Seek out and 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
Visit Che’s mausoleum in historic Santa Clara, site of the revolution’s critical battle
Take a seven night catamaran cruise through Caribbean islands off the south coast
Hike to Castro’s mountain headquarters through the impressive Sierra Maestra range
Listen to traditional Cuban music in Santiago de Cuba’s Casa de Trova
Eat locally made chocolate in Baracoa then hike up the anvil-topped El Yunque to work it off
Steppes Travel staff have been organising holidays to Cuba for fifteen years. It is a unique destination with a very different concept of service, but we’ll give you an honest view of what to expect from this fascinating country. John has driven the length of Cuba over a number of visits and will be delighted to lend you his thoughts on where to stay, what to do and how best to enjoy and make the most of a stay in this steamy tropical Republic.
Cuba is complex. Its people are generally warm, cultured and welcoming. The island is tropical with classic Caribbean beaches and a mountainous rain-forested interior and the political system remains locked into the socialist revolutionary ideals of a certain Castro family.
Cuba’s fascinating history ranges from early Arawak Indian settlers, through Spanish and French colonial periods, the US backed Batista regime of the 1940s and 50s and finally a modern state forged by revolt and popular uprising. A roving holiday to Cuba provides an insight into these historical influences and an opportunity to partake in the music and mojitos of a modern country that knows how to party.
The cobbled maze of Old Havana welcomes you with open bar doors, the waft of cigar smoke and refrains of salsa and son. Colonial period Spanish buildings have been lovingly restored, often as hotels with great character and atmosphere. The monolithic Museum of the Revolution is a key draw but ensure that you take some time to get lost in the back streets of Old Havana. Vinales Valley, to the west, offers the opportunity to hike through tobacco plantations and soak up dawn and dusk views of the striking limestone scenery from your valley-side hotel.
The Zapata wetlands offer rich bird-watching opportunities and the mini-museum at neighbouring Bay of Pigs provides a Cuban perspective on the ill-fated US-backed invasion.
Trinidad, another UNESCO heritage site is a beautifully preserved old Spanish city nestled at the base of the Escambray mountains and overlooking the Caribbean coast. Hike to Castro’s headquarters up in the Sierra Maestra mountains, a range that saw brutal combat in the early days of the revolution, before visiting Santiago de Cuba, one of the island’s oldest cities. It’s here that Castro declared the success of the revolution from a balcony overlooking Parque Cespedes.
Don’t forget the sleepy town of Baracoa, Cuba’s oldest Spanish settlement and its first capital. Also the first landing place in Cuba of Christopher Columbus. Accessed by a beautiful drive along the coast and over the Sierra del Purial mountains, Baracoa is famous for its chocolate and the UNESCO protected Von Humboldt National Park.
With so much to offer options for your holiday to Cuba are endless, see our Journey ideas or contact John on 01285 885 333 for more advice.
Journey Ideas For Cuba
View more Journey Ideas for Cuba
- Cuba Honeymoon
11 days of Cuba's highlights from £2,295pp.
- Long Weekend in Havana
Action-packed privately guided tour of this exciting city.