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How to Get Off the Beaten Path in Cuba
ViaHero · March 23, 2018
Once, just buying a plane ticket and traveling to Cuba was off the beaten path. But this is not the case any longer. Since President Obama eased travel restrictions between the United States and Cuba, there has been a 77% increase in American tourism. The tourist trail of travel in Cuba is forming and you’ll see Americans all over the place in typical hot-spots. But there are still off the beaten path places, even in Havana, that
Want to explore Cuba differently? Have a local
Hop off the Tourist Trail and Visit Holguin
The first place to stop when you're traveling Cuba off the beaten path is Holguin. When you mention that you’re going to Holguin, you’ll either be met with a blank stare or the knowing nod of one of the few who
Visit Hershey, Cuba
Milton Hershey made a trip to Cuba in 1916 and fell in love with it, so he purchased a large plantation where he could make chocolate in Cuba. The plantation was only active until 1946 when he pulled out of Cuba due to political instability with the U.S., but the town is still there and interesting to see, even though the whole town is mostly in ruins. You can take the train right into town (if
Che Guevara and Drag Queens in Santa Clara
One of Cuba’s
Mysterious and mystical, this isolated spot is where Cuba meets the spirit of Jamaica and is a great example of Cuba off the beaten path. Baracoa is one of the best foodie spots in the country. Go for the seafood and the chocolate, stay for the beaches and the magical energy. It’ll take you a little time to get here, so don’t be in a rush to leave. No one here is in a rush to do anything. The vibe is chill. Relax, eat, drink, and swim.
Havana's Parks and Lesser Known Museums and Bars
Yes! It’s still possible to see Havana, Cuba off the beaten path. And thank goodness it is because it’s nearly impossible to visit Cuba without at least passing through Havana. (And our experts highly recommend spending a few days in Havana!) One of the quickest ways to feel like a local in Old Havana is to head over to Parque Central for people watching and hanging out. It seems as though everyone who lives in Havana passes through this square. In fact, in one corner men hang out and argue about baseball all day long every single day.
When you’re not people watching, check out some of the less-visited museums and sights like the National Center for Animal and Plant Health to see the taxidermic cow Ubre Blanca who legendarily produced 109.5 liters of milk in a single day during the revolution (by comparison, 25 liters in a day is a stretch for any other cow). In the evening, skip the more touristy Tropicana and truly see Cuba off the beaten path by hitting up Fábrica de Arte Cubano - a former factory filled with bars, cafes, art galleries, movie theaters, concert venues, and more.
When planning your trip to Cuba, hiking probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. That’s a good thing because it means if you do go hiking you’ll get to experience the beautiful Cuban landscapes without a gaggle of other tourists crowding the spectacular views. This island is one of the most biologically rich regions in the world, and hiking it allows you to literally do Cuba off the beaten path.
In the Reserva de la Biosfera Península de Guanahacabibes you’ll take guided hikes through mangroves while on the lookout for birds like the Roseate Spoonbill and Grey-Faced Quail-Dove. For mountain hiking, head up to Reserva Ecológica Alturas de Banao, which looks a bit like the Scottish Highlands. Or head to the sea and explore Cayo Sabinal where you’re likely to spot flamingos.
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- You Can Still Travel to Cuba: 2018 Update
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