Wake up and get lost in the beautiful old town, la Habana Vieja. The narrow, windey streets are filled with lots of Cuban cafes, artisan shops and fruit stalls. Visit the plaza by Convento de San Francisco, and take time to sink into tranquillity and people watch. Pop by “El Floridita Bar”, home of the daiquiri for lunch and a cocktail. Of course, the strawberry daiquiri is a must here.
From here, take a stroll to el Capitolio (the national capital building) and el Parque Central. El Parque Central is a popular spot to sit down, relax and watch all of the old Cuban cars drive by. You will really feel the heart of Cuba’s hustle and bustle here. For dinner, head to La Guarida, this is one of the most famous restaurants in Havana (and has been the filming location for several films). From the outside, it will seem like you have arrived to a derelict building, but as you make your way up the stairs you will feel like you are stepping back in time into a 1940s film noir – the ambience, the food and the views make this restaurant and bar an unforgettable experience.
Start your day with an old Cuban car tour. The popular spots to hail an old vintage car is in el Parque Central or by the port. Your driver will most likely take you to Che Guevara’s house over at Casablanca which offers a unique viewpoint which looks back onto the city, the famous coastline road El Malecón, el Capitolio (the national capital building), Plaza de la Revolución (where Fidel Castro famously addressed millions of Cubans during political speeches, as well as monuments dedicated to other notable figures Che Guevara and José Martí) and the notorious, Hotel Nacional, home of the mafia.
For dinner, try El Cocinero an intimate restaurant and terrace with a contemporary feel. The restaurant’s unique tall standing chimney makes the restaurant quite a stand out landmark itself. After, take a stroll in the city centre of Havana and get ready for an evening of cocktails and Cuba’s famous salsa dancing at Casa de la Música de Miramar.
Explore the rest of the city of Havana by foot, you will be amazed at what you find around every corner and each side street. For breakfast or lunch, visit Chacon 162 embedded in the narrow streets of Habana Vieja. After, take a long walk down el Malecón’s 8km stretch of coastline. Driving el Malecón is one thing, but walking it is another. Witness the giant waves crashing into the north of the city as you try to not get drenched.
For dinner, head to Restaurante Al Carbon, there are many restaurants in the city but this one boasts original Cuban décor and walls adorned with framed photographs of all the visitors and celebrities who have visited the restaurant over the years, the food is delicious, especially their grilled menu.
Head to Trinidad early in the morning and check into your hotel, homestay or Airbnb. Grab a ride, or if you are feeling up to it hire bikes and cycle to one of Trinidad’s most beautiful beaches, Playa Ancón. On this deserted beach you will discover Cuba’s crystal clear water, soft sandy beaches and fresh sea air. You will feel like you are in paradise. After you’ve sipped on a few fresh coconuts, hitch a ride home and get ready for an evening exploring Trinidad’s cobbled streets. For dinner, go to La Terraza Colonial, for a gorgeous dinner under the stars whilst listening to local Cuban musicians. After, go to La Canchanchara for more entertainment and to try Trinidad’s local cocktail, a sweet mix of honey, lemon and rum, la canchanchara.
Take your bikes and cycle the coastline, this time stop off at La Boca, a local fishing village with a lovely stretch of beach. Relax, unwind and spend the day lazing in the sun. If you want to explore a little more, continue as though you are going to Playa Ancón, but stop off on the road and explore the water and rock pools as and when you see them. In the evening, return to La Boca to watch the sky turn into a beautiful sea of pinks and reds and watch the sunset above the ocean. For dinner, try Taberna La Botija, a popular restaurant in the heart of Trinidad.
Have a big breakfast at your homestay or Airbnb before a big morning ahead at Topes de Collantes waterfalls. Your driver will drop you at a coffee plantation which is at the entrance to the path for the waterfalls. Have fun exploring the gardens before following the long trail and signposts to the waterfall. Enjoy swimming in the fresh cold water of Topes de Collantes and the greenery that surrounds you from the canopies. On your way back, be sure to stop off at the view point for panoramic views of Cuba’s south coast. Spend the rest of the day recuperating from the morning’s adventures before exploring more of Trinidad’s cobbled streets in the evening for dinner. Try Adita Café a popular traditional Spanish restaurant, full of friendly faces and an authentic interior filled with large Serrano hams hanging from the ceiling.
Wake up and wander the old cobbled streets of the centre of Trinidad; you will discover a labyrinth of paths filled with local artisan shops, ceramic shops and galleries filled with paintings by local Cuban artists. Head to Plaza Mayor to soak up the relaxing rural scenery along with the sounds of the birds. Enjoy a drink and live Cuban music whilst overlooking the plaza on the Trinidad terraces. If listening to the musicians isn’t enough, take a quick walk around the corner to Palenque de los Congos Reales where you can dance the afternoon away to the sounds of Spanish music.
Get ready for an early morning of travel to the wonderful northern coast as you venture to Cuba’s 20km stretch of Atlantic coastline, called Varadero. Finish your holiday at one of Varadero’s all-inclusive hotels for maximum chill and relaxation. Soak up the sun, swim and sunbathe – you will need it after a long morning of travel. Walk the beautiful, white sandy shore where you will be dazzled by the crystal blue waters.
If you fancy an excursion and want to deep dive into Cuba’s tropical waters, venture to Caya Piedra underwater park where you will find sunken military equipment and vessels of Cuba’s coastline. If diving isn’t for you, visit Varadero’s markets for local artisan souvenirs, from leather goods to wooden cutlery and hand-crafted drums, there are so many locally crafted goods to choose from. Of course, don’t forget to visit one of the “Casa del Habano” shops for Cuban cigars and Cuban rum before you go.
Spend the last day however you like. You have probably got a long flight home, so make sure you soak up the sun, sand and sea one last time.