Cuba

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Hip Havana

Cuba. The Caribbean island is synonymous with Che Guevara, vintage rum, and cigars as chunky as grandpa’s fingers. Arrive here and you’ll feel like you’ve taken a trip back in time. Baby-blue Buicks from the Fifties are the motor of choice, while the architecture in the famous capital, Havana, is a mishmash of Art Deco and colonial styles.

Picture-perfect Varadero

Make tracks for the coast, though, and it’s a different story altogether. Beach-wise, Cuba rolls out all the Caribbean stereotypes. White sand, warm seas, waxy palms – the whole shebang. Take Varadero – a two-hour drive east of Havana. Cuba’s most famous beach resort stretches its way along the Hicacos Peninsula, a ribbon of sand – 1.2 kilometres wide by 20 long – that juts out from the island’s north coast. It basically means that, wherever you stay, you’ve got one of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean as your backyard.

Laid-back Guardalavaca

At the other end of the island is Guardalavaca. If you’re after a taste of the ‘real’ Cuba, this is the one to beat. Granted, the name’s a bit of a mouthful, but the translation – ‘guard the cow’ – is a nod to the area’s rural past. Turn the clocks back 40-odd years, and the place was a sleepy farming hub. And although the luxury hotels that now line its pristine coast are anything but rustic, the place never lost its go-slow vibe.

Places To Stay In Cuba

Back in the Thirties, Varadero – on the north coast of Cuba – was Al Capone’s old stomping ground. Today the gangsters have gone and the holiday hotels have moved in – over 50 of them at the last count. This popular place is now the island’s Number 1 beach resort and you don’t have to look far to see why – the sand reaches along the Hicacos Peninsula for a whopping 20 kilometres.

Sitting quietly on Cuba’s north-east coast, Guardalavaca mixes old-world charm with new-world luxury. Surrounded by unspoilt countryside, the town’s palm-fringed golden beaches have the texture of Cuba’s famous sugar. And the seafood goes down as smoothly as the Cuba Libre cocktails.

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Top 2 resorts in Cuba

Prices displayed in the 'top places to stay' section are the lowest prices available departing within the next 365 days. All offers are subject to very limited availability.

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