Vibrant Cuba: Feeling the Pulse of its People and Landscape
Cuba’s history has bestowed a special cultural heritage upon it and the island is unlike anywhere else on the planet. The streets of Havana are a living museum where the past is preserved in crumbling mansions, vintage cars, and cocktail bars full of colorful characters. Castro’s economic influence in the 1960s led to a freezing of time in many respects, which has largely shaped Cuba’s appeal today. There you can get lost in the cadence of a bygone era and explore the realms of mystery and romance.
Most people will enter the island via Havana when they go holidays to Cuba, and those who have heard about the city’s character won’t be disappointed. Distinct Cuban sounds and rhythms spill from every doorway and life moves to a rhythm of its own. A melting pot of historic and cultural influences including Latin American, Spanish and Caribbean has led to the intoxicating shape of Cuban music.
Exploring Towns in the Past
Time seems to have stopped in many of Cuba’s colonial towns, except from the shabbiness and decay which arguably only adds to their charm. Trinidad is a great example of this, looking much the same as it did in the 1850s. There are lots of home-stay opportunities in the town giving visitors the opportunity to stay in a colonial mansion and have a truly immersive travel experience.
The town of Camaguey is unique even by Cuban standards where you can explore tumble-down labyrinthine streets that were once frequented by revolutionaries and pirates.
Cuba’s rhythm is enjoyably slow, and the lack of road traffic is one of its most alluring appeals. Cycling around the islands provides you with the opportunity to appreciate the landscape and architecture at the slow pace that it deserves. The Viñales Valley is one of the most beautiful places on the island to cycle where gentle terrain takes you past heritage sugar plantations, tobacco fields, and farmsteads. Cuba also has plenty of excellent terrain for hiking. As well as lush parks with well-maintained hiking trails you can get out into the wilderness to view the islands abundant birdlife. Over 350 species call the island home including critically endangered species such as the ivory-billed woodpecker.
From hiking and biking to exploring vintage towns, a trip to Cuba offers the opportunity to explore one of the world’s most fascinating cultures. It’s a place where you can truly get away from it… so much so that you’ll feel as if you’ve travelled back in time, which is all part of the charm!