Land of Sand and Salsa

Sunday Toronto Sun Travel: November 18, 2007

Cuba – Christopher Columbus might have discovered Cuba in 1492 but as one sun worshipper to another can tell you, Canadians have laid claim to the endless beach towels that blanket the powder white beaches. With its unbeatable value, we love Cuba so much that Statistics Canada reported over 600,000 Canadian tourists visited the island country last year.

But unlike so many who shoot for the big resort strip of Varadero, we aimed our sun-packed vacation to visit sights like Havana regaled for its rich history and lively culture that pops at every corner. By night, it was bar hopping at the smoke-filled night clubs with cool ceiling fans pivoting to jazz rhythms. By day, it was a stroll along the Malecon that ended at Cathedral Square.

In the land of Hemingway, the Buena Vista Social Club, and cult figure Che Guevara not to mention the generalissimo himself, Fidel Castro, our one-week visit was spent exploring the other parts of Cuba. We knew out of the 14 provinces that comprise the Caribbean’s largest island, we’d only bite off a morsel. But in the end, I confess we ended our trip soaking up the rays at Varadero’s soft sandy beach.

Here’s how you can step into Cuba.

Read More >