Cuba comes in as the largest island in the Caribbean at 42,426 sq. miles including the smaller islands that make up Cuba or 40,369 sq. miles of the main land, it surly is vast.
The land is mainly flat rolling plains except for Siera Maestra the mountains in the southeast. There is a population of approximately 11,241,161 with around 2 million just in Havana. The official language in Cuba is Spanish and I would recommend that you try to learn a few words and phrases before you go. There are two seasons in Cuba the dry season running from November to April and the rainy season from may to October. The wettest month is June where you can expect an average rain fall of 80mm. The hottest month to visit is July with an average temperature of 27ºC, and the coolest January averaging 21ºC. You can expect a nice breeze all year through. Hurricane season is September to October.
As a heritage listed old town with colonel buildings, old crumbling ruins of buildings and some beautiful pastel coloured streets you defiantly want to see this. The cobbled roads, Plaza de la cathedral and an impressive 18th century old building called Casa del cande jaruco all to see. There is plenty of live music, bars, restaurants and shops to keep you occupied, there is even some nightlife. If staying for more that just a day trip I would recommend that you stay in old Havana as you will be closer to the main area then in Havana central. I would also recommend taking a local tour where you will learn all about the fascinating history. Trinidad is the next most historic city in Cuba from Havana. Being UNESCO Heritage listed you will feel like you have walked into a time machine and gone back 500 years, the cobbled streets are narrow and the only way to get around is on foot or via horseback or horse and cart. It is reasonably similar to the old town section of Havana. You can visit the plaza mayor control square.
Cuba has 10 international airports, 15 national airports, 4 cruise terminals and 15 international marines, so getting to the island is defiantly not going to be a problem. What you may find a problem though is which part to visit, I would recommend that if your planning a trip to Cuba you do a multi stop trip and spend time in various areas of Cuba to make the most of seeing this beautiful country’s real beauty. Do not expect to much from your hotels, it will not match up to the quality of other Caribbean island and there is not much luxury around. But I am sure your not going to sit in your hotel all day. I would also recommend that you take cash with you in the form of Cuban convertible peso’s as there are not many cash machines around, although most large hotels should have an exchange.
There is another currency on the island but that is just for the locals, Cuban national peso’s. Being a communist state there are things that you will find different to what your used to, but just embrace it and you will see the true beauty of the place. Do be warned though do not expect the most delicious food in the world as due to the food restrictions food can be rather bland. A typical mean would consist of plantains, black beans and rice. Ropa vieja (shredded beef), Cuban bread or pork with onions. So where to stay or visit, well you cannot go to Cuba without visiting Havana, that would be ludicrous!
Your First View
Want to get out of the city, why not take a day trip to Vinales. Vinales is a small town well known for its tobacco fields, it grows all the tobacco for the big cigar brands in Cuba. You can go hiking through the fields, go horse backing or go check out the Cuban dance club and have a meal at one of the restaurants. Apart from tobacco Vinales also produces many fruits and vegetables. You also don’t want to be in the Caribbean without stopping by a beach or two! Varadero is the largest tourist beach area, with a whole strip of large all inclusive style resorts, situated on perfect white sands and clear water. Now you can relax. You wont see many locals around the area though as the locals are not allowed on the beach at Varadero. There are a few little shops and bars dotted about the area if you fancy leaving the complex. Varadero includes a nature reserve which contains two caves, great for exploring to. You can also visit the flower gardens in Parque Josone, or go to the under waterpark at Cayo piedra which is popular for diving and snorkelling, you will find many tropical fish and shipwrecks.
Guerdalavaea is much quieter and more remote than Varadero. You will find the beaches are picturesque lined with pretty foliage, there are many coral reefs to explore here, You can also visit Cayo Naronjo a dolphinarium where you can see the fascinating mammals up close. Sailing trips are also a big thing here. Playa Paraiso is on the island of Largo de sur have one of the best beaches in Cuba, defiantly a sun seekers destination with not much going on but you the sun, sea and sand. Perfect if you just want some quiet time in stunning surroundings. Cayo Coco is connected to the main land via a bridge which you can access by road or there is an airport on the island, here you will find the El baba nature park home to turtles, crocodiles and flamingos. There are birds galore here too so if your into bird watching this may be the place for you. Cayo Guillermo is connect to Cayo Coco another beach perfect destination. The last place I am going to mention is Cayo Santa Maria another smaller island that makes up Cuba. It is a small island just off the northern coast of Cuba it is well known for its beaches, water sports and all inclusive resorts.