Cuba has been on the brink of change for a long time, with the world’s eyes focused on the progressing relationship between Cuba and the USA. “Go now before it changes” has long been the cry of tour operators worldwide, suggesting it will be game over when tourism opens up to the USA. Well, Cuba has changed. The inevitable has happened, but our cry at Steppes Travel is still “go.” Not because Cuba is changing, but because it is coming alive. Planning ahead however, is essential. Cuba has reached capacity for this season (January – April 2016). In order for us to tailor your holiday with your preferred hotels and tours, booking now for low season (summer) or November 2016 onwards is recommended.
The type of tourism required for USA citizens to participate is entirely focused on experiential travel. Cuba is responding to this with fantastic new hotels, guides, restaurants, clubs and art shops. It still remains a unique travel destination and we can help you avoid the crowds and the tired tourist trails. Steppes Travel can take you to the real Cuba to meet real characters who were part of its fascinating past, to empty beaches and to little known clubs where you can dance the night away.
Why we like Cuba
Cuba remains in a socialist time warp even with the recent restoration of diplomatic ties with the USA. It is still a country locked in the last vestiges of socialism but now offers a greater level of accommodation, tours and restaurants than ever before.
What to expect on your Cuban holiday
Cuba remains a complex destination with socialist revolutionary ideals, a struggling economy and a very different concept of service. And demand now entirely outstrips supply. Despite it not always being an easy place to visit, it is still well worth exploring. The Cuban people are warm, cultured and welcoming. The country is a true melting pot where colonial Spanish buildings stand side by side with the monolithic edifices of the communist revolution. The Caribbean beaches are in contrast to the mountainous rain-forested interior. Note that Cuba is not a classic beach holiday destination but we can recommend one or two properties that are definitely worth visiting. The state-run restaurants are indifferent but we will advise you where to find the private family run paladares often found in the ballroom or drawing room of a grand old family house.
Some ideas for Cuban holiday
- Stay in beautiful Casas (private homes run as B&Bs)
- Cruise the streets of Havana in a 1950s Cadillac
- Visit Che’s mausoleum in historic Santa Clara, site of the revolution’s critical battle
- Explore the town of Remedios, a colonial gem which dozes in an 18th century time warp
- For the aficionado, visit a cigar factory and buy from source
- Eat in paladares (family run restaurants) for an authentic taste of Cuba
- In the stunning limestone valley of Vinales hike through lush green tobacco plantations, or visit remote communities and horse ride or trek to watch the sunset
- Hike to Castro’s mountain headquarters through the impressive Sierra Maestra range
- Don’t forget the sleepy town of Baracoa, Cuba’s oldest Spanish settlement and its first capital
Beyond the ordinary
Embrace restored ties with the USA and begin your trip in Little Havana, Miami, USA with a couple of nights meeting Cuba’s expatriates and hearing their stories over a mojito or two before continuing to Cuba and discovering for yourself the country it is today.
Our Cuba expertise
John, our Cuba expert, first visited Cuba in 1998 and has seen first-hand the progress of this fascinating country. He will advise and create an itinerary to introduce you to the quirks and highlights of Cuba.