Cuba | Designer Travel

 

When you think of the Caribbean you don’t necessarily think of Cuba, even though its the biggest island in that area. Its not actually a single island, but a varied archipelago with the main island (Isla Grande) stretching 776 miles in length and 62 miles on average in width. If you want a relaxing holiday the beach resorts are ideal, but still with plenty to do. Varadero is probably the most well known and all the big hotel chains are in this area including Sandals and Iberostar. There’s plenty of shops, banks and water sports to keep you occupied and with a beach that is 20Km long it never feels crowded. Other beach destination_blogs include The Cayos, a chain of remote islands on the northern coast that are reached by an internal flight and Guardalavaca where the beaches are described as “spectacular”. Cuba has so much more to offer. A stay in the capital, Havana, is a must. With its Spanish colonial architecture its like taking a step back into history.

Cathedral Square Havana

Many of the attractions are concentrated in three areas: Habana Vieja (Old Havana), Centro Habana and Velado. Habana Vieja is home to the world famous “Malecon”. This busy sea front promenade is 7 km in length stretching from the Colonial centre to Velado. Its lined with magnificent pastel coloured buildings mixed in with more modern structures. Its a very popular with the locals.

Havana

Hotel Ambos. Home to Ernest Hemingway during his stay in Havana.

Trinidad

Trinidad

Sancti Spiritus

Santa Clara

Hotel Ambos Mundos above was home for Ernest Hemingway when he first settled down in Cuba in 1939. Worth a visit if only to taste the excellent Mojitos. Organised tours are proving very popular. We joined a seven day tour which takes in all the major sites in the west of the main island. The first three nights are spent in Havana giving you just enough time to take in the highlights. The next stop is Cienfuegos. This is a maritime town with a fascinating historic centre and a spectacular bay overlooking the Caribbean Sea. Day 5 saw us travelling onto Sancti Spiritus via Trinidad. The UNESCO World Heritage town of Trinidad is well known for its cobbled streets and pastel coloured houses. Its almost as though time has stood still!        The city of Sancti Spiritus is in the heart of the countryside and although British pirates burnt it down in 1586 along with all its documents relating to its foundation, it was embellished with many mansions during the 17th and 18th centuries.  Our final stop on the tour is Santa Clara. Its claim to fame was that in 1958 the last battle of the war led by Che Guevara took place. This battle ended the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista, with Fidel Castro becoming prime minister in 1959.  Today, Santa Clara is a lively destination, but with plenty of interesting sites including the Memorial “Comandante Ernisto Che Guevara” (above). It was built to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the battle of Santa Clara. It houses a museum and the mausoleum of Che Guevara. Flight time to Cuba is approximately 10 hours with a 5 hour time difference. Temperatures do not vary that much through the year. In January you expect a low of about 6 C with average highs of 18C. The hottest month is August with average highs of 24C. June is the wettest month with an average monthly rainfall of 193mm and in March it reduces to an average of 44mm. For further information please contact Sue Todd on 01455 213590, e-mail sue@designertravel.co.uk


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