In Cuba, history is everyday life. Many travellers say that it feels like stepping back into the 1950s: the communist-run state is famous for its old cars, crumbling buildings, and its visible (though not total) lack of the western corporate life so familiar to us today.
Beyond the vintage cars, Cuba’s visible history includes a plethora of socialist propaganda posters harking back to the 1959 revolution, and other Cold War sites. but the island also has beautiful colonial architecture
Historical sites around Cuba
- Pretend you’re part of the American mafia at the grandiose Hotel Nacional, a favourite hangout for gangsters on holiday before the 1959 revolution. It’s expensive to sleep in but a great place to stop by for a refreshing cocktail.
- Visit the Museum of the Revolution for modern history through Castro’s eyes.
- Wander through the slightly crumbling, but relaxed and atmospheric, streets of “Old Havana”.
- Visit an 18th century sugar plantation at the Valley of the Sugar Mills, while staying in the small historic town of Trinidad on Cuba’s southern coast (pictured below). Read more about Trinidad here.
- Swim in the Bay of Pigs, the site of the failed beach invasion in April 1961 by 1400 Cuban exiles, trying to topple Castro’s revolution (near Cienfuegos).
- See a Taino village, a reconstruction of an indigenous lifestyle, at Guamá (you can visit as a day trip from the beach resorts at Varadero).
- Stand in the spot (well, near-ish) where Christopher Columbus arrived in the New World (near Holguin). A place to visit if you’re planning on spending time at the stunning beaches of Guardalavaca.