Luxury Cuba Holidays: an Overview

Cuba is the largest island in the Caribbean and without a doubt the most fascinating. Few countries conjure up as many mental images as Cuba - Castro, cars, cigars - the list is endless and not all of them begin with 'c', either.

Will, Hero and Ysobel are here to help give you the inside track.

Why we think you’ll love it

  • Arriving in Havana feels like stepping back in time - classic American cars, stunning architecture and a complete lack of all things American make Cuba one of a kind
  • Leave your watch - and your preconceptions - at home. Things don't work like clockwork here, but if you just sit back and enjoy the ride, you'll be thoroughly rewarded

Tailor Made Travel and Holidays to Cuba: the Detail

Travel to Cuba is becoming increasingly popular and so it is becoming harder to confirm our preferred accommodation options. In order to offer the best chance of securing our favourite hotels and casas, we strongly recommend planning your holiday at least nine months in advance of travel. Should you wish to get away with a little less notice then we suggest discussing alternative destinations in Central or South America, or the Caribbean with our specialists.

As part of your tailor made itinerary Havana is a must visit, in fact it's a destination worth a trip in its own right, and our guides are excellent at bringing this already vivacious place to life, which makes for a hugely memorable visit. Wander down el Prado avenue, past Spanish colonial buildings with paint that has been peeling for a couple of decades and the fine 18th century opera house, which stages both ballet and opera. Havana is Cuba's historical hub, with museums and stunning architecture aplenty. The UNESCO-sponsored Havana Vieja is a must - explore the old city by horse and carriage and see the Capitolo building, the Gran Teatro, the Plaza Cathedral and the Plaza de Armas. Despite the constant reminders of the 1960 revolution - namely in the crumbling plaster and peeling paint of the colonial buildings - it is certainly a city on the up. Havana is also one of the best places to learn two of Cuba's most sacred arts - cigars and rum, and there are plenty of bars and cigar shops around that make a suitable classroom.

In a country where the food is communistically bland, Original Travel's Latin America team can also recommend and book the few excellent restaurants, or a visit to a cigar factory - a cut and dried 'must do'. Aside from the charismatic capital, beautiful beaches frame the island, and there's history and culture aplenty to be explore while in holiday in Cuba in towns such as the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Trinidad.

Touring is easy, and mostly on good roads with bad sign posts. On the south coast there is excellent snorkelling and diving, and Original Travel can book a fishing trip so you can make like Hemingway and go after bonefish, tarpon, trevalley, sailfish and marlin.

A couple hours west of Havana lies Viñales, a fertile region famous for its tobacco (the education continues) and bananas. The landscape is stunning and diverse, with mogotes - otherwise known as steep, round hills - providing a stark contrast to the flat landscape they sit on. Further contrasts lie in the day to day life of the Viñales inhabitants. Old fashioned farming methods are still in practice, with oxen and wooden carts dotting the countryside. Los Jazmines is one of our favourite hotels in the region, perched high on a hill all of the rooms have fantastic views over the tobacco plantations.

Away from the countryside and onto the coast, Cuba boasts stunning beaches and bays to rival any other Caribbean island (in fact, Cuba is the largest of the Caribbean islands), such as those of Varadero, Cayo las Brujas and the Island of Cayo Largo.

Did you know

  • Bacardi Rum was originally manufactured in Cuba
  • The world's smallest hummingbird and smallest frog can be found on Cuba
  • Cuba boasts seven cultural and two natural UNESCO World Heritage Sites
  • In a traditional Cuban meal, food is not served in courses but all at the same time
  • The most famous traditional Cuban dish is 'Congri', consisting of rice and black beans

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Original Highlight

Cuba doesn't put on a show for the tourists, but hire a car and drive out into the centre of the country to explore some of the smaller villages and you'll discover what life is really like for ordinary Cubans

Will, Original Traveller

A note on price

Prices in Cuba vary greatly after having paid for flights. There is a huge demand for rooms, and as many hotels will have just a handful of rooms, there can be a huge variation on costs. As a guide, a two week trip including international flights will be in the region of £4000 per person. Learn more about our pricing

Weather in January January February March April May June July August September October November December
  • Average Temp. — 21°C / 69°F
  • Rainfall — 6cm / 2.4 inches
  • Water Temp. — 25°C / 77°F
Flight from London

9:00 hrs

Time Difference

GMT -5 hrs


Top picks for Cuba

Vinales & Cayo Levisa

Vinales & Cayo Levisa

Cuba

In inland Pinar del Rio province, several hours west of Havana, the town of Vinales and its surrounding area complete any Cuban holidays itinerary.

Where to go

Los Jazmines

Los Jazmines

Vinales & Cayo Levisa

The Valley of Vinales offers some of Cuba’s most dramatic natural landscape in the world’s best tobacco growing region.

Where to stay

Trinidad

Trinidad

Cuba

One of Cuba's most attractive - and most Caribbean - cities, with pastel-coloured colonial buildings and a party atmosphere.

Where to go

Paradisus Varadero Resort & Spa

Paradisus Varadero Resort & Spa

Cuba Beaches

This five-star all-inclusive luxury Resort & Spa is located on the beach in one of the finest areas of Veradero. It is surrounded by lush tropical vegetation within the Veradero ecological reserve. The fantastic setting blended with its stylish and elegant architecture creates the ultimate retreat.

Where to stay

Finca Kenia

Finca Kenia

Trinidad

Good news - the search is over for a charming, boutique place to stay in rustic and unexplored Trinidad! Finca Kenia is a wonderfully restored nineteenth century property on the edge of the Santa Rosa Valley.

Where to stay

Iberostar Trinidad

Iberostar Trinidad

Trinidad

El Iberostar Grand Hotel Trinidad is a small, elegant hotel, built in the local style.

Where to stay

Havana

Havana

Cuba

There is nowhere in the world like Havana. The city's time warp 50s American cars, Che Guevara images and fading colonial facades are all instantly recognisable, and an ever-present reality on any wander around the streets of the old town

Where to go

 Meliá Buenavista

Meliá Buenavista

Cuba Beaches

Located to the east of Cayo Santa Maria, Meliá Buenavista is surrounded by white beaches and gin-clear water. Strictly no children allowed, the hotel provides an idyllic escape (no offence to the little ones, but this one’s for grown ups only) and is a far cry from some of its counterparts further along the same stretch of coast.

Where to stay

Cuba Beaches

Cuba Beaches

Cuba

With the title of the Caribbean's largest island, you'd expect Cuban beaches to follow the lead of its smaller Carib neighbours, and thankfully they do. Varadero is home to a number of white sandy beaches, and just 100 miles east of Havana, it makes an ideal combination with the capital.

Where to go

Hotel Nacional de Cuba

Hotel Nacional de Cuba

Havana

The Hotel Nacional de Cuba, known simply as the Nacional, is a Havana institution. Everyone from Buster Keaton to Winston Churchill and, inevitably, Ernest Hemingway has stayed here over the years.

Where to stay

Salsa

Salsa

Havana

There are many different forms of music which are commonly associated with Cuba including fandango, folk, rumba, paso doble, waltz, jazz and salsa. Music in Cuba is not simply entertainment but a part of life. It is life and this is what we invite you to experience.

What to do

Iberostar Parque Central

Iberostar Parque Central

Havana

The Iberostar Parque Central, built in tune with its surroundings in the heart of the old quarter, combines the elegance of Spanish colonial style with modern services and facilities – not necessarily a given in Havana.

Where to stay

I've just sat down with the pack you sent. Just wanted to say that it is a great first impression of Original Travel

Kathryn

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