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Not to miss:



A roundtrip of the island:

1st day: Havana
The capital city of Havana with around 3 million inhabitants is the cultural and political centre point of the island.
Havana, founded in 1519, has developed into one of the most important ports in the Caribbean thanks to its ideal location.
The sugar boom, goods and, unfortunately, also slave trading brought wealth to Havana which is still partially visible today in the extravagant buildings.
The Spanish have left the most visible tracks during the turbulent history of Cuba. Just one example of the brilliant architectural achievements is the historic old city of Havana, declared by UNESCO as a world cultural heritage site.
When visiting the Cuban capital, you should not forget to take a stroll through the picturesque lanes up to the cathedral, and make an excursion along the El Prado boulevard or to El Morro, the legendary fort on the opposite side of the harbour.
Havana also offers a wide range of cultural activities: museums, theatre, cinema, ballet, cabaret, bars, restaurants, discotheques or live music - there is always something to do at every time of day. The main beach of Playas del Este is only around 20km from the gates of the city.

2nd day: Pinar del Rio
From Havana we move on to Pinar del Rio, the westernmost province and a famous tobacco growing area. Here the mountain ranges of Sierra de los Organos and Sierra de Rosario rise to heights of 600 and 700 metres respectively. The Valle de Viñales lies here, surrounded by a hilly landscape of bizarre chalkstone humps called the "Mogotes".
Other rewarding destinations are the underground Cueva del Indio, a stalactite cave that leads deep into the mountain and ends in an underground river, or the capital of the province of the same name with the Francisco Donatien cigar factory.

3rd day: Zapata peninsula
The region on the south coast impresses most by its untouched vegetation with numerous mangrove forests and swamps. The Montemar nature park is the largest continuous wetland in Cuba. The region has a lot to offer: whether angling in the Laguna del Tesoro, at the pile village of Guamá, on the crocodile farm in La Boca or on the beaches of Playa Giron and Playa Larga - nature fans will certainly be satisfied.

4th day: Cienfuegos
The town of Cienfuegos lies in the Jagua bay at the entrance to the Caribbean sea. For many years the pirates started out from here to attack the Spanish ships. Only in the middle of the 18th century did the Spanish manage to control the situation by building a fort. The former wealth of Cienfuegos was due to the blooming sugar industry. Many of the splendid buildings of the sugar barons can still be seen today, for example the Palacio del Valle with its wonderful view over the whole bay.
Cienfuegos is also an ideal starting point for trips around the area, for example to the Hanabanilla Dam in the Escambray mountains or to the Jardín Botánico Soledad botanic gardens.

5th day: Trinidad
The small colonial town of Trinidad lies picturesquely at the foot of the Escambray hills. The old town with its little pastel-coloured houses has been declared a world heritage site by UNESCO.
Trinidad also owes its fame and wealth to sugar cane. You can still see the treasures of the colonial era in various museums today. The nearby beach at Ancón is a great place to swim.

6th day: Sancti Spiritus
This little town was one of the first Spanish settlements in Cuba. The construction of one of the oldest churches on the island began in 1522.
Work has now begun on renovation of the old town with its numerous colonial buildings.
The Colonial Museum (Museo Colonial) provides an introduction to the history of the town. In the evening you can meet up at the Casa de la Trova, a music bar where traditional Son is played.

7th day: Camagüey
After Havana and Santiago comes Camagüey with around 300,000 inhabitants, the third largest town in Cuba. The changes over time have also left their mark everywhere in Camagüey. As well as the colonial old town there are numerous other historic buildings and squares that are worth a visit. Some of the more famous personalities on the island, for example the freedom-fighter Ignacio Agramonte, a General in the liberation war, or the poet Nicolas Guillen, were born in Camagüey.
Ignacio Agramonte even had a museum named after him. There is also a music pub in Camagüey called "Casa de la Trova".
And if you're wondering about the enormous clay pots distributed all over the town, these have meanwhile become a landmark of the town. In earlier times they were used to collect rainwater. The richer a family was, the more pots they would have.
 
8th day: Baconao Park
Near Santiago is the Parque Nacional Baconao, a unique recuperation area and protected nature reserve that is loved equally by local inhabitants and tourists. The reserve has also been placed under protection by UNESCO.
One of the biggest attractions is the prehistoric valley with over 200 life-size dinosaurs and other prehistoric life forms. The home beaches of Santiago are also within the national park, among them the Playa Daíquiri or the Playa Baconao.

9th day: Sierra Maestra
With a length of almost 250 kilometres, the Sierra Maestra is the longest range of mountains in Cuba. The foothills of the wild mountainous countryside reach partially down to the Caribbean coast. The highest mountain in Cuba, the Pico Turquino, reaches 1,972 metres into the sky. The Gran Piedra at 1,214 metres also lies within the national park.
A windy serpentine road leads down to the foot of the impressive rocks, and those who venture up the tiring incline are rewarded with a superb panoramic view. In good weather you can even see the neighbouring islands of Jamaica or Haiti.
The national park is home to a whole range of Cuban fauna and flora. Rare plants and the most varied types of tree wait for arriving climbers up in the wooded mountainous regions.
A further highlight in the Sierra Maestra is the pilgrimage church El Cobre. The white basilica, majestically placed in the middle of the green countryside, is visible for miles around.
The destination of the pilgrims is la Virgen de la Caridad del Cobre (the Virgin of Generosity), revered as a national saint in Cuba and showered generously with gifts.
Even Ernest Hemingway donated his Nobel prize medal to the Virgen de la Caridad del Cobre.

10th day: Guardalavaca
The little town on the north coast is a true paradise for sun worshippers. Picture-postcard sandy beaches invite you to bathe or just relax under the palms. Multiple offshore coral reefs with a colourful underwater world beneath them provide a never-ending playground for demanding divers.
The town itself has a superb tourist infrastructure with many hotels.
There are also numerous watersport options including sailing, deep-sea fishing or waterskiing. In the evening you can enjoy freshly-caught fish at one of the many restaurants and afterwards turn the night into day to hot Salsa rhythms in the hotel discotheques.
Those seeking a more sedate time should make a trip to the nearby Cayo Saetia island. For a long time it was reserved exclusively for high-ranking government officials and has only been recently opened to the public. The picturesque bays here invite you to just be lazy.

11th day: Santiago de Cuba
Nestled between the Caribbean and the Sierra Maestra lies Santiago de Cuba, a town full of Caribbean vitality and tradition that is not known as Cuba's second capital for nothing.
Santiago was even the first capital of the island but had to give up this title in 1552 when the Governor at the time transferred his residence to Havana.
Santiago de Cuba is also known as the Scales of the Revolution as it was here that the various independency movements began. Fidel Castro also started the first attempt at a revolution here on the 26th July 1953 against the regime of the dictator Batista. Together with a number of compatriots, he made an attempt to storm the Moncada barracks. The attack failed, however, and many of those with him were killed and Fidel Castro himself was arrested. It was 1959 before the revolutionary troops successfully marched into Havana. The 26th July as the Day of the Revolution is today an important national public holiday in Cuba.
The heart of the town is at the Parque Cespedes, an ideal starting point for a walk around the many places of interest in the immediate vicinity of the park. Important historic buildings include the former town hall, today the offices of the Communist Party, or the newly renovated Casa Grande hotel.
Apart from the old town, culture vultures will be intrigued by the many museums, amongst them the Carnival Museum. As in many Cuban towns, the "Casa de la Trova" is a meeting point for music lovers also in Santiago.

12th day: Santa Lucia
Santa Lucia is considered a diving paradise in Cuba. As well as the second largest reef in the world, there are also numerous shipwrecks for underwater fans.
In spite of the very tempting more than 20 meter wide sandy beaches, one should also make some excursions into the hinterland of the province of Camagüey.

13 day: Jardines del Rey (Cayo Coco)
Cayo Coco, in the north of the province Ciego de Avila, is the fourth largest island of the Cuban archipelago and possesses a unique wealth of animals and plants. It is joined to the mainland by a 40km long artificial dam that is punctuated by 22 bridges and rivers. An additional dam links Cayo Coco with Cayo Guillermo.
The principle of soft tourism applies on both islands to protect the wonderful natural treasures such as, for example, the mangrove forests. Flamingos have found a natural home here.
The island not only provides unbelievable natural attractions but also modern, comfortable hotels.

14 day: Varadero
The fine sandy beach of the tiny peninsula of Hicacos is considered one of the finest in the Caribbean. It is over 20km long, partially bordered by palms, gently sloping and therefore ideal for bathing.
Numerous luxury villas from the last century are proof that the rich and famous from America once came here.
The DuPont Villa, today an exquisite restaurant and simultaneously clubhouse of the new golf course, is just one of the magnificent buildings. Varadero is, as before, the most popular of all holiday destinations in Cuba with the largest choice of hotels of all categories and a wide-ranging choice of watersports. Whether diving, sailing, surfing, kayaking, waterskiing or paragliding - there are no limits for sports fans.
Horseback excursions along the beach or in the interior are also a fine way to get to know the area.
The 18-hole golf course is set idyllically between the sea and the palm trees.
Along the main street of Varadero, the Avenida Primera, the holiday homes of the late 19th century line up alongside shops, restaurants, cafés, galleries and the museum.
In the evening, restaurants and bars provide refreshment and atmospheric entertainment. Neither the colourful show of the Cabaret Continental at the Hotel Internacional nor a visit to the discotheques should be missed.