While travellers from most parts of the world have been able to enjoy visiting the delightful Caribbean island of Cuba, few Americans have set foot there due to political differences since the 1960s. However, the restrictions have beenloosened somewhat now and more and more Americans are taking the opportunity to see what they’ve been missing all these years.
These are some of the most popular destinations to visit in Cuba.
1. Old Havana (Habana Vieja)
(photo by sunsurfr)
A trip to Cuba wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the historic section of old Havana. The area was built up in the 17th and since 1982 it’s been regarded as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Because of its historical significance, much of old Havana is actually in better shape than some of the new areas of the city.
One of the most popular sites here is Catedral de San Cristobal which was built between 1748 and 1777 by the Jesuits and Franciscans.
(photo by fhmira)
The charming city of Trinidad is filled with cobblestone streets, pastel-colored colonial buildings, and tranquil plazas and palaces. A visit here is like travelling back in time. The small city depended on slave labor back in the 1700s during the sugar boom, but it stopped growing in the mid-1800s with the collapse of the sugar market.
Trinidad has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1988. The popular Cayo Blanco beach is located close by on an island which is well known for its scuba diving.
3. Partagas Cigar Factory, Havana
(photo by bugmonkey)
Cuba is well known all over the world for the quality of its cigars. They’re rated among the best on the planet. The Partagas Cigar Factory has been rolling these gems since 1845. Just about every cigarproduced here is still rolled by hand. In addition, while the employees are busy rolling cigars somebody reads a book or the newspaper out loud to them. Tours and samples are offered and you’ll find that most of the cigar rollers these days are women.
4. La Bodeguita del Medio, Havana
(photo by asocall)
This is the historical and famous restaurant and bar that Ernest Hemingway used to hang out in. It’s well known for its mojitos. Tourists love to sample the drink here and it can sometimes get pretty busy. The photos of the bar’s famous visitors on the ancient walls are quite interesting.
5. Castillo del Morro, Santiago Bay, Cuba
(photo by vaisens)
If you travel 10 miles south of the city of Santiago you’ll come to a bay which is protected by the Castillo del Morro. The historic building has been used as a prison and fortress throughout the years, but it’s now a fascinating pirate museum.
The city was essential to Cubans during their fight for independence against the Spanish. The views from the castle are tremendous and if you visit at sunset you’ll be able to see a re-enactment of the shooting of a cannon by rebel army soldiers.
6. The Museo de la Revolucion, Havana
(photo by rudiheim)
This interesting museum tells the story of war of independence against Spain in the 19th century as well as the Castro revolution. The boat that Castro and his rebels sailed in from Mexico to Cuba is on display here. Up until 1957 the building was used as the presidential palace.
7. The Malecon, Havana
(photo by neiljs)
This wonderful spot is a sea wall which stretches for four miles along the northwest shore of the capital city of Havana. It’s a popular and often busy location for people of all ages. Local residents love to hang out here to pass the time away by fishing, dancing, smoking cigars, and watching the world go by.
8. The Capitolio, Havana
(photo by exfordy)
This 1929 building is basically a tribute to the US Capitol and the Pantheon in Paris. It was the tallest building in Cuba before the Castro revolution. These days it’s used as the Cuban Academy of Sciences.