Exploring Cuba can be bewitching and bewildering, and you can’t cover the whole country in a single trip. Our Havana Grand Tour concentrates on the capital’s main sights, while our other suggested routes focus on getting the most out of the country when you venture beyond Havana.
Inland Cuba has natural treasures galore, and you could easily dedicate two weeks to trekking through the country’s glorious forests, breathtaking mountains and verdant countryside.
1 Las Terrazas
A rich variety of birdlife flits through the fertile mixture of semitropical rainforest and evergreen forest on the slopes of the Sierra del Rosario mountain range.
The jewel in the crown of western Cuba is the landscape in this striking national park, where rich red earth and lush tobacco fields contrast with the almost eerie Jurassic rock formations.
3 Cuevas de Bellamar
Venture over 50m below the surface and along hundreds of metres of atmospheric passageways in these awe-inspiring underground caves.
4 Topes de Collantes
This beautiful national park in the steep forested slopes of the Sierra del Escambray mountains has some excellent hiking trails.
The idyllic campsite here is tucked away down in the folds of the Jatibonico Sierra and framed by a halo of royal palms and banana groves alive with wildlife.
6 Pinares de Mayarí
Few venture into this beautiful and isolated pine forest, with a placid lake, majestic waterfall and intriguing Pre-Columbian caves hidden high above sea level.
Cradled by lush green mountains smothered in palm and cacao trees, and threaded with swimmable rivers, the Baracoan countryside is the perfect place to immerse yourself in the great outdoors.
8 Sierra Maestra
Even if you fall short of Pico Turquino, Cuba’s geographical summit, a trek through the verdant peaks of the Sierra Maestra takes in stunning views, cloud forest vegetation and the mountain bases of Revolutionary rebels.
Without your own transport, the key to seeing a good amount of the country’s highlights on a seven day-long trip from Havana is to map out a journey along the long-distance bus routes.
1 Las Terrazas
This mountain retreat is just an hour from Havana by Víazul bus, but its forested hillsides and gentle attractions are a world away from the capital.
From Las Terrazas, take a Víazul bus to the pretty rural village of Viñales, base for exploring prehistoric landscapes and caves.
From Viñales, hop on a Cubanacán-Transtur bus to the most laidback provincial capital in Cuba, with its bayside location, clean streets and open-plan neighbourhoods.
An hour and a half from Cienfuegos by Víazul bus, this is Cuba’s most complete and intact colonial town. And with beaches just down the road, mountains not much further away and a glorious nearby valley, Trinidad makes a great base for exploring the region.
5 Santa Clara
Three hours from Trinidad by Víazul bus, this culturally rich city is the place to pay homage to Che Guevara.
Use the Víazul service from Santa Clara to get to Cuba’s most famous beach, where you can sunbathe for a day before heading back to Havana.