From the first day, we arrived I knew the landscape of Cuba was going to be a big drawcard – I like hot countries and I’m a sucker for a nice palm tree. Whilst Havana doesn’t have much in the way of natural beauty you can still appreciate all the greenery and, as soon as we were out of the city, I was not disappointed. For me the highlights of the trip can’t be captured in a photo and I certainly can’t do them justice when trying to describe them. I think a trip to Cuba must include learning about the history and culture. I’m glad we visited the Bay of Pigs, that I had studied in school and the Museum of the Revolution in Havana should not be missed. However, if someone visiting gets the chance I would tell them they should try and include some time at a natural pool. The first one we visited was in the Bay of Pigs. Apparently, you can scuba dive here and find numerous colourful fish within the flooded cave system but Jimmy and I were just happy to have a few dives/jumps into the water, floating around and watching the red crabs scurrying along the rocks next to us.
The second one was even more impressive and was within one of the National Parks near Trinidad, Parque el Cubano. We hiked for about 40 minutes, crossing streams, noticing the national bird; tocororo in the leaves, learning about the trees and stopping for a natural tea before reaching our destination – a natural pool. This one included a waterfall which you could swim through into a bat filled cave (definitely an experience!) and cliffs you could jump off into the water. The cliffs ranged from 2 metres to 9 metres and it was the more daring people who went for the tallest – actually no one from our group did and watching some of the landings from the water conclusively put me off even considering it! Another beautiful area was Las Terrazas, a small eco-community in Pinar Del Rio (where we stopped on our way from Havana to Vinales). It’s a resort and working community that was declared a Biosphere Reserve in 1985 where there are numerous activities such as zip-lining and horseback riding. We didn’t have that much time there so I’m sad to say we never got to swim but I saw flamingos for the first time ever and that was exciting!