Insider's Guide to Cuba: 21 reasons to travel to Cuba and forget about everything

Traveling to Cuba is an experience that goes beyond the Caribbean: music, mojitos, food, culture… Discover the best that Cuba has to offer with this guide.

Cuba, Cuba and Cuba. You probably know someone who has traveled to Cuba this year, right? Are you tired of seeing Instagram photos, Facebook videos and features about the hottest island? In recent years, traveling to Cuba has become the ultimate “must”.

Madonna, Kim Kardashian, Barack Obama, Pope Francis, the Rolling Stones and more. An endless list of celebrities have strolled along Havana’s Malecón in recent months. If you’d like to travel to Cuba and discover a different world, take note of these essentials that should definitely be included in your plans.

Also read: Cuba: Hemingway’s ‘feast’ in Havana never ends


Put away your watch

Once you set foot in Cuba, time seems to stand still. Don’t worry about schedules: everything flows (with a mojito in hand).

Colors, colors and more colors

Cuba’s vibrant light gives extra life to all the freshly-painted homes. 


if you’re a fan of designs and signage, then Cuba is for you. The most famous words of Che Guevara and Camilo Cienfuegos appear along roads, murals and buildings. 

Varadero, endless beaches

The beaches in Varadero are some of the most iconic spots in Cuba. Playa Azul, a beach that appears in countless photos of the Caribbean, is home to some of the island’s best hotels, including the Barceló Arenas Blancas.

Ice Cream?

If you’re into sweets, the ice cream served at Coppelia will take you to another era. 

Bring a comfortable pair of shoes

This advice especially applies if you plan on visiting Havana. The long avenues invite you to walk for hours as you navigate around potholes, puddles, almendrones (vintage taxis) and jineteros (street hustlers).

Relax…or the complete opposite

Make your way to the northwest side of the island and discover the beach at Cayo Jutías (approximately 90 minutes by car from Viñales): you’ll have to travel along a road-track filled with potholes and curves, but the reward is spectacular. Guaranteed. White sand, turquoise water and only two small bars that serve freshly-caught seafood. Now THIS is the Caribbean!

So you think you’ve seen amazing sunsets?

You haven’t. Until you visit Punta Gorda (Cienfuegos), you won’t truly understand what an incredible sunset really consists of. 

MUSIC (yes, in capital letters)

Iif you want to dance, sing and mingle with locals, be sure to check out the Music Plaza in Trinidad, on the southern side of the island.

Scuba diving paradise

Diving by the Cueva de los Peces in the Bay of Pigs is an unforgettable experience.

Learn more about Che

Visit Che’s home in Havana.


For Cubans, the best place to try a mojito made with real Cuban rum is at a paladar privately-owned restaurant.


Another great cocktail to try in Havana is a negrón at Callejón de Hamel.

And how about some ?

This natural sugar-cane juice with rum is available at drink stands in Trinidad.

Any type of juice deserves a chance

Papaya, guava, pineapple… Discover new textures and forget about the smoothies that are sold in your home city.

Wild nature

Tto discover the most exotic version of Cuba, be sure to visit Viñales. This valley in the northwest part of the country is one of the island’s greenest regions. 

Picasso of the Caribbean?

We’re talking about the Cuban artist José Fuster. Check out Fusterlandia to see all of his works. It’s definitely worth your time.

Cayo Largo del Sur

This small island has three unique beaches that happen to be some of the top-ranked in Cuba.

Cuba is better with Cubans

It may seem obvious, but mingling with locals is the best way to really get to know the country.

The Malecón?

This area has an open-air nightclub that’s open all year round. Once the sun sets, Cubans get together by the sea to listen to their music.

Street art

There are hundreds of art galleries and handicraft shops in the downtown districts of large cities like Havana, Cienfuegos and Trinidad.