The 5 Best Ice Cream Parlours in Havana

Posted by Jeremy John on 31-07-2020 03:53:42

Ice cream has been popular in Cuba since the beginning of the 20th century, when vast blocks of ice were imported to the island to make cold drinks, cocktails and ice creams for both locals and tourists. You can pick up a scoop for just a few cents, or try more exuberant artisanal ice cream in some of Havana’s newer ‘heladerias’ (ice cream parlours). A particularly worthwhile treat on a hot day, here are five ice cream parlours not to miss.

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10 reasons why Viñales is worth a visit

Posted by Jeremy John on 19-05-2020 03:01:44

Viñales receives far fewer visitors than Cuba’s stunning beaches and enchanting capital Havana. But if you have the time, it is well worth making the trip to Viñales. Here are ten reasons why:

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Havana, Viñales and Varadero: Cuba’s golden triangle of the west

Posted by Jeremy John on 20-04-2020 02:31:04

Want to see some of Cuba’s finest city life, nature and beaches all in the same region? Havana, Viñales and Varadero are the three places to do it. Transport between this ‘golden triangle of the west’ is fast and efficient, and the journey itself provides treats for the eye. Each place has so much to offer. Here is the lowdown.

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Havana’s New ‘5 Star-Plus’ Luxury Hotels

Posted by Jeremy John on 06-04-2020 01:08:36

Havana has recently witnessed the inauguration of three brand new hotels that some commentators have been referring to as ‘5 Star-Plus’, due to their high international standards. These are: Accor Paseo del Prado, Iberostar Grand Packard and Gran Hotel Manzana Kempinski. They offer an ambience that aims at being a cut above the rest, especially through original interior designs and layouts.

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3 gourmet Cuban products to bring home (besides cigars and rum)

Posted by Jeremy John on 03-03-2020 02:39:36

Whilst Cuban cigars and rum are known globally for their high quality, Cuba also produces other specialities that are well worth taking back in your luggage. Here’s the lowdown on three exquisite Cuban products: coffee, honey and chocolate. 

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Viñales - Foodie Heaven for both Vegans AND Meat Lovers!

Posted by Jeremy John on 24-02-2020 02:31:40

When it comes to eating great food in Cuba, Viñales has to be a contender for being the country’s most delicious location. Viñales has whole streets of good restaurants and cafes competing to get your service. Also, it is full of different vegan and non-vegan culinary options. Here are some of them to give you a taste. 

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10 Fun Facts about Havana's famous ‘Malecon’

Posted by Jeremy John on 03-02-2020 04:06:05

Havana’s Malecón is the most famous seafront promenade in Cuba and one of the capital’s places where most people from different parts of the world gather. Here are 10 fun facts to put you in the picture.

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Havana and Varadero: Culture and Relaxation

Posted by Jeremy John on 20-01-2020 02:22:33

Embrace Cuba's cultural richness before relaxing on the white sandy beach. Combine the bright and brilliant city of Havana with a dreamy beach destination such as Varadero. Still not sure? Here is some more detailed information to put you in the picture.

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10 great salsa bars and clubs in Havana

Posted by Jeremy John on 15-01-2020 02:56:36

Salsa has a deep rooted history in Cuba. Listening to live salsa music, watching the dancing or joining in yourself, is a mesmerising experience. Here are 10 great places to go to experience salsa. Note, that whilst salsa is very popular, there are so many different music genres in Cuba to celebrate that each of these places will also have a variety of other performances taking place. 

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Ten superb bars in Havana to sip cocktails and socialise not visited by Hemingway

Posted by Jeremy John on 17-12-2019 09:05:50

When it comes to going out, Havana has it all. A unique place to dance and drink the night away, Havana’s bars give so may reasons to celebrate being alive. No wonder the bestselling writer and renowned drinker Ernest Hemingway made this city his home. But there is far more to Havana than Hemingway’s footprint.

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Tags: havana, drink, cocktails, bars

How to plan the perfect Cuba holiday – the ultimate step-by-step guide

Posted by Susana Corona on 27-08-2019 12:17:53

Planning the perfect Cuba holiday doesn’t need to imply spending an extraordinary amount of time or effort organising your trip, nor suppose any special ordeal or hassle. Not if you follow our simple step-by-step guide on how to plan the perfect holiday to Cuba in 10 steps (or less).

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Why stay in a casa particular? Top reasons to choose private B&B accommodation in Cuba

Posted by Susana Corona on 21-08-2019 12:13:33

Why stay in a casa particular instead of a hotel? Why should you choose this type of accommodation in Cuba? Are casas particulares better than hotels or beach resorts? Will they add to the Cuban experience in a way that hotels can’t compare to? In this blog post, we give you the top 15 reasons to favour a casa particular over a hotel while throwing in the cases where a hotel or beach resort might be the better option.

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Carlotta's Guide - Top Things To Do in Trinidad

Posted by Carlotta Elena on 19-07-2019 02:00:00

There is no denying that here at Cuba DirectTM we're all Cuba enthusiasts, and we're lucky to have members on our team from all over the island who can tell us about their favourite cities, towns and excursions. Carlotta, our London-born but now Havana-based representative, made it to Trinidad last month and is keen on sharing some of her top places to visit and things to do in Trinidad. If you have any interest in visiting the beautiful island of Cuba or perhaps have been before and are eager to return and try something new, keep reading to find Carlotta's top picks for excursions, food and nightlife.

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Tags: trinidad, travel ideas, things to do in Cuba

Cuba & Costa Rica: The Perfect Combination of Culture and Nature

Posted by Maria Victoria O'Hana on 01-07-2019 06:11:45

If you’re thinking of finally taking the plunge and booking that once-in-a-lifetime trip to Cuba, then you may want to consider penciling Costa Rica into your plans. In recent years, twin-country holidays have been trending amongst globetrotters, as travelers seek to get the most out of the time and money they’ve invested in journeying halfway across the world. Those looking to be seduced by the rich colours and history of revolutionary Cuba will find that Costa Rica’s verdant jungles and volcanic hot springs can offer the perfect contrast, throwing the Caribbean’s largest island into new and exciting contexts. A bio-diverse Central American treasure and a communist Caribbean time-capsule, Costa Rica and Cuba complement each other through their cultural and geographical diversity. And they’re conveniently close too – lying just across the stretch of the glittering Caribbean Sea, Costa Rica is only 2h20 mins away from Cuba’s vibrant capital!

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Tags: culture, destinations, travel blog, exotic, cuba libre, holidays, cigars, tobacco, costa rica, cuba and beyond, nature, travel ideas

Unmissable Drinks & Dishes in Cuba

Posted by Diana Rita Cabrera on 28-06-2019 04:01:13

Cuban-style roast pork, congri, yucca with mojo and a refreshing mojito: there's no better way to explore Cuba’s multi-cultural heritage than through its syncretic gastronomy. Tantalise your taste buds and prepare yourself for a journey full of flavour – here’s the lowdown on what dishes and drinks to try on your next trip to this beautiful island, along with some bits of history and advice on wining and dining in Cuba.

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Tags: havana, trinidad, advice, drinks, cocktails, paladar, hemingway, restaurants

Enjoying Art in Havana – A Guide to the Best Places and Events

Posted by Diana Rita Cabrera on 06-06-2019 02:43:12

Whenever I’m asked to do a go-to guide on the best ways to enjoy Havana’s cultural scene, my first thought is: “I can’t choose – just go out there and explore!”. My initial, helpless advice boils down to the fact that Havana is ideal for travelers in search for lesser known, off-the-beaten-track places. In Cuba’s capital, there are no hidden clubs or elite-styled galleries. Art lies in plain sight here, especially in houses turned galleries in quirky neighborhoods.

But, if you’re looking for a hint, a preview, a quick glimpse into this 500-year-old city and its cultural expressions, read on for the must-go places and our list of Havana’s quirkiest cultural hot spots.

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Tags: havana, culture, travel ideas, art in havana

How to travel like a British celebrity in Cuba – the must-do’s

Posted by Diana Rita Cabrera on 24-05-2019 01:39:44

Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall Camilla visited Cuba in march 2019 as the first members of the royal family to land in Havana after the 1959-revolution. The royal couple visited Old Havana, drove a classic car to the Lennon Park, and prepared their own mojitos at a local restaurant. Before them, Edward of Windsor, Winston Churchill, Paul McCartney and Mick Jagger also jumped at the opportunity of visiting Cuba.

What were they eager to see and what did they do? Read on to find out.

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Tags: varadero, havana, santiago de cuba, travel ideas, royal tour

The Best Selfie Spots In Havana: Our Top 10!

Posted by Carlotta Elena on 17-05-2019 03:03:10

Attention selfie fans! We’ve searched all over Havana to make this quick guide for all our snap-happy travellers out there. Here you’ll find the top ten spots our dedicated team of local representatives recommend for those unforgettable holiday pictures.

Have you ever heard “a picture is worth a thousand words”? Some would even argue that in this day and age if you didn’t take a picture of a place you’ve visited or a meal you’ve loved then it wasn’t really that remarkable. Well, we at Cuba Direct TM believe that a once-in-a-lifetime trip to a city like Havana needs to be commemorated.

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Tags: havana, cuba holidays, cuba holiday offers, travel ideas, selfies

Havana's 9 Dreamiest Rooftop Bars

Posted by Carlotta Elena on 11-07-2018 11:40:02

Ahh, rooftop bars… Don’t they sound so luxurious and mysterious? The hidden secrets that are must-dos on any respectable holiday-makers list, I mean, just think of the sunsets, the cocktails… the Instagrams! Well, if that sounds like your dream holiday, we’ve got you covered. Here we’ve put together a list of Havana’s dreamiest rooftop bars, each with stunning views, delicious cocktails and all the photo opportunities your heart could wish for…

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Tags: rum, mojito, travel ideas, luxury holidays, bars

Grown-Up Getaways: Cuba's Best Adults-Only Hotels

Posted by Carlotta Elena on 27-06-2018 04:04:59

Whilst planning your dream getaway to Cuba- an escape from all the hustle and bustle of everyday life - you’ll want to make sure everything is perfect. You’ll check the flights, the rooms, the food, but will you investigate exactly who else will be sharing that idyllic infinity pool? While children are amazing, if your dream getaway is more about cocktails and relaxation than jungle gyms and kiddies pools, it might be worth looking into an adults-only resort where you can make the most of your time away. After all, holidays of a lifetime don’t come around every day!

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Tags: hotels, exotic, holidays, travel ideas, luxury holidays

Queer Cuba: The Ultimate Guide For LGBT+ Travellers

Posted by Maria Victoria O'Hana on 27-06-2018 11:22:41

If you're looking for an exhaustive guide on LGBTQ+ travel to Cuba, then you've come to the right place. We've got you covered on everything you need to know - from travel advice, bar recommendations, and hot playlists - to the low-down on Cuba's sexual politics and an insight into gay-friendly destinations outside Havana. This is a long one, so bear with us - we promise its worth the read.

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Tags: where to go, lgbt travel, bars

Cuba's Casas Particulares: 5 Reasons Why We Love Them

Posted by Diana Rita Cabrera on 25-06-2018 04:48:59

If you’re looking to experience Cuba like a local, enjoying authentic adventures informed by insider knowledge, then you’ll want to book yourself into a casa particular (private homestay) ASAP. Cuba Direct has long been a champion of this kind of accommodation, recognising the many unique and immersive opportunities that they offer travellers as well as the positive impact they have on the ordinary Cuban families who run them. They offer excellent value; in fact 30 out of the Top 50 Best Value Hotels in Cuba are casas particulares according to the popular reviews website TripAdvisor. It comes as no surprise when you consider the casas’ enviable locations, authentic dining options and the wealth of tips and information the local hosts provide.

Here we outline just what a casa particular is and what makes them so special, giving our top 5 reasons why you should consider one for your Cuba holiday.

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Tags: insider tips, casas particulares, ethical tourism, private homestay, casa particular, where to stay, off the beaten cuba

Prince Harry and Meghan to Honeymoon in Cuba: Here’s Why

Posted by Diana Rita Cabrera on 03-05-2018 01:27:54

With just over two weeks to go until the royal wedding, the buzz surrounding the event is reaching an almighty crescendo. While the big day itself will be a spectacular event, it’s just the beginning of the celebration for American actress Meghan Markle and HRH Prince Harry who will no doubt be jetting off to somewhere fabulous in the following days. Namibia, Rwanda, Barbados, Saint Kitts & Nevis and Jamaica have all been floated by the press as potential post-nuptial escapes for the jetsetting couple but our money is firmly on Cuba, the perfect honeymoon getaway. Here’s five reasons why it’s the ideal choice for the royal newlyweds…

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5 Ways To Travel Cuba Like a Local

Posted by Maria Victoria O'Hana on 02-05-2018 10:31:51

Being half-Cuban and bilingual, I've had the distinct opportunity to experience Cuba both as a tourist and a local. Returning each year to visit family and friends, I've travelled the island extensively and gotten to know her many facets and personalities. Each time, I come to the same conclusion: Cuba is not the kind of country you can experience superficially. You have to get down to the nitty-gritty. You have to seek out her realities. You have to immerse yourself. Otherwise, you're not doing justice to yourself or to her people.

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Tags: insider tips, where to go, private homestay, casa particular, recomendations, cuban food

Travelling to Cuba: Your Questions Answered

Posted by Maria Victoria O'Hana on 20-04-2018 11:17:12

First time travelling to Cuba? We've got all your questions answered with a guide on everything you need to know about visiting Cuba - from visas, insurance and currency, to WiFi, accommodation and packing tips!

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Tags: cuba tips, advice, insider tips, where to stay, faqs

Where to Stay in Cuba: Our Favourite High-End Picks

Posted by Diana Rita Cabrera on 03-04-2018 04:46:15

Looking for the five-star treatment on your next trip to Cuba? High-end boutique experiences were rarer than snow on the island during its post-revolution years but times have certainly changed (though we’re still waiting for a white Christmas!). These days, elegant colonial mansions are being transformed into boutique homestays and world-renowned luxury companies, such as Kempinski, are taking over iconic buildings.

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Tags: cuba, varadero, havana, trinidad, guardalavaca, beach, city, twin-centre holidays, holiday offers, sea, all-inclusive, hotel, casa particular, beach holiday, cayo, hotels, recommendations, where to stay, high-end, luxury holidays

Cuba with Kids: How to Make the Most of Your Trip

Posted by Maria Victoria O'Hana on 13-02-2018 11:23:35

Travelling with kids can feel daunting, particularly in places like Cuba where there are a lot of unknowns for first-time travellers. What most people don’t realise, is that Cuba is quite the family-friendly destination, especially since Cubans are so welcoming and kind to children. In fact, you’ll often find Cubans quoting their national hero and poet, Jose Marti, who famously said that “children are the hope of the world, because they truly know how to love”. To help you get the most out of your family trip to Cuba, we’ve spoken to our Cuban travel specialists to get the ultimate advice and insider tips.

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Tags: travel hacks, tips, packing, safety, family, kids, casa particular

The Story of Cuba's Unknown Romeo and Juliet

Posted by Maria Victoria O'Hana on 12-02-2018 12:42:28

In the centre of Colon Cemetery – one of the largest and most impressive graveyards in the Americas – lies the embalmed remains of Catalina Lasa: the most beautiful woman to walk the streets of Havana and the protagonist of Cuba’s greatest love affair. Catalina came from a wealthy and well-connected family. To most, her match with Pedro Estevez Abreu, son of the first vice president of the Republic of Cuba, seemed a natural fit. Yet, Catalina was not in love and felt deeply unhappy. Read on to find out what happened to this lesser-known Romeo and Juliet, and a few hints on Valentine's Day in Cuba.

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Tags: havana, drinks, restaurants, romance