Basking in the Caribbean sun, the island of Cuba lies between sun and socialism, rumba and revolution. Havana is the capital. In 1553, the Spanish conquerors designated Havana’s harbor as a collection point for ships loaded with gold and silver from the new Spanish colonies and named the settlement, San Cristobal De La Habana.
La Bodeguita Del Medio was once Hemmingway's local and nowhere else is the ‘Mojito’ mixed better. Whether it is the Teatro Marti, the Old Tobacco Factory, the famous Bacardi House, or the Floridita Bar, everywhere there is a feeling of nostalgia. When the Daiquiri is served, one almost expects Fidel Castro to be sitting at the next table.
Pinar Del Rio is a small but busy town in which the Red Star and portraits of Che Guevara are on display for all to see. In the old town, colorful houses with beautiful pillared corridors demonstrate the former wealth of the country’s independent tobacco growers.
A visit to a tobacco factory is a must. Cuba’s cigars are world famous. Together with sugar, tobacco is the country’s most important export.
The oldest geological formation in Cuba are the Mogotes, well-weathered limestone peaks that, supported by pillars, once covered a large complex of caves.
On seven manmade islands in the centre of the Ciénaga de Zapata National Park, is the Indian village of Guama. This swampy nature reserve, with its dense mangrove forest vegetation, is an ideal sanctuary for many rare water birds. Legend has it that the Siboney Indians sunk all their possessions in the Laguna Del Tesoro to protect their gold from the Spaniards.
No Cuban town has changed as little in 200 years than that of Trinidad. In the 18th century, the city experienced great wealth and recognition due to the cultivation of sugar cane and the luxurious palaces and villas of the sugar barons still leave their mark on the city.
Rich green tropical forests, tobacco country at the foot of mysterious mountain caves, humid tropical swamps, history, cigars and rum. Cuba is a colorful cocktail.