isla de la Juventud, also called Isla de Pinos until 1978, are its diving spots, Cayo Largo del Sur Island with magnificent beaches and several hotels, and the Ciénaga de Lanier National Park, an important wetland for its fauna, among the which highlights the Cuban crocodile, turtles, cranes and parrots.
Best hotels in Isla de la Juventud
Bella Isla Resort is a 4-star complex in Cayo Largo del Sur with an outdoor pool, hot tub, solarium, fitness center, restaurant, bar, tennis court, children’s playground, and nightly entertainment.
It has single, double, triple rooms, suites and bungalows. All with air conditioning, private bathroom, flat screen TV, minibar and safe.
Best restaurants in Isla de la Juventud
On Calle 24 in Nueva Gerona, between Calles 45 and 47 N, is El Galeón Restaurant, a place with a pleasant rustic atmosphere and maritime décor. It serves excellent fresh fish prepared over charcoal and tasty cocktails, especially the piña colada.
14. Vinales Valley
It is a beautiful Cuban national park in the Province of Pinar del Río, in the western part of the island. It was declared a World Heritage Site in 1999 for its natural and cultural wealth, including caves, prehistoric murals and a flora that includes 17 endemic species.
Among the caves, the Caverna de Santo Tomás stands out, the most important cave system in Cuba. They are karstic caves with curious stalactites that can be explored in the company of a guide. They preserve artistic testimonies of the maroon slaves, who used them as a hiding place after escaping from the sugar cane plantations.
In the Valley of Dos Hermanas is the Mural of Prehistory painted on a large stone wall. It was made by Leovigildo González Morill and is a representation of the Guanahatabeyes Indians and local fauna species.
Remains of dinosaurs and extinct marine reptiles have been found in the Viñales Valley.
Best hotels near Viñales Valley
The Hotel Horizontes La Ermita is a picturesque 3-star establishment at km 1 ½ of the road to La Ermita, Viñales. It has beautiful gardens, terrace, outdoor pool, restaurant, bar and night entertainment.
The rooms have a private bathroom, air conditioning, minibar, hairdryer, safe and flat-screen TV with cable channels.
Best restaurants near Viñales Valley
El Cuajani Restaurant specializes in Cuban, international and fusion cuisine.
Its cuisine is based on natural products harvested in the Viñales Valley and the flavors provide an authentic culinary experience. Their pumpkin risotto and brochettes are highly praised.
It is located in Dos Hermanas, at km 2.2 of Carretera El Moncada, in a welcoming natural environment.
Watch this interesting video that shows wonderful shots of the Viñales Garden:
15. Guanahacabibes National Park
National park of 398 km 2 in the Guanahacabibes Peninsula, in the western end of Cuba, in the Province of Pinar del Río, declared a World Heritage Site in 1987.
It houses Cabo de San Antonio, the westernmost point of the island where the 22.5-meter-high Roncali Lighthouse is located, built in the 19th century and still in operation.
This territory was one of the last refuges for the Cuban indigenous people who were escaping from the conquerors. It is currently a space of wild beauty in development as an ecotourism destination.
It is an almost uninhabited area with an ecological station and a tourism center in María la Gorda, as the main infrastructures.
In its virgin forests lives the zunzuncito hummingbird or fly bird, the smallest known bird in the world with a weight of less than 2 grams and a nest of 3 cm in diameter, which is also the smallest among those built by avian species. .
Other animals are parrots, crabs and iguana, and among the flora, the oak, mahogany and majagua.
Best Hotels Near Guanahacabibes National Park
E Vueltabajo is a 3-star hotel in Pinar del Río on Calle Martí 103, with a restaurant and bar. A continental breakfast is served each morning.
Its rooms have a balcony and a view of the city with 2 single beds or one double. They are equipped with air conditioning, private bathroom, safe, hair dryer and flat screen TV.
Best Restaurants Near Guanahacabibes National Park
La Berenjena has a menu of vegetarian and gluten-free food, in Viñales, Pinar del Río.
Their dishes are original and tasty, something that vegans appreciate because this type of food is not easy to find in Cuba. It is a quiet place with varied dishes and good service, on Calle Mariana Grajales 1.
Here is a video explaining the characteristics of this interesting national park:
16. Rum Museum
Cuba’s national drink is rum and Havana Club, the iconic brand. The Havana Club Rum Museum is in the colonial plaza of San Francisco de Asís, facing the port of Havana. It is not necessary to be a drinker to enjoy this wonderful venue, dedicated to one of the most fascinating cultural facets of the island.
In the museum you will learn about the process behind a bottle of the famous distillate, including the manufacture of white oak barrels, fermentation and aging.
The tour is available in Spanish and 4 other languages. The entrance price (7 convertible Cuban pesos, equivalent to 7 dollars) includes a final tasting.
Havana Club rum is manufactured in the municipality of Santa Cruz del Norte, Mayabeque Province. The brand was created in 1878 by the Basque, José Arechabala, and nationalized at the beginning of the Cuban Revolution.
It is currently produced by the French beverage consortium Pernod Ricard, through a joint venture with the Cuban government.
Best Hotels Near the Rum Museum
The Hotel Nacional de Cuba is in Old Havana, near the Rum Museum. It is a beautiful and historic 5-star establishment that has hosted personalities and celebrities, such as Winston Churchill, Alexander Fleming, Frank Sinatra, María Félix, Jorge Negrete, Marlon Brando, Robert de Niro, Oliver Stone, Steven Spielberg and Francis Ford Coppola.
Best Restaurants Near the Rum Museum
La Marina Restaurant is 200 meters from the museum and specializes in Caribbean, Cuban and Latin cuisine. A bright and open place with wooden tables and a romantic garden. The menu includes seafood rice, old clothes and a tasty fried picaditos casserole.
Watch this video that shows a tour of the entire Rum Museum:
17. Tobacco Route
Cigars or cigars are another icon of Cuba and the Tobacco Route is its tourist expression.
Cuban tobacco is considered the best in the world for the quality of the soil and the climate, which provide the tobacco leaf with its particular aroma. Also for the handcrafting of each cigar by skilled craftsmen.
The Cuban Tobacco Route was made official in 2015 in the Province of Pinar del Río, particularly in the municipalities of Consolación del Sur, San Luis and San Juan y Martínez.
This area has the best land in Cuba to produce quality leaves and has famous brands such as Cohíba, Romeo y Julieta and Vegas Robaina.
The route has cultural, tourist and recreational purposes and includes a visit to the Viñales Valley, the Robaina farm, the Quemado de Rubí farm and the Francisco Donatién Tobacco Factory, on a 100 km route to get to know the art of the cigar from the inside. .
Best hotels on the Tobacco Route
Villa Paraíso is a tourist accommodation in San Luis, in the heart of the Ruta del Tabaco, ideal for settling in and getting to know the beautiful tobacco plantations in the vicinity and the process of making cigars.
It has an apartment with 2 double beds, air conditioning, private bathroom, terrace, kitchen, dining room and barbecue. It is on Calle Celia Sánchez 10, between Maceo and El Hato.
Best restaurants on the Tobacco Route
At km 1 ½ of the road to the Viñales cemetery is the El Paraíso Agroecological Farm, with a lookout restaurant with views of the natural landscape.
It serves Creole food for a fixed price of 12 convertible Cuban pesos (12 USD). It is a simple place that prepares food with the products harvested on its own farm.
Here is a video that shows the interesting tobacco process in one of the most famous areas of Cuba:
The so-called Pearl of the South is the capital of the province of the same name and one of the good tourist places in Cuba to visit for its beaches, natural spaces and historic center, declared a World Heritage Site.
It was founded in 1819 as Villa Fernandina de Jagua, but 10 years later it adopted its current name in honor of José Cienfuegos Jovellanos, Captain General of Cuba.
In the historic center, the cathedral, the José Martí Park, the Fortress of Our Lady of the Angels of Jagua, the Botanical Garden, the Reina Cemetery, the Arch of Triumph, the University of Cienfuegos and the Tomás Terry Theater stand out.
The Botanical Garden occupies 97 hectares and is the oldest and most important in Cuba. It has magnificent collections of orchids, bamboos, ficus, palms, cacti and fruit trees.
The fortress is located at the mouth of the Jagua Bay, built in the 18th century to repel pirate attacks.
Best hotels in Cienfuegos
The 4-star Hotel Jagua by Meliá Hotels International is on Calle 37 in Cienfuegos. It has rooms and suites with air conditioning, satellite TV, private bathroom and other amenities. Internet service is available in common areas for a fee. It has an outdoor pool, restaurant and bar.
Best restaurants in Cienfuegos
Camila’s Restaurant faces the bay and its marine-inspired decor complements its friendly seaside atmosphere. They prepare fresh fish and seafood and tasty mojitos and piña coladas.
The lobster, the fish of the day and the Camila dish are among the most popular dishes. It is located at Camila’s Hostal and Restaurant.
Here is a video that shows the areas around Cienfuegos:
19. Desembarco del Granma National Park
It is located on the coast of the Province of Granma, in the southeast of Cuba. It owes its name to the Granma ship that arrived on this coast in 1956 with Fidel Castro, Che Guevara and 77 other revolutionaries, to start the Cuban Revolution. It was the first Cuban park declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
It has 25,764 hectares with underwater terraces up to 180 meters deep, virgin beaches, coral reefs, caves, lagoons, forests, rivers, waterfalls, archaeological trails and other attractions.
Cabo Cruz is a great place for underwater exploration and Cueva del Fustete has aboriginal pictographs on its walls.
The Hoyo de Morlote is an impressive sinkhole discovered in 1938 that houses fossil remains.
The park has a high level of endemism in fauna and flora, including the nocturnal Cuban lizard, terrestrial molluscs and the common tropicbird, a seabird that only nests in Punta del Inglés, a protected area.
Best Hotels Near Desembarco del Granma National Park
The Hotel Club Amigo Marea del Portillo is a 3-star accommodation at km 12.5 of the road to the town of Pilón, Province of Granma.
It has a restaurant, outdoor pool, water sports facilities, car rental service and hairdresser.
The rooms have private bathroom, air conditioning, cable TV and hair dryer.
Best Restaurants Near Desembarco del Granma National Park
El Mesón La Cuchipapa is a restaurant in Bayamo, capital of the Province of Granma, specializing in Cuban and Caribbean food. A pleasantly decorated place with delicacies such as ajiaco and caramelized rabbit. It has excellent cocktails in a traditional Cuban atmosphere and friendly service.
Watch this short video that shows the ship that was used for the Granma landing, in its respective museum:
20. Cayo Saetia
Insular natural park of 42 km 2 of surface with beaches of turquoise blue waters and white sands, in the Province of Holguín, in the southeastern region of Cuba. It is between the Nipe cove and the Atlantic, 20 km from the city of Mayarí and 78 km east of Holguín, the provincial capital.
The island has forests and grasslands where exotic animals such as zebras, buffalo, ostriches, antelope and camels have been introduced, roaming the territory alongside horses and cattle. You can admire this open-air zoo on safari.
Around the key, the waters hide beautiful reefs and coral banks, where curious species of tropical marine fauna swim, making this destination a perfect place for underwater sports.
Best Hotels Near Cayo Saetia
24 km Cayo Saetía is a tourist accommodation in Mayarí with a restaurant, bar, garden and terrace. Its rooms have a patio, air conditioning, private bathroom, flat screen TV, hairdryer, minibar, outdoor furniture, clothes iron and indoor and outdoor dining areas.
The restaurant prepares seafood, barbecues and local and Caribbean food.
Restaurants Near Cayo Saetia, Cayo Saetia
1910 Restaurant & Bar is in the city of Holguín, on Calle Mártires 143, between Cables and Aricochea, with a Caribbean, Latin and Spanish menu.
The food is varied with a delicious grilled octopus that is the star of the menu. It also has a tasty dish called Sinfonia del Mar.
Here I leave you a video that shows the beautiful coasts of Cayo Saetia:
21. Alejandro de Humboldt National Park
A 700 km 2 park declared a World Heritage Site in 2001. It is shared by the provinces of Holguín and Guantánamo, in the southeast of Cuba.
Humboldt visited the island twice at the beginning of the 19th century and is considered its “second discoverer” after Columbus.
It is of varied and unique ecosystems on the island, hosting a great biological diversity. It represents more than half of the extension of the Cuchillas del Toa Biosphere Reserve, the largest and most important in Cuba. It has beautiful mountainous landscapes, rivers, waterfalls, pools and is one of the places with the greatest endemism in the world.
Its species include the royal woodpecker, an almost extinct bird; catey parrot, caguarero parrot and hawk, the dracena lizard and polymita snails, as well as mammals such as almiquí, jutía andaraz and manatee.
Best Hotels Near Alejandro de Humboldt National Park
BR&Casa Yamicel is a rural accommodation on Calle Martí 145A, between Pelayo Cuervo and Ciro Frías, in the city of Baracoa, Guantánamo Province. It has a restaurant and its rooms are equipped with a large double bed, air conditioning, TV, refrigerator, coffee maker and kitchen utensils.
Best Restaurants Near Alejandro de Humboldt National Park
Baracoando is a Cuban, Caribbean and Latin food restaurant, in Maceo 96, Baracoa. It is qualified as the best gastronomic proposal in the First City of Cuba and is located in a place ingeniously built with stones and recovered wood, after the passage of Hurricane Michael.
Appreciate these wonderful shots of one of the areas of the Alejandro de Humboldt National Park:
22. Valley of the Sugar Mills
For a long time, Cuba’s only export product was sugar produced from cane.
Since the 18th century, the current province of Sancti Spiritus, in the center of Cuba, was the main seat of sugar cane cultivation.
The Valley of the Sugar Mills is a living museum of the old sugar industry of the 18th and 19th centuries in Sancti Spiritus. It extends for 260 square kilometers between the valleys of Meyer, Santa Rosa and San Luis, which are home to more than 75 old mills where more than 80 thousand African slaves came to work.
The Holiplus operator organizes tours of the Valley of the Sugar Mills from USD 23, which include visits to the San Isidro de los Destiladeros, Guáimaro and Manaca Iznaga estates and the old Santa Elena de Sabanilla sugar mill.
They also include the main places of interest in Sancti Spiritus such as the Yayabo River Bridge, the only one from the colonial era that is preserved in Cuba.
Best hotels in the Valley of the Sugar Mills
Rancho Hatuey is a 3-star hotel in Sancti Spiritus at km 383 of the Central Highway. It has a restaurant, bar and general room.
Its rooms have 2 single beds, patio, private bathroom, balcony, flat screen TV with satellite channels, air conditioning, outdoor furniture and safe.
Best restaurants in the Valley of the Sugar Mills
The Barrancón de Manaca is located on Calle G in Manaca Iznaga, Trinidad, where one of the haciendas preserved as relics of the golden age of Cuban sugar is located.
It is located near the Manaca-Iznaga Tower, a regional architectural emblem, and specializes in Cuban and Caribbean cuisine, including the famous Cuban-style roast suckling pig, a Spanish gastronomic heritage similar to Segovian suckling pig.
Here is a video documenting several shots of the surroundings of the Valle de los Ingenios:
23. Coffee Route
Cuba also produces an excellent coffee bean since it was introduced in the 18th century, making the island the world’s leading exporter in the early 19th century.
The Cuban espresso is a tradition in Havana, Miami and anywhere there are cubiches.
The island recently inaugurated a tourist product called the Coffee Route, with its epicenter in Santiago de Cuba, the city with the greatest coffee tradition in the country.
The great Cuban coffee plantations were developed in the foothills of the Sierra Maestra, in eastern Cuba, and now this heritage feeds the circuit “The coffee route, the history of flavor”, promoted by the Cuban Ministry of Tourism.
The route includes the visit of places related to the old plantations, the new coffee developments, the Gran Piedra and the Tívoli neighborhood in Santiago de Cuba, where the slaves who started the plantations lived.
Best hotels on the Coffee Route
Gran Piedra is a rustic 2-star hotel at km 14 of the Carretera a la Gran Piedra, the colossal monolith that is a geographical icon of Santiago de Cuba.
It has a bar, restaurant, garden and lounge and the rooms have a balcony, mountain views, private bathroom, flat screen TV, minibar, electric kettle, kitchen and dining areas.
Best restaurants on the Coffee Route
El Palenquito prepares tasty barbecues and Caribbean and Latin food on Avenida del Río 28, in Santiago de Cuba. It has a country atmosphere with palapa-type roofs. The grilled lamb is very good, as well as the desserts.
Appreciate this video that shows the fantastic tourist place of the Coffee Route:
24. Havana Malecon
The boardwalk is a symbol and meeting place of the Cuban capital. It stretches for 8 km off the Havana coast and was started in 1901, when Cuba had become independent from Spain but was governed by the United States.
The construction was done in 4 stages and concluded in 1952 with the completion of the section that reaches the mouth of the Almendares River.
Along the boardwalk avenue there are monumental sculptures dedicated to the patriots Máximo Gómez, Antonio Maceo and Calixto García, as well as the Castillo de San Salvador de la Punta, the Castillo de la Real Fuerza de La Habana, the Hotel Nacional de Cuba, the towers of San Lázaro and La Chorrera and the entrance to the Havana Tunnel.
Its long cement wall facing the sea is the favorite place for Havanans to meet to talk and sing to the rhythm of guitars, while they drink shots of rum and wait for midnight or early morning under the starry sky.
Best hotels near the Malecón Habanero
Malecón 663 Boutique Hotel is a 3-star establishment 2.8 km from the Old Square. It has a restaurant, bar and hot tub and its Wi-Fi is included in the rate, something unusual in Cuban hotels.
Its rooms equipped with an extra-large double bed, terrace, air conditioning, private bathroom, hairdryer, minibar and fridge, have a sea view.
Best restaurants near the Malecón Habanero
The Tin Hao Restaurant, on Calle San Lázaro 958, 200 meters from the boardwalk, is considered the best place for Asian food in Havana. Their prices are affordable and the service is fast.
Here I leave you a video that shows fabulous images of the entire Malecón Habanero:
25. Necropolis of Christopher Columbus
Although there is controversy about where the remains of Christopher Columbus rest, whether in Seville or Santo Domingo, there is no doubt that the Cuban necropolis that bears his name is one of the great world jewels of funerary art. It is the only cemetery in America dedicated to the admiral.
It dates from 1854 and due to its architectural and sculptural works it is considered the second in the world in artistic importance, after the Monumental Cemetery of Staglieno, in Genoa, coincidentally the birthplace of Columbus.
One of its characteristics is that many mausoleums were built in the image of the mansions that their occupants lived in during life.
Among the figures buried in the Christopher Columbus Necropolis are the world chess champion, José Raúl Capablanca, the novelist Alejo Carpentier, the musicians, Rubén González, Pío Leyva and Ibrahim Ferrer, and the multi-champion amateur boxer, Teófilo Stevenson.
Best Hotels Near the Necropolis of Christopher Columbus
The Candil Boutique Hotel is a tourist accommodation on Calle 2, 457, between 19 and 21, Barrio El Vedado, 1 km from the necropolis.
It has a restaurant, bar, hot tub, garden, terrace, shared lounge and bicycle rental.
Its rooms have air conditioning, minibar, safe, private bathroom, flat screen TV, iron and hairdryer.
Best Restaurants Near the Necropolis of Christopher Columbus
Karma is a Cuban, Caribbean and international food restaurant, in El Vedado, on Calle 24, N° 360, between streets 21 and 23.
It has outdoor and indoor air-conditioned service. It has good cuisine and attentive service. Some of their tasty dishes are shrimp in pineapple, ropa vieja, and lasagna.
Enjoy these images of the historic tomb of Christopher Columbus in Cuba:
Map Cuba tourist destinations
Tourist places in Cuba : photos and information
Cuba tourist places photos
Information about tourism in Cuba: if you want more tourist information about Cuba, consult visitcuba.org
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