Havana has so much to offer but even the most hardened tourist might need to take a day off from the busy city. Luckily there are some great places nearby that you can get to experience the ‘real Cuba’ away from the rest of the tourists. Here are five day trips you can take from Havana.
1. The Hershey Train
One of the more unusual day trips to make from Havana is to take a ride on the Hershey chocolate train to the sleepy town of Matanzas. The trains are rather old and slow and take around four hours to reach the destination. Take the scenic train one way and find quicker transport for the return leg.
Matanzas is a cultural heaven, famous across Cuba for its poets musicians and writers. Many people call it the real Cuba, away from Havana’s crowds and sellers. Just slow paced life.
2. Yumuri Valley
Also close to Matanzas is the Yumuri Valley. A valley perfect for hiking and outdoor exploration. As well as Bellamar Caves, the longest network of caves in Cuba. A great day trip from Havana when combined.
3. Parque Nacional Ciénaga de Zapata
For some off the beaten track wildlife spotting opportunities Parque Nacional Ciénaga de Zapata is where to head for a day trip out of the city. Near the relaxed city of Matanzas, it’s a huge protected area of wilderness complete with jungles beaches and the infamous Bay of Pigs. A day trip from Havana without the crowds.
4. Las Terrazas
Las Terrazas is a bio reserve full of flora and fauna and is a great day trip from Havana. It’s a very popular day trip from Havana as the scenery is beautiful and the protected status means it’s well-preserved. One of the pioneering ecotourism destinations in Cuba.
5. Parque Nacional la Guira
Once a private estate, this national park was briefly home to Che Guevara. During the Cuban missile crisis in 1962 he lived in the caves here to hide from potential American bombs. At around a 2 hour drive from Havana it’s one of the biggest day trips but great for getting off the beaten path.
So there we have five great day trips from Cuba’s capital Havana. It’s best to book these in advance to avoid disappointment. Why not hop in a classic car and enjoy the whole day in style? Check out vintage car tours for more info.