The largest island in the Caribbean, Cuba is a fascinating country. With relatively little traffic, friendly and curious locals, an eternal summer, endless unspoiled coastline and a fascinating blend of cultures, it’s an ideal place to explore by bicycle.
Now is undoubtedly a fantastic time to visit Cuba to see and experience the island. Visiting Cuba is like stepping back in time as little has changed over the past 50 years. However, the recent relaxation of US sanctions is making Cuba an ever more popular destination placing increasing demands on the local tourist infrastructure.
To fully enjoy the Cuban experience you should travel with a willingness to expect the unexpected and, above all, an adventurous spirit. In our opinion go now and experience this unique destination before it changes.
In city centres, from Havana to Santiago, ramshackle streets are lined with decaying colonial mansions and art deco towers, while rectangular Soviet apartment blocks dominate the suburbs. 1950s Cadillacs chug alongside horse-drawn carriages, arthritic rickshaws and sleek diplomats’ saloons, swiftly overtaken by bright yellow eggshells on motorbike chassis. Out in the countryside, from the tobacco fields to the Sierra Maestra, the highways are lined with billboards extolling the virtues of the Revolution.
Most visitors spend some time in Havana, and the capital city is always a good place to start and gain insight into the culture of the island. The old town, Habana Vieja, is being painstakingly renovated and many of the colonial palaces have been converted into desirable boutique hotels. Others are museums and art galleries containing unrivalled treasures or Revolutionary memorabilia.
The west end of the island is the major tobacco-growing area, where the rich soil produces crops for some of the best cigars in the world. The beautiful mountain landscape of the Sierra del Rosario, containing a Biosphere Reserve at Las Terrazas, tapers down to the fascinating and evocative limestone mogotes around Viñales.
On the south coast, Trinidad is one of the best-preserved towns in the Americas and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It remains in a time warp from the Spanish colony of the 19th century, with its cobbled streets, tiled roofs, wrought-iron railings, churches, palaces and humble dwellings.