Our trip starts with a highlight, the colorful and lively Havana. The cityscape is characterized by aging colonial buildings, vintage cars, street musicians and Caribbean joie de vivre.
From Havana heading west we leave the highway on the left and drive on the country road through countless villages over the Valle Vinales to Pinar del Rio, here you find one of the most beautiful landscapes of Cuba! After visiting a tobacco plantation, we continue to Maria La Gorda, with a great beach and a fantastic underwater world for divers. One day stopover in the city of Cienfuegos. Continue to Trinidad through the Sierra del Escambray incl. Bathing break at the waterfalls of El Nincho. In Trinidad, the sugar capital, you'll find a beautiful old town, and just a few miles out, probably the most beautiful South Coast beach, Playa Ancon. Then follows the longest car ride of our trip to the southeast to Manzanillo.
In Manzanillo we stay overnight only once to start the next morning on the coastal road from Pilon to Santiago. The coastal road is an adventure. Without all-wheel drive, some could even be called daring. However, the drive is very worthwhile, you drive through the Sierra Maestra, uphill downhill, partly right by the sea, and there are breathtaking views especially in the first section of the route. One day Santiago and further to the north coast to Santa Lucia, here we enjoy sun, white sandy beach and turquoise sea at Playa Los Cocos. We do the same, enjoying the sun, beach and sea, a few days later on Cayo Coco. After a total of five days at the sea, we continue westward. Make a stop in the town of Caibarién.
A pleasant place without tourists, with great people and an even more relaxed atmosphere than everywhere on Kube. One more day on Cayo Santa Maria and then we spend the last two days of our trip in Varadero. From where Air Berlin takes us again well. Safely flies directly to Munich. We lived almost exclusively in so-called "Casa Particulares", which are private accommodations that the Cubans offer in their own homes. The rooms are mostly simple, usually very clean, often even with their own terrace and on request, the landlords also take care of the catering. This is a very good way to get in touch with the country and its people and to get the best insight into typical Cuban life.
Anyone who needs info or tips on this, I am very happy to answer any questions you may have! Cuba is a very very exciting destination. I found it to be a completely different world. The country is still very much influenced by communism, there are more horse-drawn carriages than cars, private internet is forbidden, slogans about revolution can be found all over the island, Fidel Castro and Che Guevara are omnipresent, and everyone is familiar with the GDR. Anyone interested in present-day Cuba and its history should get on the road very soon.
The Castro brothers are now over 80 years old and there is a good chance that they will soon have to relinquish leadership of the country for reasons of age. And from then on Cuba will definitely change. Still a small tip for all, which plan a round trip on own initiative: Learn before departure urgently some Brocken Spanish!
Cubans largely do not speak English, and it is a great pleasure to be able to communicate a little with the extremely warm and hospitable people there. It also makes traveling there much easier. A good start is "buenas dias" and "muchas gracias".