Cuban women in traditional dresses in Havana (Shutterstock)
List Words : Wanderlust team | 26 November

Cuba 7 ways – which will you choose?

With 2019 marking the 500th anniversary of the founding of Havana, there's never been a better time to visit Cuba. Short and sweet. Long and languid. Which tour will you choose?

1: Short and sweet

Kids in Trinidad, Cuba (Shutterstock)

Kids in Trinidad, Cuba (Shutterstock)

If time is short, Peregrine's speedy Essential Cuba is the perfect introduction to Cuba – and it encompasses all of Havana's must-see spots. You'll take to the streets of Havana on a walking tour to learn about the capital's colourful past, and get to know the hard-working tobacco farmers behind Cuba's famous cigars.

In rural Cuba, more adventure awaits. Discover the history of the Cuban Revolution in Santa Clara, marvel at the unique architecture of Palacio del Valle in Cienfuegos, and soak up the colours and smells of the plants in Soroa, the valley known as the 'Rainbow of Cuba’.

Trip: Essential Cuba

Who: Peregrine

When: Departures throughout the year

How long: 9 days

How much: From £1,644 (exc. flights)

2: Long and languid

Santiago De Cuba (Shutterstock)

Santiago De Cuba (Shutterstock)

Cuba's rhythms may be fast, but the pace of life is deliciously slow – especially outside of the cities. Get to grips with the island on Audley's 15-day Cuba Encompassed trip – it'll take you to all the main sights (think Havana, salsa in Santiago, hiking in Viñales), as well as plenty of unforgettable places well away from the beaten track. 

Learn how to taste rum like a pro, immerse yourself in the myths and legends of Che Guevara, and even experience life on a rural farm. If you've got the time, this trip will show you a face of Cuba that few other travellers get to see.

Trip: Cuba Encompassed

Who: Audley

When: Flexible departures throughout the year

How long: 15 days

How much: £6,380 (inc. flights)

3: By two wheels

Cycling in Cuba (Shutterstock)

Cycling in Cuba (Shutterstock)

See Cuban life up-close, meet local people and burn off those rum cocktails on a Cycle Cuba! trip with Explore. You'll pedal through colonial towns, stay (and eat) in homestays, and have a guided tour of Havana, too. 

There's plenty of opportunity to go off-road: save your energy for a thigh-burning jaunt through the Sierra Escambray Mountains, and the rolling tobacco plantations of Viñales.

Trip: Cycle Cuba!

Who: Explore

When: Departures Feb, Apr, Aug, Nov & Dec

How long: 15 days

How much: From £1,875 (exc. flights)

4: By sea

Playa Larga beach, Bay of Pigs (Shutterstock)

Playa Larga beach, Bay of Pigs (Shutterstock)

Sure, there's plenty to keep you entertained on land, but head to the high seas (or, rather, idyllic bays) around Cuba to get to grips with its idyllic islands. Aaaah, Intrepid's Cuba Sailing Adventure itinerary has got it all: Cayo Largo Turtle Sanctuary, snorkelling off Cayeria Los Majaes, visits to fishing villages for fresh seafood grills, lolling on countless paradise beaches... all from the comfort of your own private vessel.

Trip:  Cuba Sailing Adventure

Who: Intrepid

When: Departures throughout the year

How long: 9 days

How much: From £1,064 (exc. flights)

5: With a tune in your heart

Street band in Trinidad, Cuba (Shutterstock)

Street band in Trinidad, Cuba (Shutterstock)

Remember Buena Vista Social Club? They're just the very tip of Cuba's musical iceberg – the country's love of music runs deep. G Adventures’ Cuba Rhythms will lead you away from the groups of guitar-strumming soneros and towards Cuban music's African and Spanish roots. 

You'll visit everywhere from dive bars to outdoor concerts, sampling everything from rumba to reggaeton – learning about the history and traditions of the country through its infectious rhythms.

Trip:  Cuba Rhythms

Who: G Adventures

When: Departures throughout the year

How long: 8 days

How much: From £502 (exc. flights)

6: In search of history and heritage

Peaceful view of the Vinales valley (Shutterstock)

Peaceful view of the Vinales valley (Shutterstock)

If you're keen to learn about Cuba's colourful past, Explore's Revolutionary Trails in Cuba is for you: accompanied by an expert guide, you'll explore the infamous Bay of Pigs, learn about Fidel Castro in his secret base in the Sierra Maestra mountains, and search for Che Guevara's haunts in Havana.

There's also plenty of opportunity to soak up Cuba's natural beauty, too, with hiking in Topes de Collantes National Park, and climbing its highest peak, Pico Turquino.

Trip:  Revolutionary Trails in Cuba

Who: Explore

When: Departures Feb, Mar, Nov & Dec

How long: 8 days

How much: From £995 (exc. flights)

7: Hit the road in an American classic

Driving in Havana (Shutterstock)

Driving in Havana (Shutterstock)

Explore at your own pace on Journey Latin America's Self Drive Eastern Cuba trip – you'll have your own hire car and your own itinerary to tweak as you please. Hotels are booked in advance, so you'll always have somewhere comfy to rest your head, leaving you free to focus on sightseeing, hiking, hanging out at the beach – whatever tickles your fancy.

Trip: Self Drive Eastern Cuba

Who: Journey Latin America

When: Flexible departures throughout the year

How long: 12 days

How much: From £1,693 (exc. flights)