Cruise and Beach Destinations
in the Caribbean, Mexico & Beyond

4 Great Excursions in Cuba

Old Havana
Old Havana; © Cuba Tourist Board
One of the best ways for cruise visitors to experience Cuba is by way of excursions. Instead of travelling to one location and experiencing the attractions on the outskirts of such a small area, it makes sense to travel via an excursion.

Touring the island is the best way to experience the variety of natural attractions, infrastructure, people, etc. Yes, tours are a great way to learn about Cuba by people who really know Cuba.

Now to answer the question as to where to go/best stops along an excursion route, we will mention some of the best locations in Cuba.

1) The Cities of Santa Clara, Trinidad and Cienfuegos

First, remember, Cuba is not simply about beaches and waterfalls. It’s also about history and culture. To this end, a varied journey through the authentic Cuban territory will reveal some of Cuba’s hidden, yet most magnificent structures that are testament to history.

Certainly, the cities of Trinidad, Clara and Cie fuegos are not adjacent and as such it will be quite a journey. However, it can be done in just a day and will not require anything but a trained guide.

There are trips that will take visitors from Varadero along provincial towns to Santa Clara, continuing through the Escambray Mountains to Trinidad and alongside the Caribbean coast to Cienfuegos. 

Here are some examples of what can be seen in the various towns:

Santa Clara: the mausoleum of Che Guevara, El Cubano

Trinidad (declared a “World Heritage Centre” by UNESCO): Old sugar plantations and other remnants of a time when sugar was ‘king’.

Cienfuegos (known as the Pearl of the South): The Square “Parque Jose Marti, the Moorish palace of the family “Del Valle”

2) Crucero del Sol: Catamaran & Dolphins

Ready for an all-inclusive maritime cruise? At Crucero del Sol, travellers sail off-shore and enjoy swimming and snorkelling even diving in the crystal-clear waters around the Cuban peninsula. Moreover, an approximately 15-minutes interactive swim with the dolphins makes this excursion even more enticing.

Many people go to Crucero del Sol just so they can visit a small restaurant known as Cayo Blanco. Here, they can experience mouth-watering Cuban seafood, with their choice of lobster, shrimps or fish.

3) The City of Havana

Havana, Cuba’s capital, is also its ultimate show of charm and historical beauty. As large as Havana is, in three hours only, an expert guide can take travellers along the most interesting cultural and historical places of the capital.

The tour includes a walking tour along the main streets where the fortresses, squares, palaces and other historical centres are located. Most of these structures were built by the Spaniards during the 16th to 19th centuries. There is even a section of Havana that features so many historical sites that it was listed as a World Heritage Site in 1982 by UNESCO. 

Visitors will also get to see the modern face of Havana by making stops at important places such as the Revolution Square and the University of Havana.

4) Viñales Valley

Viñales Valley
Viñales Valley; © Cuba Tourist Board
Located on the outskirts of Hvana, Viñales Valley is a unique landscape that features gigantic “Mogotes” (karst formations) surrounding the lovely valley with its special red earth and majestic palm trees.

The area is also known for its excellent tobacco that is grown, harvested, dried and processed on this fertile land. Just imagine, if Cuba is known for its wonderful tobacco and the best is cultivated in Vinales, then this may just be the best grade tobacco in the world.

The Viñales Valley is designated since 1999 a UNESCO World Heritage site and even offers a boat trip on a river in a cave that will explain the evolution process of life in the valley. For those who choose to climb up the nearby hills, the panoramic view over the valley is spectacular. 

Travelling to a Caribbean destination such as Cuba, whose inhabitants are known for their hospitality and joy, brings forth a need to explore the multiple attractions so as to get in touch with the idiosyncrasies of its people, culture and history of the place, while enjoying the exotic nature.

Thankfully, as relatively large as Cuba is, any of the aforementioned excursions will reveal much about this “island in the sun”.

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