There is a multitude of reasons for travel to Cuba, not least of which is the vibrant Cuban culture and sunny, warm days.
The island is somewhat a ‘lucky dip’ of treasures, from its political history to its fame as the land of song and dance – you could not get more diverse! It has all the attractions of the Western world, but with a more relaxed, easy-going environment.
The climate is pretty much ideal, apart from hurricane season in September and October. It is hot most of the time and can be quite humid, but there is always a bar, hotel or restaurant with air-conditioning that you can take refuge in.
Another reason to go to Cuba is its ‘Hemingway style’ of laid back and quirky buildings, shops and eateries. With only a distance of just over 100 miles between Cuba and the US state of Florida, both countries share influences. ‘No hurry, no worry’ is something that the Cuban nationals believe in.
Read on to learn more reasons to visit this beautiful island!
- 1 Top Reasons to Visit Cuba
- 2 Enjoy the Unspoilt Beaches
- 3 Check Out the Bars, Restaurants and Clubs
- 4 Having a Great Time Needn’t Be Costly
- 5 Where to Travel in Cuba
- 6 When Is the Best Time to Travel to Cuba?
- 7 When Is the Cheapest Time to Travel to Cuba?
- 8 Is It Safe to Travel to Cuba?
- 9 What Are the 12 Authorised Reasons to Travel to Cuba?
Top Reasons to Visit Cuba
Where does anyone begin with the reasons to go to Cuba? The list is endless. You can easily occupy yourself for 2 or 3 weeks on the island or even longer. Here are some starters:
Sample the Local Cuisine
Eating here is certainly an experience, with a mix of Caribbean food, some Mexican influence and a wealth of fast-food outlets, if that matches your taste buds.
There is a surprising variety of foods available, particularly meats such as chicken, lamb and pork to accompany the traditional staple fare of rice and beans.
Fruit is also in abundance and often is mixed with the main dishes as well as eaten in its own right. Cuba is certainly well supplied by its own produce and that from imports, particularly from the USA.
The waters around the area provide superb fish and seafood, usually served freshly grilled – another top reason to travel to this location!
Discover the Island’s History
The island has undergone a lot of changes over the last 20 years, but the pace of these changes is still relatively slow. If you want to find out more about its history, visiting the former Presidential Palace (now the Museo de la Revolución) is a revelation into ‘old Cuba’. This houses a ground floor homage to Che Guevara.
Another top reason to visit Cuba is Ernest Hemingway’s house, sitting atop a hill, east of the capital, Havana. Believed to be Hemingway’s favourite home, he wrote many of his best novels here. In his ‘downtime’ (writer’s block), he would take the ferry crossing to the Florida Keys, and was often seen propping up a bar for inspiration!
Some of the island is a little bit of a throwback to the 1950s – with advantages. Take a tour in a 1956 vintage Chevrolet with an open top and see the sites! There are plenty of rentals with drivers included for a small cost.
Enjoy the Unspoilt Beaches
If you prefer to laze around in the sun or be a beach bum, opportunities here are vast. One of the most popular beaches is Varadero, where swimming is bliss and there are sporting activities such as snorkelling to participate in.
Sundown is beautiful, and you can relax at one of the many beach bars with a cocktail or 2. Not to worry, transportation is excellent to and from this beachside location – so, on to a restaurant?
Check Out the Bars, Restaurants and Clubs
Cuban nightlife revolves around bars, restaurants and nightclubs, so another incentive to go to Cuba is for a sensual experience on the dance floor. Music is more-than-often live, but there are also discos, particularly in Havana.
The Cubans are friendly people (especially when it comes to their great love of dancing), so do not be surprised if you are asked to dance by a local! Venues are not expensive to enter, and often include a couple of free drinks, local style.
A sexy salsa, a tantalising tango? You can get it all here, even if you have two left feet for dancing, you could become a pro overnight! Why travel to Cuba? To let your hair down and truly relax with these friendly people. Nightlife is one of the reasons to go to Cuba and the ambiance at these venues is second to none.
Having a Great Time Needn’t Be Costly
Overall, enjoying yourself is quite inexpensive, particularly local beers, and this is another good reason to travel to Cuba.
For a real Cuban experience, visit one of the cigar factories, see how they are made and get to sample before you buy. Just remember to check your home country’s tobacco allowance, as the temptation will be great!
Where to Travel in Cuba
There are approximately 11.5 million inhabitants on the island contained within its 111,000 sq.km, and it is the largest island in the Caribbean.
The capital, Havana, must be on your list of where to travel, as it is a hotspot of day and nightlife. Havana is dynamic and varied with great architecture interspersed with trendy and lively bars and restaurants. There is plenty of accommodation of all classifications, from boutique hotels to AirBnBs, to suit your budget.
Cuba has ‘cays’ as opposed to ‘keys’ in Florida. The best ones to visit for a lazy sunny day on the coast are Cayo Coco and Cayo Guillermo, a true taste of the Caribbean with palm trees and sugar cane plantations!
During the June carnival, Camaguey is a beautiful town that really comes to life, even though it is Cuba’s oldest town and a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is quaint with cobbled streets and quirky shops.
If you love a Caribbean carnival atmosphere, Santiago is ‘party town’, full of music, dancing and locals dressed up in parades along the main streets during the July celebration time. Well worth a visit.
When Is the Best Time to Travel to Cuba?
If weather is your main priority, all you need to do is avoid September and October, when there is the potential for hurricanes.
Yes, it does rain and get a little colder for a few days here and there in the months from December through to March, but this is still an extremely popular time to visit.
If you want fun, fun, fun, check out the festival dates which are normally during June and July. It is, after all, the Caribbean.
When Is the Cheapest Time to Travel to Cuba?
The cheapest time to travel here is outside the popular high season, which runs (naturally) like the rest of the Caribbean, from December through to early March.
Therefore, the cheapest time to travel to the island is the low season in late summer and autumn, although you may experience some cloudy days and rainfall.
Meanwhile, the locals tend to holiday in July and August, so accommodation at the cheaper end of the scale is less available.
Is It Safe to Travel to Cuba?
Predominantly, the island is safe, yes. The usual petty crimes that happen anywhere do exist, such as pickpocketing and bag snatching, so take care.
Also, women in general are safe and well-respected on the island. If you are shy though, be aware that Cuban men may give you some attention! Consider wearing a wedding ring to ensure you’re left alone.
Just be aware that crime does exist in the main cities such as Havana, but this is not something to overly worry about – just stay cautious like you would anywhere else.
What Are the 12 Authorised Reasons to Travel to Cuba?
The 12 legal reasons to travel to Cuba are listed in the below activities. When applying for entry, you should include this on your application. If you are simply travelling as a tourist, you will still need a Cuban Tourist Card or Cuban visa; otherwise, you will not be allowed to travel.
- Family Visits
- Journalistic Activity
- Professional Research and Meetings
- Educational activities/People to People Travel
- Religious Activities
- Public Performances, Clinics, Workshops, Exhibitions, Athletic and Other Competitions
- Support for the Cuban People
- Humanitarian Projects
- Activities of Private Foundations, or Research or Educational Institutes
- Official Business of the U.S. Government, Foreign Governments, and Certain Intergovernmental Organizations
- Exportation, Importation, or Transmission of Information
- Authorized Export Transactions
Going to this wonderful place should not be too difficult, as long as you seek the right advice if in any doubt. Find out more on our Cuba visa page!