Cuba, a large Caribbean island nation under communist rule, is known for its white-sand beaches, rolling mountains, cigars and rum. Its colorful capital, Havana, features well-preserved Spanish colonial architecture within its 16th-century core, Old Havana, loomed over by the pre-revolutionary Capitolio. Salsa emanates from the city’s dance clubs and cabaret shows are performed at the famed Tropicana.
Some Famous Destinations:
- Cayo Coco is a tropical island in the Jardines del Rey chain, off central Cuba. Known for its white-sand beaches and coral reefs, its northern coast is dotted with all-inclusive resorts. Natural features include lagoons and marshes that are home to birds like the white ibis as well as a native colony of pink flamingos that’s ranked among the largest in the Americas.
- Varadero, covering Cuba’s narrow Hicacos Peninsula, is a popular beach resort town. Along its 20km of Atlantic Ocean coastline is a string of all-inclusive hotel and spa complexes, and a golf course. Near the peninsula’s eastern tip is Reserva Ecológica Varahicacos, a preserve with trails and an ancient burial cave. Parque Josone is a park with a pond, gardens and music performances.
- Havana, Cuba’s colorful capital, is known for the Spanish colonial architecture of its 16th-century Old Havana core, including Castillo de la Real fort, now a maritime museum, and the pre-revolutionary Capitolio. 1950s American-made cars line the city’s streets and rumba groups play in the painted alley Callejón de Hamel. Salsa emanates from clubs and cabaret is still performed at the famed Tropicana.