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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Experiencing the Real Cuba

When you think of Cuba, you probably think of last century’s political upheaval, of iconic images of Che, of the ageless Fidel and his defiant cigars, but there's far more to Cuba than its politics. The island is also one of the most beautiful (and biggest) gems of the Caribbean, a place with its own special culture and rhythm.
If you want to get close to the country's legends and experience its sights and sounds, then it may be time to explore the myriad cheap holidays to Cuba and prepare yourself for the unique magic of the Pearl of the Antilles.
  • Literature
Although there are a number of notable Cuban writers, the most famous to put pen to paper in Cuba was Ernest Hemingway. A classic pre-revolutionary American tourist, Hemingway viewed Cuba as his home away from home.
Reading ‘The Old Man and the Sea’ it is easy to understand the impact of Cuba on Hemingway’s writing, and no trip to Cuba would be complete without a few trips to drink rum in a street-side bar - one of Papa Hemingway’s favourite activities. He also used to enjoy deep sea fishing off the coast of Cuba. If you are a fan of the legendary author, then why not book yourself a trip to do the same?

Hemingway statue - El Floridita bar
Hemingway statue - El Floridita bar
  • Dancing
Cuba is famous for its music and dance. The combination of African and Spanish heritages means that there are a number of dances that truly capture the spirit of Caribbean living.
The Mambo, the Salsa and the Cha-Cha are all famous dances that Cubans and tourists of all ages enjoy. Whether you consider yourself a dance pro, or simply like to snap your fingers to the beat, head out to one of the many dance halls throughout the island for your chance to experience some of these world-famous moves, accompanied by some of Cuba’s infectious rhythms.

Cuban band and dancers at a tavern
Cuban band and dancers at a tavern
  • Cars
When you think of Cuba, one of the most typical scenes that spring to mind is the beautiful American cars from the 1950s parked on a warm and dusty road. The decline in US-Cuban relations after the revolution meant that no new cars were imported from the United States, and so many Cubans instead focused on keeping their existing cars running. The 1950s Chevrolets, Fords and Cadillacs give a sense of old-school glamour to the country, and a glimpse into the Cuban resourcefulness and ingenuity that keeps these old engines ticking.   There are a number of cheap holidays to Cuba available if you book in advance. So why not dust off your dancing shoes, bring your Hemingway, and head off to a Caribbean island with a singularly different culture and identity?

Classic car in Cuba
Classic car in Cuba

Another vintage car in Cuba
Another vintage car in Cuba