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Bursting with character and contradictions, Cuba is a destination full of surprises. With some of the Caribbean’s best beaches, colourful towns and cities, and an incredible culture of live music, there really is nowhere else like it.

Think Cuba and it’s hard not to picture vintage Cadillacs cruising around Havana, crumbling walls daubed with Che Guevara graffiti and rum cocktails on tropical beaches. These things are part of Cuba’s undeniable charm, but there’s much more to this intriguing island.

For a start, the cultural scene in Cuba is diverse and rich. Take your pick from old-school music clubs in Santiago de Cuba, world-class art in Havana, and brilliant museums in Trinidad. Almost all of Cuba’s atmospheric towns and cities have a Casa de la Musica where people meet to play music and dance.

Planning a trip with children? Head to the coast and you’re in family holiday heaven. Varadero has resorts with kids' entertainment on white sands, while Playa Ancón is a top choice for snorkelling.

The greener parts of Cuba, like the Valley of Viñales or Pico Turquino (Cuba’s highest mountain), have excellent hiking, cycling and horse riding opportunities. In Ciénaga de Zapata’s swamps, you can seek out Cuba’s hidden wildlife. From birdwatching to crocodile spotting, there are all sorts of unusual creatures to see here.

Beach, Cuba

For families

All-inclusive beach resorts are a popular choice for family holidays in Cuba. Larger hotels offer child-friendly accommodation and facilities, including kids’ clubs, watersports, and swimming pools.

With this in mind, Varadero is a go-to place for families. A soft, sandy coastline and warm, shallow waters make this Caribbean paradise ideal for kids of all ages. If you’re not after a big resort, Trinidad is another option. Here you can combine cultural activities, such as museum visits and live music, with beach time on Playa Ancón. 

For cheap holidays

Away from the fancy all-inclusive resorts, Cuba has a lot of affordable accommodation, and it’s certainly possible to travel on a budget.

Many people looking for cheap holidays to Cuba stay in bed-and-breakfast-style guest houses (casa particulares) in Havana, Viñales or Trinidad. Search for accommodation away from the main tourist attractions for the best deals.

That said, it is also possible to find cheap package holidays at big resorts like Varadero or Cayo Coco. Try searching outside peak season and compare prices for different times of the year. Playa Santa Lucia is a quieter resort that is less luxurious but offers some bargain beach holidays.

For nightlife

A stay in Havana promises live music parties with cocktails on tap at jazz clubs, lounge bars and cabaret venues. Tropicana Nightclub is a famous late-night spot with an open-air cabaret and salsa.

Elsewhere, Santa Clara’s nightlife is creative and contemporary. Here, you can drink rum cocktails until late and experience a Cuban drag show at Club Mejunje. For live music, Trinidad and Santiago are other great options.

For an all-inclusive break

Many beach resorts in Cuba have all-inclusive hotels with both adults-only and family-friendly options, plus varying levels of luxury. Varadero is the biggest, with around 21km (13 miles) of sandy shores dedicated to package holidays.

For somewhere a little different, Playa Ancón near Trinidad has a handful of all-inclusive hotels. Alternatively, there’s Cayo Coco on the islets off the north of Cuba with a strip of hotels lining more stunning beaches. Guardalavaca near Holguin has resorts for a range of budgets.

For a beach holiday

You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to beach holidays in Cuba. Varadero’s long stretch of white sand and turquoise sea offers all-inclusive resorts and hotels with various facilities. Cayo Coco is another option, especially if you’re keen on snorkelling.

Guardalavaca has beautiful beaches for sunbathing, swimming and snorkelling, plus plenty of hotels to stay in. This area is built up but has a slightly more local vibe than the likes of Varadero, where the beaches are often for exclusive use by the resorts. 

Travel Information




Peso (₱)

Average flight time(from London)

10 hrs

FAQs about holidays to Cuba

Is it safe to go to Cuba?

Many travellers will have no problems in Cuba, but, as with any holiday, keep an eye on your valuables. For the most up-to-date travel advice for Cuba, check the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office.

Do I need to have a visa to go to Cuba?

Yes. If you are travelling with a full British passport, you will need to apply for a visa at the Cuban Embassy in London or speak to your tour operator before you travel.

What is a Cuba Tourist Card, and do I need one?

The Cuba Tourist Card is the name for a visa in Cuba, and you need to apply for one before you travel. You can do this at the Cuban Embassy in London or via some holiday operators.

What vaccinations do I need to go to Cuba?

You may need a Yellow Fever vaccination certificate depending on where you have travelled previously. Find out more on the NHS website before you travel.

Are there any local customs I need to be aware of?

Tipping is a big deal in Cuba, including at hotels, restaurants and even in taxis. Always be polite and respectful and bear in mind that things can be quite tough for Cubans. At the moment, food shortages and power cuts are a regular occurrence in Cuba.

What's the best way to travel around Cuba?

Overland travel is fairly straightforward, with Viazul buses covering Cuba's main attractions. Communal taxis called collectivos are another option or you can hire a car, though a lack of providers on the island makes this quite expensive. Slow trains also link the major cities and there are internal flights. That said, dubious safety records mean most people avoid air travel.

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