Bringing cigars and rum back from Cuba - what you need to know

Posted by Jeremy John on 27-04-2020 07:28:40

Want to bring cigars and rum back from Cuba? You’re not alone. Visitors to Cuba have been doing it for centuries, and it is still a great way to return home with high quality products at reasonable prices. Rum and cigars make great presents for friends and family, or can be enjoyed all by yourself whenever you want to reminisce about that special holiday you had in Cuba. Here’s what you need to know.

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Travelling solo in Cuba - some tips

Posted by Jeremy John on 10-02-2020 02:56:33

Cuba is a popular destination for families, friends and couples to get some Caribbean sun, sea, sand, history and culture. But it is also a great place for solo travellers to go and immerse themselves in a unique and intriguing country. As one of Latin America’s safest countries, there are many perks to visiting Cuba alone. Here are some top tips for travelling solo in Cuba.

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Scuba diving in Cuba - Discover the best preserved coral reef in the world

Posted by Jeremy John on 06-02-2020 04:42:14

With well preserved coral reefs and an abundance of marine life, Cuba has a lot to offer for scuba diving. Here are some answers to the most commonly asked questions.

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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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The best Cuba holiday destinations for thrill-seekers and nature lovers - adventure travel at its purest

Posted by Susana Corona on 07-10-2019 02:45:03

If you’ve got a thirst for adventure and excitement, Cuba is one exceptional Caribbean destination that can deliver in so many ways. Here we introduce you to some of the best Cuba holiday destinations for adventure and nature lovers, whether you’re a fan of hiking, cycling, trekking, mountain climbing, birdwatching or just being surrounded by the purest of Mother Nature, this is the blog you need to read!

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Planning a Cuba holiday in 2020 - why next year is a great time to be in the island

Posted by Susana Corona on 27-09-2019 08:31:38

CNN has already gone ahead and echoed the publication of Rough Guide’s 100 Best Places on Earth for 2020, which went on sale on 1st September and which includes Cuba. So, why Cuba now? Why a Cuba holiday in 2020? Why Cuba at all? This blog post aims to illustrate why you should make Cuba your 2020 travel destination.

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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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Why a group tour at all? Why a Cuba tour can add depth, meaning and colour to your holiday

Posted by Susana Corona on 13-08-2019 01:53:25

Why should you consider going on a group tour at all? Is it really worth it? Will it really enhance your travel experience in ways independent travel can’t? We answer these and many more questions regarding group tours in Cuba (or anywhere in the world) in this blog piece. Click on to read more!

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Tags: cuba group tours

Beyond the Beaches, What’s There to See in Cuba?

Posted by Carlotta Elena on 09-08-2019 05:45:45

Close your eyes for a second, I want you to focus on one word: Cuba… What were the first images that came to mind? A tropical destination? White sands and crystal blue seas, perhaps? You might even have travelled slightly further down the list of Cuba trigger words and landed at ‘cigars’ and ‘mojitos’. But in all honesty, was there much to separate Cuba from any other sunny destination? Or, if you fancy the Caribbean, is there really much difference between each island?

Well, we’re here to tell you that yes, there is! Read on to find out the top 5 reasons why Cuba is so much more than just your average sun and beach destination.

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Tags: cuba travel tips, travel ideas

Escape the All-Inclusive! – The 5 Best Day Trips from Varadero

Posted by Diana Rita Cabrera on 31-07-2019 03:15:08

All-inclusive beach resorts seem like the perfect plan for a holiday. Varadero, the most coveted beach destination in Cuba, ticks all the boxes: amazing beach, white-powdery sand, and perfect weather all year long. But, trust us, after four to five days of an all-inclusive buffet, after seeing the same people lying under the umbrellas at the beach, and after saying “Hi” to the same folks in the hotel lift, you’ll be screaming for a day break like… now!

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Tags: varadero, things to do in cuba, travel ideas, day trips

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

Havana & Varadero – a Holiday Itinerary to the Best of Cuba

Posted by Diana Rita Cabrera on 21-06-2019 03:00:00

If a mix of city sightseeing followed by the Caribbean’s best beach relaxation sounds like your kind of holiday, then a trip to Havana and Varadero is the next thing to check off your dream holiday bucket list. About two hours (83 miles) from each other, Havana and Varadero offer a unique opportunity to experience two holidays in one.

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Tags: varadero, havana, havana and varadero, cuba twin centre holiday, city and beach

How to Get Internet in Cuba - Your 2019 Guide

Posted by Carlotta Elena on 15-06-2019 01:00:00

While researching 'Cuba' for a holiday trip, one of the first things that appears on the web browsers is ‘limited internet access’. Whether you're a travel blogger or just a selfie fan, it can sound scary at first but don’t worry – accessing the internet in Cuba is far easier than you would think and our family here at Cuba DirectTM is dedicated to making sure you know exactly how to get online while on holiday with your family or friends.

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Tags: travel hacks, wifi, internet in cuba

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

Cuba : The Vegan Way

Posted by Carlotta Elena on 18-07-2018 04:26:34

Let’s face it, travelling anywhere as a vegan can be stressful. Even in a country where you speak the language it can be hard to gauge what’s vegan and what’s hiding a sprinkling of cheese, spoonful of honey or some egg bind. Besides, without your trusty stores of hummus and baked beans… won’t you topple over and die of protein deficiency? Well, never fear, we’ve got you covered. If you’ve always dreamed of going to Cuba but have worried about what on earth you’ll eat – then this blog post is the one for you.

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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

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

Beyond the Guidebook: 10 Hidden Beaches in Cuba

Posted by Diana Rita Cabrera on 30-05-2018 04:15:59

A bucket list for Cuba almost always includes the famous beaches of Varadero, Cayo Santa María, Cayo Coco, or Guardalavaca. But there’s a handful of other truly unspoilt, off-the-radar sandy paradises, waiting to be discovered all over the island. Absent from most travel guides, and a long way off being ‘conquered’ by tourist busloads, the 10 beaches listed below are recommendations from our Travel Consultant Liam, an avid-traveller who loves to venture off the beaten path. He spent three years sating his wanderlust in Cuba and, on his travels, discovered these gems.

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Tags: trinidad, beach, vinales, beach holidays, santiago de cuba, travel ideas, cienfuegos, Holguín, off the beaten cuba, camaguey

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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Havana with Kids: 5 Must-Do's

Posted by Diana Rita Cabrera on 03-05-2018 10:34:59

If you’re searching for a transformational family trip, one that encourages your children to immerse themselves into a new world, get creative and make memories, then Havana is your dreamed wonderland. While travelling with children to a country with no Disneyland, no SeaWorld, and no Cirque du Soleil may seem daunting, Cuba more than compensates for its lack of theme parks with immersive cultural, historical, and natural experiences. Cuba’s youngest visitors can admire fleets of vintage cars rolling the streets like a living museum, play on unspoilt beaches, and explore pirate-era forts. Read on for a list of unmissable experiences for travelling to Havana with children.

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Tags: havana, insider tips, children, child, family, holidays, travel ideas

5 Hidden Gems in Cuba - Cities & Natural Parks

Posted by Maria Victoria O'Hana on 02-05-2018 10:33:19

Whether you're a first time visitor to Cuba or a seasoned Cubaphile, we've got the ultimate list of lesser-known gems that you won't be wanting to miss on your Cuban getaway! Jade-green waterfalls, historic diving spots, charming colonial towns and picture-perfect beaches - here's Cuba's top 5 hidden gems:

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Tags: where to go, destinations, top destinations, recommendations, travel ideas

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

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

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

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

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