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Great Cuba tour by Vintage Car

Cienfuegos - Square & Vintage Car.jpg

Cuba has to be one of the most enticing and unique, not to mention one of the largest, of the Islands in the Caribbean Sea. Its Spanish speaking population and ubiquitous rhythms of mambo, rumba and salsa give it a thoroughly Latin feel but it’s the fascinating mix of cultural influences, history, politics, architecture and music that have created a truly beguiling destination.

Government control under Castro had previously for many decades stifled private enterprise as the economy stagnated and tourism was funneled into purpose built vast resorts by the ocean and modern characterless hotels.

Vieja Havana’s colonial treasures were starting to crumble and while its beaches and landscapes remain undeniably beautiful, its true identity was somewhat muted. However, as these rules have relaxed in more recent times, a new era has begun to emerge which means great news for intrepid travellers to Cuba.

Suddenly there is a new wave of historic houses and rural country homes being run as boutique charming casas particulares or private houses, a delightful network of bed and breakfast accommodation that enables you to meet friendly local hosts and feel like you are staying in a home from home rather than a faceless hotel.

Intrepid and entrepreneurial local cooks are opening their paladares or private restaurants in leafy courtyard buildings and other unique premises offering inventive and innovative menus as an antidote to the bland fare on offer in government run establishments.

And of course, then there are the cars. That iconic image of the heady days of pre-Revolution Cuba when Ernest Hemingway and other prominent artists and stars frequented the colonial hotels of Havana and were driven around in indulgent open top cars in the tropical heat.

These 1950s cars are now of course vintage classics but have been kept in full working order over the decades by dedicated owners. As private enterprise has flourished, so has the number of these classics being restored to their former glory and now the bright candy colours and polished fenders of these 1950s beauties are a common sight all over Cuba, from Havana to Trinidad, Cienfuegos and beyond.

Today, one of these beautifully painted and polished vintage cars can be waiting with a driver outside your Havana hotel or casa particular at your disposal as you stay there. Settle back into the sumptuous leather seats as you have the perfect vantage point to discover this vibrant and diverse city.

Navigate the narrow cobbled street of Vieja Habana, stopping off at some of its iconic monuments or for a refreshing ice-cream or to sample the best daiquiris or mojitos in town at a gorgeous bar.

Step out of your car for a stroll along the seafront promenade known as the Malecon and seek out a local private seafood restaurant with your guide. Your driver will give you a ride to an amazing live music venue to listen to superb music for an hour or two. It really is the most stylish way to explore Cuba’s intriguing capital.

Take a private tour exploring Cuba from its capital and other colonial towns to exquisite coastal spots for snorkeling, natural reserves for great birdwatching and hiking or cycling among its delightful rural landscapes - better still take your tour in a beautiful classic vintage car!

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