When you think of Cuba, what comes to mind? Cigars the size of batons? Low slung Cadillacs in Havana? Perhaps Hemingway's Haunts? While all of these might be true, there's definitely more to Cuba than meets the eye!
With Cuba holidays there are three key resorts: Havana, Varadero and Guardalavaca.
Starting with Varadero, famed for its beaches stretching across the Hicaros peninsula, 1.2 km wide and 20km long, meaning that where ever you chose to stay, you've got what people have called one of the best beaches in the world, as your back yard. Pretty impressive so far! Varadero also has water sports covered, with windsurfing, water skiing, the Caribbean's biggest coral reef, underwater caves and plenty of dive sites.
If you want a 'real' Cuban experience you should look no further that Guardalavaca - try saying that 5 times in a row fast! Once a sleepy farming hub, Guardalavaca is now host to luxury hotels that are anything but rustic!
Guardalavaca is still strong to it's roots however. It is home to sugar cane plantations and nature reserves, Mensura being one of the most famous national parks.
Gardalavaca is also host to 3km of golden sandy beaches, coves and empty stretches. A perfect location to relax and soak up the sun and scenery.
Feel free to visit the official visit Cuba website for more information on Cuba holidays.
Weather in Cuba
Varadero and Guardalavaca are hot all year round, you can expect temperatures of 30°C. Cuba has a dry season and a rain season. The dry season runs from November to April, which is the most popular time to visit. During May and onwards you can expect regular, short burst showers.
Average monthly temperatures
Here are some key facts about Cuba:
- Approximate flight time from the UK - 10 hours
- Key resorts - Havana, Guardalavaca and Varadero
- Destination Airports - Varadero for Varadero, Holguin for Guardalavaca
- Capital - Havana
- Currencies - Cuban peso, Cuban convertable peso
- Official Language - Spanish
Cuba holidays offer plenty in terms of excursions and things to see and do.
The diving scene in Cuba is at the top of it's game. Cuba is home to more than 50 types of coral, thousands of tropical fish and vast array of sponges! The aquatic type that is, not your average bath sponge!
Varadero has more than 30 dive sites, with sunken ships, gulf walls and flooded caves for you to explore. One location you should check out is the Cueva de Satumo, a cavern packed full to the brim with stalactites and stalagmites.
Varadero is home to Cuba's first 18-hole golf club and draws in many people from all over the world. The course is 3.5km and stretches along Varadero beach and sports sea views on both sided. The 72 par course has 70 bunkers, doglegs and saltwater lakes to keep you on your toes.
You can finish the day off in the rather swanky clubhouse which is located in the Xanadu mansion.
If there is a beach, you can expect a great range of water sport activities. Jet ski's, pedalos and catamarans bob invitingly by the shore. Also on the list is scuba diving and snorkeling, where you can expect to see everything from giant barracudas to reef sharks gliding through the clear waters!
First of all, if you are looking for a similar nightlife experience to that of Ibiza or Magaluf, then Cuba probably isn't for you. Instead you can expect a good selection of local bars and clubs (including salsa and jazz) that play live music. Think of your own local town / city but with a Cuban twist. The clubs do play a variety of music so you're more than likely to get your fix and the majority of bars and clubs are open until the early hours.
Havana and Trinidad are particularly good for nightlife, with plenty of spots for salsa / dancing and jazz clubs.
Something to bear in mind is that if you choose to stay in a resort area such as Varadero or the Cayos you are pretty much restricted to what the hotel has on offer for that night as its a fairly long taxi or bus ride into Havana otherwise.
In Cuba there are 4 places where you can experience some really great beaches, Havana, sadly is not one of those places. So if you are looking at Havana AND you'd like a beach holiday as well, you should probably look at one of the big tourist developments in Varadero and Cayo Santa Maria instead.
- Cayo Santa Maria - Probably one of the best places in Cuba for beaches. 13km of fine white sands and crystal clear waters. Home to a coral barrier which keeps the waves at bay and an abundance of wildlife.
- Varadero - Ideal for water sports and diving, turquoise waters and a shallow shores, making it ideal for children.
- Cayo Coco - A 27km stretch of white sands surround the island, great for scuba diving and host to a coral reef where you can see plenty of fish!
- Guardalavaca - A bit of a mouthful to say! It only clocks in at 3km but you can expect golden sands and turquoise waters. Great for diving and is home to the underwater caves at Gibara, something every experienced diving should explore!