Playing it Cool in Colourful Cuba
Playing it cool in Colourful Cuba
With over 3,500 miles of coastline, thousands of mostly uninhabited islands and islets, nine UNESCO World Heritage Sites; both historic and natural, unique architecture, traditions and culture and spirited, warm people, it’s no wonder that Cuba is often referred to as the Pearl of the Antilles. Whether planning to charter a yacht in Cuba or exploring on your own private yacht, this island will see you discovering pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, vibrant marine life and verdant jungle as well as discovering its fascinating culture and history. The ideal yachting destination for the whole family, Cuba is colourful and vibrant and PELORUS can tailor-make your itinerary to suit both young or old.
When to go:
South Cuba – December to March
North Cuba – March to May
– Explore Havana in a convoy of vintage cars.
– Enjoy a private visit of some of the local art galleries and meet the artists to learn more about their fascinating work. Meet a contemporary artist, currently exhibiting around the world, and join him for an exclusive studio visit and art lesson.
– Witness the traditional cannon firing at the Havana Fortress, signalling the end of the day and the close of the city gates.
– Learn salsa, danzon and merengue with professional Cuban dancers and guitarists in a small old town square.
The Las Terrazas Biosphere has been under UNESCO protection since 1984, the area is home to over 177 species of birds and more than 70 ruined coffee plantations. Green and lush with crystal clear waters, Las Terrazas will offer the ideal transition from the hustle and bustle of Havana and your waiting luxury yacht.
– Spend a morning hiking with a private guide before heading to Banos del San Juan where you can cool off in the stunning natural pools and waterfall.
– Ride ponies and horses across the plantations.
– Dine in a traditional farm-to-table hacienda next to the river.
– Speed through the trees on 1.6km’s of zipline cables or explore with a personal guide by mountain bike through the valley.
ARCHIPIÉLAGO DE LOS CANARREOS
– Paddleboard and kayak around the hundreds of islands in the Archipiélago de los Canarreos. Teeming with life, you will encounter giant iguanas and flamingos on the shores and giant starfish in the shallows.
– Join keepers at the monkey sanctuary in Cayo Cantiles as they care for various endangered species.
– Snorkel with friendly stingrays and manta rays in shallow waters.
– The whole family can visit the Sea Turtle Rescue Centre in Cayo Largo Del Sur and join keepers in releasing giant sea turtles before joining them in the water to swim.
– Head out in the tender, or join a local fishing boat to go bottom fishing for huge local lobsters that your chef will later prepare on board.
PARQUE NACIONAL MARINO DE PUNTA FRANCES
Visit Cuba’s ‘Island of Youth’, steeped in natural beauty, communist history and legends of Caribbean pirates. This is one of the country’s most memorable marine sanctuaries.
– Snorkel in one of Cuba’s primary snorkelling locations that boasts kaleidoscopic coral reefs and an abundance of vibrant marine wildlife, including barracudas, rays, reef sharks and turtles.
– Enjoy a pirate take over of your yacht! Search for treasure with the family and complete piratical challenges followed by a beach party.
– Join local snorkel guides in the Bay of Cienfuegos before heading over to the dolphin frequented inlets to encounter these intelligent mammals. Once you have been fully briefed, you will be able to jump into the water to swim with the Caribbean dolphins.
– Meet a local historian and stroll through this historic town, visiting museums and the Spanish fortress and castle, El Castillo de Jagua.
– Head out on a guided hike to Guanaroca Lagoon before rowing out to see the site’s famous pink Flamingos.
Trinidad is one of the most well preserved towns of the Caribbean and the second in Cuba to earn a UNESCO listing after Havana. It is surrounded by the Topes de Collantes and El Nicho National Parks, Ancon Beach and a nearby coral barrier that is ideal for snorkelling activities.
– Head inland to the the Sierra del Escambray Mountains where you can hike, horseback ride, climb waterfalls or swim in refreshing natural ponds.
– A local band will serenade you and your guests on deck during dinner. As the moon rises over the water, pick up the tempo and dance under the stars.
Life moves more slowly in this small rural town, and you can too. But there is plenty to do in the beautiful surrounding countryside.
– Explore the evocatively-named Valle del Silencio where you can visit a small cave, a coffee farm and, of course, a tobacco plantation. Here you will learn the art of producing and rolling a classic Cuban cigar.
– Discover the Santo Tomas Caves with a personal guide, Cuba’s largest limestone cave system, or enjoy a half day trekking by horseback.
CAYO LAS BRUJAS
– Dive the remains of S.S San Pasqual, an oil tanker ship from World War I, that was purchased in 1924 by the Old Times Molasses Company of La Havana and used to store molasses. In 1933, she sank off the coast of Cayo Las Brujas, where she remains to this day. Legend has it that due to rumors of the boat being haunted, no one ever recovered the stored sugarcane after she went down. Now, 80 years later, the sugarcane has fermented, producing a ship full of rum.
The city of Che, Santa Clara was the site of the last conflict of the Cuban Revolution.
– Visit the Guevara Memorial with an expert historian where you can see his final resting place as well various artifacts including his gun, medical certificates, binoculars and water bottle, as well as pictures of the revolutionary smoking cigars and playing golf.
JARDINES DEL REY
– Kitesurf with a skilled instructor at Cayo Guillermo, one of Cuba’s most popular kitesurfing spots
– Dive with your PELORUS Dive Master in the coral reef off the north coast of Cayo Coco. Attracting divers from across the world, the reef offers an abundance of sea life such as tarpon, jacks, spadefish, big snappers, groupers, sharks and barracudas. Dives vary from 5m to 30m.
PELORUS can arrange all necessary permits and special permissions for yachts seeking to cruise in some usually difficult to access areas in Cuba. Contact our Yacht Expeditions Team here to find out more.