Cuba regularly tops the ‘must see’ list but visiting the country that time forgot remains easier said than done, especially if you like to lay in the lair of luxury when you rest your head after a day of exploring. Luxury hotels here are few and far between here, even in popular Havana, so the prospect of seeing the very best the destination has to offer and then retiring to the chic retreat of Silversea’s Silver Explorer is incredibly tempting indeed.
The US embargo in 1962 saw time stand still in Cuba. Once you’ve arrived on its shores and in its cities, you’ll wish it could stand still for you too. Here are five reasons why;
Whilst much is made of Cuba’s candy-coloured facades, rustic promenades and weathered but charming town squares, its beaches are equally as appealing as its cities, if not more so. We could wax lyrical about azure waters, rainbow fish and swaying palms, but all you really need to know is that Cuban beaches combine three very simple ingredients that make up the recipe to relaxation; warm waters, blue skies and soft sands. Because that’s all we really want from a Caribbean paradise, isn’t it?
For an island so small, Cuba has been mighty instrumental (get it?) in inspiring music around the world. The salsa, cha-cha and rumba are just three styles that started in Cuba and never stopped, and you’ll hear music around every single corner during your time here. It plays from speakers of battered radios propped against the walls of the Malécon, streams from the windows of the colonial buildings and strums from guitars played by weathered hands on even more weathered doorsteps.
Novelist Ernest Hemmingway was so enamoured by his first sips of a Cuban cocktail, that he never left the island again. La Floridita and La Bodeguita del Medio were two of his favourite watering holes and both remain today; head to La Floridita to sample his favourite daiquiri or opt for the Cuban classic Mojito at La Bodeguita del Medio, where a local crowd still gathers alongside those seeking the same spirit-based solace with which Hemmingway was so enraptured.
Whilst we are on the subject of Caribbean vices, few are as prized as Cuban cigars. It’s rumoured that every Cuban cigar goes through well over 200 different stages before it is smoked, so it is hardly surprising that they have come to be considered the best in the world, particularly the likes of the Montecristo #4 and Cohiba Behike. Word on the street is that John F Kennedy had an aide buy him 1,200 hand-rolled Cuban cigars just before he ordered the US trade embargo, even delaying signing the document until he had received confirmation that the order had been fulfilled. If you’re a cigar connoisseur, no other destination competes.
The candy-coloured convertibles of Cuba are as ubiquitous as the yellow taxis of New York City. Almost every holiday brochure image of the destination features 1950s America muscle in some guise, from the Chevrolet to the Buicks, the Pontiacs to the Studebakers. It is almost impossible to hail a cab in Cuba without finding yourself in the backseat of a Cadillac, so buckle up, embrace the diesel fumes that scent the cities and prepare for the ride, and holiday, of your life.
Silversea’s ‘Jewels of the Caribbean Sea’ itinerary spends 11-days exploring Cuba’s most authentic destinations, departing on 6 October 2017 and sailing from Nassau to Colon, all whilst providing the home comforts you would expect from the six-star cruise line. Speak to your sales consultant to find out more on 01246 819 819.