Havana is the most fascinating town and deemed the most beautiful city in the Caribbean. Home to 11.2 million it lures people to its funky jazz festivals, jazz clubs, the mamba, the cha-cha and the Salsa. It is the musical powerhouse of Cuba. The historical centre is Old Havana, with its wealth of Spanish Colonial architecture.
No visit to Cuba is complete without two things. First is a visit to a cigar factory like Partagas in Havana. One of the oldest brands of cigar is H.Upmanns with many still being rolled by hand. They are so famous that the night before signing the Cuban embargo, Kennedy rounded up 1200 cigars for his collection. The second is to step into a local paladar were locals open their homes to offer people traditional Cuban Cuisine. With an eclectic mix of influences the cooking style uses mainly oregano, cumin, garlic and a sofrito as a base.
Shaped like an outstretch hand bouncing a ball, Cuba is divided into the western, eastern, central zones and then the all important islands.
In the east, Baracoa offers an idyllic quiet beach, with small restaurants, and a museum which houses a number of colourful Polimita snail shells. It is also near to the Miel and Toa rivers with their many waterfalls, as well as an isolated plateau which is home to 9 unique species of plants and palms. As beautiful as the beaches of Baracoa are, Guardalavaca, further north, offers fine sandy beaches, a tranquil sea and an idyllic spot for diving as the corals and reefs are close to the beach.
A comical labyrinth of narrow alleys, forked streets with winding passages and only one exit from the city, is Camaguey in central Cuba.