"Castro's Cuba" Top 5 Page for this destination Cuba by toonsarah

Cuba Travel Guide: 5,339 reviews and 13,819 photos

Classic car, Pinar del Rio

Everyone says you should go to Cuba before Castro dies. It's a strange mix of laid-back Caribbean and traditional eastern-bloc communism. It's possibly the only third world country where people turn up early for appointments, and perhaps the only communist one (certainly of those I've visited) where you get service with a smile!

We visited Cuba in 2005 and I put together a small travel page soon after, on first joining VT. When I looked at it again recently I was very dissatisfied with it so have done a complete overhaul (March 2011) to add more tips and more information.

We started our trip with a few days in the old town in Havana, where music plays constantly, and you can drink a mojito or smoke a cigar in one of Hemingway's favourite bars.

We then moved on to Las Terrazas to the west, and to the stunning scenery around Vinales. Next we headed for neo-classical Cienfuegos and the perfectly preserved colonial town of Trinidad, before crashing out for a few days on the beach at Varadero.

You could visit the eastern end of the island too but if you've only got 2 weeks, as we had, I recommend you choose one end only. Cuba's bigger than you realise!

So take it slowly, and leave time to absorb the local culture - enjoy a cocktail (a mojito or a cuba libre are the tourists' favourites, but there are plenty of others) and maybe smoke a cigar!

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Friendly people, old colonial architecture, good beaches and great cocktails
  • Cons:The food isn't so great
  • In a nutshell:Go before it's too late!
  • Last visit to Cuba: Mar 2005
  • Intro Updated Dec 24, 2011
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Reviews (28)

Comments (32)

  • kenHuocj's Profile Photo
    Jan 2, 2013 at 2:10 AM

    Paladares and Vintage cars will be my focus when i finally visit Cuba ;-)))

  • kat-m's Profile Photo
    Feb 26, 2012 at 2:39 AM

    2 weeks and we are off! I have really enjoyed your pages, we start in havana then cienfuegos ,trinidad and finally varadero before returning to havana for our flight home cant wait!

  • TheWanderingCamel's Profile Photo
    May 8, 2011 at 5:09 AM

    Cuba was somewhere we considered wh en our Nile trip fell through this year - too difficult at such short notice but this page makes me think it should stay on the agenda for another time.

  • starship's Profile Photo
    Apr 26, 2011 at 6:28 PM

    Beautifully written page! I appreciate the practical information as well as unique finds. Great pictures to accompany each tip complete a wonderful account of your trip.

  • richiecdisc's Profile Photo
    Apr 15, 2011 at 7:04 AM

    Great additions to a page I don't remember as being that awful. ;) Still, sad to hear the food is not good as Cuban food here is such a marvelous cuisine. You'll have to come to Little Havana sometime!

  • Apr 5, 2011 at 12:09 AM

    cuba is one of those places that i hope to get to one day, but every time it comes close, something else pops up (a bit like me and uzbekistan too! lol). stunning photography here, and loved your tips.

  • hunterV's Profile Photo
    Mar 27, 2011 at 7:39 AM

    Hello, Sarah! What a wonderful trip you have made! Good for you! :-)

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Sep 15, 2010 at 12:01 PM

    Oooof . . . I don't think I could stomach smoking a cigar, not even on Cuba! Nice tips, though.

  • Yaqui's Profile Photo
    May 17, 2010 at 8:48 AM

    Lovely page Sarah! It's always nice to see that tourist are still visiting her. A beautiful country with a lovely culture.

  • mircaskirca's Profile Photo
    May 16, 2009 at 7:53 AM

    I loved Cuba - the architecture, the people and also the food! We always arranged the dinner in 'casa particular' where we were staying and had lobster almost every day. I'm sorry you had such bad luck. But I'm sure you enjoyed mojito and daiquiri :)


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