5 of the Most Romantic Places in Cuba for a Couple’s Getaway28 February, 2020
Situated where the Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico converge, home to hospitable people reflecting a variety of cultural backgrounds, Cuba is a wonderfully romantic island paradise. The name conjures long summer days sampling the finest in Spanish and Caribbean fusion cuisine, followed by balmy nights dancing to mambo or salsa, taking a break from the dance floor to enjoy exotic cocktails. From its thronging capital, Havana, to its tropical landscapes, this land has been a magnet for visitors for years. If you are considering Cuba for a romantic break, here are five of the most recommended places that should be top of your itinerary – perhaps for a Valentine’s Day break. You shouldn’t waste this day at home. Instead, book a short weekend getaway with your loved one. It’s the perfect way to spice things up, enjoy new experiences, or to see a new destination together.
Havana, the old-fashioned but vibrant capital
The obvious starting point for your romantic getaway is Cuba’s main city, Havana, a major port that is home to over two million people. An ethnically diverse melting pot, you can take in the romantic Spanish colonial architecture while browsing through an array of shops. Once upon a time, the communist government dissuaded Cubans from setting up small businesses. Now the city’s streets are thronged with eye-catching boutiques, and restaurants serving mouth-watering local fare. Just make sure your camera is charged because you’ll find so many colorful photo opportunities. You can also try the famous Cuban cigars such as romeo y julieta belicosos, Cohiba Siglo 3 for having a full Cuban experience.
Northern Cays, beautiful panoramas
After a romantic day soaking the sights and sounds of Havana’s hustle and bustle, what better way to unwind than to head to some of Cuba’s more tranquil scenery? Getting to this fabulous retreat involves a 50-kilometer cruise along a causeway, with the Caribbean’s azure waters lapping the white sands on either side. I was glad I hadn’t forgotten to bring my pure contacts, for this scenery was something to behold. The causeway connects a range of small islets to the Cuban mainland, and the area is rich in mangrove swamps, pristine beaches, and the ever-present ocean. You can sign up for all sorts of water sports, from boating to snorkeling, but if you’d rather just chill, keep an eye out for the amazing biodiversity – paying close attention to your guide explaining where you might encounter crocodiles!
The majestic Sierra Maestra mountains
Rising to Pico Torquino, its summit towering 1,974 meters over the island, this mountain range lies to the island’s south-east, dominating the otherwise flat landscape. If you’re feeling energetic, you and your loved one can hike up to the summit of Cuba’s highest mountain in several hours. Your reward: breathtaking views of the valleys below and the surrounding Caribbean, as well as the knowledge that these very mountains hold an important place in Cuba’s history. This retreat was where Fidel Castro and Che Guevara organized the base for their rebel army before launching the revolution in the late 1950s that overthrew the Batista regime.
Cruise back through time
Cuba is renowned for its classic US cars, and there are an estimated 50-60 thousand of these remarkable and lovingly maintained vehicles on the island, a large percentage of them roadworthy. Taking a scenic tour in these noisy vehicles is a memorable experience.
Another rural delight, this region has an almost Jurassic World atmosphere, its striking landscape harboring labyrinthine cave systems. You might not care to venture too far inside these subterranean lairs – but there can be no denying the otherwordly allure of watching the beady eyes of skulking bats, while listening to the relaxing drip of water from the stalactites. You’ll also have the opportunity to stroll around ‘mogotes’ – boulder-shaped hillocks dating from the actual Jurassic period, 160 million years ago! These are spectacular examples of Cuban’s raw natural beauty, and look as if they’ve somehow landed on the otherwise flat landscape after being dropped from the heavens.
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