Tourism in Cuba: these are some of its best attractions – Travel – Life

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Tourism in Cuba: these are some of its best attractions - Travel - Life

The northern keys of Cuba have become one of the main tourist attractions of the largest island in the Caribbean. Although they are not on the historical circuit of Havana, nor do they have the popularity of Varadero, the hotels there are full of Canadian, French and, now, Colombian tourists.

(In context: Cuba expects the visit of 10,000 Colombians this 2022).

With the first charter flight that left the El Dorado airport in Bogotá for the Santa Clara airport, 60 nationals entered Cuban soil to visit Las Brujas Cay and be enchanted by its white sand beaches. Wingo will offer the Bogotá-Santa Clara (Cuba) route with ten flights departing from July to December.

After a three and a half hour flight, you must take a bus to the Gran Aston Cayo Las Brujas hotel, the center of the tourist complex that has several hotels. There is a varied offer of restaurants, live shows, private beach, and more for an all-inclusive vacation.

(Also: Qantas will operate the world’s longest commercial flights from 2025.)

You can spend the afternoon under a bohio facing the Atlantic, sipping a daiquiri. There are also catamaran excursions offered by the Marina de Gaviota, the tour operator.
In addition to its beaches, the tranquility of the northern keys of Cuba is its forte; in fact, its only connection with the province of Villa Clara is through the Pedraplén, a bridge that crosses the sea and extends for 48 kilometers. For this feat of building 46 bridges over the sea, the work was awarded the Puente de Alcántara architecture prize.

On the way to Havana

Due to constant attacks by French and English pirates, the bay was fortified. The infrastructure of the time can still be seen, such as the cannons and the San Carlos de La Cabaña Fortress.

Photo:

Laura Alejandra Albarracin

Crossing the bridge, you reach the municipality of Caibarién and ten minutes by car are enough to take a trip back in time to Remedios, one of the oldest settlements in Cuba that preserves the essence of a colonial town.

Founded between 1513 and 1524, in addition to its beauty, its main feature is that there are two Catholic churches in the square. In addition, in this town they make Las Parrandas, a December celebration in which its inhabitants face each other with floats, music and dance contests.

Continuing the route to the capital, you will be able to learn about the process of elaboration of the renowned Cuban cigars. Between the green and yellow walls of a narrow and warm traditional factory, women, young people and elderly people spend their days manually assembling cigars for export.

Tourism in Cuba
Photo:

Laura Alejandra Albarracin

The repetitive work is enlivened by the Reader, a figure that is already an institution of Tabacuba, the national company. This woman, who has been doing her job for more than a decade, reads excerpts from literary works and news on various days of the day. From this practice the brand of Montecristo cigars was born, inspired by the novel by Alexandre Dumas.

(Keep reading: What does it take to go to Mexico from Colombia?).

The same path allows you to walk in the footsteps of one of the symbols of the Cuban Revolution, Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara.
An unmissable stop in Santa Clara is the Memorial Sculptural Ensemble that bears his name. The complex has a mausoleum, where the mortal remains of the Argentine revolutionary rest, a museum and a huge statue of about 30 tons and more than 6 meters high.

After a six-hour road trip, you will arrive in the capital. The Grand Aston La Habana hotel is the newborn among others recognized in the Vedado area, in front of the Malecón, such as the Meliá Cohiba and the Hotel Nacional, inaugurated in 1930.

Havana offers you a world to discover. From its fortresses in the bay that make up an extensive historic center, vintage American cars, passing through the bars frequented by the American author Ernest Hemingway, the capital of Cuba is a visual spectacle that allows you to walk despite the powerful sun. There the temperature varies between 18 and 32 degrees Celsius.

Areas like the Paseo del Prado and the Gran Teatro Alicia Alonso could easily belong to any European capital.

(We recommend: Learn about the resort that Nickelodeon premiered in the Riviera Maya).

But, without a doubt, the obligatory stop is Tropicana. At the level of cabarets such as the Moulin Rouge, great stars have shone there, such as Joséphine Baker, Nat King Cole, Liberace and Cheo Feliciano, just to mention a few.

Closer to its first century than its first show, the dances and clothing used by professionals on stage are a sample of the history of Cuba. Representing the peasants, the mulattoes and their strong African roots, the dance corps takes the main stage to delight the audience, mostly foreigners.

Havana

Tropicana was inaugurated in 1939 and has positioned itself as an expression of Cuban folklore.

“Tropicana is a cry of love for life. It is song, poetry. Tropicana of Cuba is definitely Tropicana of the world”, they chant at the end of the Show.

And that is Cuba, a cry of love for life, nature, ingenuity to overcome difficulties. Do not miss the opportunity to visit one of the most affordable destinations in the Caribbean, to disconnect from the cell phone screen and connect with the sound of the waves.

“When we visited the keys we saw that they have tremendous potential. They have a good structure and people who are very willing to offer the service to tourists; In addition, it is in a province full of history”, said Alex Armstrong, director of Wao Holidays and manager of this new route.

To go you have two options: six nights in Cayo Las Brujas or the combination of beach plus city with four nights in the keys and two in Havana. For the first the price is 1,180 dollars per adult and for the second it is 1,290 dollars for each adult.

If you go…

Tourism in Cuba

The beaches are white sand and in limited areas you can snorkel.

Photo:

Laura Alejandra Albarracin

To make purchases, you must carry euros or dollars. Also, a credit or debit card, as some stores do not accept cash.

– In Cuba they request a special permit to enter that the travel agency will process.
– Prepare for disconnection. Wi-Fi is free at Grand Aston hotels, but time is limited.
– If you are prone to bites, use repellent constantly.
Keep an open mind. There are many prejudices about life on the island, but the cultural exchange will allow you to find the similarities and appreciate the difference.

LAURA ALEJANDRA ALBARRACÍN RESTREPO – SPECIAL ENVOY TO TRAVEL
On Twitter: @TravelET

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