An 1950s automobile cruising past a colourful house, a glass of rum with a salsa rhythm in the background: Cuba, the largest Caribbean island, abounds in clichés, not all of which are false!
Exuberant Havana, both enchanting and dilapidated, must not be missed, nor should Santiago de Cuba, capital of Afro-Cuban music that goes wild during its carnival in late July. Make sure you don't leave without seeing Trinidad, a colonial jewel of colourful streets and lively musical evenings, or Cienfuegos whose placid calm is due to its seaside position and turn-of-the-20C palaces.
Those in search of pristine sandy beaches and turquoise water, should head for the laid-back destinations of Cayo Largo del Sur and Baracoa, a tiny tropical paradise...María La Gorda is a renowned diving and snorkelling spot due to its superb marine life and on Cayo Santa María, one of the unspoiled islands along the central seaboard, you can play at being Robinson Crusoe.
Finally, you can't come to Cuba without learning more about the tobacco crops in the lush Viñales valley before, of course, slipping a few cigars into your suitcases!
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