The friendly nature of Cubans, Cuba's hot music scene, and its immaculate beaches, makes it a vacation destination that stands poised to both meet and exceed whatever expectations you might have had. Get help planning your Cuba vacation with these suggestions for things to do in Cuba.
Stroll the Famous Malecon
Running along the waterfront, Havana's Malecon is one of the more renowned tourist attractions in all of Cuba. Built in the early 1900's, this pedestrian walkway also features six lanes of important city roadway that serves as one of the city's main arteries. A popular meeting place for social gatherings, a parade route for special festivals, and the perfect place to watch the sun go down, taking in at least part of the Malecon is a must when considering things to do in Cuba. If you only have time to walk a portion of the Malecon, the stretch through Central Havana is of particular interest with its historic buildings.
Tour Old Havana
Known to Cubans as La Habana Vieja, Old Havana is a tourist magnet, and the Cuban government knows it. In recent years, great strides have been taken to renovate the districts colonial-era structures. Old mansions and churches are just some of the sights that help to make Old Havana on a whole one of the top tourist attractions in Cuba. Old Havana is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and it is also where you can find some of the best, and most frequented Havana hotels. Taking a guided cultural tour of Old Havana is a possibility, or you can take your own walking tour and perhaps see what the day will bring.
Learn about the Cuban Revolution at the Museo de la Revolucion
Cuba's current leader, Fidel Castro, rose to power with a historic assault on the capital that has resulted in almost 50 years of Communist rule. Together with Che Guevara and a band of other revolutionaries, Castro managed to overthrow Fulgencio Batista to become Cuba's President. The Museo de la Revolucion (Museum of the Revolution) in Havana offers exhibits that pertain to the Cuban Revolution, as well as to the Cuban War of Independence. Behind the museum, you can see the yacht known as Granma, which Castro and his band of some 80 men used to sail from Mexico to Cuba for their coup.
Head to the Beach
Cuba has over 3,000 miles of coastline, and its numerous cays and islands offer prominent coastlines of their own. At Cuban beach destinations like Varadero,Cayo Coco, and Cayo Largo, you can enjoy a number of watersports, soak up some warm rays, enjoy the transparent Caribbean waters, and just refresh your inner soul. Cuba arguably has some of the best beaches in the world, and it also boasts a good amount of resorts where you can enjoy service and comfort at one of Cuba's best sandy stretches.
Catch a Live Cuban Music Performance
Cuban music takes plenty of influence from the country's Afro-Cuban roots. Cuban music is both original, innovative and typical all at once. You can head to one of Cuba's night clubs, or drop in on one of the country's many Music Houses and dance to live salsa, kick back to Cuban jazz, or see old masters deliver the famous Cuban Son. Son is surely one of Cuba's major music genres, and is credited for shaping much of Cuban music after it. Buena Vista Social Club is largely responsible for putting Cuban music on the map for those who weren't familiar with it, and if you are planning a Cuba vacation, their CD is a can't miss. Many Cuban cities are known to offer free concerts in public city plazas, so if you are lucky, you will be in town for one, whether it be in Havana, Santiago de Cuba or beyond. Seeing a live Cuban music performance of any kind is definitely a highly-recommended entry for things to do in Cuba.
Explore the Bellamar Caves
Since their discovery in the latter 1800's, Cuba's Bellamar Caves have been one of the most recognized tourist attractions in Cuba. Found some 60 miles from Havana, and just 25 miles from Varadero, the Cuevas de Bellamar, as they are known in Cuba, will blow your mind. Ornate crystal sculptures, underground rivers and ponds, and indigenous pictographs can all be found inside the Bellamar Caves. Words cannot adequately explain the Bellamar Caves, as they are truly one of the Cuban attractions that need to be seen to be believed.
Go Scuba Diving
Whether you are an experienced diver or trying it for the first time, scuba diving in Cuba is certainly one of the more rewarding things to do. Dive centers and facilities are springing up all over Cuba, offering trained instructors and a list of underwater destinations. Visit a sunken ship from the Spanish-American War, or simply drift along with the current exploring miles of pristine coral reefs. Many of the Cuban beach resorts can help you arrange your Cuba scuba diving adventure, and once you enter the crystal-clear waters here, you will be treated to hundreds of species of colorful fish and all kinds of other interesting ocean creatures. Cayo Largo, Guardalavaca (Holguin), and Cayo Coco are just some of the possible Cuban destinations where you can enjoy world-class scuba diving.
Hang the Gone Fishin' Sign
Ernest Hemingway used to love to fish in Cuba, and whether you are looking to stand on firm ground while casting a line, or want to head out to sea, Cuba fishing has plenty of exciting spots to check out. Deep sea fishing is popular with anglers looking to snare some pretty sporty species, and bonefishing here is about as good as it gets. You can flyfish for tarpon in Cuba, head to an inland lake for trout and bass, or struggle with a Blue Marlin offshore. Families might consider booking a fishing expedition in Cuba, and if you go on guided fishing tours, often times your guide(s) will help you cook up the day's catch. It's pretty much as good as Cuban food gets.