Renowned UK broadsheet The Telegraph has recommended Cuba as the perfect family holiday destination. As one of the planet's best-equipped locations for Covid-19 precautions, this Caribbean hotspot could be the "go-to" destination of 2021. Read on and find out more.
Transporting the family to a different age
Travel expert Kate Wickers travelled to Cuba with her family and writes that they had "the time of their lives". The article focuses on their visit to UNESCO-listed Parque Nacional Viñales in the Pinar del Rio province in the west of Cuba. Wickers writes how she and her sons, aged 19, 18 and 14, ride through the valley on horseback and are taken aback by the natural beauty as well as the charmingly archaic way agriculture is still done.
The ranches and farms still grow pineapples, potatoes, coffee, and tobacco in traditional ways and remain one of the few places in the world that still does so.
There are no tractors or combine harvesters here, and ox-drawn ploughs till the land as they have done since time immemorial. The harvesting is done by machete, and the drying, curing and grading of the tobacco are done by hand.
Indescribable beauty is ageless
Tourists, like Wickers, who do get out of the capital city Havana can find an island unrivalled in natural beauty. The vistas seen around Viñales form memories that last a lifetime for any age-group. Wickers waxes lyrical about the experience she and her sons enjoyed:
"Nightly, we watch live bands play 'Son Cubano', a blend of Spanish and African beats, while locals dance salsa in the courtyard under flame trees awash with fire-red blooms. The view of the valley from our elevated perch is worthy of five stars, and I sit in a swinging chair on the small veranda of our chalet with a Mojito in hand watching fireflies light up a dusky sky."
The article goes on to describe how there are plenty of activities of every sort to keep families entertained.
In Viñales valley, the ride on horseback Wickers and her sons enjoyed ended with swimming in a natural swimming hole. In addition, there's a hiking, rock-climbing and cycling. If you need some time to relax, there are also stylish restaurants and a daily craft market.
Many travel writers have described how captivating this part of Cuba is. Aside from all the natural wonders Wickers describes, there's still much more.
Families can explore huge cave systems with miles of passages, and trek along subterranean walkways leading through jagged rock formations to the edge of underwater rivers that can be traversed by boat.
Cuba, paradise found
Cuba is a unique destination that effortlessly marries rustic beauty with pure luxury. It's a paradox of a country and those that are lucky enough to visit normally return.
Things are different in Cuba and it makes for an unforgettable holiday destination for families who want to see natural wonders that don't exist anywhere else.
The days are exciting and novel, but the nights are magical. It's then that the luxurious side of Cuba is found. As Wickers writes:
"We settle at a trestle table on the veranda and drink a rum punch - three quarts rum, one-quart juice, making it worthy of its name - and watch the sky turn to tangerine until the banana palms in the fields below are silhouettes of black. There's no menu, so instead we are served a homestyle meal of fried plantain, chargrilled pineapple, pork braised in a rich tomato sauce, and refried beans."
The whole island of Cuba will encapsulate and enchant the whole family.