Jun 28, 5 years ago

Viva Cuba!

http://blog.ailolalatino.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/3504633369_823eac2f3e_z.jpgViva Cuba!

A country of many contrasts and even more beauty, Cuba is blessed with vibrant culture and a rich history. Popularly known for it’s cigars, rum, and political history, this tiny country has an incredible wealth of natural beauty to offer from mountains to beaches, not to mention warm people and a classic car culture unlike anywhere in the world.

Go on a road trip

First things first- explore Havana. You can spend days walking the streets, eating, dancing, and partying. From there, rent a car and go where the wind takes you. Now that you’re off the beaten track and literally in the drivers seat, cruise through small towns along the coast, hit the beaches only locals frequent, or explore the countryside.

CC Image courtesy of neiljs on Flickr

Hit to the beach

There are so many incredible beaches in Cuba! Depending on what you are looking for, but popular spots include the resort area of Guardalavaca, any of the beaches around Trinidad, or the tiny coves of Cayos Coco and Guillermooff off the north coast, which offer pristine natural conditions but lack an authentic Cuban feel.

Listen to jazz

Head out in the evening in any of the major cities and you’re bound to come across live jazz music. Only relatively recently popularized by the Buena Vista Social Club, Cuban jazz is an inseparable part of the culture. If you visit in December, you’ll catch the Havana International Jazz Festival.

Learn

Take Spanish classes at the University of Havana or at private language schools in Havana, Trinidad of Santiago de Cuba. Classes are reasonably priced and it’s a great way to not only learn the language, but to get to know about authentic Cuban culture, traditions, and customs.

Visit the Tropicana

An old Mafia hang out and state-owned and operated club, the Tropicana charges a stiff admission price (about $60 USD) to gain access to old school, cigar-smoking, social club of another era. It’s like stepping back in time, coat check, dress code, and a full-on show included.

Lead Photo: CC Image courtesy of Eduardo Deboni on Flickr

ryan

Ryan is a writer, photographer, and teacher living and volunteering throughout Latin America.

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