The Ultimate Getaway – Cuba
Feeling the effects of the rat race or daydreaming about escaping dark winter nights, Cuba offers escapist adventures for those looking for complete Caribbean getaways.
From the wild tip of the island’s west coast, to the lush paradise of Baracoa in the far east, coral reefs, hideaways, nature havens, and dazzling white tropical beaches will lure the thrill-seeker, the romantic, the dreamer and the beach lover.
After subaquatic exploration at María La Gorda, divers can lounge in the pint-sized blue and white bungalows on the sands, or in the smart rustic bungalows in the gardens. At the other end of the Guanahacabibes National Park peninsula is Cabo San Antonio, wild and remote, and for hardcore nature lovers only.
Off the northwest coast, sail away for the day in a private boat to the tip of Cayo Jutías, to wade among giant orange starfish in the aquamarine shallows, before retiring to a beachfront cabaña at tiny Cayo Levisa. Picnic on nearby Cayo Mégano, named Cayo Paraíso by writer Ernest Hemingway, who escaped to the coral island during the 1940s.
Cayo Largo del Sur, reclining south of the mainland, tempts with the crystalline sands of Playa Paraíso and Sirena. Iguanas, and loggerhead and hawksbill turtles inhabit the stunning beaches while offshore, whale sharks and dolphins can be seen by divers.
Keen divers should also head to the remote western stretch of the Isle of Youth and the retro Hotel El Colony. To its south, Punta Francés harbours manatees, turtles and crocs, and the Caribbean shelters subterranean caves and the best coral reefs in the region.
On Cuba’s north coast, escape to the stunning golden arcs of Playa Ensenachos and Playa Mégano on Cayo Santa María, one of the island’s most beautiful wild beach retreats.
From Cayo Guillermo, part of the archipelago of the Gardens of the King, visit the incredible long virginal sands of Playa Pilar and the offshore, wooded Cayo Media Luna, where a private yacht tour will appeal to privacy-loving couples.
Before some 40,000 hotel rooms are added to the Jardines del Rey, head off track in a jeep to the totally remote beaches of Cayo Romano, Cayo Paredón Grande and Cayo Sabinal where a lighthouse warns sailors and explorers can see the remains of a fort.
The Gardens of the Queen, coral islands, scattered off Cuba’s southern central coast are the most pristine and preserved in the country. Accessed only by liveaboard, this marine sanctuary is home to immense whale sharks, Goliath groupers and hawksbill turtles.
Looking for a beach hideaway with a quirky twist? A small northeast island, Cayo Saetía, features virginal white sands fringed by tropical forests and an outback experience —plains where zebra and antelope reign — the remnants of an old hunting zone for communist cadres. North of the coconut and chocolate paradise of Baracoa, the rustic two-storey villas of Villa Maguana lie close to a private white-sand cove surrounded by royal palms and beautiful sapphire-coloured sea. Just perfect for barefoot blissing out…
- Day 1 Hotel El Colony, Isla de la Juventud
- Day 2 Hotel El Colony, Isla de la Juventud
- Day 3 Hotel El Colony, Isla de la Juventud
- Day 4 Cayo Levisa
- Day 5 Cayo Levisa
- Day 6 Cayo Guillermo
- Day 7 Cayo Guillermo
- Day 8 Jardines de la Reina
- Day 9 Jardines de la Reina
- Day 10 Jardines de la Reina
- Day 11 Jardines de la Reina
- Day 12 Santiago de Cuba
- Day 13 Villa Maguana, Baracoa
- Day 14 Villa Maguana, Baracoa