30 BEST Things To Do In Cuba This Year
Estimated Reading Time: 7 minutes
Cuba’s a showstopper! This place is full of beauty, culture, art, great food, and wonderful people. It’s also the country of origin for a few well-known cocktails and spirits (see below), and, of course, cuban cigars!
This list, the 30 Best Things To Do in Cuba, will provide for you the most unique, interesting, and fun experiences that Cuba has to offer! Having utilized this list, you will come away from Cuba having ventured through the country holistically. Combining culture, food, fun, and nature, these activities will leave you bubbling over with travel euphoria!
Best Activities in Cuba
1. Smoke a Cuban Cigar AND learn how to roll one yourself
Cuban cigars are handmade from the tobacco grown in Cuba’s Caribbean, lush soil. The rich soil produces Cuba’s signature tobacco flavor.
Learn how to roll a Cuban with a local, for a small fee. It’s the activity that’s earned the top spot on my list of Best Things To Do In Cuba.
2. Eat a Cuban Sandwich (a.k.a. Cubano)
Have you ever been abroad and, from so much walking and sightseeing, you’re absolutely famished? Well, travelers (especially pork lovers), this is your sandwich!
After a few bites into this roasted pork layered with ham, yellow mustard, pickles, and Swiss cheese, you will surely find a piece of heaven in a Cubano!
3. Havana, Cuba is the birthplace of the Mojito
A Mojito is a rum-based cocktail, muddled with mint leaves, sugar, and lime. This refreshing, chilled, citrusy drink is the perfect pairing for an afternoon in Cuba.
I love rum! And, I love sugary citrus! *mouth waters* Excuse me while I go book my next flight ticket to Cuba!
4. Ride in Cuba’s Classic 1950s cars
Yes, iconic Cuban cars from the 1950’s! Fords, Chevrolets, Cadillacs, to name a few, glide through Cuba’s streets looking pretty!
Marveling at the kaleidoscope of colors passing by on the roads - a real snapshot of Cuban history linked to a beloved culture - you should most certainly take a spin in one of these beauties!
5. Beautiful Cuban architecture
Imported construction materials were sourced from France, Italy, Germany, Sweden, Belgium, Norway, and Hungary to create colorfully elaborate Art Deco and Baroque (to name a few) spectacles.
These colossal wonders will have you gazing up in awe at their intricate and luxurious detailing - an iconic background to Cuban society.
6. Spanish vibes in Trinidad, Cuba
Trinidad, located in central Cuba, is known for its colorful, old town colonial-style architecture and cobblestone streets. Many marvelous, sparkling attractions will steal your heart away as you spend hours in the streets, shops, and within the community.
7. Book a Havana City Tour
Sightseeing in the city of Havana, Cuba has a permanent spot on the best activities to do in Cuba list, for obvious reasons. You cannot go to Cuba without spending hours, if not days, getting to know Cuba’s capital city and leading commercial center.
City tours will get you in-depth, insider knowledge about the city and its history, and will all be delivered by a knowledgeable local.
8. Soak Up the Sun at Playa Jibacoa
One of Cuba’s best-kept secrets, Jibacoa beach will leave you sun-kissed and simply happy. Jibacoa’s silky, white sand and beautiful blue ocean water is the sensational Caribbean experience you’re craving.
9. Visit the Cenotes
The cenotes are freshwater pools within Cuban caves. This underground natural swimming hole is one of those unforgettable experiences abroad that you can take part in.
Some of Cuba’s cenotes allow for diving and lots of swimming.
10. Grab a cocktail at the Underground Cave Club
Disco Ayala is a subterranean dance club located 100 feet underneath Trinidad, Cuba. This underground cave club comes to life with Cuba’s very own locals and adventurous tourists.
La Cueva (The Cave) has earned a spot for Best Activities in Cuba for its uniqueness, extraordinary atmosphere, and its guaranteed great time.
11. Explore Santiago de Cuba
This visual splendor, Santiago de Cuba is another fabulous location for travelers to wander through and enjoy the culturally rich community and mingle with local denizens.
Filled with colorful, colonial homes, art, and a peaceful atmosphere, you will surely enjoy your time there.
12. Window Shop in Havana, Cuba’s Malecón
Cuba’s Malecón is a roadway and seawall that stretches 5 miles, alongside Havana’s coastline.
Culturally lavish monuments, people, music, art, and food, Cuba’s Malecón is soulful and, quite frankly, is a quintessential Cuban area that will call on your appreciation for travelers alike.
13. Appreciate Colón Cemetery, Havana, Cuba
Another way to appreciate a community and society is to admire their love and devotion towards their people who have passed on.
Pay your respects at Havana, Cuba’s Colón Cemetery and respectfully appreciate the beauty that lies with their loved ones and their histories.
14. Hike up to the Vegas Grande Waterfall
For my adventurous travelers, hike up the Vegas Grande Waterfall (Topes de Collantes) and experience its dazzling natural beauty. The sound of rushing, falling water will bring you close to nature and inspire personal peace.
15. Enjoy a rum tasting of Bacardi Cuban Rum in its place of origin
Another fun fact: Bacardi was Cuba’s first multinational business. Founded in Santiago de Cuba in 1862, Bacardi Carta Blanca (white rum) is a spirit specialty and should be appreciated, and tasted, if possible.
16. Marvel at the Streets of Old Havana, Cuba
Simply take some time to admire your surroundings and be present with Cuba. There is so much quiet beauty that is present and waiting for you to take delight in.
Be sure to practice mindfulness when abroad. It always helps me to center myself, and helps to remember more about special moments from my trips that otherwise might become lost.
17. Tour Viñales on Horseback
Viñales Valley is one of Cuba’s National Monuments (since 1979). The valley’s lush, natural beauty, the colorful colonial-era wooden homes, and Cuba’s karst rock formations, all within the valley, are reasons enough to book a tour.
Set up a reservation with Riding Viñales, a tour of the Viñales Valley, on horseback (pictured below)! Riding Viñales has been awarded Trip Advisor’s 2019 Certification of Excellence for their wonderful and educationally rich Cuban experience.
You will be sure to have an unforgettable experience with an amazing tour guide.
With Riding Viñales, you will experience a 5-6 hour tour that includes the following:
spectacular natural sights of Cuba’s Viñales Valley
explore Cuban caves
visit an underground river
enjoy a Cuban cigar from the hands of the tobacco growers
Definitely add this experience to your Cuba itinerary!
18. Enjoy a Daiquiri at its place of origin
Daiquiris, like Mojitos, originated in Cuba! Daiquiris are white rum-based cocktails with citrus juice, sweetener, and usually over ice or blended ice. With many unique flavor varieties of Daiquiris, be sure to pair them with a night out, and try them all in the place they were created!
19. Venture through Morro Castle in Havana, Cuba
Once a school for lighthouse keepers, the Morro Castle is the fortress guarding the Havana Bay, in Havana, Cuba. Morro Castle also provides great views of the Malecón and Old Havana.
20. Experience La Fiesta de la Cubania in Bayamo, Cuba
Whatever you do, do not miss out on the Fiesta de la Cubania in Bayamo! This stunning, nighttime attraction will have you dancing in the streets of Cuba.
Enjoy the fantastic, live, local pipe organ players, the smell of roasting pig, and drink up the ostiones (an delicious oyster cocktail)! It is a sensational and culturally unique experience for any travelers to Cuba.
21. Check out El Floridita
This historic fish restaurant and cocktail bar is a dazzling gem of Old Havana, Cuba. It is also a great place to order a Mojito or Daiquiri *wink wink*, and sit back and enjoy being in one of the locals’ favorite spots.
22. Visit Cuba’s Tobacco Fields
Cuba’s Tobacco fields produce one of the world’s most famous cigar tobacco. Enjoy the fields, the environment, and learn from the growers and harvesters about this very important part of their society and economy.
23. Wander through Sierra Maestra
Sierra Maestra is the largest mountain range in Cuba that extends from Cape Cruz to Guantanamo River Valley. This mountain range also holds a strong historical significance: a location where Che and Fidel continued plotting the course of the Cuban revolution, in the late 1950s.
24. Admire the culture within Cuba’s Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes
Stretching over two campuses, Bellas Artes is arguably the most decorated art institution in all the Caribbean.
For my museum lovers, please take the time to visit this museum. Cuba’s streets are full of art and culture, but we can all agree that it is always wonderful to wander through the halls of a decorated museum with portraits, sculptures, and artifacts specific to the surrounding community.
25. Visit the Hotel Nacional de Cuba
This historic hotel is located in Havana, Cuba’s Malecón in Vedado (Havana’s central business district).
Fun facts: the majority of this hotel’s rooms face the ocean, and it has hosted many famous guests over the years. A magnificent sight to see, the Hotel Nacional de Cuba is an architectural wonder and one of Cuba’s most iconic hotels in its history.
26. Enjoy water-sports in Cuba
What Caribbean island doesn’t offer water-sports? Spend plenty of time in Cuba’s warm ocean water, rent some water-sports’ gear, snorkel, scuba, or take a boat tour along the coastline.
27. Walk Cuba’s Castillo de San Pedro de la Roca (Santiago de Cuba)
Cuba’s Castillo de San Pedro de la Roca is a costal fortress of the Cuban city of Santiago de Cuba. This multilevel fortress contains educational and art exhibits depicting Cuba’s naval history and battles. The Castillo also provides beautiful views of the ocean, bay and countryside.
28. Che Guevara Mausoleum
The Che Guevara Mausoleum is a memorial that houses the deceased Ernesto “Che” Guevara, a major figure in the Cuban Revolution. It also houses the remains of 29 fellow combatants killed with Che, in 1967. The mausoleum is located in Santa Clara, Cuba (within the Plaza Che Guevara).
29. Entertainment at the Tropicana Club
El Tropicana is a cabaret club in Havana, Cuba that has seating for 1,400 people with over 200 performers of the popular Cuban dance.
Fun fact: the tradition of the Tropicana performance (that may seem similar to Las Vegas’ feather headdresses dancers) actually originated in the Havana club! Enjoy the show and this major tourist attraction!
30. Spend time with Cuban locals
I saved this activity for last, in our list of Best Things to Do In Cuba, for a reason.
As a Holistic Traveler, I strongly encourage you to strike up as many conversations with the locals as possible. Ask questions about their community; ask for their perspective on the history and architecture of Cuba; get to know their favorite pastimes; and simply enjoy their company.
Any conversation you have with the people that are native to an area will absolutely leave you with a lasting impression of your visit. And that, my dear, is one of the most priceless and best activities in Cuba.
Travel fully prepared with this list of Best Things To Do In Cuba and know that these options are tried and test, and well-reviewed.
I just know the pictures and stories you gather from this trip will bring a lot of light and joy to yourself and others in your near future.
Enjoy your stay!
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