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Home > Destinations > Cuba


Few destinations on the planet hold more fascination than Cuba. The largest and most populous island in the Caribbean, Cuba has been a socialist republic since the 1959 revolution, when Fidel Castro seized power.

This last remaining vestige of state socialism, 90 miles (145 km) south of Key West, Florida, was once the last stronghold of Spanish power in the region.

Cuba's rich heritage ranges from pre-Columbian cultures to the splendours of Spanish colonialism and the internationally-acclaimed art of today.

It is also a place of great natural beauty, with three magnificent mountain ranges and two long regions of savanna and numerous valleys known worldwide like Viñales, Yumurí and Los Ingenios. It also has some of the best beaches in the world.

A quarter of Cuba's 11 million people live in and around its capital city Havana, which many believe is most beautiful town in the Caribbean. Old Havana, with its square mile of colonial palaces, handsome plazas and charming cobbled alleys was, along with Mexico City and Lima, one of the three richest Spanish cities outside Spain. It has been designated by Unesco as a city of world heritage.

Cuba has an easy-going, multi-racial population with a great enthusiasm for music. It is the home of the modern rumba, actually of African origin, the mamba, the cha-cha-cha and the salsa. Cuban jazz is also excellent. Santiago de Cuba is often referred to as the centre of Cuban music. It's a fact though, wherever you go on the island, music will go with you.

There is no better time to visit Cuba than now. It is a vibrant island with resorts and beaches. Cuba has more than 300 natural beaches of fine white sand and turquoise waters. The most famous of these is Varadero with its variety of resort hotels.

There are other beaches to the east of the capital city in Holguinand Cayo Largo del Sur, as well as in the northern cays of Ciego de Ávila and Villa Clara.

Havana, Cuba, Capitolio

Other sun-filled destinations popular with European and Canadian tourists are Guardalavaca/Holguin, Cayo Coco, Manzanillo, Trinidad/Cienfuegos and Santa Lucia.

Cuba has a well preserved ecosystem making it a delight for nature lovers who come to trek, hike and observe the flora and fauna of this facsinating landscape.

Cuba is always an experience and much of its appeal is that it does not always provide the polished version of modern-day tourism that other destinations offer.

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Rough Guide - Cuba
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Rough Guide - Cuba

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