• Sat
  • Oct 25, 2014
  • Updated: 5:29pm

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PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 30 July, 2002, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 30 July, 2002, 12:00am

WHERE TO START: Cuba is bereft of cyber cafes and there is also a major shortage of printed tourist information outside the main resorts, so research your trip thoroughly before you pack your bags. The best sites include www.travelnet.cu for customised group tours; www.cubaweb.cu for links to sites covering news, politics, music, arts and top tourist destinations; for tailor-made tours, www.cubawelcome.com - including the Hemingway Trail; www.granma.cu for the latest news published in Granma Internacionale, the official newspaper of the communist party of Cuba; for single travellers see www.cubaone.com; and www.footprintbooks.com for comprehensive information on vaccinations, visas, health, currency and more. Public transport has improved in Cuba but continuing shortages of fuel, spare parts and timetables can make travelling by bus or train a nightmare. The best option is to hire a car. Go to www.dtcuba.com for country-wide listings.

WHERE TO STAY: Hoteles Horizontes (www.horizontes.cu) has a wide range of accommodation including eco-friendly hostelries, apartment rentals and hotels with spas. www.1click2cuba.com lists eco resorts, beach and city hotels and rustic thatched huts on Cayo Largo; for information on three- to five-star hotels in almost every Cuban city, see www.cubalinda.com; and www.contactcuba.com/casaparticular has details of family homes with rooms to rent - a highly recommended alternative to staying in a homogenised hotel chain.

WHERE TO EAT: Although it's possible to enjoy numerous different styles of cooking in Cuba (including sushi), the best way to sample local cuisine is by visiting private restaurants - or paladars - run from local homes. Cocktails are an important part of Cuban culture - the Mojito, Cuba Libre and daiquiri were all invented here. The best way to get detailed information on eating and drinking is through an interactive Q&A site such as cocoweb available on www.cubaweb.cu.

WHERE TO GET ACTIVE: Cuba is blessed with a pristine reef, which surrounds most of the island, and new dive centres are springing up all over the place. For the best dive sites visit www.cubasports.com. All types of fishing are available from deep sea to bonefishing - for a comprehensive guide go to www.theperfect.com/forfishingincuba - while for whitewater rafting, safaris and hunting, visit www.cubafun.com. Cuba is also a great country to pedal across. Group and individual tours are available on www.cycle-cuba.com.


Of all the islands in the Caribbean, Cuba has the best and most varied nightlife with a great music scene, which includes Latin, jazz, folk and rock. For information on Havana nightlife visit www.cartelera.com; for Cuban tunes click onto Bembe Records www.bembe.com; and if you want to learn how to salsa go to www.bustamove.com.

WHAT TO DO IN HAVANA: For detailed information on Havana, Cuba's time-warped

capital, visit www.timeout.com/havana; www.cubaadvice.com also has links to Havana's must-see sights from a cigar-rolling factory to the Che Guevara museum. For accommodation, restaurants and what to see in the rest of the country, visit www.1000traveltips.org, which has links to Santiago de Cuba, Trinidad, Pinar del Rio, Baracoa and Santa Clara among others.

WHERE TO FIND CULTURE: For a good mix of general facts and detailed information go to www.cubanculture.com; which includes the arts and local cuisine. For links to sites covering Cuban history, business, arts, human rights, economy, sport and famous people see lanic.utexas.edu/la/cb/cuba. Special events are available from the Cuban Convention Bureau (www.buroconv.cubaweb.cu).


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