A city trapped in time, Havana captures the imagination like no other. Faded glamour meets careful colonial-era reconstruction with a backdrop of irresistible color. Walk El Malecón, the walkway bordering the ocean; visit Old Havana and the Catedral de San Cristóbal; and listen for salsa music, open-air bazaars and parties that last all night.
The powdery sands of Varadero are as seductive as the soft lapping of the Kawama Channel waves. Famed gangster Al Capone used to frequent the shoreline resorts, and the city still maintains that glamorous luster that’s been historically appealing to high rollers. Mansions-turned-museums are favorite destinations for curious Cuban history buffs. Nature lovers can embark upon a day of adventure, exploring the area’s caves, keys, and virgin forests.
Set in rugged, mountainous territory in the east, Cuba’s fourth largest city is known as the City of Parks. Columbus called the area “the most beautiful land eyes have ever seen” and much of the surrounding area hasn’t changed. Officially called San Isidro de Holguin, the city’s elegant plazas, scatter of colonial buildings and few museums make for a pleasant daytrip. More wonders lie offshore. Swim with dolphins in Bahia de Naranjo Nature Park. Dive to sites off Playa Esmeralda and Guardalavaca.