Highlights of Cuba

My trip to Cuba started in Havana, where I spent two full days browsing around its many museums and places of interest, including the Capitolio, la Cabaรฑa, the Museo de la Revolucion and its famous Malecon. I then flew to Santiago de Cuba, known for its Caribbean attitude. This is a good starting point to hike La Gran Piedra or to just soak in the sun in Playa Sibonay. From there, I took the bus to Baracoa, where I arrived after an eventful trip which included a flat tire. Known as the city of the 29 rivers, Baracoa is purely tropical. Must dos include a hike of El Yunque, a boat trip around Rio Yumuri and the beautiful Playa Maguana. Baracoa is also the gourmet capital of Cuba: I had some of the most interesting food here, including shrimps in salsa de coco.

On the way to Trinidad (the most touristic city in Cuba), I stopped in Camaguey, which I did not really enjoy due to the tremendous heat and the high presence of jineteros and scams. 5 hours away, Trinidad is a perfectly preserved colonial city, with cobblestone streets, music playing at every corner, dancing and good nightlife, museums, good restaurants and a huge variety of daily trips in its surroundings. I particularly enjoyed Valle de los Ingenios and the hike from Topes de Collantes to the Salto de Caburnรฌ.

About 90 minutes north, Cienfuegos is also splendid, and is a great port of access to El Nicho, with its natural pools, and to explore the amazingly clear waters and coral reef of the Bahia de Cochinos and Caleta Buena.

I concluded my journey in Viรฑales, in the North-West side of Cuba, which felt like the cherry on the cake: a valley where coffee and tobacco are cultivated, where mogotes appear just about anywhere. And it is not far from Cayo Jutias, where I spent a perfect day at the beach.

To read more about my adventures in this amazing island, click here!


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  • christine
    19 October 2014 at 5:10

    Great photos! Cuba looks amazing

  • Mindi @ 2foodtrippers
    20 October 2014 at 3:15

    I hope to visit Cuba while it is not too touristy. You certainly saw and did a lot while you were there.

    • Claudia Tavani
      6 July 2015 at 9:58

      You know, Cuba actually IS very touristy already… But still so worth visiting!

  • Emily
    20 October 2014 at 17:27

    How long were you in Cuba for? I like the sound of Santiago de Cuba – I love hiking, and anywhere with a Caribbean attitude has got to be good!

    • Claudia Tavani
      23 October 2014 at 0:16

      Actually, my fav place was Vinales!

  • Chris
    20 October 2014 at 21:09

    I have heard Cuba is going to become a lot more touristy in the future. Like Mindi, I hope I can make it there before it does.

  • Kristen Sarra
    20 October 2014 at 21:54

    Cuba has been near the top of my list for awhile. There is just so much culture there I would love to see. Sounds like you had a blast!

    • Claudia Tavani
      25 October 2014 at 19:35

      I did! It was a lot of fun ๐Ÿ™‚

  • melody pittman
    21 October 2014 at 4:03

    Looks like a fabulous trip. I am hoping to go there for my birthday in January. Your article will be helpful in me planning my days. Loved the pictures and the drinks…yum.

    • Claudia Tavani
      25 October 2014 at 19:36

      Wait till you try them ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Brianna
    21 October 2014 at 23:48

    I hope to vist Cuba now that its open to Americans

  • Emma
    22 October 2014 at 18:17

    You have some great photos here! It looks like you had a really fun time…apart from the flat tyre maybe ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Emma
    22 October 2014 at 20:25

    Gosh, it looks like the most glorious cemetery ever and doesn’t the entrance of this place look like the gates to a theme park? I wish I’d known about this place when I was in New York last month!

    • Claudia Tavani
      23 October 2014 at 0:17

      Looks like you are commenting on the wrong blog here!

  • Becks
    22 October 2014 at 22:18

    Cuba has been on my ‘to-visit’ list for so long. Your blog post definitely reinforces my thoughts that I would love it – old buildings, cool old cars, hiking, gorgeous beaches, music, Caribbean food and of course mojitos! I really should book a flight soon… ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Alejandra
    22 October 2014 at 22:49

    Your pictures are lovely! I want to go to Cuba, it is certainly a unique country to visit.

  • Carissa @ Start Wandering
    23 October 2014 at 7:10

    Hi Claudia – What a beautiful synopsis that would encourage anyone to visit Cuba. Your photos are beautiful. Definitely pinning this one for a revisit when I head to the Island ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Adrian of Adrian's Travel Tales
    25 October 2014 at 4:59

    Oh my gosh, I want to go to Cuba so bad. The beautiful photos you’ve posted are just so stunning and great inspiration!

  • Susan
    25 October 2014 at 18:14

    What an eventful time in Cuba, in between the head and flat tires! I’ve always been curious about the classic cars of Cuba and how many of them are in such prestine shape, like the blue one in your photo. Your photos are beautiful!

    • Claudia Tavani
      25 October 2014 at 19:37

      Actually, most are so rotten. But I think it adds to the charm ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Travelwith2ofus
    4 July 2015 at 13:41

    I really, really want to visit Cuba before it changes. And then maybe a few years after and compare. I would love to try the cuisine of Cuba and especially from Baracoa as you suggested.

    • Claudia Tavani
      6 July 2015 at 9:59

      In fact, I would love to go again ASAP too ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Betsy Wuebker | PassingThru
    4 July 2015 at 14:46

    The photo of you and the two chiquitas and the turquoise convertible are competing to be my favorite! Looks like you had a wonderful time. We would love to visit Cuba, so I’m a bit jealous! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Claudia Tavani
      6 July 2015 at 10:00

      Why don’t you go? ๐Ÿ™‚ Yes, taking the photo with the two chiquitas was hilarious!

  • Bethaney - Flashpacker Family
    4 July 2015 at 15:20

    Cuba is right at the top of my bucket list. I need to make it happen this year!

    • Claudia Tavani
      6 July 2015 at 10:01

      Then go ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Jennifer
    4 July 2015 at 17:11

    Thanks for the great insights! More and more I’m considering stopping by Cuba. Your information will be a great help if I decide to go.

    • Claudia Tavani
      6 July 2015 at 10:02

      Make sure to read my guide to the things to do in Cuba when you do so ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Eric Stoen
    4 July 2015 at 17:43

    I LOVED Cuba! As an American I was on a “cultural” trip so we didn’t get to go anywhere except for Havana and Hershey. But I can’t wait to go back, explore more and photograph everywhere.

    • Claudia Tavani
      6 July 2015 at 10:02

      Time to go again!

  • Francesca @onegrloneworld
    5 July 2015 at 10:13

    Cuba has been my dream for almost 10 years! I can’t wait to make it happen. You visited a lot of places, good for you! I hope I can do the same. I am especially interested in the music and I can’t wait to visit Cienfuegos ^_^

    • Claudia Tavani
      6 July 2015 at 10:03

      I heard people say that there isn’t much to do in Cienfuegos. I thought the opposite. So relaxed, and the surroundings are great!

  • Natasha
    5 July 2015 at 13:10

    I loved Cuba ๐Ÿ™‚ Just wish I had seen more rather than staying in Varadero the whole time.

    • Claudia Tavani
      6 July 2015 at 10:04

      Oh nooooo! I think you should go back

  • Sophie
    5 July 2015 at 13:37

    Great photos! I want to go to Cuba so bad!!

  • Bethany Dickey
    5 July 2015 at 20:54

    So many Canadians go to Cuba but I somehow haven’t yet! Gorgeous pictures!

    • Claudia Tavani
      6 July 2015 at 10:04

      Indeed I met many there

  • Brianna
    6 July 2015 at 0:27

    T hanks for your insights into this fascinating country.


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Who is Claudia?

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Hello, nice to meet you!

Hi, my name is Claudia. One day I packed my life and started traveling... except I packed too much. Follow me as I fill my life with dreams, drop the weight and inspire you to live your dreams. View and download my media kit here (updated June 2018). Learn more about me here...


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