Trinidad, Cuba

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Trinidad, Cuba

Unlike the Havana this town in Cuba has much more character while the Havana was renovated for the westerners. Trinidad is all original with beautiful architecture and color.  This town of only 60,000 people is littered  with cobblestones and pastel Spanish architecture. What’s a better place than here to get salsa lessons, and let alone the dozens of places people can indulge in dance. The people are friendly and the businesses at the farmers market are quick to disappear as they pop up and close down the same day. Make sure to buy products from reputable people.

Baracoa, Cuba

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Baracoa, Cuba

It is noticeably hotter and more humid than the rest of Cuba, which was warm enough anyway. The beaches are black sand, the coastline is jagged black rock, the sea is rougher, the pace of life seems slower and more brooding, it is a dark clouds and thunderstorm type of heat, not a sunshiny heat. There is very vibrant art and music, great food and drink, and the dancing is a whole lot raunchier down this end of the island too. There is swimming and kayaking and waterfalls and treks to do, or just laze around town and watch the world go by, and understand that this is like no where else in the world.

Santiago De Cuba

Santiago de Cuba tourism destinations

Santiago De Cuba

The port town with a great old castle. With its location on the southeastern tip of Cuba, Santiago has been a key defense spot for cuba for centuries. Castillo del Morro is a 16th century citadel with turrets and a drawbridge and dungeons and cannons and a maze of stairs and tunnels and everything a great castle should have, high on a promontory at the harbor entrance, with fantastic views up the coastline, so the defenders could see the enemy coming. The castle was last used in the Spanish/US war, the Spanish army were in Cuba and Cuba had sought help from the US to get rid of them and gain independence (yes the US and Cuba were once friends) They say that when the Spanish troops in Castillo del Morro saw the US ships coming, they didn’t stay and fight, they turned tail and ran, so the US didn’t even have to fight to win.

Varadero, Cuba

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Varadero, Cuba

The powdery sands of Varadero are as seductive as the soft lapping of the Kawama Channel waves. Famed gangster Al Capone used to frequent the shoreline resorts, and the city still maintains that glamorous luster that’s been historically appealing to high rollers. Mansions-turned-museums are favorite destinations for curious Cuban history buffs. Nature lovers can embark upon a day of adventure, exploring the area’s caves, keys, and virgin forests.

Havana, Cuba

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Havana, Cuba

The old town, all cobbled streets and beautiful Spanish buildings and pastel colors and a wonderful European flavor. Much of the old town has been restored with UNESCO money, the plaza’s have cafes and great coffee and handmade chocolate shops, along with the expected rum, cigars, Hemingway nostalgia and the home of the mojito’s. Walk through the old town, zigzagging around every block, until you hit the Prado, browse the art on display while walking towards the Malecon, the sea wall and walkway around the seafront that runs for miles. Walk it in the evening and see the teenagers hanging out, the families cooling down after the heat of the day, the couples out on a date.  And walk it again in the daytime and see the kids swimming, the families strolling, the jazz musicians playing music.