Cuba, a country shrouded in mystery; seemingly isolated from the globe.
That’s at least how I viewed this Caribbean island.
Despite growing up in the southern neighbouring island of Jamaica, Cuba was still as enigmatic to me as it would be for anyone else in the world.
With its embargos and strict travel policies a trip to Cuba seemed as impossible as a trip to the moon. Needless to say, this made it even more appealing. It had been at the top of my bucket list for over ten years, so my inner 13-year-old squealed with joy when the opportunity to visit came in December 2017.
Now, if you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to open a time capsule from the 1950’s, Cuba is certainly the place to experience that!
Towns and cities are uniquely characterized by Spanish colonial architecture interspersed between picturesque mountains and valleys. Need I mention the horse carriages and 1940-50’s American vintage cars that overran the streets?
It was a dream come true.
With not much planning, aside from the essential travel requirements (a tourist visa, travel insurance and cash), Jerry and I explored the enigma that was Cuba. Our two-week trip took us to five (5) cities/towns, each holding its own charm. This 5 part travel series will unveil all the enigmas of this beautiful Caribbean island!
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Part One: Havana
Our first stop was to the iconic capital city of Havana. I kid you not when I say that this city lives up to the hype! It was a perfect balance between historic and modern and a unique blend of European and Caribbean. Beautiful, diverse and culturally rich, Havana exceeded all our expectations and more!
Part Two: Viñales
Sitting in a scenic valley is the town of Viñales. It’s a tourist hot spot centred around literally one long street of restaurants and shops. Most of the town’s attractions, however, are based around its beautiful nature. We got to enjoy a few of the popular attractions the area had to offer; horse rides, cave exploring, you name it!
Part Three: Playa Girón
Playa Girón is a sleepy beachside town whose history makes it an interesting place to visit. Have you ever heard of the Bay of Pigs? If you haven’t, in a nutshell it’s one of Cuba’s triumphs against American invasion in 1961. Naturally the town highlights its historic victory with a museum which displays some of the battle relics. History aside, the town also has a beautiful beach, Playa Coco. It was the ideal place for rest and relaxation.
Part Four: Trinidad de Cuba
Like Viñales, Trinidad de Cuba is quite a popular destination for tourists. The town boasts much impressive architecture and has quite a lively night scene. However, the real beauty of the city was revealed to Jerry and me once we ventured outside the tourist centre. Exploring the local side of Trinidad was the highlight of the trip as the Cubans welcomed us into their daily lives.
Part Five: Morón
If you love to experience culture (like we do) Morón is a great town to visit. There were hardly any tourists in sight (likely because of the destruction caused by Hurricane Irma) so Jerry and I got to glimpse a bit of the real Cuba. We explored the old town, befriended locals and even adventured to a nearby cay to the north.
Our trip to Cuba was exhilarating, eye-opening and insightful. Come along with us on our adventures in our five-part Cuban series as we unveil the curiosities and mysteries of this unique Caribbean gem. We’ll be posting weekly with the tales of our exciting Cuban adventures!
Have you ever visited Cuba? Where were your favourite places to explore?
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