HAVANA TIMES – Old Havana, the oldest municipality in the Cuban capital, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1982, has been undergoing a rescue and conservation operation over the past 30 years which is admired by every foreign traveler who comes here, to such an extent that Havana was declared a Wonder City last year when it received thousands of votes from people in the third annual campaign that the Swiss foundation New7Wonders held, for its “mythical appeal, the warm and welcoming of its environment, and the charisma and joviality of its inhabitants.”
Upscale tour leader Tauck expanded its Cuba programs in 2018 to include an 11-day, small-ship cruise itinerary, Cruising Cuba: A Cultural Gem.
Working with longtime partners, Tauck was able to reduce the price of its two Cuba land journeys — the seven-day Cuba: Connecting with People and Culture and the 12-day Cuba: A Cultural Odyssey — by up to $1,400 per couple.
“Guest feedback and interest in Cuba remains incredibly strong,” said Dan Mahar, CEO, Tauck. “We’re looking forward to operating our three fully-licensed journeys in Cuba next year, and we’re thrilled to expand our portfolio in Cuba to now include small ship cruising. By working with our partners in Cuba to reduce the prices of our land tours, we’ve been able to enhance our portfolio’s value at the same time we’re expanding its breadth.”
There are big changes happening in Cuba. It’s always been known as a country that’s resisted encroaching tourism, that has remained authentic and free of commercialization. However, with diplomatic negotiations between Cuba and the USA improving, it’s inevitable that the country will begin to see chain coffee shops and hotels popping up to meet the increased demand for tourist accommodation. Those looking to experience this country that has been seemingly stuck in time should visit Cuba now.
Here are three things you might miss out on if you leave it too long to book your visit to Cuba:
The Palpable Sense of Nostalgia
First up on this list of why you should visit Cuba now is the nostalgia that is sure to be lost. On first glimpse, Cuba looks like a country that’s been frozen in time.
Two weeks, four cities. Donovan chronicles his journey in Cuba, across Varadero, Trinidad, Vinales and finally to Havana.
Cold war, communist state, trade embargo. These are the three phrases that come to mind whenever someone mentions Cuba. Thanks to our western-dominated media influence, many people do not have a good impression of Cuba. Not surprisingly, when I informed my family that I was headed to Cuba, they were all worried and asked me why I needed to explore that part of the world.
I was undeterred by other people’s opinions and the deteriorating US-Cuba relations. I had already booked my flights and nothing was about to stop me. My plan was to stay two weeks in Cuba, visiting four different cities: Varadero, Trinidad, Vinales and Havana.
I flew in to Cuba via Varadero airport.
Cuba is undoubtedly a country filled with historic, breath-taking landmarks that are culturally very significant; it has nine cultural and natural sites that hold the prestigious UNESCO World Heritage status and another three submitted for consideration!
With so many beautiful attractions and places of interest scattered throughout the country, we’ve handpicked four must-see spots you should include in your itinerary when booking your holiday to Cuba.
As the oldest city in Cuba, Baracoa is one of the country’s best-kept secrets – its isolated location means that you can get a taste of real Cuba and get to know the local characters for a truly authentic experience.
With its secluded black-sand beach, impressive waterfalls and lush green forests, the city is filled with beautiful sights for any lover of nature.
The first rays of sun shoot out over the silhouetted ridges of the valley, slowly beginning to reveal the bright colors stained across the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Trinidad, Cuba. My eyes still adjusting from the sun, I sit on the terrace at my hostel and take in the slight cool breeze which will disappear in a few moments.
I stare out from the mountains to the sea, still unsure of how one place could be so picturesque. As my eyes survey the now awakened streets, I know that I had not yet seen the town in its full glory and felt the need to go higher up, farther out, and seek out the most beautiful places within the city limits.
WISPS of dove-grey smoke curl and writhe into the humid air before me. In my mouth, the taste of tobacco and spices.
I take a sip of my mojito and the fruity flavours of the Havana Club rum, aged for 15 years, perfectly complement the cigar smoke still dancing on my tongue.
I am at a cigar and rum pairing session, sitting under the eaves of a thatched beach bar at the five-star Royalton hotel in Cayo Santa Maria, a tiny island off the northern coast of Cuba.
One of a cluster of isles, the Cayos – as they’re known – are around 250 miles from Havana and a million miles away, it seems, from being able to access Facebook.
(VOVWORLD) – Cuba is famous for cigars and historical relic sites. Cuba has had 9 relic sites recognized as World Heritages by UNESCO. These are advantages for Cuba to develop its tourism.
Granma province, 675 km east of Havana, witnessed key events in Cuba’s history. With 4 out of 9 of Cuba’s cultural heritages, Granma promises to become a popular tourist destination. Bayamo, the second town established by the Spanish in Cuba, is considered the cradle of the island nation. Cuba’s national anthem was written and first sung in Bayamo.
On October 10, 1868, Bayamo became the birthplace of Cuba’s fight for independence from the Spanish colonialists. Visitors to Granma should not miss the Sierra Maestra Mountains, especially Turquino Mountain, at 1974 meters the highest peak in Cuba.
With improved relations between the United States and Cuba and the easing of travel restrictions, more and more Americans are eager to explore the raw history and culture of this Caribbean island. With mainstream cruise lines like Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean International, and Carnival Cruise Line now sailing to Cuba, many travelers will be planning a visit in the near future for “people to people” experiences. Having just returned from a cruise on NCL’s Sky, we are back to give you our list of the Top Things to Do in Havana, Cuba on a Cruise. Even if you are spending an overnight in Havana, it is unlikely you will get to see and do it all, so we guess you will just have to visit this largest Caribbean island again to discover all it has to offer.