Posted by: RasmaSandra | May 5, 2018

Exploring Cuba

cuba varadero 2

Varadero is one of the most famous beach destinations in Cuba and is home to one of the best beaches in the Caribbean. The beach stretches along the Peninsula de Hicacos, jutting into the sea off the north coast. There is a drawbridge connecting it to the mainland. Here you’ll find over 50 hotels.

cuba punta hicocoa

Among the highlights is the Parque Natural Punta Hicacos a nature reserve with a lovely beach and two caves – Cueva de Ambrosio and Cueva de Musulmanes.

cuba josone park

There is also the lovely Parque Josone with lush flower gardens, a restaurant, swimming pool and a small lake where visitors can paddle in rowboats.

cuba underwater

To the northeast of Varadero is the Cayo Piedra Underwater Park which is a popular diving and snorkeling area. Underwater you can find shipwrecks and shoals of brightly colored fish. Other activities include deep sea fishing, golf, and skydiving.

cuba trinidad

The town of Trinidad is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can enjoy beautifully restored buildings and cobblestone streets. Many of the buildings date back from the 17th century to the 19th century.

Among the highlights:

cuba trinidad plaza mayor

Plaza Mayor the central square with

cuba trinidad plaza mayor holy trinity

the neo-Classical Church of the Holy Trinity,

cuba trinidad plaza mayor saint francis

Church and Monastery of Saint Francis with its distinctive bell tower,

cuba trinidad plaza mayor architecture

the Museum of Colonial Architecture,

cuba trinidad plaza mayor casa alderman better

the art gallery  Casa de Aldeman Ortiz

cuba trinidad plaza mayor palacio brunet

and the Palacio Brunet which is a grand home built in 1812 with original frescoes and marble floors.

cuba ingenious

Valle de Los Ingenios is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located east of Trinidad with many relics and monuments from the 19th century when the sugar cane plantations and mill flourished.

cuba ingenious 3

You can go horseback riding through the green sugar cane fields, past palm trees, and mountains.

cuba guarda

Guardalavaca in the Holguin province is surrounded by glittering beaches. This is an area divers and snorkelers like to explore. There are day trips available from here to enjoy the jungle or take sailing trips.

cuba guardo dolphins

These include Cayo Naranjo with the popular Dolphinarium offering close encounters with dolphins.

cuba cayo coco

Cayo Coco is a great beach destination and one of the most isolated. It was the setting in Hemingway’s novels “Islands in the Stream” and “The Old Man and the Sea”. It is connected to the mainland by a bridge.

cuba cayo coco flamenco

On the Atlantic side of the island are  Playa Los Flamencos

cuba cayo coco prohibida

and Playa Prohibida offering a nature trail. The island also offers great birding.

cuba cayo coco pilar

Connected by a causeway to Cayo Coco, Cayo Guillermo has lovely beaches like Playa Pilar with many all-inclusive resorts.

cuba vinales

Parque Nacional Vinales is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is a lovely valley in the Sierra de Los Organos. A dramatic landscape is formed by steep limestone hills. There are agricultural areas where tobacco, fruit, and vegetables are grown. There is great hiking and horseback riding.

cuba vinales town

Nearby is the charming town of Vinales.

cuba bara

The city of Baracoa is one of the highlights of eastern Cuba and the oldest city in the country. It was founded in 1511. Here you can see charming colonial architecture and a lush countryside with waterfalls and lovely beaches.

cuba bara yunque

Hovering over all is the flat-topped peak of El Yunque. Hikers can climb to the 589-meter summit. The hillside is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve with rare birds and plants.

cuba cajebo fuerta

Taking the La Farola Highway from Baracoa will take you to Cajobabo. Where the highlights include the Museo Municipal which has found its home in the Fuerte Matachin military fortress and offers a glimpse into the fascinating history of Baracoa. There are great views over the bay. If you prefer you can also get here by bicycle.

cuba santa clara

Santa Clara is the famous site of the last guerrilla battle that was led by Che Guevara in 1958.

cuba santa clara monument

The town’s biggest attractions are his mausoleum Mausoleo del Che Guevara and monument Memorial Comandante Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara.

cuba santa clara revolucion

In the Plaza de la Revolucion is a bronze statue of Che Guevara with his final letter to Fidel Castro etched here. The Mausoleum lies beneath.

Adjacent to the monument is the Museo Historico de la Revolucion exhibiting some of Guevara’s personal items. There is also the site of the final battle Monumento a la Toma del Tren Blindado.

cuba zapata swamp

The Peninsula de Zapata is the place for birders and nature lovers. It is a remote, sparsely populated area of Cuba with diverse landscapes and one of the largest wetlands in the Caribbean. The Cienaga de Zapata or the Zapata Swamp is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve that is home to about 150 different species of birds among them water hens, parrots, and herons.

cuba zapata montemar crocs

This is also home to crocodiles. One part of the peninsula is a designated nature reserve the Gran Parque Natural de Montemar where you can see creatures in their natural habitats.

cuba playa giron

Playa Giron lies at the mouth of the Bay of Pigs and is the famous site of the 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion.

cuba playa larga

At the top of the Bay of Pigs is Playa Larga with a long beach and lush vegetation. Divers can enjoy exploring underwater.

cuba croc farm

Boca de Guama is the peninsula’s tourist center and the main attraction is the Criadero de Cocodrilos, a crocodile farm. Nearby, on Laguna del Tresoro or Treasure Lake is Horizontes Villa Guama, a rustic tourist resort that has been designed to look like an Indian village.

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