Cuba is an exceptionally diverse island and offers a wealth of nostalgia, vibrant culture, abundant wildlife, sweeping white beaches and an intoxicating music scene that permeates the very soul.
2019 marks 60 years since Fidel swept into Havana to claim the island. The revolution has left an indelible impression on every walk of life in Cuba and it’s utterly fascinating to try and unpackage and understand this unique country that has existed in relative isolation for over half a century. Don’t listen to the curmudgeons who insist that Cuba should have been visited ten years ago. Revolution is being replaced by an evolutionary wave of private enterprise, self-expression and creativity. This is exactly what makes Cuba such an exciting place to visit right now.
WHY WE LIKE CUBA
Cuba remains in a socialist time warp. It is still a country locked in the last vestiges of socialism but now offers a greater level of accommodation, tours, and restaurants than ever before. It still remains a unique travel destination and we can help you avoid the crowds and the tired tourist trails. As Cuba’s restrictions on it’s citizens and private enterprise relax, we are seeing an explosion of creativity that is expressing itself in some remarkable modern art. Witness this revolution through private audiences with a new wave of artists. Visit their studios and galleries and the outstanding Fabrica de Arte Cubano in Havana. Steppes Travel can introduce you to knowledgeable and welcoming guides who are keen to share their experience of life in Cuba in increasingly imaginative ways as well as find the empty beaches, take you behind the scenes at exhibitions and unearth little-known clubs where you can dance the night away.
What to expect on your Cuban holiday
Cuba remains a complex destination with socialist revolutionary ideals, a struggling economy and a very different concept of service. And demand now entirely outstrips supply. Despite it not always being an easy place to visit, it is still well worth exploring. The Cuban people are warm, cultured and welcoming. The country is a true melting pot where colonial Spanish buildings stand side by side with the monolithic edifices of the communist revolution. The Caribbean beaches are in contrast to the mountainous rain-forested interior. Note that Cuba is not a classic beach holiday destination but we can recommend one or two properties that are definitely worth visiting. The state-run restaurants are indifferent but we will advise you where to find the private family run paladares often found in the ballroom or drawing room of a grand old family house.
Some ideas for Cuban holiday
- Stay in beautiful Casas (private homes run as B&Bs)
- Cruise the streets of Havana in a 1950s Cadillac
- Visit Che’s mausoleum in historic Santa Clara, site of the revolution’s critical battle
- Explore the town of Remedios, a colonial gem which dozes in an 18th century time warp
- For the aficionado, visit a cigar factory and buy from source
- Eat in paladares (family run restaurants) for an authentic taste of Cuba
- In the stunning limestone valley of Vinales hike through lush green tobacco plantations, or visit remote communities and horse ride or trek to watch the sunset
- Hike to Castro’s mountain headquarters through the impressive Sierra Maestra range
- Don’t forget the sleepy town of Baracoa, Cuba’s oldest Spanish settlement, and its first capital
Beyond the ordinary
Explore Cuba from your very own Harley Davidson. The first Harley Davidsons were sold in Cuba in 1917 and alongside the vintage cars so synonymous with Cuba, these iconic bikes became a common sight in the early 20th century. Ernesto Guevara, son of Che is one of a number of Cubans, known as Harlistas, with a passion for this classic motorbike. Travel as part of a group or on an individual basis and cruise the open roads of Cuba, experiencing the freedom and power of these bikes, exploring all that Cuba has to offer in a unique and truly memorable way.
Our Cuba expert John says "Once out of Havana, roads are relatively quiet and fun to drive. The thunder of a Harley is still a novel sound in Cuba, bound to pique curiosity and make you friends along the way"
Our Cuba expertise
John, our Cuba expert, first visited Cuba in 1998 and has seen first-hand the progress of this fascinating country. He will advise and create an itinerary to introduce you to the quirks and highlights of Cuba.