Cuba holidays : introduction
Sultry jazz, fat cigars, 1950s classic American cars, palm-fringed beaches … the clichés are all true - and wonderful - but Cuba has a lot more to offer if you dig a little deeper.
The largest island in the Caribbean, Cuba’s resilient people have survived Spanish conquest, slavery, revolution, totalitarianism, cold war and economic hardship - none of which seems to have dented their optimistic zest for life. The country’s rich heritage is written in the streets and buildings of towns like Havana and Trinidad, both UNESCO world heritage sites - from the crumbling, faded grandeur of colonial houses to smoky bars frequented by Hemingway and the 1930s Hollywood set, and huge billboards celebrating the achievements of Che and Fidel. Music is everywhere in the Latin/Caribbean fusion of salsa, son, bolero, mambo and rumba rhythms.
Away from the pulsating dance floors and mojitos, there’s another side to Cuba. You could try dining at a family-run paladar, or explore the countryside where ox carts ply between tobacco fields and sleepy villages. Extraordinary limestone outcrops give way to lush valleys filled with orchids and waterfalls.
Cuban coastal resorts are deservedly popular for their azure seas and fine sandy beaches. But if you really want to get away from it all, there are plenty of quieter beaches to discover, including remote islands visited by just one or two boats a day.
Climate and when to go
In general it is slightly cooler and wetter in the mountains, and warmer and drier in the east. Tropical storms and hurricanes can occur between August and the end of November (with an increased risk of travel disruption), but there is increased rainfall in June. December to April is the peak season to visit when it is drier and less humid. Mosquitos can be a problem in some areas (mainly the cayos) with the worst months being May and June but they do not carry malaria.
“We had a wonderful holiday - thanks for all your arrangements. Everything went really smoothly and came up to our expectations and we would certainly recommend your services to anyone else travelling there or Latin America, it was clear how well you know the area and accommodation. Thank you so much for a job well done!” - MD & JP
“I was mesmerised by the destination and its people!” - ES
“We had the best time - thank you so much for all your great organizational skills - I think you worked the itinerary out brilliantly with my very brief request to you and hopefully we can plan more travels with Last Frontiers! Journey Mexico were just brilliant and the quality of the guides was fantastic - their level of English and their knowledge of the Mayan culture and sites was great. Havana we also loved and we will definitely go back and see more; the bars and music were fantastic. ” - SW
“The holiday was fantastic! Cuba is a fascinating country, and staying at so many diffferent places helped us to get a different perspective. Talking to the different guides and taxi drivers really gave us an insight into the country. We were really impressed at your organisation and planning - the time allocated in each place was spot on!” - JS