Susana Corona

The islands' go-between

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Born and raised in Cuba for half of my life, I feel strongly passionate about the nation that saw me come into the world and nourished my childhood and early teen years. With a father that had a job in the travel industry which required him and my family to travel abroad from early on, Cuba was always my returning point, my home, my roots and what I missed and longed for.

I live in the UK now and have done so since I turned 16 (although I first arrived here when I was 14) but I've never stopped travelling back and forth to see family in Cuba and keep strong ties with my homeland. I feel that now as Cuban-born British citizen who's had most of her late teenage schooling and university education in the UK; I have equally grown in both cultures and have been equally educated by both societies.

So, when it comes to writing about Cuba, I do so from a unique vantage point, as a Briton that understands what British travellers feel, what they seek or struggle to understand, what their interests are when it comes to visiting or learning about Cuba and what they are interested in getting to know about the island. I write about it all from a British perspective but with a Cuban soul or sometimes the other way around – like having a double identity with a firm background in both islands.

I’m the eternal go-between that never tires of going back and forth.

Susana Corona

Susana's Been There Done That

  • Got lost in a sugar cane field while sampling "guarapo"
  • Watched the sunset and sunrise from the Malecon on the same day
  • Sang along to some tunes from young amateur musicians in Calle G
  • Climbed "Pico Turquino" while attempting to salsa-dance my way up
  • Danced the night away in honour of the Orishas at a "santeria" house party

Recent articles by Susana

  • 05 Dec 2018
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Connecting two islands

Is this Al Capone’s house in Varadero? Mafia myth or real-life story?

There is an imposing mansion in Varadero built out of coral stone and majestically sitting overlooking the sea. For years it has been described as one of Al Capone’s former abodes in the island. But whether this assumption is a myth or a fact is a debatable issue that has generated much speculation. Now turned into a restaurant, the aptly-named “Casa de Al” indeed makes plenty of reference to the legendary mobster and it’s a great place to soak up the ambience of Cuba’s very real mafia history.
  • 29 Nov 2018
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Connecting two islands

Past and present of five stunning Vedado mansions

Also known as the heart of the capital’s downtown area, the elegant neighbourhood of Vedado is Havana’s most popular hotspot for a good reason, or rather, quite a few. One of them is being home to some of the country’s most majestic and memorable mansions, as full of history and glamour as they are resilient, stoically withstanding the test of time and admired by locals, many of whom still remember the old stories surrounding them and the famous characters that inhabited them.
  • 20 Nov 2018
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Connecting two islands

Havana primps itself to perfection to celebrate its 500th anniversary in style

Next year Havana is turning half a millennia old. That's right Cuba's seventh oldest city is reaching the half-century milestone birthday in November 2019 and ahead of its 500th anniversary the city has an impressive line-up of festive events planned throughout the year. In this blog post, we highlight some of the biggest festivities, celebrations and special activities planned so far to keep you in the know, just in case you're thinking about embarking on a 2019 Cuba holiday in Havana.
  • 15 Nov 2018
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Connecting Two Islands

Hot in Cuba this November - Photography Month, Havana Fashion Week, Classical Music Week and Havana’s 499th anniversary celebrations

November in Cuba means cooler temperatures, the odd downpour here and there (which usually clears up quickly giving way to bright sunshine) and an active calendar of events with plenty of activities for locals and tourists to enjoy. This month comes even more packed than the previous one with Havana Fashion Week, Classical Music Week and Classical Music Week also in the capital. Not forgetting the city’s 499th birthday celebrations. This November in Cuba is all about Havana!
  • 07 Nov 2018
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Connecting two islands

Climbing to Soroa's "Castle in the Clouds" and exploring a World Biosphere Reserve

There is one very peculiar, and fairy-tale-like, edification that regally stands atop a mountain as though floating among the clouds. With a privileged location at the highest point of a stunning natural enclave, part of the Sierra del Rosario mountain range in western Cuba, the so-called Castle in the Clouds is one of Soroa's rarest, most novel attraction and in recent years it has been refurbished to accommodate guests. Read on to see why you should stay here next time you're in Soroa.
  • 30 Oct 2018
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Connecting two islands

The castle of Seboruco - climbing to Baracoa's best vantage point

Few know that Baracoa's most famous, most panoramic hotel is a declared National Monument and a historic site built to guard the city against the attack of pirates and foreign invaders. Dating back to the 18th century, this former fortress is the best place from which to take in the panoramic beauty of Baracoa. Find out more about how it came to be, why it's a must-see attraction and the many uses it has had over the years.
  • 17 Oct 2018
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Connecting Two Islands

Why Cuba is the ideal destination for solo travellers - tips and tricks for discovering the island on your own

Young or old, male or female, Cuba is one of the world's safest destinations and a real delight to discover when venturing out on your own. Far from what many believe (especially some wary U.S. travellers for whom Cuba has been off-limits for decades) travelling to Cuba can be really straightforward. Whether you pack your itinerary to the brim or take it easy and go with the flow, experiencing Cuba on your own can be a really freeing, enriching and potentially life-changing experience.
  • 12 Oct 2018
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Connecting Two Islands

Hot in Cuba this October - Cuban Culture Month, Matanzas’ 325th anniversary celebrations and a lot of dancing!

October is a very special month for Cuba as most of the island enters celebratory mode with the celebration of Cuban culture, or as they call it here, the month of “La Cubania” (Cubanness). This means that there will be plenty of concerts, performances and special galas to enjoy islandwide, providing unique opportunities to truly immerse in the most authentic aspects of Cuban culture. Alongside it, a variety of dance performances will add to the many entertainment options.
  • 02 Oct 2018
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Connecting Two Islands

Traversing Cuba via its Carretera Central - an unforgettable driving journey

There isn’t a wilder, rawest, most authentic way to explore Cuba at your own pace than to embark on a winding, incredibly eye-opening journey along its nearly century-old Carretera Central. Whether you do so by renting a car and driving yourself or by hiring a local driver, the journey will introduce you to a multi-faceted Cuba that’s rarely seen by most tourists an give you captivating images of virtually deserted roads, makeshift vehicles, rural life and heart-warming people.
  • 06 Sep 2018
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Connecting Two Islands

Hot in Cuba - Pablo Milanes in concert, Wifredo Lam exhbition, Ballet Nacional, Ballet de Camaguey, Grand Prix Vladimir Malakov and CUBADISCO

As the school season begins and everyone goes back to the old routine, Cuba unveils an exciting calendar of events this September that will grow larger as the month unfolds. Havana will be the main focus of activities as it celebrates its 500th anniversary with a big opening concert by Cuban troubadour legend Pablo Milanes. Then there are ballet productions taking to the stage and special art exhibitions, with more to be announced soon.
  • 21 Aug 2018
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Connecting Two Islands

Havana's Chinatown and how Chinese culture in Cuba is very much alive

Yes, there aren't as many "pure" Chinese people in Cuba as there once were. But Chinese culture, customs and food remain deeply rooted in Cuban culture, and nowhere more so than in Havana's Chinatown, a.k.a. "El Barrio Chino". On this post, we look at how Chinese culture merged with Cuban and Afro-Cuban heritage to create something quite unique, not found anywhere else in the world. Certainly, not in the same way. Chinatown offers a rare window into Chinese Cuba and how it's evolved over time.
  • 07 Aug 2018
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Connecting Two Islands

Hot in Cuba this August - Carnivals all around, municipal parties in Holguin and a summer of dance!

The celebratory mood is in full swing in Cuba this August, with most people in the island taking a break from work during this time of year and planning to party in one way or another. There'll be plenty of excuses to don on your dancing shoes, with not one but three street festivals taking place throughout the country, from carnivals in Cienfuegos and Havana to street parties in Holguin. Which one will you be lucky enough to enjoy?
  • 17 Jul 2018
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Connecting Two Islands

The incredible marine terraces of Punta Maisi - a rare wonder and unseen paradise

Located right at the easternmost tip of the island, Punta Maisi's claim to fame goes beyond being one of the country's "two ends" but also houses unique geological formations that are a wonder to discover and a rare sight very few have had the privilege to witness first-hand. Yet, getting here is not impossible and if you ask around you might be able to arrange a guided excursion taking you through the marine terraces' many remarkable. Remember, we told first!
  • 04 Jul 2018
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Connecting Two Islands

Hot in Cuba this July - Gibara Film Festival, Arte en La Rampa, Rumba in Santiago and Jazz in Varadero

If you thought the events on previous months weren’t as exciting as they could have been then rest assured that July 2018 in Cuba won’t disappoint those looking for activities and celebrations to take part in beyond the island’s intrinsic attractions. Those embarking on a Cuba holiday this month will find plenty of concerts, festivals, exhibitions and folklore to enjoy and that’s on top of the great nightlife guaranteed in downtown venues islandwide.
  • 26 Jun 2018
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Connecting Two Islands

Top 20 tips for driving in Cuba on your own - preparing for a smooth(ish) ride

From renting a car to navigating your way around sign-less roads and understanding local traffic indications, this quick guide tells you all you need to know about driving in Cuba and preparing for the experience of a lifetime. A self-driven tour of Cuba is not for everyone but adventurous souls will love the liberating feeling of exploring the island at their own pace and building their own itinerary, with the option of lingering in certain places or taking diversions as they go along.
  • 12 Jun 2018
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Connecting Two Islands

Discovering Baracoa’s Playa Maguana - an idyllic beach in the midst of a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve

Discovering Baracoa and getting around its living myths, legends and mysteries are certainly worth the trip to this somewhat undiscovered destination in Cuba. The place itself is no longer off-limits to outsiders, as the construction of a road finally links it to the rest of the island, but many of its aspects lie shrouded in mystery, making it one of Baracoa's most powerful draws. Yet, there is another compelling attraction - its dreamy, secluded beach. Here we sing its praises.
  • 31 May 2018
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Connecting Two Islands

Hot in Cuba - Contemporary dance, pantomime extravaganza, Santiago's Cultural Week and live music galore

June arrives in Cuba with the perfect prelude to summer, kicking off with contemporary dance performances, pantomime shows and live music galore. The list of events will keep growing as the month unfolds, so this blog post will be updated every week to add new activities, festivals and concerts to the calendar as they come along. This is the best of June 2018 in Cuba and what to look forward to if you travel to the island this month.
  • 29 May 2018
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A balcony of epic proportions - taking in the jaw-dropping views of Lake Hanabanilla

The only intramontane lake in Cuba is one astonishing wonder to admire and there is only one place from which it can be enjoyed in all its glory. It’s a hotel and a remarkable one at that, not because of its beauty, nor can it be considered luxurious, modern or particularly stylish, but its setting right on the lake and the privileged views it offers over it, make it a rare one-of-a-kind resort. An unmissable jewel in Cuba’s central region.
  • 15 May 2018
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Connecting two islands

FITCuba 2018 - what’s in store for Cuba’s tourism development in the near future?

Last week Cuba celebrated the 38th edition of its annual tourism fair, FITCuba 2018, the biggest event of its kind of the island, which aims to showcase the nation’s most attractive destinations and unveil plans for upcoming tourism development in the short and long term. In this blog, we look at the announcements made, the hotels that were inaugurated for the occasion and the of others that will open soon as well as the most immediate tourism projects in the pipeline.
  • 10 May 2018
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Connecting two islands

Venturing beyond Trinidad - Parque Caguanes, one of Sancti Spiritus' hidden treasures

When tourists come to Sancti Spiritus, they often do so with only one destination in mind: Trinidad. And who can blame them? Trinidad with its immaculate cobblestone streets, frozen-in-time architecture and colourful colonial beauty, is sure a sight to behold. But there's more to discover before you leave this part of Cuba, and if you're into green spaces and nature reserves, then for sure you should make another stop in Sancti Spiritus. You won't regret venturing into Parque Caguanes.
  • 01 May 2018
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Connecting two islands

Hot in Cuba - Music takes over the island with romerias, festivals and concerts

Last month could have probably been described as “variety month” in Cuba due to the varied acts lining up the calendar to welcome spring in style... So far, it looks like May 2018 could be declared music month with the series of concerts overtaking the capital and the eastern province of Holguin during the Romerias de Mayo, which for the first time will extend to Havana.
  • 18 Apr 2018
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Rio Maximo's Wildlife Refuge - the Caribbean's largest flamingo nesting site

One of Cuba's most peculiar ecosystems and one of the most captivating natural sights in the world is a protected fauna refuge like no other and a declared Ramsar Site. It lies perfectly hidden in an off-the-beaten part of Camaguey and it is home to not only the Caribbean's largest flamingo population but also migratory waterfowl, American crocodiles and manatees. A rare gem few tourists know about and even less venture to discover, but it's now possible to do so thanks to new guided tours.
  • 05 Apr 2018
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Connecting Two Islands

10 things you probably didn’t know about Cuba

These days Cuba isn’t as much of a mystery for travellers as it was perhaps one to two decades ago, especially for U.S. tourists who have only just started to unravel its many enigmas after travel rules were relaxed. Still, not everyone who has been to Cuba (not even a repeat visitor) will know of a few odd, fun or otherwise interesting facts about the island, and it may prove enlightening to learn them. To that end, we’ve produced this list of things you probably didn’t know about Cuba.
  • 04 Apr 2018
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Connecting two islands

Hot in Cuba - Fine arts, Ballet Nacional, International Guitar Festival, puppet shows and music galore island-wide

April blossoms in Cuba with a calendar of activities, most of which move to the melody of concerts taking place countrywide. Beyond that, there’s a traditional puppet show bringing joy and smiles to Matanzas, Cuba’s international book fair reaching other corners of the island and bringing literature and special acts to the table, as well as a temporary exhibition of a lesser-known yet outstanding Cuban artist at the Museum of Fine Arts. And more to come as the month unfolds.
  • 28 Mar 2018
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Connecting Two Islands

Isla de Coco theme park in Havana - a good and renewed option for families

One of Havana’s lesser-known attractions (to tourists) the renewed Isla de Coco theme park (formerly known as Coney Island) is a fantastic choice fora family day out, and not just for Cubans. While international visitors may be used to more commercial glitz and fanfare, there is plenty to keep youngsters occupied on a number of contraptions, also giving you and your offspring a unique chance to blend in with the local families and go for a full cultural immersion.
  • 14 Mar 2018
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Connecting Two Islands

Isabela de Sagua - the ruins of a Cuban Venice that slowly rises from the ashes

Introducing Isabela de Sagua, a sleepy coastal town with admirable resilience and a moving, other-worldly, decayed and rustic beauty. It withstands the test of time despite having been repeatedly battered down by several hurricanes (the most brutal of which recently left the most devastating trail of destruction in the town's history). But now, it is to massively benefit from new investment plans that aim to put it firmly on the tourist trail once and for all.
  • 28 Feb 2018
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Connecting two islands

How Cuba is to become the Caribbean's number one golf destination

The current development of various golf resorts in Cuba means that the island will go from having just one 18-hole championship golf course in Varadero to offer at least 11 scattered around the island's north-western coast. Of these golf projects one has been underway since 2014 and is expected to open soon, the other two are much larger and will take several years to develop. Here we explore the ways in which Cuba's new golf resorts will forever change the island's luxury tourism market.
  • 21 Feb 2018
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Connecting Two Islands

Hotel Nacional de Cuba - a blast from the past with swinging mafia history and unique celebrity status

Today's modern and hip celebrities may not frequent the Hotel Nacional like their counterparts in the 30s, 40s and 50s used to, but Hotel Nacional de Cuba still needs little introduction. It witnessed the height of the mafia power in Havana, served as the backdrop to some of their most important reunions and its luxury was as legendary as the mobsters who had stakes in its nightclub and casino. Here we revisit this grand hotel's interiors and retell some of the many stories surrounding it.
  • 09 Feb 2018
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Connecting two islands

Hot in Cuba - Havana International Book Fair, Rumba, Acosta Dance and Danza Contemporanea

This month Cuba moves to the sound of contemporary dance and rumba, as it celebrates its biggest literary event of the year with the 27th edition of Havana's International Book Fair, which takes hold of the entire city with a series of pop-up book markets and stalls, in addition to its official headquarters in the Morro-Cabana fortress. There's also the best of contemporary music and rumba taking over the city's theatres during the first half of the month. Keep reading for more details.
  • 07 Feb 2018
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Connecting Two Islands

Exploring beyond Trinidad - Sancti Spiritus, the little-trodden colonial city you must not miss

Little-known to tourists despite being located right next to Trinidad and its UNESCO-listed 19th-century wonders, the city of Sancti Spiritus is one of Cuba's oldest settlements and as such has plenty to charm visitors, as well as some curious facts, legends and myths that you may find interestingly bemusing. Here we explore the ways in which Sancti Spiritus is unique and why it's worth it to make a detour here before leaving Trinidad.
  • 24 Jan 2018
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Connecting Two Islands

Havana's Colon Cemetery - a remarkable open-air museum and undying tribute to love

A sleepy giant that rises to the shapes of beautifully sculpted angels, ornate crosses, magnificent crypts, sky-scraping monuments and avant-garde, edgy designs in Carrara marble, granite and stone; the Colon Cemetery is one of Havana’s finest architectural gems. So much so, that a visit to Havana would be incomplete without a stop here - this is, after all, Latin America’s finest necropolis in terms of size and monumental value.
  • 10 Jan 2018
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Connecting two Islands

Top 10 birds to spot in Cuba - the island's most fascinating winged creatures

Cuba is a true paradise for birdwatchers. As the largest of the Antilles, no other Caribbean island can boast an avifauna as diverse as Cuba´s; also home the largest amount of endemic species in the region. Here we introduce you to ten of the most special, most beautiful and rarest winged creatures in the Cuban archipelago so that you can endeavour to see them on your next trip. What´s so special about these top seven birds? You can only find them in Cuba, and nowhere else in the world.
  • 04 Jan 2018
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Connecting two islands

Hot in Cuba - Gerardo Alfonso, Don Quixote Ballet and Jazz Plaza Festival 2018

A new year brings new ways to enjoy Cuba! As 2018 kicks off, so does Cuba's cultural calendar with a long list of events to keep the celebratory party mood for a little longer. On one hand, we have island-wide celebrations to mark the 59th anniversary of the triumph of the revolution – from special concerts to public acts, gallery exhibits and more. But there's also the 33rd edition of the Jazz Plaza Festival and stellar performances by the Ballet Nacional de Cuba.
  • 27 Dec 2017
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Connecting two Islands

Best places to experience the glamorous Havana of the 50s

The energetic beating of drums reverberating in the air. The salty air breeze carrying sounds of laughter from every direction. Glitzy casinos, elegant hotels, swinging nightclubs, gleaming classic American cars, freshly pressed tuxedos and swirling full skirts - the exhilarating Havana of the 50s might be long gone but echoes of it remain in the form of iconic buildings, the most notable of which we examine on this blog and invite you to experience for the ultimate 50s Havana immersion.
  • 13 Dec 2017
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Connecting two Islands

Havana's Colonial Art Museum turns 395 years old - the story behind Plaza de la Catedral's oldest building

One of the oldest and most emblematic edifications surrounding Plaza de la Catedral in Havana, is the Museo de Arte Colonial (Colonial Arts Museum), an emblematic building that turns close to four centuries old this year. On this post we examine the long and interesting history of this memorable colonial treasure, from its impressive architecture to its many years serving as a luxury abode for the Cuban aristocracy of the times. A historic monument that lives on with a rich story to tell.
  • 04 Dec 2017
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Connecting two Islands

Hot in Cuba - the Nutcracker, FIART 2017, Havana Film Festival, Compay Segundo and salsa mega concert

Gearing up to the festive season, Cuba is revving up engines with a juicy line-up of events filling the first half of the month. This December comes super charged with a variety of glittering acts, from the finest jazz to the best salsa groups in Cuban history uniting for one very special night, a classical Christmas ballet production and the prestigious Havana Film Festival awarding the best in Latin American cinema. All this and much more awaits in Cuba this month, read on to find out.
  • 29 Nov 2017
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Connecting two Islands

Adding theatrical beauty to a beach holiday - Teatro Sauto in Matanzas, one of Cuba's 5 great colonial theatres

Most make it to Matanzas with only one destination in mind – glorious Varadero and its famed miles of sun-kissed beaches. Many miss out on exploring what lies beyond the soft white sands and would significantly enrich their holiday with a tour of the city, especially if they include a stop at Teatro Sauto, one of the last, still-standing great colonial theatres of Cuba. This regal gem is a must-see landmark; whether you are attending a performance or simply coming to admire its palatial beauty.
  • 22 Nov 2017
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Pinar del Rio beyond Vinales: the pools of Rio San Juan in Las Terrazas

While everyone in the Caribbean is still very much on hurricane watch, keeping eyes and ears peeled for weather updates on Maria’s development, there is one sleepy, peaceful and wonderfully rural part of Cuba that Irma didn’t touch and that Maria is very unlikely to reach either. We’re talking about Pinar del Rio and its unassuming natural charms as we take a look at a slightly less-talked-about attraction of this vast Cuban province; the eco-village wonder of Las Terrazas.
  • 09 Nov 2017
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Connecting two Islands

Hot in Cuba - photography month, contemporary music festival, German techno and Camaguey's Ballet

November in Cuba this month is decidedly cooler than the last, bringing about not just lower temperatures but relaxing and inspiring recreational options, especially in the world of music and fine arts. On one hand things get kickstarted by two special ballet productions in Cienfuegos, a little German techno in the capital and contemporary sounds in all their ample variety and splendour. On the other we have the year’s official photography month, with numerous exhibitions popping up everywhere.
  • 08 Nov 2017
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Connecting two islands

Santa Clara's Teatro de la Caridad - one of Cuba's 5 great theatre masterpieces

There is one great building in Santa Clara that the passing of Irma left untouched and one that many were grateful for having kept in near immaculate condition. We’re talking about the pride of “santaclarenos”, the beautiful Teatro de la Caridad - a magnificent work of art from the 19th century that became the second great theatre in the nation after Havana’s Tacon. It served as the model that many other theatres in the nation would follow. Here we look at its history, past and present.
  • 01 Nov 2017
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Hotel Riviera - a roaring 50s city emblem with a glamorous mafia history

This coming December there's a very special Havana hotel and National Monument that's turning 60 years old. The Habana Riviera, beautifully poised overlooking the scenic Malecon has a whirlwind past of glamorous Hollywood guests, mob owners and swinging casino nights. A riveting past intertwined with the crime, corruption and glamour that was ripe in Havana before Castro's revolution triumphed, the once swanky Riviera still has plenty to show and tell 60 years on.
  • 18 Oct 2017
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El Bosque de La Habana - a colourful glimpse into the city's greenest spot

Not often frequented by tourists yet one of the most popular emblems of the city, especially from the 60s to the 90s (when it peaked in popularity) the somewhat neglected Bosque de La Habana (Forest of Havana) is in a process of resurgence and restoration, still very much an unfinished project widely regarded as Havana’s lung. While its river struggles to battle contamination, its banks are as beautiful and verdant as ever and play host to some peculiar santeria rituals.
  • 11 Oct 2017
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Exploring beyond Jardines del Rey - Moron, Cuba's northern pearl

For many holidaymakers and Cuba junkies, the words "Jardines del Rey" translate into idyllic, pristine keys; namely Cayo Coco and Cayo Guillermo - the two most developed enclaves; home to a selection of all-inclusive resorts. Yet there´s more to this part of Cuba than most tourists who've been there know about, and it all lies a short car or bus ride away, less than an hour-long and taking you to a charming town full of interesting peculiarities.
  • 04 Oct 2017
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Hot in Cuba - Theatrical street performances, a national identity party and 25 years of dance!

Reeling from the impact of last month’s hurricane, the sun is back to shining brighter everywhere in Cuba this October as the island tries to go back to normal despite the many shortcomings and resumes its cultural calendar. Many Cubans are suffering the effects of having lost almost everything they owned, yet in a true Cuban attitude that won’t stop many from attending the many events lined up this month, from street theatre to contemporary dance and a mega feast celebrating national identity.
  • 20 Sep 2017
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Iberostar Bella Vista - Varadero's newest luxury hotel, a fine choice for families

Many were expectantly awaiting its opening last April. As part of Iberostar’s Premium Gold Collection, it promised to be ground-breakingly luxurious. By design it certainly is grand, sleek and very modern. Yet the service is still in the early stages of familiarising themselves with the discerning clientele and ongoing training is working to drive up standards. Still, it’s one of your safest bets in the gorgeous Varadero beach stretch. I went with my family last June and had a fabulous time.
  • 06 Sep 2017
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Hot in Cuba – Acosta Danza, rock in Cienfuegos, circus in Matanzas and jazz in Havana

In Cuba dance takes centre stage east and west of the country this September, with two fabulous performances by two outstanding dance groups on different dates across the month - ensuring you can make it to both (if you can). Then there is Cienfuegos´ most awaited rock festival of the year, and a whole lot of jazz at various Havana venues. Not enough? Then check out some of the local galleries´ new exhibits (spoiler alert: one of them gives an intimate glimpse into Fidel Castro´s private life).
  • 29 Aug 2017
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Playa Paraiso in Cayo Largo - the magic behind the world's third best beach

It ranked third in 2016's Travellers' Choice Awards by TripAdvisor, and fourth on this year's list of Top 25 Beaches in the World. But regardless of fluctuations in popularity and changes in travellers' opinions, Playa Paraiso, perfectly poised in the idyllic and remote enclave of Cayo Largo (only accessible via a 45-minute flight from Havana) remains Cuba's finest, most uncrowded and pristine beach, with an untouched beauty that only enhances with time, like an aged wine in a golden barrel.
  • 15 Aug 2017
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Ten things that make Cuba unique in the world

If in doubt Cuba was like nowhere else on the planet here is a list of 10 things that make it a world first. From harvesting the finest tobacco leaves to producing the best cigars, creating the most variety of Latin rhythms and having the largest rock on earth, there are more surprising facts in Cuba than you probably knew about, and while there are some you’re sure to have an inkling of, there are many more that you probably never heard of.
  • 08 Aug 2017
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Hot in Cuba - soaring temperatures mean equally hot events: what not to miss this August!

It might be sizzling hot in the land of eternal sunshine but that doesn’t put a dampener on Cubans to make the most of the year’s biggest holiday month, as much for families as for singles, couples and groups of friends looking for a good excuse to hang out. And with a varied array of summer events taking over the nation, no one is hiding indoors. Cuba doesn´t fear the heat, it revels in it, and while many Cubans might complain of the scorching temperatures this August, the truth is that however hot it may be outside, it doesn´t ever stop them from walking the streets or partying at all hours of the day. Wanna join them yet?
  • 01 Aug 2017
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El Floridita turns 200 years old - celebrating two centuries of colourful history

It was Hemingway's favourite haunt for a reason and now it celebrates its second century of existence with a spirited soul that never dies. 200 years on, El Floridita continues being a world favourite and symbol of classic Havana. It's certainly Cuba´s most legendary bar (even more so than rival La Bodeguita), the cradle of daiquiri and Havana's oldest, classiest restaurant, with barmen clad in obligatory red jackets and waiters in red aprons, perfectly blending in with the bar's magenta accents.
  • 19 Jul 2017
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The spooky tale behind Trinidad's haunted mansion - Palacio Borrell

Nowadays housing the Office of the Conservator of the City, one of the many stunning colonial mansions that make up Trinidad´s invaluable architectural heritage, also has a tragic, controversial and somewhat mystical past. The stuff of legends, it goes that this particular house was once the residence of the devil himself and in it a series of curious events, including the plotting of the owner´s murder by his wife and eldest son took place. Read on to find out the full, blustery story.
  • 04 Jul 2017
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The fascinatingly perilous journey of the Cuban crabs and where to witness it

Every year, starting sometime in April, usually after spring’s first rainfall, a massive colony of Cuban crabs makes the perilous journey from the island’s moist forests to the sea as a natural survival instinct that has remained unchanged for centuries. It’s an obstacle course, as they swarm roads, walls and backyards in their quest to mate and lay their eggs in the water. On this post, we tell you where to witness this amazing natural phenomenon and how to enhance this unique experience.
  • 18 Jun 2017
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Cuba’s protected landscapes and the challenges for sustainable tourism

After a recent gathering of experts in Santiago de Cuba took place to discuss the future of Cuba’s cultural landscapes and cityscapes, their protection and strategies for sustainable tourism; many questions remain as to the future of Cuba’s protected natural riches in the face of a projected increase of foreign tourists. On this post, we look at a few of Cuba’s natural landscapes, all which have recently been drawing the attention of more and more visitors due to their pristine state and beauty.
  • 08 Jun 2017
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Cuba's top 10 all-inclusive hotels in 2017 as revealed by iKeepThinking

A Canadian website dedicated to debating a varied array of issues and creating ranking lists across a wide range of topics, from Canada’s best music festivals to Spain’s top beach resorts, has recently launched its own list of top 10 all-inclusive hotels in Cuba, as rated by visitors to the island so far this year. On this post, we take a glimpse at those Cuba hotels that made it to the top and reveal the position they were ranked in, while telling you more about them in detail.
  • 01 Jun 2017
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Hot in Cuba - Orishas, Flamenco Nights, Circuba, Ballet and Cats!

June sees the official start of the summer season and Cubans can’t wait for it to kick off and plan some time off work to go on holiday with their families. That’s why, as the month of June unfolds more and more family-related activities and events take over various of the island’s cities, from Cuba’s national circus to puppets show. But there’ll be plenty for adults too, from Orishas’ return to homeland to flamenco nights, jamming sessions and classical music concerts.
  • 19 May 2017
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8 inventions that came to Cuba first (and then the world)

Cuba has been the breaking ground of many historical world firsts, and though many today would not expect it of a developing country currently facing economic and political challenges, many of the inventions that we take for granted today, happened in Cuba first. On this blog, we look at those game-changing inventions and innovations that debuted in Cuba before many other countries followed suit.
  • 03 May 2017
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High-end luxury comes to Cuba at the hands of Gucci, L'Occitane, Armani and Versace

A previously limited destination when it came to the most refined things in life, closed off to the outside world in more ways than one and severely lacking in some luxury basics that most travellers nowadays take for granted, Cuba is stepping out of the dark and attracting more luxury brands than ever. On this blog, we explore the ways in which this new blossoming, fashionable Cuba is catering to luxury travellers in a variety of ways and at a growing number of locations.
  • 28 Apr 2017
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Hot in Cuba - Romerias de Mayo, Cubadisco 2017, Jazz and Hemingway’s Fishing Tournament

As April comes to an end and May springs into action, Cuba has a line-up of events, concerts and one-off specials to entertain visitors with. April will close to the sound of Latin Jazz as May blossoms in the Eastern part of the city with Holguin’s famous “Romerias de Mayo” while Havana moves to the beat of Cubadisco 2017 and Hemingway’s 67th Billfishing Tournament. More jazz comes mid-month preceded by a dance extravaganza and the 12th National Paragliding Championship. Scroll down for more.
  • 14 Mar 2017
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Music hits with video clips filmed in Cuba - the singers and bands picking the island

There’s no doubt that Cuba has become more popular than ever as a filming location, not only for fashion photoshoots and Hollywood movies (like the eight instalment of the Fast & Furious saga) but also for music videos by emerging artists like Clean Bandit or Jess Glyne. Just days ago, Enrique Iglesias released his newest video clip for his new single Subeme la Radio, entirely shot in Havana, and rumour has it more than one popstar has Cuba in mind for their next music video production.
  • 08 Mar 2017
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Cuba - the fascinating story behind the world's number one rolling museum

Most are aware of (and even fascinated by) Cuba's rather unique collection of vintage American cars from the 50s, but few know the true, compelling story behind them, even when in recent months (and over the last couple of years) many have attempted to document the men responsible for keeping the old yank tanks going, through either photobooks or TV series like Cuban Chrome. Ahead of the launch of yet another book illustrating Cuba's four-wheeled marvels, this post aims to shed some light into the real challenges of keeping Cuba's old motors well and truly alive, colourfully roaming the island's bustling streets.
  • 02 Mar 2017
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Taking the plunge into Guayabo Waterfall at Parque La Mensura - Cuba's highest twin falls

Not many venture to Cuba's eastern countryside but those who do can be rewarded with a visit to two of the island's tallest waterfalls at Salto del Guayabo, nestled within La Mensura National Park, adjacent to the lush Pinares de Mayari pine tree forests in Holguin. These twin falls are not only the park's main attraction but they also offer visitors the opportunity of bathing in its cool, therapeutic waters after a scenic tour through the reserve's untouched endemic wildlife and vegetation.
  • 09 Feb 2017
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Hot in Cuba - Giselle, Havana Book Fair and a trio of festivals

After an extended mourning period that saw much of the country quiet for a while, Cuba’s cultural scene is back in business, with February bringing a packed schedule of events. There’s quite a pick to choose from; whether that’s checking out the Havana Book Fair, honing your salsa-dancing skills at the Salsa Festival 2017 or attending a ballet rendition of Giselle. There’s also the International Harley Davidson Concentration in Matanzas and the Early Music Festival kicking off in the capital. Cubans are busy, busy bees when it comes to the arts and entertainment sphere over the next few weeks. Read on to find out how to make the most of February if you’re in Cuba this month.
  • 19 Jan 2017
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Another year, another burial for Pachencho, Cuba's oldest living-dead

It's only a matter of days before Pachencho celebrates its 33rd burial on one of the most bizarre events in the annual calendar of a small Cuban village. Like every year, the picturesque town of Santiago de las Vegas, just south of Havana, readies to bury its oldest living-dead as Divaldo Aguiar takes on the role of Pachencho, thus keeping alive a tradition that stemmed from the culmination of the town's carnival and which drew inspiration from a popular local play.
  • 06 Dec 2016
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Hot in Cuba - Jazz Plaza 2016, Havana Film Festival and Rumba in El Palenque

December may be a chilly month in the UK, but Cuba’s as hot as ever during the festive season. Free from mass commercialisation it may be, but full of charm and warmth nevertheless, making it all the more special to visit at this time. Despite the island having only started recovering from the death of its historic revolutionary leader, Fidel Castro, the country is looking forward to seasonal festivities and going full steam ahead with plans for festivals and special events.
  • 07 Nov 2016
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Hot in Cuba - Music for all tastes, European flair, a bit of circus magic and a spooky house

With winter now settling in most parts of the UK after an unseasonably warm Halloween, most are starting to dream of warmer days in the sun. In Cuba, hurricane season is finally over and the warm Caribbean winter sees temperature oscillate between the low and mid-20s, with refreshingly cooler days full of sunshine, and, of course, entertainment! From live music to dance shows, cultural fairs and circus action for the whole family, November in Cuba has got you covered.
  • 29 Oct 2016
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Map of Cuba's new golf courses, a game changer in the island's tourism market

Despite numerous announcements for plans to build new golf courses islandwide, construction works have been a little on the slow side and yet to kick off. Still, if all goes as planned Cuba could soon boast at least ten new championship golf courses. Most of these will be located in Cuba’s western side, in and around Havana and Matanzas, with the one in Cienfuegos being the only one to be built furthest from the capital, alongside an ambitious tourist development that would include six five-star hotels. Read on to find out more about each of these new Cuba golf projects and where exactly they’ll be located.
  • 16 Sep 2016
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Celebrities that made it to Cuba this summer 2016

The summer season is all but gone, everywhere but Cuba that is; where sunshine is everlasting and the hottest season of the year keeps going for a little bit longer. But with summer officially done and dusted we look back at the celebrities who made Cuba their holiday destination last season.
  • 08 Sep 2016
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Hot in Cuba - Salsa and Trova Nights, Jane's Addiction Concert and El Acompanante Premiere

As September begins and summer comes to an end, Cuba is still hot with varied cultural offers. The music scene is sizzling with performances ranging from salsa and reggaeton to rock, alternative and trova music, whilst cinemas host exclusive premieres of national and international films. In addition, Primera Linea Music Conference will take off next Wednesday and local circus Circuba proves a tempting option for families.
  • 31 Aug 2016
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Hotel Inglaterra - over a century of history encapsulating Cuba's oldest hotel

The grand neoclassical structure that rises in front of Havana's centric Parque Central, right at the heart of the old town, is not only a colonial gem that has stoically endured the passage of time but also a place where history and culture have blended over the year to create one of the city's most legendary haunts. On the verge of its takeover by Starwood, which will add it to its Luxury Collection, on this post we go back in time to explore the allure of the Hotel Inglaterra, its famous past guests and its riveting history.
  • 06 Aug 2016
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Ten things to do in Havana

Join Cuba Holidays' very own narrator and commentator as she walks around the country's colourful capital. With this freshly produced video and blog post you are formally invited to follow her step by step as she points you to the best there is to see and enjoy in Havana, the richest and most diverse of places in all of Cuba.
  • 28 Jul 2016
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How to best enjoy Santiago de Cuba's famously spectacular July Carnival

The words "carnaval" and "Santiago" go together like bread and butter, strawberries and cream. In fact, in Cuba, the word carnival doesn't sound truer or stronger than when accompanied by Santiago - the carnival cradle and capital of the country since its foundation. If you're a tourist planning to be part of Cuba's biggest, loudest and most spectacular public event, this is the guide to read up on for the best streets to watch all the action from, the best lodgings to rest the nights away, the must-try typical carnival food and the best spots to escape it all for a break from all the noise. Buckle up...carnival is coming!
  • 11 Jul 2016
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Breathing in Cuba with Hugo and Cristina

Part of our series of reach-out blogs where we seek to liaise with fellow travellers to find out more about their personal experiences visiting Cuba, we're back with an intrepid couple of blogging globetrotters who've recently made the island one of their latest destinations. Join us to find out more about Hugo and Cristina's take on Cuba, how to best experience some of its less trodden attractions, which were their favourite bits of the trip and whether or not they'd consider coming back.
  • 24 May 2016
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15 adventures for rediscovering Cuba

From the historic Sierra Maestra mountain range where Fidel Castro's rebels hid and organised the final coup against Batista's corrupt government to the paradisiac (and relatively undiscovered) Isla de la Juventud (Isle of Youth) which formerly served as refuge to fugitives, pirates and gangsters; one article recently published in El Pais explores ways in which to rediscover Cuba beyond the usual tourist hotspots.
  • 16 Feb 2016
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Cuba through UK travel experts' eyes: London writers and lifestyle bloggers

Linking the opinions of five expert travel bloggers from the UK through a blog mini-series exploring Cuba, the next few editions of this blog will be dedicating to exposing each of these experts' individual experiences and travel stories during their time in the island while contrasting them with my very own. Read on to find out more what you can look forward to in the next few blog posts to come as I introduce you to the London travel writers that went to Cuba and had something to say about it.
  • 04 Feb 2016
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Hot in Cuba - Cuban Ballet opens new season, FAC hosts photo expo and the 32nd funeral of a living dead

This week in Cuba it's decidedly about the performing arts scene with the hottest thing in this week's calendar being the opening of Cuba's prestigious national ballet company's new season with a programme called La Magia de la Danza (The Magic of Dance) and which will include scenes from Giselle, Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake and The Nutcracker among others. Also hot in Havana's music scene is a one-off concert from Diana Fuentes (tonight) at Fabrica de Arte Cubano (FAC) which (on the plastic arts side) will also host a special new exhibition by local photographer Yuri Obregon.
  • 28 Jan 2016
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Hot in Cuba - Chinese New Year celebrations, Silvio Rodriguez and a tribute to Schubert

This week in Havana is all about celebrating the start of the Chinese New Year in style as it kicks off with a bang bigger than ever before. With most activities, events and street parades taking place in and around Chinatown in downtown Havana, you'll enjoy easy access to all the festivities if you happen to be staying in the capital. Elsewhere other highlights include a concert by the most internationally famous of Cuban troubadours and a special tribute to Schubert with a magical classical music concert.
  • 22 Jan 2016
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David Latt lists 12 things to see in Havana now and 10 tips on how to make the most of your trip

Emmy-winner TV writer and producer, David Latt recently wrote an article for the Huffington Post in which he identified 12 reasons anyone should be visiting Havana now and in which he shared 10 of his own tips on how to navigate your way through the island's peculiarities while abiding to the regulations and limitations for US travellers - with advice on currency exchange, credit cards, charter flights as well as imports and exports allowed.
  • 21 Jan 2016
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Hot in Cuba - Heterodoxo, Mal Paso, Buena Fe and Medianoche

Dancing, dancing, dancing it's what's hottest in this week's weekly cultural calendar, from Danza Contemporanea's presentation of Heterdoxo this weekend to Mal Paso's trio of presentations at the Teatro Marti in Havana. Another highlight is the one-off concert of local popular duo Buena Fe and yet another dancing number, this time in Camaguey and by the Ballet Contemporaneo Endedan.
  • 14 Jan 2016
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Hot in Cuba - Gerardo Alfonso, FolkCuba 2016, Zenon Dance and Old School rock 'n' roll

Last week saw plenty of concert action taking over the capital and beyond. This week might be a little less strong on the musical side but packs a powerful punch in other diverse cultural offers, from art exhibitions to exclusive dance performances, choir music and the two-week-long celebration of FolkCuba 2016 - an annual celebration and massive workshop of folkloric dance in Cuba which will be taking over Havana for its 62nd edition. Of course, we haven't left out our weekly calendar listing the best music events to attend in the capital each evening as well as our dedicated separate section for families with kids. Keep reading for more....
  • 07 Jan 2016
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Hot in Cuba - Habana Sensual, Giselle, Longina and Omara again

If you look at the music and performing arts scene in Cuba there's no denying that this week is rather on the slow side. But no one is surprised, the festive season just about ended and many are still in the holiday mood, so accordingly many musicians and artists are taking a break and gearing up for the new year. Nevertheless, music never really stops in Cuba and while it may not be delivered by the most popular artists it's still amazing quality and there are some pretty amazing Cuban musicians that never slow down or stop (as you'll quickly find out reading this week cultural calendar). So, read on to be in the loop on what's going on in Cuba this week.
  • 30 Dec 2015
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Hot in Cuba - Omara Portuondo, X Alfonso, Ballet Nacional de Cuba and New Year concerts

We're back again this week to bring you the hottest events in Cuba's cultural calendar this week, from its nightlife scene and weekly line-up of evening acts to special one-off concerts like the one led by X Alfonso tonight at FAC or the one soon to be staged by Omara Portuondo at the San Francisco de Asis Square and also including a spectacular ballet performance by the island's prestigious national company. So you can see that even though most Cubans are busying themselves ahead of New Year's Eve celebrations they're still devoting some time to the arts in as many ways as possible. Proof that in this island music and flair are two things that are never laid to rest.
  • 17 Dec 2015
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Hot in Cuba - Jazz Plaza Festival in Havana, ZZ Top and Christmas concert

As every Thursday I'm back to introduce you to Cuba's weekly calendar of cultural events as they unfold over the next seven days. This time around and very hot on the barometer scale (almost to imploding point) we kick things off with the opening of the 31st Jazz Plaza Festival in Havana which will be wowing audiences at 9 p.m. with its dazzling opening gala. Elsewhere in the capital we also have a special Christmas classic music and opera concert in Havana's Cathedral and two rocking concerts by ZZ Top not to be missed! While the rest of the country remains much quieter this week, there are still a few recommendations if you happen to find yourself in Varadero or Viñales.
  • 10 Dec 2015
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Hot in Cuba - Havaneando, Tañon in Havana and Danza del Alma in Santa Clara

After big events like the Havana Film Festival (attended by two big Hollywood stars for the first time ever) and the FIART fair taking the spotlight in last week 'scultural calendar and overshadowing most other things going on in Cuba, this week brings refreshing new acts and performances for those looking for something new to do or new shows to enjoy. From spectacular circus performances to a hip-shaking merengue concert and dazzling art exhibitions you certainly won't be short of options!
  • 03 Dec 2015
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Hot in Cuba - Havana Film Festival, Olga Tanon, FIART and human-sized dogs on the street

Strikingly packed to say the least, this week's cultural calendar in Cuba is sure overflowing with big events - from the annually celebrated and internationally acclaimed Havana Film Festival kicking off today (with invited guests including Ethan Hawke and Tim Robbins) to a much-awaited free public concert by Puerto Rican singing sensation Olga Tanon in Santiago, a one-off special anniversary performance by Van Van and Havana d'Primera and a wild pack of large Mexican dogs roaming free in Old Havana...exciting much?
  • 26 Nov 2015
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Hot in Cuba - Ballet Nacional de Cuba and Trovuntivitis

As opposed to last week, where Havana was overflowing with cultural events like the JoJazz festival and Baila en Cuba, this week returns to quieter (not quiet) normality by Cuban standards, but that still means plenty of salsa action to be enjoyed in the evenings at some of the city hottest nightlife venues and quite a few exhibitions to peruse where the arts are concerned. The highlights of this week? Definitely, a special performance by the Ballet Nacional de Cuba, a one-off classical music concert in Old Havana, the 20th Festival Longina celebrating Cuban trova, Cuba's National Chorus performing in Camaguey, the last days of salsa-tastic Baila en Cuba and the Benny More Festival in Cienfuegos.
  • 21 Nov 2015
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Cuba through her bloggers' eyes - 8 Reasons you shouldn't go to Cuba

In stark contrast to the avalanche of articles that have recently been circulating around the web to list the Top 5, Top 10 or even Top 7 things to do in Cuba as well as the endless lists of reasons to visit it, I found a rather amusing twist to the whole subject of why anyone should consider going to Cuba when I came across a witty Cuban blogger's 8 Reasons You Shouldn't Go to Cuba.
  • 19 Nov 2015
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Hot in Cuba - JoJazz and a one-night-only Latin American special

This week's cultural calendar in Cuba is as exciting as it is varied and colourful. On one hand we have the Jo Jazz festival officially kicking off in Havana, gathering the most promising young jazz artists on the planet world who come to battle it out for the top prize, and on the other we've got a one-time special event celebrating Latin American culture and music at the Fabrica de Arte Cubano. If all this wasn't enough Baila en Cuba, the salsa event of the year is launching a dancing competition focusing on mambo in this edition, with plenty of concerts, classes and competitions taking place throughout next week.
  • 12 Nov 2015
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Hot in Cuba - Havana Festival of Contemporary Music and Leo Brouwer

The weather in Havana this week might be a little torrential, hot and wet and with this mix of natural elements comes an equally varied array of performances, festivals, one-off concerts and much-loved salsa regulars. From contemporary instrumental music that takes over Havana as part of the International Festival of Contemporary Music to live reggaeton gigs, outstanding Jazz jamming sessions and live salsa music to make you dance until your feet explode; Cuba has it all and here I lay it down day by day, one performance at a time
  • 07 Nov 2015
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Cuba through her bloggers' eyes - a journey to Topes de Collantes and back

Nostalgia-stricken and wanting to read about my island from a personal account of the people that depict her best - the Cubans actually living there - I found myself scanning the web for articles from Cuban bloggers. Giselle Morales' blog soon caught my eye and had me gripped from the very first sentence. This is why I took the time to translate it into English and share it with the English-speaking world. Enjoy!
  • 05 Nov 2015
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Hot in Cuba - Hispano-Cuban music concert and Bach tribute

This week's cultural calendar event in Havana is as hot as ever but instead of sizzling salsa acts taking the spotlight or big international names stealing the show, it's a collaboration between foreign and Cuban artists that marks the week's strongest music performances. Aside from that we still have plenty of salsa concerts to attend throughout the week, as well as some jazz performances and some special art exhibitions for culture vultures. Don't forget, you saw it here first!
  • 29 Oct 2015
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Hot in Cuba - independent Cuban pop and salsa classics

This week's cultural calendar in Havana might not be as packed as our latest editions but everyone will still find more than one way to have fun and party their evenings away. From nightly live performances across a variety of music genres (mainly salsa) to lively afternoon performances providing a great opportunity to immerse in the island's emerging new sounds and bands as well as to listen to quality veteran musicians that have proved their worth after years of seducing Cuban and international audiences. Take your pick!
  • 22 Oct 2015
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Hot in Cuba - Havana Theatre Festival and Ballet Nacional de Cuba

This week's cultural calendar in Cuba, but especially in Havana comes packed full of treats in the performing arts area. Starting with various daily theatre performances from an array of international and local theatre companies and finishing off with a very special gala by the National Cuban Ballet Company, it's all about the expressive arts in Cuba this week. To round things off there's various music shows to enjoy, as usual, plus quite a few painting exhibitions to indulge lovers of the visual arts.
  • 16 Oct 2015
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Hot in Cuba - Festival Mozart-Habana and reggaeton with El Micha

Even when the title this week might sound quite antagonistic, it actually shines light on Cuba's wide variety and eclectic nature at its most contrasting. This week you can choose between two completely different ends of the spectrum if you're in Cuba: classical music or new age reggaeton. In fact you don't even have to decide as concerts are happening on different dates, allowing you to get a taste of everything. If your motto, like mine, is that variety is the spice of life then you'll love to be in Cuba this week.
  • 08 Oct 2015
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Hot in Cuba - British Culture Week in Havana and Los Van Van in concert

Cuba is in a cultural mood this week as the highlight of entertainment events taking place over the next seven days are clearly centred on cultural themes. While Havana welcomes British Culture Week, Camaguey celebrates Cuban culture with an opening gala this Saturday at the Parque Agramonte, with performances from the prestigious Camaguey Ballet School and various music groups. Read on to find out more what's on in Cuba this week.
  • 30 Sep 2015
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Hot in Cuba - Les Voix Humaines Festival 2015 and more

Follow the latest edition of our weekly guide to Havana's daily and nightly entertainment scene. From great musical performances you can't afford to miss to seasonal art exhibitions, family-friendly shows and more. If this is the week you'll be travelling to Havana, this is the events' guide to read up on.
  • 23 Sep 2015
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Hot in Cuba - Descemer Bueno, NG La Banda and CANDELA

If you're itching to get a taste of Havana's vibrant nightlife and you're in the city this week or towards the beginning of the next, this is the guide to read to find out which spot to hit and when. Mostly consisting of live music performances and concerts, we've also dedicated some space to the arts to keep you updated with the latest exhibitions and cultural events as well as giving you tips for special family days out in Havana if you have little ones. Read on and plan your time in the city with this guide!
  • 04 Sep 2015
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Hot in Cuba - one-night only with CJ Ramone and more

This Friday-to-Sunday calendar of events taking place in Havana is our longest yet, covering a span that's slightly longer than a week with 10 days packed full of exciting concerts to attend, art exhibits to peruse and hot salsa joints to hit and party well into the early hours of the morning.
  • 02 Sep 2015
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Top 15 things to do in Cuba now, before it all changes

The internet has recently received an over-saturation of lists on the top things a traveller should do, see or try when going to Cuba. While each offers each author's unique perspective on what they found most appealing and unique about a country as fascinating as Cuba is; few were able to truly encapsulate it all and sometimes favoured certain frivolities over more essential aspects. I found not one of these lists was enough and lacked in a few areas. Now don't get me wrong, covering all of Cuba in a traveller's list is not just a daunting task, but a near-impossible one, at least when you want to keep it under 20 things (who will want to read more or have time for more on a single trip to Cuba?) but as a Cuban I felt I had the need to have a go at it anyway. I went a little beyond the usual top 5, 7 or 10 things to do in Cuba to include 15 - the very bare minimum in my books, even when I included a separate list of possible, quirky extras.
  • 26 Aug 2015
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Hot in Cuba - Paulo FG y Su Elite and Vocal Sampling

Check out the latest cultural and artistic goings on in Cuba's capital this week with my full guide to all the action taking place in the city over the next five days. From the top musical performances, the hottest nightlife venues to the latest art exhibitions and family-friendly activities; I'll be covering it all with my top picks to experience the best Havana has to offer. With any luck, if you're in Havana this week, you'll get to follow some of my recommendations and leave the island with a well-rounded cultural experience of Cuba, Havana and its nights.
  • 20 Aug 2015
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Hot in Cuba - All-Cuban stars: Roberto Carcasses and Qva Libre

Find out what's hot this week in Havana with our weekly cultural calendar, where I personally handpick the very best highlights of this week's array of events in the capital. From a stellar concert by serial Grammy winner Descemer Bueno (the one to definitely not miss) to the best salsa bands playing live, the best jazz performances and the 7th edition of the Timbalaye Festival with the Rumba Route, this week is packed full of surprises. Lucky you if you're in Havana this week or the next!
  • 12 Aug 2015
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Hot in Cuba - Kelvis Ochoa, Obra Abierta and Arte en La Rampa

In Havana and no plans for tonight? Then this is the events guide to read! Starting tonight we keep you in the loop with the best nightlife hangouts, the top music performances, the most coveted shows and handpicked cultural attractions taking place all over Havana throughout this week. Of course, we don't forget about families and the youngest travellers spending some time in the Cuban capital this week, this is why we also devote a small section to them and highlight the special events in the city planned around families.
  • 06 Aug 2015
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Hot in Cuba - Havana Carnival and Habana Ensemble

Another week brings yet another whole set of events taking place all over Cuba's capital, from salsa concerts and music shows to jazz sessions, art exhibitions and special summer activities for the whole family to enjoy. So, if you're in Havana this week, this is the events calendar to check out before you get there.
  • 30 Jul 2015
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Hot in Cuba - Havana d'Primera and Ballet Nacional de Cuba

Find out what's going on in Cuba's busy cultural calendar this week, from the hottest concerts to the best jazz jamming sessions, the trendiest hangouts, the most coveted shows, most sizzling venues for salsa dancing, the most happening music halls to the more relaxed art exhibitions, fairs and even special summer activities and shows for children. Whatever your daytime or nocturnal pursuit in Cuba (especially in Havana) we have you covered for the remainder of this week and the start of the next. If you read this you certainly won't be short of entertainment options!
  • 29 Jul 2015
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Connecting two islands

New hotels opening in Cuba over the next few years

Cuba has a few hotels down the pipeline for the next few years, including some that will be opening by the end of this year and others that go as far ahead as 2020. One of Cuba's government-owned tourism groups, Gaviota has unveiled its plans for new hotels being built over the coming years with a video showing 3D models of the new properties and the locations where they are currently being built or where they will be built. On this blog post we give you all the details as they become available.
  • 22 Jul 2015
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Connecting two islands

Hot in Cuba - Los Van Van, Harold Lopez-Nussa and more

Here I blog about the best places to frequent this week if you find yourself in Havana. I cover it all - from hitting the concerts of famous local singers and musicians in a diverse variety of genres that range from salsa to rock, jazz, rumba, reggaeton, "filin" and orchestra performances; to attending special festivals, events and dancing sessions. Every week I'll be doing my own selection of the very best in Havana's cultural calendar so that each night you have a good choice of where to go.
  • 20 Jul 2015
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Connecting two islands

Havana and Washington embassies open today: a Timeline of U.S.-Cuba relations

A detailed timeline of the events that unfolded since the official announcement made by Obama and Castro during their respective speeches to restore diplomatic ties and which led up to the final opening of embassies in both countries. The thawing process that slowly developed and brewed under the surface for a few years before intentions to restore ties between the two rival nations were finally made official. A new era of U.S. and Cuba relations has dawned.