Cuba has no shortage of destinations steeped in history, but among the most beautifully preserved (and skillfully restored) is Trinidad, a colonial gem in the province of Sancti Spíritus, near the country’s south-central coast. Founded in 1514 by Spanish conquistador Diego Velázquez de Cuéllar, the town reaped a fortune as a major hub of the sugar trade in the 1800s.
That immense wealth enabled the architectural splendour you still see today, including opulent palaces and estates, plazas and churches. In fact, Trinidad’s cultural importance landed it on UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Continue reading “What to see and do in Trinidad, Cuba’s open-air museum”
Havana has long been beloved for its time-capsule charms: Wander down the cobblestone streets, admiring the mix of colonial, baroque and art deco architecture, and the candy-coloured vintage cars (now wheeling around as cabs), and the past feels vividly present. As Cuba’s iconic capital celebrates its 500th anniversary, the sense of rich history endures — but there are glimmers of newness and change, too.
With Havana marking its 500th anniversary, Hola Sun Holidays is inviting Canadians to be part of the celebrations by reserving a spot in the historical Hotel Nacional de Cuba or Hotel Plaza Havana. The iconic Hotel Nacional de Cuba first opened its doors in the 1930s, playing host to international renowned actors, artists and politicians.
Every year, hordes of Canadians make their way to one of the dozens of resorts that dot the 20 kilometres of perfect beaches along Varadero on the Hicacos Peninsula. Once you’ve warmed up by the pool or at the beach, leave your towel to dry on the cabana and go check out a few other things around Varadero.
When Christopher Columbus first laid eyes on Cuba in 1492, he declared it the most beautiful land he had ever seen. He was actually looking at what is now Holguin, a rugged, mountainous region near the beach destination of Guardalavaca on Cuba’s northeastern shore.
Most people who visit Cuba want to hit up Havana to take a ride in a vintage Chevy or Soviet-era Lada, soak up hundreds of years of Cuban history and check out some of Ernest Hemingway’s favourite watering holes. But there are many delights waiting for you outside the city — including caves, crocodile farms and cigars. So hire a car or jump on a tour and venture out into the Cuban countryside.
Cuba has more than 400 white-sand beaches but it’s also home to seven UNESCO World Heritage cultural sites. Nearly a quarter of the country is protected, including seven biosphere reserves and seven national parks.