Travel to Cuba has only recently become a more popular for Americans as laws regarding visiting there were relaxed, though now more stringent laws have been put into place. However, it is still completely possible to travel to Cuba as an American. I recently took a trip to this country and it was an incredible experience. We met a lot of amazing people and saw beautiful sites, but also some of the not-so-nice parts of the country. Just like any place, Cuba has various identities, which shouldn’t deter you from visiting. If you decide to pay a visit to Cuba, here are some of the places you should make sure you see while there.
The capital city of Cuba is obviously a must-see. This city is considered by many as one of the most beautiful cities in the world with its narrow streets and thriving culture everywhere you look. Simply walking around the streets is a fantastic way to explore the city, though you might want to sign up for an actual walking tour hosted by a group in town. Make sure to stop by El Capitolio, the Almacenes San Jose market, and the Cathedral Havana.
This city is a UNESCO World Heritage site and it’s historic buildings have been preserved beautifully. Take time to stroll along the cobblestone streets and take in everything Trinidad has to offer. Pay a visit to the Church of the Holy Trinity, the Church and Monastery of Saint Francis, and the Palacio Brunet.
Parque Nacional Vinales
Also a UNESCO World Heritage site, Vinales is a valley located in the Sierra de la Órganos. The valley is incredibly fertile and is farmed, growing tobacco, fruit, and vegetables. Stunning trails that you can hike up exist on the hills surrounding the valley. Staying at the town of Vinales is perfect for people who want to really explore this area.
This beach is incredibly isolated from the rest of the island, so much so that people often fly in to only visit this beach, even though a bridge connects Cayo Coco to the mainland. You can walk on the beach or head to the El Baba Nature Park to see plenty of local wildlife.
Another of Cuba’s beaches and possibly the most famous, Varadero hosts a breathtaking beach that world travelers love to visit. There are plenty of hotels to stay in during your visit to Varadero as well. You might want to head to Parque Natural Punta Hicacos, a nature preserve that also has two caves travelers can explore.
Baracoa is the oldest city in Cuba, founded in 1511. The city is incredibly remote and isolated from the rest of the island, which helps it retain its unique culture. You can walk around the city and see incredible colonial architecture, or you can visit gorgeous beaches and the lush countryside that’s home to waterfalls and plenty of birds and animals.