The most interesting destinations in Cuba

Cuba is divided into 15 regions and one special municipality, Isla de la Juventud (Youth Island), to the south of the island in the Caribbean Sea. Few people are aware that Cuba is actually formed of around 1600 different islands, islets and cays, with the Island of Cuba being the largest single land mass.

In the menu on the right you can find extensive information on the most interesting tourist (or non tourist) locations and Cuban highlights. We have everything you need to know about Cuba before and during your trip.

Each province has its own unique and individual attractions in terms of history, culture and tourism, and of course the unique character of the locals living here. Many of our attractions are well known, but many wait to be discovered by visitors.

When traveling to Cuba, tourists will notice many people mentioning the Cuban East, especially when referring to Santiago de Cuba, or when talking about someone with darker skin colour. Geographically speaking, the Cuban East is considered as everywhere after the city of Camagüey (roughly).

This article presents a brief description of the main Cuban destinations moving from west to east.

Major regions for tourist attractions

Pinar del Río

Valle de viñalesWhile the capital may be Pinar del Río, the most important city of interest to most tourists is Viñales and the beautiful valley that plays home to this small but wonderfully attractive city.

Most notable locations for tourists include; Cayo Levisa, Cayo Jutías and beaches such as Playa Maria La Gorda or Pajarito.

Habana

Malecon de la HabanaThe capital city of Habana is the economic, political and administrative center of Cuba and the location most visited by tourists. It has a large variety of accommodation and a good transport system, with many public taxis.

The city has a rich history like no other and Old Town Havana is the best example of it´s former glory. The famous Habanian Pier and many other attractions including museums and forts are visited by thousands of visitors each month.

The eastern beaches are only 20 kilometers from the city and are known as the Cubans´ beaches. In summer they are often filled with local people, who spend the whole day on the beach and return home in the evening.

Matanzas

Playa Varadero en MatanzasThe capital of this region may be Matanzas but the best known town for visitors is Varadero. Varadero is located in the north of the region and is the largest tourist resort in all Cuba. A small town with dozens of all inclusive hotels .

Its beaches are beautiful with clear turquoise waters. Fine white sand and almost year round warm water temperatures make this one of the favorite spots for those seeking some rest, sun and beach.

Other outstanding places in the province are located in the south. Its shores are touched by the Caribbean and serve the largest wetland area in the Caribbean, the Zapata Swamp.

For water sports fans places to head for include Long Beach to Punta, Caleta Buena through Partridge and Girón Beach.

Cienfuegos

Panoramica CienfuegosCienfuegos, it is the only capital city in Cuba founded by French colonists and this history can still be seen today in many of itts  buildings.

The city has a small Pier and Promenade (Paseo del Prado). Another place well worth a visit is Punta Gorda.

El Nicho is another attraction of the area, with a waterfall and small cascades that will delight hikers and those seeking contact with nature. It is located about 35 kilometers from the city is accessible by car and there are daily excursions leaving from town.

Villa Clara

Parque centra Santa ClaraSanta Clara is the region's capital and it is a small, quiet and welcoming town. It is popular with visitors for the monument to Che Guevara, complete with museum containing his remains, resting with other fallen comrades.

In the north of the region are the famous Cay Las Brujas (Witches), Cay Ensenachos and Cay Santa Maria. The access is by road down an embankment of several kilometers and specifically built to offer access to this most unique spot.

There is a small airport "Cay Las Brujas" which handles domestic flights.

Sancti Spiritus

Iglesia en Trinidad CubaThe  may bear the same name Sancti Spiritus, but the most important city of the area is undoubtedly The Villa of the Holy Trinity, known as Trinidad. It was the third city founded by the Spaniards back in 1514.

It is a city that still preserves history in its streets, houses and squares. Sancti Spiritus was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1988.

The Sugar Mills Valley, also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Salto Caburní in Topes de Callantes and beaches Ancon and La Boca are some of the key places to visit.

Santiago de Cuba

Santiago de CubaThe capital shares the same name, Santiago de Cuba and is the second largest city in Cuba. Located in the east of the island, this city is the birthplace for many genres of Cuban music. Santiago is also known as the Cradle of Sound.

Its attractions are numerous, from its timeless architecture where time refuses to pass, its wonderful nature and splendid culture, including music, festivals and carnivals. The Santiaguero Carnival and the Fire Festival are well-known all over the world.

Other nearby attractions are Cay Granma, the National Copper Sanctuary and San Pedro de La Roca Castle, among others.