When many of us think of Cuba we see the city of Havana and beautiful beach resorts, but what about the other cities? If you are happily ensconced in your Cuba holiday rental close to the beach, it’s difficult to know where to start when you think of all the other places to visit on the island. See below for insight into a few of the wonderful cities outside Havana – perhaps you will see one you wish to explore further.
Matanzas is known for its poets, culture and Afro-Cuban folklore. Located on the north coastline, 90 kilometres east of Havana, the City of Bridges awaits. It was named the city of bridges due to the seventeen which span the three rivers, it is often referred to as the Venice of Cuba or the Athens of Cuba for its poets. The city is also well known to be the birthplace of the rumba dance. Originally the area was settled by 30 families who arrived in Cuba from the Canary Islands. The area saw extensive developments in the sugar plantation industry during the colonial era. This city should be your first port of call when you begin your island exploration from your Havana holiday rental, it’s fascinating history is waiting to be uncovered.
Cienfuegos is situated between the Parque Nacional Cienaga de Zapata and the city of Trinidad. It is a maritime city with a wonderful waterside location set around a natural bay. Dating back to 1819, it is classified as one of the newer settlements of Cuba, but don’t be disheartened by this – it is rich in architecture and character and received UNESCO World Heritage Site status in 2005. There are two areas in Cienfuegos to visit: the colonnaded central area with the paseo del prado, and the Punta Gorda – part of the bay which houses some of Cuba’s most beautiful buildings and 20th-century palaces. The Cienfuegos economy looks to be improving with the shipyard and thermo-electric plant, the refreshing and rejuvenated seaside vibe attracts visitors from all around, yet it remains unspoilt. Visit now before the crowds arrive.
If you like the slow paced way of life you should leave your villa in Cuba and explore the colonial city of Trinidad, a unique Spanish colonial city where it seems like time has stood still since the mid-1800s. The city was also declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1988 due to its abundance of pretty colonial style mansions and its outdoor museum feel. Reminiscent of days gone by, donkeys and musicians sit in the shades of the cobbled streets allowing you an insight into the real heart of the city as you walk on by. If there is anywhere which should be marked on your Cuban itinerary, it is Trinidad.
Cuba is a diverse island. Once you venture outside of the capital and the beach resorts the culture really opens up to you, if you have the opportunity to hire a vehicle during your trip you won’t regret visiting some of the fantastic cities on offer.
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