Cuba is full of exciting and interesting things to do―far too many to complete in one short visit. With expanses of immense natural beauty, a rich and vibrant culture and a complicated history just waiting to be explored, there is sure to be an activity to satisfy every travel agenda.
Adventure buffs will be pleased to find that Cuba has a host of outdoor activities geared toward those in search of action. Whether its deep sea diving at one of the country’s many sites, trekking a gorgeous mountain range or horseback riding through the vast tobacco fields, Cuba will get the heart racing. For those less inclined, there’s always one of Cuba’s famous salsa clubs to experiencing first hand the infectious rhythm of Havana beats.
Cuba’s vast coastline makes scuba diving and snorkeling a distinct possibility. The best dive sites area is Varadero, which is home to 30 sites alone, as well as Isla de la Juventud. At both places, amazing marine life can be spotted while exploring underwater wrecks. The most spectacular reef in the region by far is the offshore Cayo Coco. Scuba diving and snorkeling excursions can be organized by Captivating Cuba.
Cuba’s non-flat terrain provides great opportunity for travelers to explore mountains and caves. The Mogates range in the beautiful Pinar del Rio province provides some of the most intriguing excursions in the area. The limestone mountains are covered by luscious vegetation, while the caves are a maze of stalactites and stalagmites. The Cuban-based tour operator Andean Trails has wide range of exploration trips available.
Another great outdoor excursion is horseback riding through the vast sugarcane fields which envelop the area of Trinidad. The same kind of trip can be made in Pinar del Rio where the tobacco fields provide ample riding grounds. EcoTour Cuba offers guided horseback tours of the region.
An absolute must is to experience Cuba’s musical delights. The best place to feel the rhythm is in Havana, which has many salsa clubs and live music venues. From superstars like Carlos Santana to traditional folk music, Havana’s establishments represent the best of Cuban culture. For those wanting to get some practice before hitting the clubs, Cuban Adventures offers dance classes for all ability levels.
A good way to unwind after a long day of sightseeing is a walk on the Malecon in Havana. This five-mile seaside esplanade links Old Havana with the edge of Vedado and follows a simply breathtaking piece of coastline. You will be joined on the path by local fisherman coming in for the day and locals on their way home from work. During hurricane season, the surf can be quite dangerous and the esplanade may close to pedestrians.
One of the main reasons travelers head to the Caribbean is to purchase authentic Cuban cigars. A great way to gain insight into the industry is by touring a cigar factory to see how these highly coveted smoke sticks are made. The Fábrica de Tobacos Partagás is one of the country’s oldest and largest, which opens its doors to the public daily and offers tours every 30 minutes. Cuba Welcome can arrange week-long tours to several different cigar plants.