We spent nine whole days in Cuba. What exactly did we do? What did our route look like? What’s worth seeing beyond Havana itself? Check out our Cuba itinerary!
We will summarize everything in this post. You will also find some practical tips here.
It’s not easy to get around in Cuba. There are no super-fast Shinkansen, trains have mega delays (if they run at all ;)), public transportation is not among the best in the world…. Therefore, the time spent on the island needs to be well planned. We relied on renting a car, which ensured relatively fast and independent movement around the island.
We can’t forget the Cuban lifestyle either, so when planning a trip, it’s also worth finding a moment to relax and unwind. After all, this may soon change and there will be no more Cuba as we all know it now. We were successful! We saw Cuba before it even changed. Hurry up, you may still be able to make it too! :)
Table of contents
What’s worth seeing in Cuba?
Cuba is a fairly large island. It would certainly be impossible to see everything in 10 days, even more so assuming a rather chilly itinerary. Nevertheless, we can safely recommend you:
. Definitely the number one visit to Cuba! Of course, it’s a must to see Old and New Havana, try the ice cream at Coppela, taste the window food, see the sunset at El Malecon, walk the atmospheric streets and feel Cuba to the fullest. However, remember that Cuba is not only Havana :)
- To get a feel for the 1950s, it’s worth going to the
Time has stopped there for good. Among others. Atmospheric streets and the clatter of horse-drawn carriages carried everywhere. Also visit the surrounding beaches during the day, and in the evening sip a local drink with the interesting name Canchanchara in one of the local restaurants or made by the hosts.
- W Cienfuegos e will almost feel like we are in another country. You can definitely see the French influence on this city here, which makes it shine against other Cuban destinations.
- We also recommend a visit to the Bay of Pigs, or Playa Giron and Playa Larga. Here you can slow down even more, dive in the beautiful coral reefs, watch nature in the surrounding reserve or take a look at the crocodile farm.
- In our opinion, a ‘must have’ visit to Cuba is also a visit to Vinales and surrounding areas. Typically a tourist destination, but we can find a lot of interesting places in the area.
- Are you looking for a typical paradise beach? No, we don’t mean Varadero, but the
, near Vinales. Less commercialized, no hotels, and the access itself is an attraction too :)
More information and recommended TOP 10 can be found in our post Cuba – what is worth seeing there? Our TOP 10.
Where and how much time did we spend? Our itinerary for the Cuba trip was as follows:
- Day 1: Havana.
- Day 2: A bit of Havana and the road to Trinidad.
- Day 3: Trinidad, the surrounding area and nearby beaches.
- Day 4: Cienfuegos.
- Day 5: Playa Larga and Playa Giron.
- Day 6: Road to Vinales and surrounding areas.
- Day 7: Vinales area, beach on Cayo Jutias.
- Day 8: Return to Havana
- Day 9: Havana once again.
One could spend a whole week in Havana. In our opinion, it is optimal to spend 3 days there visiting all the most important places and at the same time feel the atmosphere of the real Havana (it took us 2.5 days). The remaining towns are max one day sightseeing. However, it’s worth stopping in some places for a while longer to relax and learn more about the daily life of real Cubans.
Some practical tips
What to look out for before you fly if you are planning a trip to Cuba in the near future:
- Currently, to get to Cuba we need a visa. We have written more on this topic here. Remember to take it easy at least a dozen days before departure.
- In Cuba, in 99% of cases you will only use cash. So it’s worth calculating for yourself how much money you’ll need, more or less. Also think about investing in a money belt, known as a money belt, which will allow you to safely store your cash and a copy of your documents.
- It is better to take euros than dollars to Cuba. An additional commission is always charged to USD.
- Cuba is generally a safe country. However, you have to watch out for petty thieves and scammers (especially in Havana).
- If you spend the night in Cuba, only stay with private Cubans in casas. You can read more about accommodation in Cuba here.
- Cuba’s roads are in poor condition, even the highway. Even worse, the roads are marked. Although for us it was a kind of attraction. Searching, wandering, etc :) It wasn’t that bad, but seriously you need to have a good orientation in the terrain and perceptiveness not to miss the exit, the point you were looking for, etc.
- If you plan to rent a car then be sure to make a reservation before your departure. Minimum 14 days before. Reservations can be made just a minimum of 14 days before the rental.
- Electrical outlets in Cuba come in two types. European style, with European tension, and American style, with American tension. For the most part, we encountered our standard outlets, but with an adapter from the American type we used more than once anyway.
- It’s worth getting a solid guidebook and map for Cuba. At the time of our trip, there was no (at least known to us) navigation working on the island, so we relied on a road map we had bought back in Poland (the traditional, paper one ;)).
- It’s also worth getting insurance. The prudent always insured.
Don’t forget our tips, too:
- About the two currencies in Cuba, CUC and CUP, the difference between them and prices in Cuba.
- How to get around in Cuba?
- Our TOP 10 places to visit in Cuba.
- Recommended accommodations in Cuba,
- And about the real life of Cubans.
Cuba travel map
Finally, we present you with a map of our Cuba trip with the most important places we recommend you see marked.
You can view the entire map in an enlarged view here.
If you have any more questions, feel free to ask in the comments. We will try to answer them all! :)