Most travelers to Cuba have one thing in common; they tend to stick with the better-known areas of Havana, Varadero or Cayo Coco. Unfortunately for those travelers they are missing out on an abundance of charming towns that offer vacationers an unforgettable experience. If you really want to experience authentic rum, cigars, Rumba music and classic 50’s cars, there is no better place to visit than these seven charming small towns.
Cuba’s oldest and most isolated town is located over the hills and on the wet and windy side of the Cuchillos del Toa Mountains. Don’t let that steer you away from experiencing the atmosphere and people here, best described as mysterious, surreal, outlandish and hallucinogenic. Secluded beaches and virgin rainforests begging to be explored surround the unspoiled colonial village. You won’t find any fancy hotels or resorts here either, visitors will stay in casa particular or as we know them a bed and breakfast. Expect home cooked meals of fried chicken, beans, sweet plantains or fresh seafood. This is the land of great rainfall and many rivers, which means the lush green vegetation thrives and visitors shouldn’t miss boating between the tall cliffs at the mouth of the Yumuri River. Head into the mountains to see the stone zoo, where a farmer who taught himself to sculpt has created over 400 animals out of the original stone. Baracoa, largely undiscovered and the perfect charming small town to discover in Cuba.
Welcome to the ‘real Cuba’ is a phrase that is often associated with Matanzas. The city offers little in the way of standard tourist sights but offers a ton of under-the-radar pleasures. This town is the home of Cuba’s finest provincial theaters and is the birthplace of most of the eloquent poets and writers. Two forms of Cuban music were hatched here, the danzon and rumba, along with various religions of African origin. It is a town loaded with interesting history and thriving with cultural life. There are a few beaches here, close to the downtown center where locals are often seen swimming and fishing and visitors are always welcome to join. More than likely though you will be listening to some drummers in the Marina neighborhood, hanging with the artists and dancing the nights away on the streets. Expect to stay in casa particular, eat amazing freshly made food and meet some of the most interesting people in the country.
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