Cuba: The Caribbean’s Party IslandMarch 17, 2011
There’s something for everyone in the idyllic Caribbean getaway
For the past few years Cuba was been steadily building on its reputation as a hugely appealing holiday destination. With its pristine beaches, lively atmosphere, reliably excellent weather, sumptuous food and a long and storied history, the island nation has been attracting more international tourism from all across the globe.
Cuba holidays can offer a little something for everyone. If you’re the type who takes holidays purely to escape, relax and unwind, then Cuba has a natural abundance of secluded spots to allow you to do just that. Similarly, if you’re a more of a night creature, always eager to drink in the social scene, then Cuba will not disappoint you.
Read on, and take note of just a collection of Cuba’s coolest attributes.
Endless Sandy Beaches
Being a gorgeous Caribbean island, you would hope that Cuba’s beaches would be up to scratch. Worry not, because Cuba boasts over 2,000 miles of pristine coastline with white sandy beaches leading out into the azure depths of the seas.
Due to the huge importance of Cuba’s tourist industry and the relative lack of heavy industry present on the island, the waters around Cuba remain crystal clear and are the perfect environment for swimming, diving and a large assortment of water sports that the island has become famous for providing at reasonable rates.
With its vibrant and sometimes turbulent past, Cuba has a fascinating collection of historical influences on every aspect of its modern day makeup. From its pre-colonial era, to the Spanish conquest of the island and its subsequent struggle for independence, all the way through to the Castro led revolution of the late 1950s, Cuba has seen periods of intense change and upheaval.
Fortunately, much of its past has been properly preserved, both in the more traditional forms of well kept national museums and cultural exhibitions, but also in the well-maintained historical structures that are dotted across the island. There are many stunning examples of stone-built harbour forts built to protect against invaders and marauding pirates.
One such example is shown above, the Castillo de la Real Fuerza, Havana.
Diverse Dance Disciplines
Dance is no mere pastime in Cuba; it’s a way of life! While well-known internationally for its enthusiastic adoption of the salsa, rumba and its cha-cha-cha derivation, Cuba also has inherited a strong mix of dance influences from African as well as European backgrounds, fusing into a vibrant, riotous panoply of rhythmic styles.
You won’t have to go far to find an energetic dance demonstration on the island. Nor will you have to search hard for a partner if you feel inspired to join in!
Just like its dance, Cuba draws culinary influences from across the globe. As an important trading island, it is hardly surprising that Cuba has shared and adapted European, African and South American ideas on cuisine, creating a rich melting pot that will tingle the taste buds of even the most experienced epicureans.
Tamales, Bunuelos, and the ubiquitous Ropa Vieja (a hearty shredded beef dish that is a national favourite) are just a few of the gastronomic delights that await visitors on their Cuban holidays. Like everything else in Cuba, the food offers something for everyone, with strong meaty flavours mixing with a wondrous array of vegetables and of course, no shortage of sweet desserts to make sure you finish your meal on a high!
There’s nothing like a celebration to bring out the brightest and most colourful side of people. In Cuba, this is not a rare occurrence, as the sparkling array of festivals, carnivals and street parties will aptly demonstrate. Everything from world music to art to classic literature is roundly celebrated during the course of the calendar year.
The large festive gatherings are not the only great opportunities for a fun and memorable night out however, as Cuba doesn’t lack for exciting nightlife the rest of the year. With its array of atmospheric bars and a fondness for pioneering cocktails, Cuba is an ideal island to responsibly enjoy some expertly-made drinks.
Cuba Libre, fruit flavoured Daiquiri and of course, the iconic Mojitos are just a few of the perfect cocktail delights that await the weary traveller arriving on Cuba’s shores in need of a refreshing restorative.
Who can forget one of the most beloved icons of Cuba? If you partake and know your smokes, then Cuban cigars cannot be beaten. They’re world renowned for a reason. Even if cigars are not your bag, perhaps you know someone who would appreciate them.
Scuba diving deserves a special mention as it is one of the premier water sports that Cuba offers. With some of the finest diving instructors drawn from around the world, Cuba scuba diving schools can provide you with all the training and equipment you need to explore the island’s beautiful reefs and diverse marine life.