Sounds crazy but that’s exactly what we did. And now with direct flights from from the US from multiple cities on multiple carriers, I feel now is a great time to write about just why you should go there……..for longer!
I had always heard that Cuba is not known for its food. Whatever the case may be, what Cuba may lack food-wise (the rumors are true) it makes up for with its beaches. Of all the beaches I have been to, Varadero reigns superior over most. The sand literally feels and looks like flour and the water it so turquoise and warm it's unbelievable.
We split our 4 days into 2 days in Varadero and 2 days in Havana. The drive is about 2 hours between the two places. Numerous companies and all the hotels can set you up with one of the famous vintage cars and a driver or you can literally just walk out the front doors of the airport and wing it, which is much more the Cuban way to do things!
Where to Stay
I will have to say, I was not impressed by the accommodation options in Cuba. What is claimed to be a 5-star hotel in Cuba is not 5-star by international standards. While there are decent options which are reasonably priced, don't necessarily fall for the stunning photos you see online.
With that being said, one proper luxury hotel does now exist .......
The newest and nicest option in Havana, I'd even go as far as to say in the country. Pricey but absolutely stunning, this is the only real International luxury brand hotel in the country. The rooftop is complete with a pool and restaurant/bar and offers stunning views of the city.
Much more of a dated option in Havana and not much lower in cost compared to the Kempinksi. But it does save some money and it also hosts a rooftop pool deck and bar proving great views of the city, including the National Capitol Building.
The Pardisus Varadero by Melia $$
The main beach area is huge so it was easy to snag a chair every morning without rushing out the door. You can splurge on the “Royal Service” option as it provides for a more exclusive experience and a private pool area that’s makes it worth it!
Do not miss the epic daiquiri at El Floridita in Old Havana. Known for being one of Hemingway’s old stomping grounds this place is always full of tourists, however the service, live music, and daiquiris make it worth it.