Medium 9781907099793

Michelin Cuba

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Travel beyond the brochure borders and see the world “like a local” with this eBook version of Cuba Like a Local by Michelin and Peter Greenberg, America’s travel expert. Unvarnished and unspoiled, Cuba’s tropical landscape and sparkling shores contrast with its timeworn colonial cities. Cuba Like a Local makes an insightful guide to island salsa, Santería, cabaret shows and glorious but aging architecture. Renowned travel guru Peter Greenberg adds expert advice and touring tips, as well as an exclusive introductory video. Michelin’s star ratings signal worthwhile sights in communities, cayos and countryside. Listings tell of comfortable casas and elegant villas for restful sleeping, local paladares for Creole cooking and lively nightspots for devil-may-care dancing.

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HAVANA

ePub

DISCOVERING

CUBA

Ñ HAVANA

Ñ La Habana Vieja

Ñ Walking Tour

Ñ Centro Habana

Ñ Vedado

Ñ Miramar

Ñ Fortresses of East Havana

Ñ Outskirts of Havana

Ñ WESTERN CUBA

Ñ Havana to Pinar del Río

Ñ Viñales Valley

Ñ Vuelta Abajo Triangle

Ñ Guanahacabibes Peninsula

Ñ Coast Road

Ñ NORTH COAST

Ñ Playas del Este

Ñ Matanzas

Ñ Varadero

Ñ Cárdenas

Ñ CENTRAL CUBA

Ñ Zapata Peninsula

Ñ Cienfuegos

Ñ Santa Clara

Ñ Outskirts of Santa Clara

Ñ Trinidad

Ñ Outskirts of Trinidad

 

WESTERN CUBA

ePub

DISCOVERING

WESTERN CUBA

The westernmost province is one of Cuba’s most fascinating regions. It’s difficult to forget the sight of the mist clearing in Viñales Valley, resembling, perhaps, the smoke curling from a cigar originating in the country’s finest tobacco-growing area. The tropical valley is dotted with distinctive limestone mounds known as mogotes between the sprawling tobacco plantations called vegas. With its little palm-thatched bohios scattered over the countryside, its charming small towns and deserted beaches, western Cuba tempts discerning travelers to take the time to discover these many delights.

Large swaths of land are also devoted to sugarcane crops, as well as tropical fruit groves. Western Cuba boasts a series of unspoiled beaches with some of the best dive sites in the country. One of the premier spots, Cayo Levisa, offers access to exceptionally rich and colorful coral reefs that fringe the coast. Outdoor enthusiasts come here for hiking and rock climbing, while adventurous spelunkers explore the ample caves carved within the hills.

 

NORTH COAST

ePub

DISCOVERING

NORTH COAST

Warm, sunny days and pristine beaches have made Cuba’s north coast one of the most coveted destinations. Framed by 13.5 miles of white sand and crystal-clear blue water, Varadero is a narrow strip running along the Hicacos Peninsula on the northern tip of the island. It was once considered an elite resort destination attracting famous figures, and today, it has become a hotspot among Canadians and Europeans in search of sun, sand, surf and vibrant nightlife. Because the peninsula is less than a mile at its widest point, most hotels are beachside. Those beaches are among the prettiest and safest in the Caribbean. In the last 15 years or so, Varadero has seen a boost in tourism with new and upgraded hotels and attractive all-inclusive deals. As a result, many of the visitors here don’t even bother to leave the beach resorts—not even to venture into culture-rich Havana. That said, Cuba’s north coast has a lot to offer in addition to its beaches, including extensive caves, snorkeling and diving opportunities, and Tropicana Matanzas—an outpost of the world-renowned Havana Tropicana that’s just as extravagant as the original.

 

CENTRAL CUBA

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DISCOVERING

CENTRAL CUBA

A trip through Cuba’s central provinces takes in landscapes ranging from marshlands abundant with bird life and sweeping savannas to uplands and lakes teeming with trout. Central Cuba is the region where modern Cuba meets the colonial past along with stunning coastal beauty. Among the major towns are Cienfuegos, with its hints of French influences, revolutionary Santa Clara, maze-like Camagüey, and above all, the colonial-era jewel of Trinidad with its cobbled streets and pastel-colored homes.

Set on the beautiful Jagua Bay, Cienfuegos is a mecca for sailors and all types of water sports. The city is reminiscent of France, with much of the architecture and street formation similar to the old streets of Paris. Founded in 1819 by French immigrants from Bordeaux and Louisiana, the city was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2005. El Nicho, a spectacular waterfall in the Escambray Mountains is a draw for both tourists and locals alike.

 

EASTERN CUBA

ePub

DISCOVERING

EASTERN CUBA

On the far side of the country’s highest mountains, 540 miles away from Havana, the eastern part of the island is the region where the Cuban nation was born. From the foundation of the Spaniards’ first villa right up to Fidel Castrol’s Revolution, Oriente has been the scene of many of the climatic events in Cuba’s history. Today, it’s considered the melting pot of the various cultures that contribute to the country’s identity.

It is here that Africa’s rhythms resound most vigorously, and where Spain has left some of its finest colonial architecture. The remnants of French migration still exist, namely in the ruins of old French-Haitian plantations. An integral part of Carnival is the sound of the cornetin chino, an oboe-like wind instrument that originated in Asia. The US maintains its presence in this region on a large naval base at Guantánamo.

The astonishingly beautiful province of Holguín was tailor-made for beachgoers and divers, without the same tourist crowds seen on Cuba’s north coast. Within the busy city center is a robust cultural scene, and a number of green spaces offer a quiet respite among the hustle and bustle.

 

SOUTHERN CAYS AND ISLANDS

ePub

DISCOVERING

SOUTHERN CAYS
and ISLANDS

Cuba has more than 1,600 cays and islands, strung out like a coral necklace along its lengthy coastline. They are grouped in a series of archipelagos with names like the Colorados, Jardines de la Reina, and Canarreos. A rich wildlife has found refuge on this constellation of cays, where mangrove swamps alternate with beaches of the whitest sand. These are places where the modern world can be left behind, where relaxation rules and there is nothing more to do than swim out to the vibrant tropical fish or a coral reef.

Isla de la Juventud (Isle of Youth) is the largest island in the Canarreos Archipelago and is home to lobster, shark and finfish fisheries that contribute to Cuba’s economy. Its strategic location in the Caribbean made it a popular pirate hideout, hosting such notorious figures such as Francis Drake and Henry Morgan. This pristine, unspoiled land is also believed to have been the main inspiration for Robert Louis Stevenson’s famous book, Treasure Island.

 

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