Cuba 2/2: Charming cities and wonderful beaches

So you are planning to visit Cuba, and alongside Havana you’d like to spend few more days exploring the island? Excellent idea! Check out which cities are a must.

After spending 3 nights in Havana, we hit the road to check out the rest of the country: Vinales, Las Terrazas, Cienfuegos, Trinidad and Cayo Santa Maria. In most of our holidays we tend to spend the first part of our trip exploring the country and its culture. And then relax by the beach at the end of the holidays. And this is exactly what we did in Cuba too.

First stop: Vinales and Las Terrazas

You drive for an hour from Havana and you find yourself in the eco-village of Las Terrazas. A Unesco biosphere reserve, it offers endless opportunities to enjoy mother nature. Choose between the many waterfalls, caves, the nearby fresh waters of river San Juan, hiking, bird-watching and just chillaxing in this peaceful setting.

Las Terrazas lake Cuba eco village
Enjoy a relaxing coffee by the cute lake of Las Terrazas
Las Terrazas Cuba coffee plantations
Las Terrazas’ coffee plantations
San Juan river near Las Terrazas Cuba
San Juan river near Las Terrazas
Cute houses in the eco-village Las Terrazas
Cute colourful houses in the eco-village Las Terrazas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cienfuegos

Another Unesco site? Yes! And Cuba’s so called Pearl of the South: Cienfuegos is not to be missed. It combines graciously French elegance, seaside and some of the prettiest buildings in the country.

Plaza Jose Marti Cuba Cienfuegos
Plaza Jose Marti at the very historical centre of the city
Palacio de Valle Cienfuegos Cuba
Stunning views of the bay from Palacio de Valle

 

Trinidad

From Cienfuegos we drove for about 1.5 hours and arrived in the beautiful museum city of Cuba: Trinidad. It is Cuba’s best preserved colonial city and a Unesco heritage site (yes, another one!) full of colours and charm. When visiting Cuba, make sure to spend couple of days in Trinidad, because the city and the surroundings offer so much to see. Stroll around the grandiose Plaza Mayor , get lost in the cobbled streets admiring the colonial architecture, the vintage cars and the bright pink, green, blue and yellow of the buildings. Then visit one of the 100+ nearby waterfalls and swim in the refreshing waters.

Trinidad Cuba Unesco Heritage site museum city colonial
Strolling around Trinidad’s colourful streets
Trinidad Unesco Protected Heritage Cuba best city view rooftop beautiful colonial architecture
Enjoying Trinidad’s beautiful colonial architecture from the best rooftop – Plaza Mayor in the background

Cayo Santa Maria
Last, but not least…After almost 10 days on the road, we were ready for our well-deserved beach relaxation. It is the best end to a great adventure trip. Having checked busy Varadero before (the largest beach resort in Cuba), we wanted to go for a more secluded setting. So we opted for Cayo Santa Maria. Its main attraction is undoubtedly its 13km of wonderful beaches with fine sand. Our hotel was located on the longest 6km stretch of beach: Playa Santa Maria.

Crystal clear waters
Crystal clear waters Cayo Santa Maria
Swim your worries away...
Swim your worries away…in Cuba!
Wonderful sandy beach, turquoise waters Cayo Santa Maria Cuba
Wonderful sandy beach, turquoise waters
Royalton Cayo Santa Maria Cuba
Laid back time by the pool at Royalton hotel

Happy exploring! If you are looking for more sunshine options, check out stunning Maldives!

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