Cuba's Best-Kept Secret: La Cienaga de Zapata

Posted by Maria Victoria O'Hana on 02-05-2018 10:16:11

How the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve of Cienaga de Zapata remains largely unknown to foreigners is a mystery to most Cubans. Just a 2-hour drive from Havana, this incredibly unique swamp area is home to a diverse range of landscapes and hidden gems - from a treasure lagoon and crocodile farm, to underwater shipwrecks and the infamous Bay of Pigs - landing site of the 1961 CIA-sponsored invasion of Cuba. But the Bay of Pigs invasion is not the Cienaga's only historical claim to fame - in the late 1950s, when the Native American Miccosukees were fighting to gain rights and recognition from the U.S. government, Fidel Castro offered the Cienaga de Zapata to the Miccosukees as their homeland. Embarrassed, the U.S. government granted the Miccosukee tribe recognition and federal benefits. Today, the region serves as one of the best offbeat spots for eco-tourism in all of Cuba. Read on to find out more about this fascinating region and which sites to visit in Cuba's best-kept secret!

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Tags: Cienaga de Zapata, Laguna del Tesoro, secret, eco-tourism, cuba, Playa Larga, diversity, travel

48 Hours in Viñales

Posted by Maria Victoria O'Hana on 29-03-2018 02:11:58

Located in the heart of Pinar del Rio, Viñales is an area of outstanding natural beauty, where tobacco is grown for the Cuban cigar industry. The valley itself is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site and is peppered with strange and unique “mogotes” – a series of tall, rounded hills which seem to pop out of the ground. As well as walking, the area is great for photography, bird-watching, cycling and horse riding. There are plenty of unique activities on offer, including boat-rides through the Cave of the Indian, tours of tobacco plantations, and an immersive experience in the Palenque de los Cimarrones - a former hideout for runaway slaves.

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Tags: tip, destinations, vinales, recommendations, holidays, cigars, tobacco, music, travel ideas

Romerias de Mayo: Holguín's Cultural Showcase

Posted by Rossana Young on 28-03-2018 09:34:00

Looking for an authentic insight into Cuban culture? Look no further than Romerias de Mayo festival. This eclectic arts and culture celebration takes place every May (usually 3rd-8th) in  Holguín, a  charming city set in the lush, beautiful and surprisingly little-visited East of the island.

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Tags: culture, events, Holguín, Eastern Cuba

Carnival in Cuba: Join the Nation's Biggest Party

Posted by Rossana Young on 16-02-2018 03:28:48

Carnival season may be coming to a close across much of the world, but in Cuba the party hasn’t even begun.

In most Roman Catholic countries, Carnival is a pre-Lenten festival; a time of excess before 40 days of austerity. But in typical Cuban style, things on the island are a little different, with celebrations taking place throughout the summer in various towns and cities. Lucky for you, that leaves plenty of time to organise your Carnival trip.

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Tags: havana, culture, events, santiago de cuba, music, afro-cuba, matanzas, history, carnival