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

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

8 Things to do in Cienfuegos

Posted by Maria Victoria O'Hana on 27-03-2018 03:19:10

Popularly known as the “Pearl of the South”, the beautiful seaside town of Cienfuegos is a must-see for anyone looking to venture off the tourist trail. Founded in 1819 by Luis D’Clouet, a French immigrant, the city seduces with its unique blend of French style and Caribbean flair. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Cienfuegos was also the hometown of the world-famous singer, Benny Moré, who immortalised the city in a catchy guaracha of the same name. With its colourful streets, sumptuous architecture and surrounding national parks, there’s a myriad of unique attractions in and around the city - so without further ado, here's 8 things to do on your trip to Cienfuegos (and a playlist for you to listen to on the way)!

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Tags: destinations, top destinations, nature, travel ideas, cienfuegos

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

Cuba's Biggest Literary Event: Everything You Need to Know

Posted by Diana Rita Cabrera on 12-02-2018 01:50:09

With the motto leer es crecer (reading is growing), Cuba’s International Book Fair takes place every February. The Cuban publishing industry’s largest annual event transforms the usually-deserted La Cabaña fortress into a huge book market, selling new and old titles of all genres. Attracting publishing companies, book-lovers and curious tourists alike, the fair also includes book presentations, award ceremonies and musical concerts at night. Havana hosts the event for 10 days before it travels to other cities across the island, ending four months later and almost 500-miles away in Santiago de Cuba.

Here we answer all your questions about one of the book-loving island's biggest cultural events.

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Tags: havana, culture, literature, santiago de cuba, cuba books

The Sound of Cuba: Fiesta del Tambor

Posted by Diana Rita Cabrera on 12-02-2018 01:47:11

Whether you find yourself in drizzly London, bustling Barcelona or frenetic Hong Kong, you can’t help but sail away to a sunny Caribbean beach when you hear the mellow and rounded beat of bongos. Cuba is the land of percussion: life on the tropical island is soundtracked by the Afro-Cuban rhythms of rumba, Son, Timba, Guaguancó and everything in between. All these percussion-based musical genres meet at Fiesta del Tambor, a Havana festival and competition that showcases the work of both famous and debutant instrumentalists eager to show off their skills on the tambores (drums). If your feet (or at least your heart!) vibrate to the beat of batás, bongos, or drums, this is the event for you!

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Cuba, Cigars & Churchill

Posted by Diana Rita Cabrera on 12-02-2018 01:33:02

Every February Havana welcomes hundreds of cigar aficionados from all over the world who descend on the city, eager to enjoy fine hand-rolled Habanos (premium Cuban cigars) and share their passion for a culture deeply rooted in Cuba's identity as a nation. The Habanos Festival is one of the most important events in the island's calendar. Learn more about Cuban cigars and their link to one of the United Kingdom's most famous sons, Winston Churchill.

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Tags: events, cigars, history