With beaches moulded on the tropical classics, and a city unlike anywhere else on earth, a holiday to Cuba gives you a sand and city combo like no other
Cuba. The country is synonymous with Che Guevara, vintage rum, and cigars as chunky as grandpa’s fingers. It’s the biggest of the islands in the Caribbean Sea, and basks in year-round sun and comfortably-warm temperatures. Beach-wise, Cuba rolls out all the Caribbean stereotypes. White sand, warm seas, waxy palms – the whole shebang.
Arrive in the famous capital, Havana, 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 is a mishmash of Art Deco and colonial styles. Flamboyant cabaret clubs, like the well-known Club Tropicana, and El Floridita, Ernest Hemingway’s watering hole of choice, are just a couple of places to add to your to-see list.
Cuba’s most famous holiday destination, Varadero, is a two-hour drive east of Havana. The resort stretches its way along the Hicacos Peninsula, a ribbon of sand – more than a kilometre 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.
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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.
Cayo Santa Maria
Anchored 100 miles off the north coast of Cuba, Cayo Santa Maria has all the castaway credentials. It’s part of the Jardines del Rey archipelago, which is formed of hundreds of keys and islets. Although it feels a million miles away, getting there is really easy – a manmade causeway links the resort to mainland Cuba.
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