Cuba Travel Essentials

All you need to know to get started planning the perfect trip
Havana, Cuba
Best Time of Year to Visit Cuba: Weather, Travel Tips, & More

Come to Cuba in dry, sunny winter and spring for fantastic outdoor activities, including some memorable hiking and idyllic beaches. And tap into the island's cultural activities in the wetter summer and fall months, especially the diverse music scene and museums in big cities like Havana, Matanzas, Camagüey, and Santiago de Cuba. Below, learn the reasons for visiting this spellbinding island destination in every season.

Best Time to Visit Cuba: Travel Tips, Weather, and More
Best Time to Visit Cuba: Travel Tips, Weather, and More

Cuba is a great destination at any time of year, but the best season to visit depends on your travel priorities. Whether you plan to bask in the warmth of a beach vacation, immerse yourself in the annual four-day jazz festival, or head deep into coffee country, you'll want to learn more about Cuba's seasonal offerings before planning your trip.

Typical beach scene in Cuba
Map of 5 Regions of Cuba: Where to Go & What to Expect
5 Regions of Cuba: Where to Go & What to Expect

Cuba is a long, slender island where the distance from East to West makes up each of its five distinct zones. Each region has its own unique geography, and a different variety of culture, too. Here's a profile on each zone to help you decide on the perfect itinerary to suit your interests.

San Jeronimo church in Las Tunas, Cuba
Going Off the Beaten Path in Cuba

More than 4.5 million tourists visit Cuba each year, and the vast majority don’t get beyond the most popular destinations, such as Santa Clara, Trinidad, and Viñales. Escape the crowds with these suggestions and you’ll soon be biking, diving, hiking, and touring your way through Cuba like a local.

A sunset over Havana
Map of Places Most People Miss in Havana (But Shouldn’t)
Places Most People Miss in Havana (But Shouldn’t)

Havana is Cuba's capital city and the island's largest and most diverse metropolis. Here it's easy to find little-visited colonial quarters and fascinating points of interest, many well off the tourist path. Havana's cultural scene is vibrant, and new dining and nightlife venues continue to pop up—due in no small measure to the communist government's liberal reforms. The following 10 places are well worth seeking out to escape the masses.

Convertible classic car taxi on Malecon, Havana, Cuba; copyright Christopher P Baker. All rights reserved.
Planning Your Trip to Cuba

Vibrant and fascinating, Cuba was once the forbidden fruit for U.S. tourists. As of 2011, every citizen is once again legally permitted to visit - but there are still a few hoops to jump through before hopping on a plane. From getting a tourist visa to booking accommodations, here's what you need to know before planning your safe and legal trip to Cuba.

Options for Touring Cuba
Options for Touring Cuba

From fascinating colonial cities to rich culture and beautiful nature, Cuba has something to excite everyone. How you experience this country depends on your preferences—you can tour it solo or with a guide or group. You can stick to one region or visit many. You can focus on Cuba's natural wonders or enjoy sultry times in the cities. Here are options to suit every taste.

Cuba: Frequently Asked Questions
Cuba: Frequently Asked Questions

Cuba is a complex country filled with limitless options for discovery and adventure—and for travelers, this begs many questions. What’s it like traveling in the countryside? Are there restrictions? What's the food like? Here are the answers to these and more of your most pressing questions about Cuba.