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Hidden Cuba


Dancing Salsa in Havana is often our main agenda when we visit Cuba but there is so much more to the Caribbean's largest island and we recommend taking time out to explore her hidden treasures on your next visit.


Travel west from Havana, just over an hour by car and you reach Las Terrazas eco-resort. Located in the Sierra del Rosario mountain range, this small community is a UNESCO biosphere reserve and the village of around 1,000 people is surrounded by lakes, rivers and waterfalls. A stunning spot for walking, bird watching and more away from the hustle and bustle of Havana.

Continue west and reach Pinar del Rio province and the Vinales Valley with its Jurassic landscapes and dramatic rocky outcrops. Cuba's largest tobacco growing area is a tranquil paradise where you can go trekking, cycling, bird watching, cave visiting and waterfall dipping!

Back to urban-style civilisation and Cuba's south coast is well worth a visit. Cienfuegos, known as "the pearl of the south" because of its picturesque bay and pastel coloured buildings lining the narrow streets, it a great base for exploring Cuba. Around four hours' drive from Havana and just over an hour from Trinidad, the city is renowned for its blonde-haired population who derive from the indigenous Cacicazgo de Jagua tribe.

Eastern Cuba offers many more attractions and you haven't really seen Cuba until you've dipped your toes in the water off Holguin's stunning beaches and spent an evening at second city Santiago de Cuba's Casa de La Trova. Home of the Cuban revolution, Santiago is known as "La Tierra Caliente" or the "hot city" as it is always a couple of degrees hotter than Havana. The city boasts cosmopolitan mix of Afro-Caribbean culture, being situated closer to Haiti and the Dominican Republic than Havana and location-wise could rival any of the world’s great urban centres. Caught dramatically between the Sierra Maestra mountain range and the Caribbean, the city’s historical centre retains a time-worn and slightly neglected air that’s vaguely reminiscent of Barbados, Salvador in Brazil or New Orleans.

Last but not least, and well worth a mention, Los Cayos are Cuba's answer to the Maldives. Also known as Los Jardines del Rey, they are a chain of islands on Cuba's north coast and include Cayo Coco and Cayo Guillermo. Turquoise waters, fine white sand, tropical foliage and some fabulous hotels make Los Cayos Cuba's most popular honeymoon destination. Yes, after a few days we might be hankering for the hustle and bustle of the city and the vibrancy of the salsa clubs but for the ultimate chill-out break you could definitely do worse.

Begin your discovery of Cuba with us this August (22 - 29, £1649).  Click here for more.