As anyone who has gone on holiday to Cuba will know, Cuba is filled with a superb range of attractions. Havana’s glorious colonial old town, the Che Guevara Monument at Santa Clara and the colourful streets of Trinidad are just some of the highlights in the cities. The Caribbean beaches are the other great attraction on the island, with thousands of holidaymakers flocking to resorts like Cayo Coco each year to enjoy the sun, sand and crystal clear waters.
What is less well known is that, away from the cities and the beaches, Cuba is also a country of jaw-dropping scenery. Nature lovers will find plenty to keep themselves entertained, from stunning valleys and mountain ranges to biosphere reserves and national parks. Here are the five best natural attractions to visit while on a holiday to Cuba…
Located on the eastern coast of the island, the city of Baracoa was the first settlement in Cuba, and is believed to be where Christopher Columbus originally landed on the island. It is a beautiful oyster shaped bay, surrounded by verdant vegetation and wildlife. The flat topped mountain El Yunque provides breathtaking views out across the bay, and the many rivers make it a pleasure to explore on boat or by foot. Despite the historical significance and stunning natural landscape of Baracoa, relatively few people visit this place on their holidays to Cuba, so it is a relaxing place to visit away from the crowds.
Ciénaga de Zapata National Park
Home to the largest swamp lands in Cuba, holidays here are a delight for birdwatchers and anglers. Most choose to stay at the nearby resort of Playa Larga (popular with scuba divers), which gives you full opportunity to explore this fascinating area and experience the richness of its wildlife and fauna for yourself.
No holiday to Cuba’s natural wonders is complete without a visit to the Vinales Valley. It is a lush tobacco growing valley located in Cuba’s heartland, with spectacular cliffs (known as mogotes) rising like islands out of the valley floor. Perfect for hiking and climbing, the Vinales Valley is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is one of the most beautiful spots to explore while on holiday in Cuba.
The Sierra Maestra is the highest mountain range on the island, and is an essential place to visit for anyone who wants to go hiking during their holiday to Cuba. It is also a place of great historical significance for the Cuban people – Fidel Castro and his revolutionaries used the high mountain caves as hiding places during the revolution, and history buffs who are looking to see the sights of the revolution would do well to make a visit to the Sierra Maestra part of their Cuba holiday.
Alejandro de Humboldt National Park
Located in the South East of Cuba, Alejandro De Humboldt is the most humid place on the island, which has given rise to a rich and diverse range of plants and trees. Dominated by the massive rivers that run down off the nearby peaks, the Alejandro de Humboldt Park is unmissable for any nature lover’s holiday in Cuba.
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