Perhaps the most clichéd image of Cuba is of a classic American car rolling past a crumbling colonial building, and you don’t have to spend long in the country to see why this image has become so ubiquitous. There are said to be around 60,000 vintage cars in Cuba, most of them still on the road and almost all of them imported from the factories of Detroit during the 1940s and 1950s, when the US was Cuba’s most significant trade partner. After President Kennedy cut off all trade with Cuba via the 1962 economic embargo that exists to this day, car owners were compelled to keep their Buicks, Oldsmobiles, Chevrolets and Fords running. Unable to source replacement parts, proud owners have over the years become the most ingenious on the planet, culling pieces from Eastern Bloc Ladas, household appliances and even old tanks to keep their cars alive.

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Cuba features

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Budget trips: 20 of the cheapest places to travel

Budget trips: 20 of the cheapest places to travel

That ever-growing travel wish list might be putting some pressure on your pocket – but there are plenty of destinations where you'll get more bang for your b…

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12 tips for backpacking Cuba

12 tips for backpacking Cuba

Cuba’s captivating, colourful streets and carnaval­ feel make it appealing for travellers year­-round. And, as relations with the US thaw, the country's p…

23 May 2017 • Freya Godfrey insert_drive_file Article
Video: a 1 minute guide to Cuba

Video: a 1 minute guide to Cuba

From the gorgeous countryside of Viñales to the brilliant beaches of Varadero – not to mention the atmospheric, timeworn streets of Havana – Cuba is a begu…

15 Mar 2017 • Rough Guides Editors videocam Video
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