From colonial Havana, saturated with bright classic cars and Spanish Colonial architecture, to dramatic mountains that form scenic backdrops to sugar cane and tobacco plantations, Cuba is among the most exciting islands in the Caribbean. Exploring the historic cities provides a fascinating insight into Cuba – there are seven in total, dating from the mid-fifteenth century – while trips to the countryside allow you to understand the importance of agriculture in this vibrant island nation. Above all, Cuba’s greatest asset is the extraordinarily warm people you will meet, from all walks of life.
Countryside and Plantations
Get out in the countryside and explore the vivid green valleys and lush tobacco and sugar cane plantations of Viñales, one of the most striking landscapes in the country and a total contrast to Havana. As the very best tobacco is grown for the most famous cigar brands here, this tiny town has a huge influence over the rest of the country. Hike or horse-ride through the beautiful tobacco heartlands, visit a tobacco farm to see professionals hand-rolling cigars and zip-line over the unique natural landscapes.
Besides the rich history, the island of Cuba has more than 5,700 kilometres of picturesque coastline. A two-hour drive away from Havana is Varadero, boasting one of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean, the 20-kilometre-long Varadero Beach. If you fancy a break from lazing on the white sands, stroll further along the beach past old abandoned mansions that were expropriated after the revolution in 1959 and turned into fascinating museums.
Meticulously preserved, many of Cuba’s colonial cities date back to the early 16th century, when the Spanish colonised the island. The atmosphere and architecture are particularly stirring in the UNESCO-listed cities of Havana, Trinidad, Cienfuegos and Camagüey. Probably the most exhilarating is Havana, a vivacious city bursting with soul, history and a culture like nowhere else. Salsa beats infuse the streets, 16th century buildings ooze old-world charm and visitors are chauffeured in classic American cars, distinctive in their bright pink, green, red and blue hues.
Our Travel Consultants can advise on, arrange and pre-book many things to enhance your holiday. This includes everything from spa reservations and dinner reservations, to a range of special experiences available in our featured resorts that you may not know about.
June to September are Havana’s hottest months, with average temperatures of 27°C. The coldest month is January at 21°C, with the most daily sunshine hours at 11 in July. The wettest months are June and October, with an average of 80mm of rain. The best month to swim in the sea is August, when the average sea temperature is 30°C.
These figures show monthly average maximum temperatures and monthly average rainfall for Cuba.
Virgin Atlantic from London Gatwick to Havana.
From London to Havana: 9 hours, 45 minutes
Travelling With Children or Without an Adult
Children travelling without both parents should be aware that some countries require documentary evidence of parental responsibility before allowing lone parents to enter the country or, in some cases, before permitting the children to leave the country. Please contact the relevant Embassy for the county you are travelling to for further information.
Visa and Advance Passenger Information
All passengers must ensure they have a valid, acceptable passport, any required visa and any other documentation for both the final destination and any stop-off points en route. Please make sure that Advance Passenger Information is submitted in advance to travel for all destinations. Failure to hold correct documentation or submitting incorrect details with Advance Passenger Information or Visa applications may result in refusal of carriage or entry into a country. Please check with the relevant Embassy regarding visa requirements well in advance of your travel date. Charges may apply for some visas.
Passengers not travelling on a British Passport are advised to contact their relevant Foreign & Commonwealth office for individual Visa requirements.
For up-to-date resort information, visit www.fco.gov.uk
Health facilities, hygiene and disease risks vary worldwide and you should take health advice about your specific needs from your general practitioner or a specialist clinic as early as possible before travel. Those planning to become pregnant should discuss their travel plans with their healthcare provider to assess their risk of infection with Zika. For information about Zika, other mosquito-borne diseases (such as Dengue fever and Chikungunya), Lyme Disease (caused by tick bites), and to receive advice on mosquito bite avoidance measures, please visit http://travelhealthpro.org.uk/insect-tick-bite-avoidance/
In addition, we highly recommend that you seek specialist advice from your doctor and, where recommended, obtain vaccinations or tablets for protection against, for example: Malaria, Hepatitis A, Polio and Typhoid. In some cases, treatments for Malaria should begin well in advance of travel. Travellers may also be required to show Yellow Fever Certificates on arrival in certain destinations ie, some African countries. Please note that you are strongly advised against scuba-diving for 24 hours before travelling by air. We would also like to draw your attention to the risk of DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) and recommend that you consult with your doctor before travelling.
Visit the FCO website and select your destination country for the very latest travel advice: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.
Additional sources of information include: www.hpa.org.uk, http://nathnac.net,
www.fco.gov.uk, www.hpa.org.uk and www.nathnac.org, your General Practitioner or a specialised clinic.