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5 Top Reasons to Visit Cuba

Spanish colonial architecture; © Cuba Tourist Board
The Caribbean islands are often type-casted as the earthly embodiment of paradise. Islands such as Jamaica, the Bahamas, Aruba and Anguilla are often exhausted for their wonderful, natural aesthetics. Still, the largest Caribbean island, Cuba does not share in this praise as far as may people are concerned.

This is especially true for Westeners who have faced the harsh realities of capitalism versus the Cuban regime. Today, however, Cuba has had more acceptance as a mainstream tourist destination with greater ease of access and drastic improvements in public infrastructure and tourists attractions.

For Americans, it's now easier to travel to Cuba than ever due to an amendment on the longstanding ban on American travel to the country. Deepened diplomatic ties between Cuba and America now mean that Americans can apply for a license issued by the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control to travel to Cuba.

However, such a license limits what one can do in the county. Because of this, many U.S. citizens choose to travel without a license, doing so by way of other countries (which have routine flights to and from Cuba) to escape detection. Such countries include Canada, the Bahamas and Mexico.

Cuba is indeed the typical Caribbean island in terms of natural beauty, with sandy, palm-fringed shores washed by crystal clear waters. In fact, it’s even much more.

Not only are there wonderful beaches, but there are amazing towns and cities boasting classic automobile-lined streets, the rhythms of salsa music, Spanish colonial architecture, and rum cocktails.

Every year, numerous families, couples, spring-break fun-seekers, beach bums, and adventure enthusiasts travel to Cuba for its magical and wondrous appeal.

1. Culture

Cuba is known for its classic cars; © Cuba Tourist Board
Cuba is known for many things, especially its cigars, rum, and classic cars. The island welcomes visitors to tour Spanish colonial cities, swing to salsa and rumba, explore the offerings of it’s exuberant nightlife, or simply bask in the warmth and hospitality of friendly locals.

The real Cuba is vibrant mix of history and music, poetry and passion, adventure and an astonishingly rich culture. A trip to Cuba will be an immersive trip packed with interesting cultural experiences.

2. The Cuban Charm

Part of Cuba’s appeal is that it has been cut off from the worst of the Western World -- the consumerism, overdevelopment, blatant waste. Because of this, its cities such as Havana and Santiago are wonderful demonstrations of a laid-back style.

Many visitors choose to walk Havana with a local architect, exploring historic styles and current restoration efforts. Others prefer to indulge in music and get private salsa lesson from Cuban salsa instructors.

Additionally, others choose to visit cigar factories, attend interactive cooking demonstration at a paladar (one of Cuba’s many alternative, hi-home family-run restaurants); attend local concerts; and so on.

The historical and cultural appeal of the island is even more so astounding. In fact, Cuba’s recorded history goes back more than 500 years. For example, Havana is an old, yet sensational city with museums, cabarets, nightclubs and even imposing palaces.

The city is complete with huge cathedrals, family parks and of course, friendly citizens. Many visitors lose themselves wondering through history-in a romance with the past, in the Caribbean’s most fascinating cities.

3. Spectacular Beaches

Being the largest country in the Caribbean, Cuba offers sun-seekers more than 300 immaculate beaches. From the secluded serenity of María del Gordo to the glistening sands of Cayo Coco, Cuba has it all.

Varadero Beach is the country’s most famous, with 20 kilometers of pristine white sand melting into the tranquil turquoise waters. The best part is, most of Cuba’s beaches are open to the public while others can be accessed via various hotels/resorts.

4. Hotels & Resorts

Due to its relatively large size and numerous attractions, Cuba boats a wide variety of hotels and resorts.

This creates a wonderful blend of choice for the financially conservative to those willing to splurge. Indeed there are resorts suited to families looking for a fun vacation, couples looking for a romantic getaway or business officials looking for a laidback experience or simply a pristine setting for unwinding and refuelling.

As a modern day destination, various services are available that will arrange flights, accommodations, meals, transportation and much more all into one great package deal.

5. Cuba’s Distinctive Sound

Cuba’s music is undoubtedly rich, rhythmic and soulful. The unique sounds of Cuba combines the best of Spanish, African, American and even French musical genres. Distinct dance forms, related to specific types of music, have made Cuba an attractive destination for those who like that easy going, soulful kind of dancing.

The careful combination of such varied musical genres allows Cuba to boast one of the most authentic and unique sounds in the entire Caribbean. In fact, the lively, energetic Cuban sound has profoundly influenced musical styles throughout the world.

The possibilities are simply endless in Cuba. Whether it’s Varadero and its dazzling beach, Havana and its rich heritage or serene Cayo Coco where visitors find an escape from it all, it's impossible to describe the enigmatic, almost supernatural allure that Cuba holds over all who visit.

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