You probably already know that traveling to Havana is like traveling back in time: the weathered buildings, the old classic cars and the rich history standing out as top lures on your visit to Cuba.
When we arrived in Cuba, we first visited the city of Havana, the capital of this Caribbean Island.
Everything seems to be stopped in 1950s: the cars, the buildings, the streets and much more.
One thing I have recommended myself to do is to have a ride on this particular vehicle, and I did it! Listening to the latin music they have with the wind and the sea breeze blowing in the hair have no comparison.
In order to listen all the Cuban local music and taste all their rum-based cocktails you should go to a club, the most famous is The Buena Vista Social Club.
Getting lost among the tight alleys in Havana you can find lots of people selling the coconut: if you buy them, they open the fruit just in front of you and you can drink the milk inside…it’s so tasty!
The typical buildings in Havana are colorful, clearly mirror its social and political history ever since the Spanish colonial times, up to the more modern present day.
Nowadays, Havana is one of the most architecturally diverse cities in the world, and surely a city photographer’s paradise.
After two days wondering in this city, we went to Varadero, a sort of paradise I guess!
The sand is white, the water is clearly transparent, palms and coconut near the beach… perfect spot for relaxing and sunbathing!
Anyway, we went here also to visit other parts of the Island so we did lots of excursions.
First, we went on a private tour to see Cienfuegos and Trinidad.
Cienfuegos is called “The Pearl of the South” because of the impressive beauty of its bay; because of its seductive city which provokes the wonder of all who know it, and because of that innate nobility which characterizes those born in Cienfuegos. In order to protect its magnificent bay from corsairs and pirates, who sloughed the Caribbean, different forts were erected in the 1970s.
Later we visited the Cuban city of Trinidad, one of the country’s most charming locations – a perfectly preserved Spanish colonial settlement. It was built at the beginning of the 1800s, and was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1988. What’s more, it’s right in the center of Cuba, on the southern coast, making everything within easy reach. It was so strange being here because until 1975 the only way to reach this town was with the boats: the first street was created after this year. This is why this part of Cuba remains so poor and untouched at the same time.
The village’s charm lies in its pedestrianized cobbled streets, where locals stand saying hello to anyone they come across.
Taberna la Canchánchara (Calle Real del Jigue 90) is the perfect place to savour a Trinidadian speciality, a canchánchara cocktail (rum, honey, lemon and water), served in a small ceramic cup. It has a nice setting in the colonial-style courtyard and outhouse of a 400-year-old property. At the entrance there’s also a man selling cigars made by him at the moment. It’s the perfect spot for having a rest.
The other days we went for an adventure excursion with a jeep, which brings you to Rio Canimar, when you can drive a little boat in this protected area that gives the possibility of observing the green and beauty of Cuban vegetation, then you can snorkeling at Playa Coral and see the Caribbean reef.
Later we visited the Yumuri’s Valley when we had lunch in a Ranch with local food, coffee plantation and here we tasted the sugarcane juice, made at the very moment.
….It’s a hidden jem in my opinion: lots of green and wealth and much more!
There are cities and landscapes in this Island that I didn’t see so I will visit it again in the near future!