ROL Cruise recommends…
Roll back the years
Chances are that when you think of Cuba, an image of Old Havana comes to mind. Founded in 1519 by the Spanish, its colourful architecture is both vibrant and beautiful – look out for neoclassical and Baroque styles along its charming streets. Of course, Havana is also renowned for the vintage cars which pepper every thoroughfare across this truly atmospheric locale.
No ordinary museum
A visit to Havana’s Museo de la Farmacia Habanera la Reunión is an enthralling experience, thanks to its intriguing artefacts from renowned Cuban pharmacies of the mid-nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. These include surgical instruments, flasks, documents and labels. For many, the biggest draw of this museum is the staggeringly ornate building in which it is housed, with its carved wooden counters and intricate stained glass windows.
Hit la playa
Fine white sand between your toes, glistening turquoise waters stretching out towards the horizon, a cool cocktail in hand… an idyllic vision, and one which will certainly become a reality during your time in Cuba. Try out Caya Coco, which offers 22 km of stunning beach plus a huge variety of activities. Playa Los Flamencos is one of the area’s quieter beaches, featuring excellent snorkelling opportunities.
The Hemingway trail
One of Cuba’s most famous sons – adopted, at least – is author Ernest Hemingway, who made the nation his home for 20 years. This much-loved writer is duly celebrated across the island. You can take a guided tour at his former home Finca Vigia, around 20 minutes outside Havana, or raise a glass to him at the city bars he loved to frequent - El Floridita and La Bodeguita del Medio.
Cuba’s fine music tradition
Music is a huge part of life in Cuba, with a vast array of venues across Havana in particular giving you the chance to listen to some outstanding performers. Head to La Zorra y El Cuervo on La Rampa to listen to some exquisite jazz, with Latin and Afro-Cuban musicians just waiting to blow you away with the breadth of their talent.