Cuba. A place where you are always welcome

 

Have you ever wanted to visit Paradise on Earth?

Of course, the world has many beautiful places that you'd want to call that. And one of those places is Cuba. A visit to the island of freedom will certainly leave an indelible impression, will be remembered for life, and you will certainly want to return here again and again.

 

 

Even if you choose Cuba for a beach holiday, do not ignore the capital of the island, Havana. The abundance of contrasts, bright colors and colonial architecture will definitely not leave you indifferent. If you do not have much time to spend walking around you can always use the services of an inexpensive taxi and take a ride in a vintage car from 1960s or, for a bit of added fun, take a ride in a coco taxi, which, of course, looks like a coconut (or an egg, if you will). In the evening, you can stroll along Paseo Street, which leads to the Revolution Square, where the majestic Stella is located and the buildings are graced with the silhouettes of best known Cuban revolutionaries; from there one can reach the heart of the Cuban capital, the Capitol.

By the way, if you are lucky enough to visit Havana on May 1, be sure to go to the very same Paseo Street, where a solemn procession dedicated to the Day of Labor takes place from the very morning. On this day thousands of Cubans gather together in orderly lines and, dressed in uniforms, march to the country's main square, the Revolution Square. to hear the celebratory speech by the head of state. The spectacle is unimaginable and full of romance.


For a beach holiday, in addition to the well-known resort area of Varadero, there is at least one more heavenly place, Cayo Santa Maria, an island that is located forty kilometers north of Cuba and is connected to the main island with a long highway that has been built across the water. On the way to the island you will surely meet hundreds of beautiful pink flamingos.

 

Whichever hotel you choose, you will be treated with such cordiality that you will not want to leave! After a long journey you will be met as the dearest guest and immediately offered refreshment in the form of coconut juice, probably with a bit of rum. Cayo Santa Maria Hotels is the place where every lady guest is presented with a rose and men are treated to good cigars and vintage rum. Here, every evening you will listen to beautiful live music and dance salsa, which people here dance literally at every corner and without stopping. This is the place where you will be offered the best cuisine, from juicy lobsters and traditional Cuban dishes such as congri (rice with black beans) to the freshest and most certainly delicious fruits. And if in the morning you come to breakfast in the buffet first, you will be greeted with applause. At first it's a little embarrassing because it starts to seem like you have set another world record in some kind of sport, but, eventually, as they say, one quickly adapts to the good thing.

 

Indeed, what can be more pleasant than a carefree holiday on the Cuban coast? Well, in fact, there are things that actually can. Staying on Cuba, you should definitely visit other places. One should definitely pay tribute to historical sites. Near the city of Santa Clara there is the Che Guevara Museum, which houses the remains of the last thirty-two revolutionaries, as well as weapons, personal belongings and photographs of the liberators of Cuba. And not far from the city of Caibarien there's a museum of sugar industry, which is well worth a visit. It is located on the territory of a non-operating sugar cane processing plant. Right before your eyes, the museum staff will squeeze the cane sticks to get some cool sweet guarapo juice, which, naturally, will be seasoned with a little rum. Here you will learn how the cane was cultivated, how sugar was extracted from it and what Fidel Castro said when he promised to deliver 10 million tons of sugar to the Soviet Union. Right here, at the local store, you can buy liqueur of local production and cigars, which will be rolled right before your eyes.

From the plant you will be offered a trip to the neighboring town of Remedios, which recently emerged as one of Cuba new tourist destination. This town is notable in particular for the Catholic church in which all the shrines are covered with gold. And this was discovered quite recently, as all these icons and statues were painted over to prevent them from being stolen by pirates.

 

And from here our journey across Cuba continues. On the way from Remedios to another tourist Mecca, Trinidad, which is one of the oldest Cuban cities, be sure to visit the Picos de Coyantes National Park. There you can take a swift ride on a Soviet ZIL over the mountainous terrain of the Cuban jungle, try some real Cuban coffee, perhaps the strongest and most full-flavored you have ever tried. The coffee beans are ground, poured into a pan with a small amount of water, brewed for a short time, then filtered through some sackcloth and – voila, the coffee is ready! It tastes really good when brewed high up in the mountains. Well, after you are charged with energy, why not try your hand at some extreme sports! In the national park you can face up to your fears and take a ride at an altitude of 30 meters while being strapped to a thin long metallic rope! Well, if for you thirty meters is small potato then, given the will, Cuba has even more scary options at even higher altitudes!

After visiting the park, the very same ZIL cars will take you to the city of Trinidad. Believe me, during the trip you will feel like a true revolutionary guerrilla fighter, and the look of the guides accompanying you will add to this feeling. Trinidad is a city where, in addition to a lot of tourist attractions, there are many authentic cafes where you can taste the canchanchara drink - something similar to honey mead along served with a piglet cooked on open fire. You will also try some craft beer at a beer house to live performance by music local bands. The city and its surroundings have a lot of caves, and the most popular hotel is also called Las Cuevas, that is, "Caves". Take the trouble to visit the local club, which, incidentally, is located in the depths of one of the city's caves.

All that I have left to say is that the food here is delicious, the beaches are beautiful, there is no crime, and if the local hotels have five stars then good-natured and hospitable Cubans deserve at least ten of those. One can go on about Cuba endlessly, but one thing has to pointed out: if there is a Paradise on Earth, then it is definitely here.

 

Radio Belarus International expresses special gratitude to the Embassy of the Republic of Cuba in the Republic of Belarus for the opportunity to visit their beautiful country, and to Grupo Gaviota Group of companies for a great time and entertaining guides.

 

 

 
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